Clean Air Resource Center (CARC)

In 1996, the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority (OAQDA) created the Clean Air  Resource Center (CARC) to serve Ohio's small businesses and make clean air compliance more affordable. Since then, we have helped numerous Ohio small businesses improve air quality for their community, create a healthier environment for their employees, and do so affordably and easily.

For small business owners, it can be challenging and time-consuming to navigate environmental regulations, and paying for upgrades can be difficult. CARC can help.

We're not part of the Ohio EPA, and we do not enforce air quality regulations. What we do is help Ohio businesses, in coordination with or independently of the Ohio EPA, meet EPA regulations while also reducing costs and gaining tax exemptions.

We can work with the Ohio EPA’s Office of Compliance Assistance and Pollution Prevention (OCAPP), a non-regulatory program that helps Ohio businesses and organizations comply with environmental regulations, prevent pollution, develop and achieve sustainability goals and finance recycling and litter prevention efforts, to provide Ohio small businesses with free and confidential assessment, assistance, and advice.

All information is completely confidential—state law prohibits the Ohio EPA from using this information in any enforcement action.

Can the Clean Air Resource Center help your business?

OAQDA can work with any Ohio small businesses that must comply with the Clean Air Act—which includes hundreds of different industries, including but not limited to businesses that bake, brew, mill, mold, paint, print, refine, repair, treat or transport.
Your business can qualify if you:
• Employ one hundred or fewer employees
• Maintain offices or operating facilities in Ohio
• Your principal place of business is in the state
• Have financial difficulty complying with the “Clean Air
Act Amendments of 1990.”
• Emit less than seventy-five (75) tons per year of all
regulated pollutants, and emit fifty (50) tons or less per year of any regulated pollutant

What is a small business?

A small business is a small stationary source covered by the Clean Air Act, which employs 100 or fewer individuals, emits less than 75 tons per year of all regulated air pollutants, and emits 50 tons or less per year of any regulated pollutant. A small business, for purposes of the incentives available through the Clean Air Resource Center, must be making improvements to control pollutants that are regulated by the Clean Air Act.

Various government programs have different definitions for "small" and "large" businesses. For us, in general, a large business is one which employs more than 100 people, Businesses of all sizes are eligible for OAQDA financing assistance.

Who qualifies?

In order to qualify for the Small Business Assistance Grant, you must meet the definition of small business listed above and the improvements must control air pollutants regulated by the Clean Air Act. Small businesses undertaking energy efficiency and conservation projects are not eligible for the small business assistance grant.

Please note: Projects must be approved at an Authority meeting prior to equipment installation and financing, and applications must be submitted in complete form at least four weeks prior to an Authority meeting to potentially appear on the meeting's agenda.

You could be subject to EPA regulations if your business:

  • emits volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxides in areas where ground level ozone (commonly know as "smog") has been identified as an air quality problem
  • sells or distributes gasoline, heating oil, or other kinds of petroleum products;
  • performs work involving the coating or painting of metal surfaces, or the degreasing of machinery;
  • uses asphalt, rubber, metal finishers, plastics or synthetic materials in the manufacturing or construction trades.

That's just a small sampling of the areas regulated by the Clean Air Act. If your business falls into any of these categories we can help you finance equipment that will control, reduce, or eliminate air emissions caused by these processes.

Small businesses may be eligible if they use the following processes:


dry cleaning
Financial Benefits

The incentives offered to Ohio small businesses through the Clean Air Resource Center can help business owners recover a portion of their investment in equipment and facilities that address air quality. Once projects are funded, grants are awarded to help cover closing costs as well as principal payments on the equipment after it has been installed and operational for at least six months. CARC financing packages are structured to suit the needs of individual projects and incentivized through conduit bonds issued by OAQDA.

When you get assistance for pollution control or prevention equipment through CARC, you'll enjoy a wide range of unique benefits—most of which are not available through banks or private lending organizations. They include:

  1. Tax Exemptions
    We exempt sales and use tax.

  2. Broad Eligibility
    We can help any small business covered by the Clean Air Act.

  3. Easy Application Process/Minimal Waiting Period
    When you apply for assistance through CARC, you won't have to deal with a lot of red tape. Our application process is short and simple.

  4. Work With Your Current Lender
    Our financing is designed to work through your lender of choice. If you already have a relationship with a bank or other lender, we are happy to work with that organization. Once the financing is approved, your loan will be handled strictly by you and your lender—our involvement becomes essentially invisible.


“Working with the Ohio Air Quality Development Authority was an extremely positive experience for Baker’s. The application process was clear and questions were answered quickly. This grant allowed us to purchase a booth that would substantially reduce the amount of VOC’s that are being emitted and filtered. This new booth has allowed us to hire additional team members and increase our production and therefore also our annual revenue.”

– DeLee Powell, Owner, Baker’s Collision Repair Specialists