A total of $10 million has been allocated to capitalize an endowment fund to aid small businesses, municipalities and public institutions with waste management, energy conservation and other pollution prevention activities. Interest from the endowment has provided about $500,000 for 91 projects.
A total of $5 million has been deposited into a loan fund for small businesses to purchase more efficient equipment or implement new production processes. Results include the reduction in use by 10 dry cleaners of 24 tons of hazardous cleaning solvent; an annual decrease of 7,000 pounds of electroplating sludge waste used in plating; and the elimination of 23 millions gallons of cooling water discharged by a plastics manufacturer. The program recently won a "Most Valuable Pollution Prevention" award from the National Pollution Prevention Roundtable.
An additional $1 million was appropriated for regional pollution prevention efforts.
Subsidies for waste management and energy conservation may produce some environmental benefit. But businesses large and small would be free to invest in more efficient equipment and processes if the state eliminated corporate subsidies altogether and reduced the high tax rates imposed to fund them.