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Dane County Executive Announces Green Tier/Clear Waters Initiative Charter Agreement with Veridian Homes, Sun Prairie and Madison and Department of Natural Resources

For more information contact:

Lesley Sillaman, Office of the County Executive (608) 267-8823 or cell (608) 669-5606

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 10/20/2005

Issued By: County Executive
View only releases from County Executive
Madison – Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk today joined County Board Supervisors Jeff Kostelic, Dorothy Wheeler, Brett Hulsey (Chair of Lakes and Watershed Commission), Kyle Richmond (Chair of Environmental and Natural Resources Committee), City of Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase, DNR Designee, and David Simon, President of Operations from Veridian Homes to announce a the Green Tier/Clear Waters Initiative agreement to protect the county’s lakes and streams.

The resolution forms a partnership designed to reduce the sediment going into Dane County’s lakes and streams as a result of homebuilding. This is one of the first Green Tier agreements in the state, resulting from legislation that passed in 2004 and the first that incorporates state and local governments and builders together. The agreement benefits builders by involving regulatory agencies early in the process, ensuring more certainty for builders in their planning. In addition, early involvement will result in less staff time that local governments need to spend on enforcement and compliance. The agreement achieves environmental benefits beyond what is currently required by the law and will apply to Veridian homes built in the Cities of Sun Prairie and Madison.

“Dane County already has the only county-wide stormwater ordinance in the state, and this partnership goes beyond current law to help protect our beautiful lakes and streams by reducing run-off,” said County Executive Falk. “By getting involved early in the planning process, and building in self-regulatory practices, local governments and builders can work together to protect these valuable resources.”

Other highlights of the agreement include routine self-reporting through periodic third party audits and a weekly “virtual inspection program” that will involve photos being taken of the houses and delivered to the regulator agency either by Website or a disk, a contractor training program, early involvement by the regulatory community in the planning phase of developments, and establishment of minimum performance standards for subdivisions and individual lots.

“Veridian Homes is pleased to be a partner and home building leader on this important initiative. Part of our philosophy is to continuously seek building processes that have a lesser impact on the environment – and the Clear Water Initiatives fits with our vision,” said David Simon, president of operations, Veridian Homes. Veridian currently incorporates an innovative technique to improve soil erosion conditions and storm water management onsite by using a combined system of soil erosion socks and erosion fences.

"The Green Tier/Clear Water Initiative is a wonderful example of government agencies, the corporate sector and the public working to be leaders and educators to the environmental concerns surrounding our lakes. The future of our precious water resources are in jeopardy and through this agreement between building developers and government agencies we are taking the right steps to inform, self-regulate and to be stewards to protecting the lakes and waterways in our region. Sun Prairie is committed to the Green Tier/Clear Waters Initiative which complements our efforts to actively promoted environmental awareness through our municipal stormwater management program," said Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase.

The resolution was introduced at the County Board meeting Thursday, October 6 and will be signed by the County Executive immediately following passage.

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