Ozone Attainment will Make Region Competitive, Help Businesses Expand
Governor Jim Doyle today announced another step toward creating a business-friendly climate in Wisconsin that allows companies to grow and create good, family-supporting jobs. Yesterday, the Governor directed the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to submit a request to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to re-designate eight counties in Eastern Wisconsin as attainment for ozone.
“Since day one of my Administration, we’ve worked closely with the business community to create a climate in this state that attracts innovative companies, and allows businesses and industries to thrive,” Governor Doyle said. “I’m pleased that eight counties, which are at the heart of our state economy, have recorded ozone levels below EPA threshold for three consecutive years – a testament to the quality of businesses in that area, and a great opportunity to make our state more competitive.”
“Our designation in Southeast Wisconsin as a non-attainment zone severely hampers our economic development efforts,” said Tim Sheehy, president of Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce. “We are thrilled to see the Governor’s leadership in moving the state’s application forward to the EPA – this is a critical step towards enhancing our competitiveness.”
The redesignation request is an acknowledgement of the steps businesses and citizens have taken to improve air quality. Wisconsin businesses have spent billions of dollars improving the quality of the air we breathe and complying with air quality regulations.
Kenosha, Racine, Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington, Ozaukee, Manitowoc and Kewaunee Counties are included in the state’s request because these counties have met clean air standards for 2004, 2005 and 2006.
Attainment for ozone in Eastern Wisconsin will make the region far more competitive with other parts of the country and is part of Governor Doyle’s broad effort to make Wisconsin more business-friendly. From elimination of the tax on job creation, to unprecedented investments in worker training, to the $30 million initiative to develop and grow the bio-industry in Wisconsin, Governor Doyle has taken major steps to strengthen Wisconsin companies and attract new business to the state.
The state will continue to comply fully with federal mandates that preserve air quality, including reformulated gas requirements, regulating ozone-forming substances, and vehicle inspections in Southeast Wisconsin.