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Contact information
For information about the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, contact:
Small Business Hotline
Toll free: 855-889-3021
DNRSmallBusiness@wisconsin.gov

Small Business Assistance team

The Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (SBEAP) serves as a free advisory and non-regulatory resource to small business owners throughout the state. Through the program, Small Business Program specialists work as liaisons between small businesses and state (DNR) and federal (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) regulators. The staff creates "plain language" publications; answers compliance questions; responds to written and verbal regulatory inquiries; coordinates occasional environmental compliance workshops; and directs businesses to other pertinent technical assistance providers.

The SBEAP reaches thousands of small businesses each year through meetings, speaking engagements, workshops and publications. The program currently offers many different fact sheets, rule summaries, record keeping, reporting forms and other tools designed to make environmental compliance easier for Wisconsin businesses. The majority of this information is always available on the SBEAP web pages.

National Recognition

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ Small Business Environmental Assistance Program (WI SBEAP) received the 2017 National Small Business Environmental Assistance Program Award.

2017 SBEAP/SBO Award Ceremony
2017 SBEAP/SBO Award Ceremony. Pictured from left to right: Tony Pendola - NSC Chair and NC SBO, Lisa Ashenbrenner Hunt - WI SBEAP, Renee Lesjak Bashel - WI SBEAP, La Ronda Bowen - Awards Master of Ceremony and CA SBO

This recognition by the National Steering Committee (NSC) of Small Business Environmental Assistance Programs & Small Business Ombudsmen (SBEAP/SBO) [exit DNR] was presented at the SBEAP/SBO annual conference held in Denver, Colorado, on May 17. The Wisconsin program was nominated by its peers and the award honors accomplishments in environmental compliance assistance, advocacy for small businesses and collaborative efforts at the regional and national level.

Current and former WI SBEAP staff members have held leadership roles at the regional and national level for the SBEAP/SBO and the NSC, including acting as chair for multiple subcommittees and two nominated as NSC chair with a third to hold that position in 2018. The WI SBEAP has been active in national efforts since early in the SBEAP/SBO programs’ history, when the program was instrumental in the development of the first national SBEAP/SBO logo, a national annual report template, a customer satisfaction survey and other data collection tools that state SBEAPs use to promote the value of our programs to small businesses. Promotion is especially important since state SBEAP/SBO cannot help small businesses comply if the businesses do not know what services are available.

Regionally, the WI SBEAP led a grant project called the Autobody Environmental Results Program, which supported outreach efforts about environmental requirements affecting 12,000 collision repairs shops in Wisconsin and surrounding states. The states involved in the project shared ideas on training materials and other resources so that no single state had to do all the work required to support the collision repair shops in their respective state. Also, the regional state SBEAPs elect representatives to the NSC and WI SBEAP has held that role for Region 5 at least four times since 2000.

Utilizing their own innovative ideas along with ideas acquired from other SBEAP/SBOs at the regional and national level, WI SBEAP has steadily improved their efforts to support Wisconsin businesses. In 2016, the WI SBEAP made over 90,000 contacts to provide environmental assistance through their toll-free hotline, emails, presentations, conference exhibits, electronic newsletter, and other online resources. This was a 62 percent increase over 2015 efforts.

The WI SBEAP is always looking for better ways to provide information to small businesses or new ways to reach the businesses that need assistance. Please share your ideas with us, or contact us anytime for assistance with environmental regulatory compliance issues.

Team members

Lisa Ashenbrenner Hunt

Lisa Ashenbrenner Hunt

Lisa Ashenbrenner Hunt is a Small Business Environmental Assistance specialist and has been providing environmental regulatory assistance to small businesses since 2012. She has an academic background specializing in environmental policy and has private sector environmental compliance experience dealing with a wide range of environmental issues. Lisa strongly believes that good environmental stewardship and business success go hand-in-hand and looks forward to working closely with businesses to achieve those goals.

Contact information:
Lisa Ashenbrenner Hunt
Environmental assistance coordinator
608-266-6887

Renee Lesjak Bashel

>Renee Lesjak Bashel

Renee Lesjak Bashel is the Small Business Environmental Assistance Program manager. Renee has worked in the environmental field for over 20 years and has Bachelor of Science Degrees in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering. Over her career Renee has held a variety of roles: for the DNR’s Air Program, doing compliance inspections, writing permits, and leading the operation permit team; for the Wisconsin Department of Commerce’s Small Business Clean Air Assistance Program, providing technical assistance on air pollution regulations; and for a local consulting firm as a project manager, completing air permit applications and annual reports for air, hazardous waste, Tier 2 and TRI, and conducting environmental compliance assessments. After returning to the DNR in 2015, Renee looks forward to coordinating a Small Business Environmental Assistance Program that can now provide assistance on the full range of environmental regulations to small businesses in Wisconsin.

Contact information:
Renee Lesjak Bashel
Environmental assistance coordinator
608-266-6977

Last revised: Monday June 05 2017