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WMC Hails DNR Responsiveness on Permits

MADISON – The state’s largest business association Thursday hailed efforts by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to improve the approval of permits needed by employers.

A recent survey of Wisconsin CEOs found that the DNR needed to improve its responsiveness to employers, especially when issuing air permits.

“Any effort to improve the approval of permits for employers will help with creation of jobs in Wisconsin,” said Scott Manley, environmental policy director for WMC. “The DNR can issue permits in a timely fashion and still protect the environment.”

The streamlined permitting would not lower environmental standards. The DNR issues permits regulating air and water emissions when businesses install or modify equipment.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported today that a number of reforms are being considered at the agency, including:

  • Adopt what it calls “smart regulation” that would include a unit tentatively called the Office of Business Development and Economic Sustainability, which would try to work with companies upfront to clear up red tape and speed environmental reviews. The proposal is modeled after a program in Iowa.
  • Use merit pay to reward employees.
  • Allow the DNR to hire employees directly.

“These types of reforms are needed if Wisconsin is going to be among the most competitive states in the nation,” Manley said. reported earlier this month that Wisconsin had jumped into the top 25 for business climate, but said the state still needed improvements in regulations.

“We need to develop a national reputation as an innovator that helps manufacturers create high-wage jobs and compete in a global economy while protecting our natural resources,” Manley said. “The reforms proposed at the DNR are a great first step.”

Scott Manley, (608) 209-0568





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