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Environment

Wisconsin employers face an increasingly costly environmental regulatory climate. Many environmental regulations in the state are more stringent than what is necessary to protect the environment, and more stringent than what is required by other states. WMC believes that Wisconsin employers need relief from costly and burdensome environmental regulations.

Environment

Agenda

Continue to work with national partners to ensure federal environmental standards are fair, transparent, cost-effective, and based upon sound science. Work with WMC’s national partners and within the legal system to oppose the imposition of costly new federal environmental regulations.

Environmental regulations and permits are issued by the state DNR. Additional layers of local environmental regulations and permitting add cost and confusion for businesses. Prohibit local governments from establishing or imposing environmental standards or permits, and thereby reinforce the DNR as the sole environmental regulator in Wisconsin.

Businesses support clean air and water as much as anyone, and recognize the need for sensible environmental regulations. Regulators must recognize, however, that regulatory requirements come with a cost that can be substantial. Regulations should therefore be based upon sound peer-reviewed science, and an evaluation of the cost to businesses and consumers in relation to any benefit to determine whether the regulation is appropriate.

Any state standards regulating PFAS compounds must be fair, cost effective, and based upon sound peer-reviewed science. Wisconsin PFAS standards should be consistent with, and no more stringent than, corresponding federal standards to protect consumers from the cost of expensive “Wisconsin only” regulatory mandates.

Remove the cost and complexity of existing “Wisconsin only” environmental regulations, and work to ensure that newly promulgated rules are no more stringent than federal requirements.

Build upon existing permit streamlining tools to further exempt small facilities from operations permits, and ease compliance demonstration and reporting requirements for all permitted facilities, while maintaining adequate oversight. In addition, increase the availability of streamlined/ abbreviated permitting tools like registration permits and general permits.

Support an amendment to the Clean Air Act to include provisions providing relief to non-attainment areas in Wisconsin that violate air quality standards due to out-of-state emissions. The vast majority of pollutants triggering air quality violations in Wisconsin originate from outside our borders, and Wisconsin businesses and communities should not be punished for pollution from other states.

Maintain a fair and predictable permitting framework for high capacity well approvals that allow for growth among existing businesses and farms.

Statutorily define the limits and boundaries of the public trust for Wisconsin waterways. Currently, there is no clear directive from the legislature regarding which waters fall into the public trust, nor the DNR’s public trust regulatory authority. Leaving these critical questions as subject to interpretation by the courts and DNR staff creates uncertainty and leads to costly and burdensome overregulation.

Lake landscape at sunset
Wisconsin Business Friend of the Environment logo
The Business Friend of the Environment award highlights what Wisconsin companies are doing in the areas of sustainability, innovative technology and environmental stewardship.
cliff near the water in door county, wisconsin
Craig Summerfield

Questions?

If you would like to learn more about our stance on environmental reform or have questions, contact Craig Summerfield, WMC’s Director of Environmental & Energy Policy.

Environment

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