September 22, 2014

DNR Secretary: EPA ideas ‘crippling’ to state economy (AUDIO)

The head of Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources says there are environmental ideas floating around the federal government that would be “crippling” to the state economy.

While speaking to the Dairy Business Association, DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said she’s been building alliances to counter the “alarming” excessive environmental proposals by the Environmental Protection Agency. This includes strengthening relationships with Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation and partnering with nearby states, an approach she said led to a successful wolf-delisting.

AUDIO: Stepp’s comments on EPA concerns (1:36)

Stepp emphasized balance as her agency is committed to “seeing environmental enhancements as well as economic development.”

Her comments last week coincided with the state’s largest business group releasing a study of the harmful impact on current “burdensome” EPA regulations.

“If we don’t return to a more sensible regulatory process, then manufacturers in Wisconsin will face even higher energy prices, skyrocketing compliance costs, less investment opportunities and significantly fewer jobs,” said President and CEO Jay Timmons of National Association of Manufacturers which touted the study with Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. 

EPA provided a statement Tuesday saying the agency updating pollution control standards with save tens of thousands of lives. “They (safeguards) rely on proven technologies — already in place at many facilities. And they reflect the input of citizens, industry, and public health advocates. The health benefits far outweigh the costs of implementation.”