April 28, 2009
Senate Votes to Reauthorize Green Tier
(Wisconsin State Capitol) - With unanimous bipartisan support, the Wisconsin State Senate voted to reauthorize the state’s innovative “Green Tier” pilot program. Green Tier is an environmental improvement program originally enacted in 2004 that encourages collaboration between businesses and state regulators to achieve environmental gains.
“Green Tier gets us away from a cat-and-mouse game where regulators are chasing businesses to a system of collaboration where environmental gains are maximized,” said State Senator Sheila Harsdorf (River Falls), a co-sponsor of the legislation.
Green Tier participants in western Wisconsin include 3M Company €“ Menomonie, Federal Foam Technologies, and Phillips Plastics. Green Tier is a voluntary program that involves annual audits of environmental management systems and encourages self-reporting of violations.
“Green Tier allows organizations to voluntarily achieve superior environmental performance by allowing participants to explore innovative technologies, strategies, and systems,” said Dan Anderson, Corporate Safety Health and Environmental Manager with Phillips Plastics. “These efforts result in continuous improvement in Wisconsin’s environment, economy, and quality of life while ensuring the protection of the environment through the recognition of superior environmental performance.”
The Senate legislation removes the sunset date for the original Green Tier legislation, making it permanent. The bill now goes to the State Assembly.
“A one-size-fits all, command-and-control regulatory model often leads to inefficient practices that do not maximize environmental performance and stifles job creation,” said Harsdorf. “Green Tier is focused on results that build healthy communities and better use of state resources.”
More information about Wisconsin’s Green Tier program can be found online at: http://www.dnr.state.wi.us/org/caer/cea/environmental/ .