§22-25-4. Powers and duties of the department.
(a) Within one year after the effective date of this section, the secretary, after consultation with representatives from the regulated community, local governments, environmental advocacy groups and other interested citizens, shall develop and implement a voluntary environmental excellence program in accordance with this article. The secretary shall propose legislative rules for promulgation in accordance with article three, chapter twenty-nine-a of this code necessary to establish and implement all necessary program elements for the environmental excellence program as established in this article. Such program elements shall include, but are not limited to, the following criteria:

(1) Participation and entry into the program;

(2) Public involvement;

(3) Environmental management system;

(4) Commitment to superior environmental performance;

(5) Communication of program results to the public; and

(6) Incentives.

(b) In establishing the environmental excellence business program, the secretary may establish classes, categories, or tiers of environmental performance agreements as the secretary considers appropriate, taking into consideration the diversity of businesses and industries in the state, the impact these entities may have on the environment, and the incentives sought by the qualified applicant.

(c) The secretary may negotiate with federal regulatory agencies to obtain authority to grant incentives under federal regulatory programs.

(d) