Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP)
The Department of Environmental Protection's (DEP) mission is to protect Pennsylvania's air, land and water from pollution and to provide for the health and safety of its citizens through a cleaner environment. Following this event, DEP is conducting testing of air, water, and soil in a two-mile radius surrounding the derailment site. Additional testing may be provided upon request. The derailment may negatively impact business operations. DEP offers several programs that provide funding (grants, loans, and rebate programs) for projects that enable businesses to operate more efficiently and to reduce pollution related to business activities. See below for links to testing results and to helpful programs for businesses.
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East Palestine Train Derailment: What DEP is Doing:
This site provides a general overview of DEP’s activities relating to the train derailment and provides general information about air, water, and soil testing. DEP will publicly post results from local air, water, and soil sampling on its website, as allowed in order to maintain privacy.
Small Business Ombudsman Office (SBOO):
The Small Business Ombudsman serves as the primary advocate for small businesses within the Department. In addition to administering the Small Business Advantage Grant (SBAG) Program and the Pollution Prevention Assistance Account (PPAA) Loan Program, the SBOO provides other services including mediation between businesses and DEP staff, advocacy for small businesses in state regulatory development and enforcement, and sharing information relating to funding opportunities and business resources. Any Pennsylvania-based small businesses with 100 or fewer full-time employees can receive free, confidential service from the Ombudsman for issues pertaining to DEP. The Ombudsman does not have authority in any other state or federal agency. Contact Samantha Harmon, SBOO,
Small Business Advantage Grant Program (SBAG):
This program provides grants up to $8,000 to improve energy efficiency or prevent pollution for small businesses, including agricultural projects to reduce impacts on streams. This program is currently closed but will reopen July 2023. Program is administered by the SBOO. Contact Forest Edwards,
email@example.com, 717-783-9640, with technical questions. Contact Caroline Zepp,
firstname.lastname@example.org, 717-772-5160, with financial or vendor record questions.
Pollution Prevention Assistance Account Loan (PPAA):
This program provides fixed rate loans (2%), up to $100,000 over 10 years, which are ideal for longer term, more expensive pollution reduction or energy efficiency improvements for small businesses. This program is currently accepting applications. Determination of Eligibility is administered by the SBOO. Contact Samantha Harmon, SBOO,
Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP):
EMAP provides free, confidential assistance to small businesses across the state of Pennsylvania, in all industry sectors – retail, commercial and industrial. Some services include: one-on-one confidential consultation to help businesses understand the applicable regulatory requirements; putting environmental regulations into understandable language; assisting with air emissions calculations; assisting with the preparation and submittal of requests for determinations, permit applications and plans; explaining permit requirements and setting up customized record keeping and reporting systems; finding alternative materials and processes to help reduce a business’s regulatory burden; and conducting on-site assessments. EMAP can be contacted through the website or by calling 1-877-ASK-EMAP. Referrals to EMAP will be made by the SBOO, as appropriate.
Energy Programs Office (EPO):
The Energy Programs Office provides resources for businesses, nonprofits, government, schools, and other organizations to save energy, including information about efficiency improvements, renewable energy, alternative fuels and vehicles, data on energy supply and use, and financial incentives for energy improvements. Contact the Energy Programs office by email at
RAemail@example.com or by phone at 717-783-8411.
Agricultural Energy Efficiency Rebate Program:
This program is a rebate program that provides funding for agricultural producers to improve energy efficiency by upgrading to LED lighting, upgrading dairy equipment for milk pumping and refrigeration or cooling equipment, or upgrading ventilation equipment. The rebate program is first come, first served and is open as long as funding is available, through June 30, 2023. The same webpage provides additional information about farm energy efficiency, including use of solar on farms. This program is administered by the EPO. For questions about the program, please email
RA-EPAgEnergyProgram@pa.gov or call 570-327-3783.
Solar Energy Resource Hub – For Businesses:
Many Pennsylvania businesses are turning to solar energy to reduce operating costs, lower their carbon footprint and promote resiliency and sustainability. This website provides resources to review when making the decision to power your business with solar. Contact information is provided at the links for each of the resources.
