EDF, Great Lakes Governors, Printing Industry Project Suceeds In Reducing Pollution, Regulation for Print Shops

July 23, 1996

(23 July, 1996 — Dearborn, MI) Printers in the Great Lakes states will benefit from streamlined environmental regulations while preventing pollution at their print shops, under a set of actions adopted today by the Council of Great Lakes Governors, the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), and the Printing Industries of America (PIA) during the Council’s annual meeting in Dearborn, Michigan. Since signing an initial set of recommendations on July 22, 1994, participants in the Great Printers Project have focused on simplifying reporting requirements in a way that minimizes redundancy and confusion for small business to make it more conducive to pollution prevention as well as to cut paperwork and cost.

The cooperative effort has sought to establish pollution prevention as a standard business practice in the printing industry, which engages some 54,000 firms nationwide in printing magazines, books and other commercial printing with a total annual output of $85.5 billion. Great Lakes states produce 39% of U.S. printing output.

Under the Great Printers Project, printers throughout the Great Lakes states will be able to use “consolidated reporting” of their compliance with state and federal environmental laws — moving from a system of lengthy separate forms for air, water, and toxic pollution, to a single, consolidated computerized form that encourages the printer to make reductions in pollution at the source. Wisconsin is leading the effort for “one-stop” environmental reporting, and is in the process of retooling its reporting system to consolidate its multiple air, hazardous waste and Toxic Release Inventory (TRI) reporting forms into one simple electronic format to be sent to Wisconsin businesses, that are required to report, in December 1996 — capturing over 90% of the information printers are required to submit annually. The consolidated report will use terms and examples easily understood by printers and provide printer-specific pollution prevention information.

“We have successfully achieved a kind of ‘one stop shopping’ for meeting environmental requirements for the printing industry, while making the industry greener,” said Fred Krupp, executive director of EDF. “The Great Printers Project replaces complicated reporting forms with simpler electronic forms that will guide the small business person to reduce photochemical smog, hazardous waste and wastewater discharges. I think what we’ve accomplished could have a major impact across the board for industry. We’ve succeeded in showing there’s a way to cut pollution, red tape, and cost at the same time, in a cooperative manner and outside the lengthy legislative process.”

“The Great Printers Project continues to be a model for the environmental management system of the future,” said Governor Tommy Thompson of Wisconsin. “In Wisconsin, we are working with printers and others to make the Wisconsin DNR environmental reporting easier, more understandable and more efficient. In 1996 we plan to send companies a single consolidated electronic package for hazardous waste, air, and toxic release environmental reporting. I am impressed with accomplishments of the partnership of business, government, educators, and environmentalists. I encourage others to continue with these efforts to find solutions that are both efficient and effective.”