U.S. Representative Judy Biggert (R-IL-13) this week joined the Green Leadership Council of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce for a roundtable discussion on government regulations that may be impeding local efforts to reduce waste and improve energy efficiency. Biggert, a senior member of the U.S. House Science, Space and Technology Committee, was joined by representatives from some of the region's largest employers, including Edward Hospital, North Central College, Office Max, the City of Naperville, and several others.
"Over-regulation is a de facto tax on employers that can stifle investment in sustainable growth," said Biggert, citing that more than 400 new federal regulations have been proposed in 2011. "In the House, we've passed dozens of bills to roll back the red tape and do away with duplicative mandates, including costly rules on everything from furnace boilers to small business paperwork. During today's discussion, we heard from area employers about cost-saving energy initiatives and the red tape that is standing in the way."
"One challenging EPA standard we encounter at Edward Hospital is managing pharmaceutical waste under current RCRA regulation," said Robert Nightingale, Environmental Health & Safety Manger at Edward Hospital. "Speeding up the passage of the proposed Universal Waste Rule for Pharmaceuticals would help streamline the process for our staff by minimizing the number of containers needed to manage these wastes."
"Policies in Washington set the landscape for sustainability efforts here at home," said Beau D'Arcy, Chairman of the Naperville Green Leadership Council. "We appreciate Congresswoman Biggert's leadership on this issue and her willingness to work with us to eliminate roadblocks to sustainability initiatives in our community. Today, we came together as community leaders and business executives to provide Rep. Biggert with information she can use to drive more effective sustainability initiatives in Washington."
"Micromanaging from Washington is a black cloud over many of our job creators," said Biggert. "And the consequences go beyond mere cost. Regulation can make it far harder to invest in new, innovative technologies. But it's only with input from community leaders and local businesses that we can help turn things around."
"Constantly changing rules and new laws create added confusion for the business community. We appreciate the opportunity to work with Rep. Biggert on bringing some common sense to the process," said John Schmitt, President of the Naperville Area Chamber of Commerce.