Energy Financial Incentives for Pennsylvania Businesses – Fact Sheet:
This fact sheet provides links to a variety of energy-related funding programs, including grants and loans. Links are provided to the individual programs. Contact EPO by email at
RAfirstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717-783-8411 for additional information.
Growing Greener Plus Grants Program:
This program refers to three grant programs: Growing Greener (Watershed Restoration and Protection), Act 167 Stormwater Management Plans and Surface Mining Conservation and Reclamation Act (SMCRA) Bond Forfeiture. The purpose of Growing Greener, SMCRA, and AMD remediation grants is to address nonpoint source pollution through local, watershed-based planning, restoration, and protection efforts. Small businesses/farms cannot apply directly but can do so in conjunction with an eligible applicant partner. Applications are being accepted from 8 a.m. on Friday April 21, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 23, 2023. Contact information varies by program.
See the Program Guidelines for a list of contacts.
Section 319 Nonpoint Source Management Grants:
The goal of this program is to improve and protect Pennsylvania’s waters from nonpoint source pollution associated with AMD, energy resource extraction, agricultural activities, stormwater runoff, streambank, and shoreline degradation, along with verifying and demonstrating efficacy with enhanced data collection and distribution. The Section 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management grant funds are provided by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and authorized through Section 319(h) of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act. The program’s primary purpose is to implement Section 319 Program Watershed Implementation Plans (WIPs). Applications are being accepted from 8 a.m. on Friday April 21, 2023, through 11:59 p.m. on Friday, June 23, 2023.
Contacts are available in the Program Guidelines.
Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED)
The Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) mission is to encourage the shared prosperity of all Pennsylvanians by supporting good stewardship and sustainable development initiatives across our commonwealth. DCED acts as advisors and advocates, providing strategic technical assistance, training, and financial resources to help Pennsylvania communities and industries flourish.
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DCED Programs & Funding:
The DCED Programs and Funding page provides links to search for available funding, guidance on how to apply for funding, a link to the online application system, and links to numerous other program resources. Programs can be searched by applicant type (business), as well as the funding type (grant, loan, etc.). Contact information for specific funding programs is available in the program documents or website. Contact DCED with general inquiries at 866-466-3972 and the PA Business One-Stop Shop at 833-722-6778.
Pennsylvania Industrial Development Authority (PIDA):
The PIDA provides low-interest loans and lines of credit for eligible businesses that commit to creating and retaining full-time jobs and for the development of industrial parks and multi-tenant facilities. Loan applications are packaged and underwritten by a network of certified economic development organizations (CEDOs) that partner with PIDA to administer the program. Some potential uses include land and building acquisitions; construction and renovation costs; machinery and equipment purchases; working capital and accounts receivable lines of credit, multi-tenant facility projects; and industrial park projects. The PPAA loan (see DEP section) is administered through this authority. Contact: Jared Lucas 717-346-8006,
Industrial Sites Reuse Program (ISRP):
The ISRP provides grant and low-interest loan financing to perform environmental site assessment and remediation work at former industrial sites, including Phase I, II and III environmental assessments; and remediation of hazardous substances. Note this specifically applies to former industrial sites. Contact: Brian Eckert 717-720-1400,
Pennsylvania Office of Small Business Advocate
The Pennsylvania Office of Small Business Advocate (OSBA) is an independent state agency, administratively situated within DCED. OSBA is responsible for representing and protecting the legal rights and interests of Pennsylvania’s small business utility consumers in all legal matters before the PUC, corresponding state and federal regulatory agencies, and in higher courts. OSBA’s clients include small businesses employing from one to 250 employees.
