Pitt’s Institute for Entrepreneurial Excellence hired a new environmental consultant this month to help small local businesses become more environmentally aware.
The IEE announced on Jan. 7 that Lee Ann Briggs would serve as the new environmental consultant for the Environmental Management Assistance Program. As an environmental consultant for EMAP, Briggs will perform one-on-one consultations with small businesses in western Pennsylvania to reduce their impact on the environment and educate them on environmental regulations for businesses.
“I’m not here to tell anyone they’re not compliant [with environmental regulations]. I’m purely a resource to help them in terms of a knowledge base,” Briggs said.
According to Bob Stein, executive director for the IEE, the Allegheny County Health Department funded the environmental consultant position with a three-year, $350,000 grant. Stein said the grant will fund Briggs’ salary and travel expenses.
Until 2011, Briggs served in a similar position at Duquesne University for 11 years until the university lost the funding to support the program. Briggs’ past experience made her an obvious choice for the position, according to Stein, who said the IEE had been hoping to hire an environmental consultant for some time.
“It’s nice that we can help small business owners and generate economic impact by providing environmental consulting services at no cost,” Stein said.
Briggs, who has 28 years of experience in the environmental regulatory-compliance field at industrial companies, such as a paint and coatings manufacturer and consulting firms, will aid Pittsburgh businesses “such as auto body shops, manufacturers and printers,” according to a press release.
In addition to consultations, Briggs will perform on-site assessments, do emissions calculations, search for alternative materials and guide permit applications.
Briggs will select the businesses she helps based on referrals from business consultants or the Department of Environmental Protection. In the future, Briggs said she hopes to reach clients through word of mouth from previous consultations.
“My plans are to help as many small businesses in western Pennsylvania as I can,” Briggs said. “The big focus will be on Allegheny County, but I will cover 11 counties.”