(A) The director of environmental protection, with the advice of the small business stationary source technical and environmental compliance assistance council created in section 3704.19 of the Revised Code, shall establish a technical and environmental compliance assistance program for small business stationary sources. The program shall include all of the following:
(1) Adequate mechanisms for developing, collecting, and coordinating information concerning compliance methods and technologies for small business stationary sources and programs to encourage cooperation among such sources and other persons to further compliance with the federal Clean Air Act;
(2) Adequate mechanisms for assisting small business stationary sources with pollution prevention and accidental release detection and prevention, including providing information concerning alternative technologies, process changes, products, and methods of operation that help reduce air pollution;
(3) A compliance assistance program for small business stationary sources that assists such sources in determining applicable requirements and in receiving permits under the federal Clean Air Act, this chapter, and rules adopted under it in a timely and efficient manner;
(4) Adequate mechanisms to ensure that small business stationary sources receive notice of their rights under the federal Clean Air Act, this chapter, rules adopted under it, and section 3706.19 of the Revised Code in such a manner and form as to ensure reasonable and adequate time for them to evaluate compliance methods and any relevant or applicable proposed or final regulation or standard adopted or issued under the federal Clean Air Act or this chapter. The director shall adopt rules establishing a notice procedure for the purposes of this division.
(5) Adequate mechanisms for informing small business stationary sources of their obligations under the federal Clean Air Act, this chapter, and rules adopted under it, including mechanisms for referring such sources to qualified environmental auditors or, at the director's option, for providing audits of the operations of such sources to determine compliance with this chapter and rules adopted under it;
(6) Procedures for consideration of requests from a small business stationary source for modification of either of the following:
(a) Any work practice or technological method of compliance;
(b) The schedule of milestones for implementing such a work practice or method of compliance preceding any applicable compliance date, based on the technological and financial capability of the source.
No such modification shall be granted unless it is in compliance with the applicable requirements of the federal Clean Air Act, this chapter, and rules adopted under it. When such applicable requirements are established in federal regulations, only modifications authorized in those regulations shall be allowed.
(7) Adequate mechanisms for ensuring, upon request, the confidentiality of all communications and information from or on behalf of small businesses that seek assistance under the program.
(B) The director shall designate an employee of the environmental protection agency with suitable technical qualifications to supervise the program and may employ such other persons as are necessary for the purposes of the program. The program office in the agency also shall serve as the staff of the small business stationary source technical and environmental compliance assistance council created in section 3704.19 of the Revised Code and shall assist in any review conducted by the council and in the development and dissemination of the reports of the council required under that section.
(C) No information submitted to, acquired by, or exchanged with public officials acting pursuant to the small business stationary source technical and environmental compliance assistance program shall be used in any manner for purposes of enforcement of any requirement of this chapter or used as evidence in any judicial or administrative enforcement proceeding. Nothing in this section confers immunity from enforcement based on information obtained by the director or his agents who are not acting pursuant to this section or section 3704.19 or 3706.19 of the Revised Code.
Effective Date: 10-29-1993