The OSBA also carefully monitors matters before the Commonwealth Court, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (“FERC”), and the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC”) on electric transmission, telecommunications and broadband projects, pipeline safety investigations, and other matters that have substantial impacts on Pennsylvania’s small businesses. The OSBA also works one on one with business owners to assist with resolving issues and concerns relating to their utilities. Business owners can contact OSBA, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. by phone at 717-783-2525 or by email
Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA)
The Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) helps communities and citizens mitigate against, prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies including natural disasters, acts of terrorism, or other human-made disasters. PEMA is working to coordinate the Commonwealth’s response to this incident. PEMA has developed a dashboard website that includes information about the chemicals involved, health resources, safety resources, farm resources, information from Norfolk Southern, and other resources.
Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture (PDA)
The Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture encourages, protects and promotes agriculture and related industries throughout the commonwealth while providing consumer protection through inspection services that impact the health and financial security of Pennsylvania's citizens. Much of the land in the area of potential concern is agricultural and agricultural producers may have significant concerns about the impact of the train derailment.
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Pennsylvania farmers and producers who are impacted by the derailment and have questions or concerns can contact the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture hotline at 855-777-6735.
Agricultural Business Development Center (ABDC):
Designed to enhance the long-term vitality of Pennsylvania farms, the ABDC is focused on providing support for sound business planning, efficient transitions of farm ownership, strategic farm expansion, diversification of agricultural production, and in building a team of financial and technical expertise as a resource for Pennsylvania farmers. You can contact the ABDC at RA-AGBUSINESS@pa.gov.
- PDA Grants and Funding:
This webpage contains links to numerous funding opportunities, including those under the PA Farm Bill, Reimbursement Programs, State Programs, Federal Programs, and others. Click on the program link you are interested in for details and contact information.
- Business and Industry:
PDA maintains a Business and Industry webpage that provides links to numerous business resources, ranging from the ABDC referenced above, to agricultural marketing and trade, as well as workforce development. Click on the program link you are interested in for details and contact information.
PDA maintains an Animals webpage with links to a variety of resources relating to farm animals, including links to Animal Health Services, Livestock Evaluation Center, and others. See below relating to animal safety. Click on the program link you are interested in for details and contact information.
- Animal safety:
If you have concerns about the health of your animals, please contact your local veterinarian.
- Consumer Protection and Food Safety:
Information about food safety is included under the Consumer Protection tab and addresses food safety for plants and animals, as well as links for food safety complaints and laboratory testing. You can contact PDA about food safety at 1-866-366-3723 or find the PDA Regional Food Safety Offices here.
On PDA’s Food tab, information is available about food assistance and food security, in addition to the Ag Commodity Marketing Boards. Click on the program link you are interested in for details and contact information.
- Plants, Land, and Water:
The PDA Plants, Land, and Water webpage has information about farmland preservation and sustainability, in addition to other resources. Click on the program link you are interested in for details and contact information.
Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA)
The mission of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) is to strengthen the cultural, educational, and economic vitality of Pennsylvania's communities through the arts. The PCA accomplishes its mission through a combination of grants to the arts; partnerships and initiatives; technical assistance to partners and applicants; and by serving as a resource for arts-related information for public officials, other agencies of state government, and the general public.
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Creative Business Loan Fund:
This fund provides $2.2 million in the form of affordable, flexible financing to small, creative businesses across the commonwealth. Eligible loan uses will include working capital; equipment purchases; renovations to retail, production, or office space; and, in limited cases, building acquisitions. For general questions about the Creative Business Loan Fund, contact Sarah Merritt, Director of Creative Communities via email at
email@example.com. Applicants must apply through one of the program partners (Bridgeway Capital’s Creative Business Loan Fund, Rising Tide Loan Fund, or Community First Fund), which is determined by your county. See the website for further information.
Creative Entrepreneur Accelerator Program:
This program is designed to pair access to existing small business consulting services with financial resources up to $2,000 for creative entrepreneurs who aspire to start their own for-profit business or who operate an existing for-profit micro business. For general questions about the Creative Business Accelerator Program contact Amanda Lovell via email at
firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 717-783-5056. To start the process of taking advantage of the Creative Business Accelerator Program,
contact your regional PCA partner organization.