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 SACRAMENTO, Calif., Oct. 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Calling it one of California's most promising industries for growth into the next century, the California Environmental Protection Agency (Cal/EPA) today released for public comment a strategic plan for California's $20 billion environmental technology industry drafted by the California Environmental Technology Partnership (CETP).
 "This plan provides for the first time a blueprint for charting the future growth of a California industry with the potential to be a world leader and creator of thousands of jobs into the next century," said James M. Strock, secretary for Environmental Protection.
 "Governor Wilson's vision in creating the California Environmental Technology Partnership is bearing fruit in positioning California to be the dominant player in the areas of pollution prevention, air quality, electric vehicles, sophisticated sensors and monitors, and wastewater and soil treatment technologies," said Julie M. Wright, secretary for the Trade and Commerce Agency.
 Gov. Wilson outlined in his State of the State speech last January a vision of California taking advantage of new environmental opportunities around the world with its unique combination of high environmental standards and innovative technology firms.
 Wilson created the CETP, a public/private partnership comprised of state agencies including Cal/EPA and the Trade & Commerce Agency, and representatives from academia, national laboratories, the environmental industry and public interest groups, which seeks to promote the growth, development and exporting of California's environmental technology industry.
 An Environmental Technology Advisory Council (ETAC) was formed and provided the vehicle for several working groups seeking solutions to financing and regulatory barriers to environmental technology development, as well as develop a needs assessment of the industry and identify export opportunities.
 The Strategic Plan makes the following recommendations for action:
 -- Establish California as an ideal test bed of commercially viable environmental technologies through full-scale tests and demonstrations;
 -- Capitalize on cleanup efforts at closing military bases throughout California, especially in demonstrating new technologies;
 -- Promote the establishment of "strategic partnerships" between technology developers and potential users of those technologies;
 -- Increase California's share of the international markets for environmental goods, products and services by and expanded marketing and export assistance program;
 -- Promote technology development through regulatory reform, partnerships with national laboratories and colleges, financial incentive programs, and testing and demonstration centers;
 -- Encourage "strategic partnerships" between the public and/or private sector efforts and translate them into increased environmental benefit and economic growth;
 -- Continue CETP's function as a clearinghouse for collecting and disseminating information to assist California environmental companies in technology development, commercialization and export;
 -- Enhance and strengthen California's environmental market and industry through a series of regulatory reforms that will:
 -- Reform statutory and regulatory requirements for
 testing and demonstrating new technologies;
 -- Promote consistency in regulatory requirements and
 -- Establish a program for certifying environmental
 -- Consider multi-media pollution credits as part of
 the regulation of environmental discharges of pollutants;
 -- Use the State's purchasing power to support new
 California-manufactured environmental technologies
 and products; and
 -- Develop tax credits and incentives for development
 and utilization of environmental technologies.
 "These recommendations will bring California environmental technology firms into the forefront of one of the booming industries of the future and validates Governor Wilson's belief that a clean environment and growing economy are inextricably linked," Strock said.
 Strock noted that the state has already moved aggressively in promoting environmental technologies in foreign markets such as the Ukraine, Brazil, Thailand, Taiwan, the Philippines, Czech Republic, India, China, Hong Kong and Mexico which are interested in acquiring California environmental technologies.
 Gov. Wilson also signed into law this year AB 2060, by Assemblyman Ted Weggeland, R-Riverside, which provides for an expedited permitting process of new environmental technologies by state and local regulatory agencies, Strock said.
 The state has also been supportive in the creation of the California Environmental Business Council (CEBC), a newly-formed organization based in San Diego that will assist in the growth and development of California firms.
 According to the San Diego-based Environmental Business Journal, approximately 7,000 California environmental technology firms employ almost 180,000 people and command almost 25 percent of the total U.S. market for environmental products and services.
 Several public workshops will be held throughout the state to gather comments on the draft strategic plan over the next 30 days. Those comments will be incorporated into a final plan which will be delivered to Gov. Wilson for action as the state's final strategic initiative.
 Copies of the draft strategic plan or executive summary may be obtained by calling Cal/EPA's Department of Toxic Substances Control's Office of Alternative Technology at 916-322-2822.
 -0- 10/7/93
 /CONTACT: James J. Lee of Cal/EPA, 916-324-9670/

CO: California Environmental Protection Agency ST: California IN: ENV CPR SU:

TM -- SF008 -- 9747 10/07/93 12:01 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Oct 7, 1993

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