Wisconsin has long been a leader in innovative public-private partnerships. One such partnership is the Green Tier program that encourages businesses to take a voluntary and active role in environmental management practices. For almost a decade, businesses have been able to work with the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) on a collaborative basis that promotes effective environmental management practices while providing regulatory flexibility to participants.
To participate in Green Tier, businesses need to demonstrate a strong environmental record free from recent civil or criminal judgments or DNR citations and engage in active participation with state agencies. In return, businesses benefit by having limits on potential civil forfeiture exposure.
A one-size-fits-all, command-and-control regulatory model often leads to an inefficient process towards environmental performance and business practices. This can result in businesses only meeting the minimum requirements and the state having to react to environmental management problems. As an alternative, Green Tier utilizes a collaborative approach between businesses and the state that has proven to improve environmental outcomes while reducing administrative burdens on both the state agency and the business. The impact of this program throughout the state has been greater environmental protection, better use of state resources, and companies creating jobs while at the same time reducing overall operating costs.
Numerous companies in our region are participating in the Green Tier program. Most recently, Medisize-Phillips Plastics was recognized by the DNR for their commitment to exceptional environmental performance by becoming one of the first Wisconsin-based companies to have all of their facilities in Green Tier. I applaud Medisize-Phillips Plastics and all those companies participating in Green Tier for their commitment to the environment and positive business models.
Given the input from business owners participating in Green Tier, it has been observed that jobs and the economy work closely with strong environmental performance. A point that is being proven true by Medisize-Phillips Plastic with the addition of 150 jobs in Wisconsin this year and an additional 100 positions to be filled.
I invite you to learn more about the Wisconsin Green Tier program. Information can be found online at http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/GreenTier/. This innovative program is a great example of how Wisconsin can ensure high environmental standards while enabling economic prosperity and job creation.
I welcome your input and questions on this or other issues before the State Legislature. Please visit my website at www.harsdorfsenate.com or feel free to call my office at 1-800-862-1092 or 608-266-7745.