November 6, 2007
Lucas-Milhaupt Inc., Cudahy, Wis., a producer of metal-joining products and brazing/soldering technology, recently became the second participant in Tier 2 of Wisconsin's Green Tier program. According to Lucas-Milhaupt, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) representatives and other visitors to the company's headquarters saw the importance of its environmental practices because of the facility's proximity to residential homes and an elementary school.
Green Tier was signed into law in 2004 to encourage a collaborative approach to environmental performance between the DNR and Wisconsin businesses. As part of Green Tier, Wisconsin organizations voluntarily commit to reducing their environmental footprint by developing proactive management strategies. The plans act as a road map, giving organizations the opportunity to adopt new technologies and practices to continually improve their environmental performance.
In exchange for a commitment to environmental performance, the department grants benefits to Tier 2 participants, including a single point of contact with the department for simpler communications, the use of the Green Tier logo in marketing, and annual public recognition. Tier 2 participants also are eligible to negotiate regulatory flexibility proportional to their environmental commitments.
Lucas-Milhaupt plans to expand its environmental performance and has begun efforts to reduce or eliminate the few volatile organic compounds (VOCs) remaining in its production processes. The company is developing a collection system for its milling processes and seeks to reduce plastic spool waste. It also will convene semiannual meetings of stakeholders and solicit public comments on its environmental performance.
The company's environmental accomplishments include discontinuing use of hazardous air pollutants; reducing air emissions to a level low enough that the company no longer is required to report air emissions to DNR; discarding its status as a large-quantity generator of hazardous waste under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's guidelines, remaining a small-quantity generator since 2003 while increasing production by 50 percent; reducing energy use through more efficient lighting; and conserving water by filtering wastewater and using cooling methods other than municipal well water.
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