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But WMC insists cause not lost for this legislative session
The Wisconsin business community has long sought amnesty for businesses that disclose incriminating information about their environmental practices. But prospects for a breakthrough on state law this year appear bleak.
Legally, nothing prevents the state from using information from an environmental audit against a company in a civil forfeiture action or criminal prosecution.
The Department of Natural Resources says that isn't its practice. However, the business community wants a guarantee through legislation, so that DNR policy, which is subject to administrative change, becomes statutory law.
The Republican state senator who championed the cause for immunity from environmental audit findings in 1996 said he's going to advance it again this year, but mainly for symbolic reasons.
Rep. Marc Duff of New Berlin said that he introduced an environmental audit bill late in the 1996 legislative session, but there was "no time to take it up." …