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SBDC Success Story: Allegra and Image360

Founded in 2008, Allegra Pittsburgh and Image360 Pittsburgh West, located in Pittsburgh, PA, provides marketing and professional graphics solutions for businesses and organizations.

David Barringer, the owner of Allegra and Image360, was referred to the University of Pittsburgh’s Small Business Development Center’s Environmental Management Assistance Program (EMAP) by the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Quality Program (ACHD) to assist in determining operating permit applicability for their graphics operation.

Amid the COVID‐19 pandemic, an onsite visit was not an option. However, EMAP spoke in-depth to Mr. Barringer and Doug Schafer, a production specialist, about their operations/production processes and services. Mr. Barringer and Schafer provided detailed product usage information (quantities) for all materials used and processed at Allegra and Image360. This included but was not limited to types of inks, paints, various plastics and polypropylene.

EMAP prepared detailed emission calculations to determine emission thresholds and permit applicability. The emission calculations provided that Allegra and Image360’s emissions were well below permitting threshold limits. Based on the small emissions, it was determined that Allegra and Image360 would be exempt from the ACHD Article XXI Air Pollution Control Operating Permit requirements. The SBDC EMAP program assisted Allegra and Image360 with preparing and submitting a determination letter to the ACHD Air Quality Program.

The letter was submitted to ACHD in October 2020. In July 2021, ACHD concurred with the determination letter and concluded that Allegra and Image360 would be exempt from the air quality operating permit.

This determination will result in an annual cost savings of $2,000 for Allegra and Image360.