Small Business Environmental Council

Posted By: Andrew Heidtke ACEC WI News, Industry News,

Environmental rules and regulations can be confusing and approaching a big regulatory agency like the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) can feel daunting.  That’s why the team of dedicated business champions that make up the Small Business Environmental Council (Council) has your back.

Council members advise the DNR by providing a business perspective on how existing rules affect small businesses.  They have influence when proposed regulations are being discussed and help make DNR documents easier to understand.  Appointed by the Governor and legislature, this seven-member council serves as the voice of Wisconsin’s small business community at the DNR.

“My experience has shown me that small business must have a voice and a partnership with all agencies of government, from local to state to federal,” says Vince Ruffolo, president of Superior Industrial Coatings and a member of the council since 2011.  “Small businesses are best served when state agencies listen to their concerns and operate shoulder to shoulder with the small business community. This creates a win-win situation for the community at large.”

The Council wants to hear your questions and ideas.  If you are opening or expanding a small business; struggling to find answers about DNR permits, rules, and regulations; or if you are seeking to reduce your environmental footprint, reach out.

The Council welcomes members of the public to all its meetings and encourages small business owners to suggest discussion topics.  Periodically, council meetings are taken on the road with open forums for small businesses.  As a business, you too can host meetings, offering the council a first-hand experience of business operations and the challenges that arise when working with environmental rules. 

If you are interested in hosting a meeting, partnering with the Council on a forum, or offering your time and talents to serve on the Council, call 855-889-3021 or email  The council is supported by DNR’s Small Business Environmental Assistance Program, a free service that provides confidential assistance with any environmental regulatory questions.