In discussing environmental policies in its 1995 Public Policy Agenda, the Steel Manufacturers Association reports on its lobbying efforts and expresses the industry's stance on various particular EPA regulations. 57 While it advocates regulatory relief so that voluntary environmental audit reports will not make a firm liable to litigation and argues for the harmonization of federal reporting requirements, the industry does not appear to be taking a proactive stance to define its own environmental goals and reporting requirements.
In this section, we discuss several programs in which government regulators are cooperating with individual firms or industries to jointly define goals. Earlier, we addressed the emergence of voluntary programs at the federal, state, and local level, and briefly described the EPA's 33/50 program, which consequently is not addressed in this section.
An agreement between the Big 3 (Chrysler, GM, and Ford) auto makers and Michigan's Department of Natural Resources is an example of a voluntary initiative that involves collaboration with a state regulatory body. Don Edmunds, Pollution Reduction Manager with the American Automobile Manufacturers Association (AAMA), cites this as one example of what he sees as a growing trend towards voluntary programs involving government bodies at the federal, state and local levels.58 The Automotive Pollution Prevention Project (Auto Project) was established in 1991, and the parties committed to reduce the generation and release of persistent toxic substances in the Great Lakes basin. While it sets no numerical reduction goals or time limits and allows each auto company to establish its "own priorities and mechanisms for reducing the generation and release of GLPT (Great Lakes Persistent Toxic) substances," releases of GLPTs were reduced by 28.9 (adjusted for production volume), or by 20.2 (unadjusted) in the first year of the program.59
The Progress Report issued by the Auto Project in 1994 sees this voluntary initiative as an aid to auto companies in establishing their individual environmental improvement priorities. It notes:
The Auto Project represents a new way of doing business. It provides an example of how a flexible, voluntary, and cooperative government/industry environmental initiative can achieve and reconcile our mutual environmental and economic needs in a globally competitive market place.60
Similarly, the Aluminum Association has mediated negotiations to establish a voluntary agreement between individual aluminum companies and the federal EPA. The program is known as the Voluntary Aluminum Industry Partnership (VAIP) and was signed in January of 1995. Each firm commits to reducing levels of perfluorocarbons (PFCs), identified by the EPA as greenhouse gases, released during the aluminum smelting process. While the agreement