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March 6, 2012

MADISON -- A veteran state environmental manager has been named as the Department of Natural Resources' small business ombudsman, a position responsible for serving as a liaison to small business and helping them meet clean air laws and other environmental requirements.

Eileen Pierce
Eileen Pierce
WDNR Photo

Eileen Pierce has been selected to serve as DNR's small business ombudsman, drawing on her expertise over the past 23 years of working in the agency's air, waste and remediation programs in Milwaukee, Green Bay, Wisconsin Rapids, and Madison.

"Eileen's extensive experience interpreting and implementing environmental regulations makes her a great choice as ombudsman," says DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp. "Eileen is particularly well positioned to serve the needs of Wisconsin's small businesses."

Pierce said she is committed to helping Wisconsin small business owners succeed and achieve their environmental performance goals. There are 1,865 companies of 500 or fewer employees with an active air permit.

Pierce will be serving many more firms with other permits, including federally and state permitted activities such as water use and discharge, solid waste handling, hazardous waste generation and water regulation and zoning more.

"I hope to make a real difference for small businesses and the environment by helping small businesses sort through the various environmental regulations, by advocating that impacts on small businesses be considered as we develop and implement regulations, and by helping resolve disputes for individual small business owners."

Under the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, each state is required to implement a small business technical and environmental compliance assistance program including an ombudsman for small business, a small business technical assistance program, and a compliance advisory panel.

The Wisconsin program was established at Department of Commerce in 1993. The program moved to DNR in 2011.

The small business ombudsman has three main responsibilities: communication, advocacy, and compliance assistance. Although the ombudsman's role has its origin in the Clean Air Act, in many states including Wisconsin, the scope of these responsibilities includes all environmental regulatory programs that affect small business.

See Wisconsin Small Business Clean Air Assistance Program for more information .

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Eileen Pierce, (608) 275-3296 (desk), (608) 279-5637

Last Revised: Tuesday, March 06, 2012

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