CounterTek, Inc.

When Raymond Roux decided to open his own custom built countertop fabrication facility in Ephrata, Pa., he felt very fortunate to be able to capitalize on some timely opportunities:

  • First, he had a small group of dedicated craftsmen--with over 75 years of combined experience-- who had been recently laid off from a larger countertop production facility.
  • He also had potential customers already excited about his custom products which distinguished him from his competition.
  • He even had a good deal available to him for some of the equipment he needed to purchase to produce the cultured marble countertops.

However, one of the key challenges he faced was obtaining the proper authorization from the environmental regulatory agencies so he could operate the cultured marble production line.

Roux contacted the Pennsylvania Small Business Development Centers' (SBDC) Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) for compliance assistance for CounterTek, Inc. The EMAP consultant was able to advise him on the procedures involved in obtaining either authorization to operate an air emission source by obtaining an air quality permit, or an approved exemption from permitting.

EMAP's assistance became particularly invaluable to Roux after he received a surprise inspection from the regulatory agency. Customer demands were on hold and several new hires were left waiting until everything could be sorted out.

EMAP worked with Raymond to evaluate his production (and air emission) estimates and was able to assist CounterTek in obtaining their proper authorization to operate. This enabled Raymond to immediately hire two new employees to work on this production line, with the intention of hiring more staff further along that year.

In addition to assisting in the air permitting evaluation, the EMAP consultant is also working with CounterTek to assist them in complying with residual and hazardous waste regulations as well as storage tank regulations.

With the EMAP program available to this small business owner, he was able to stay focused on the many demands associated with establishing a new business but still receive the critical confidential, no-cost regulatory advice and consultation he needed to make his business viable. This saved CounterTek time, money and many headaches often associated with navigating the maze of environmental regulatory requirements.

"There were many issues that I had to address the owner of a start-up company. Fortunately the Environmental Management Assistant Program consultant was able to assist us in addressing our regulatory compliance concerns so I could focus on other areas," said Raymond Roux.

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EMAP Consultant Andrew Radcliffe with CounterTek's Owner Raymound Roux.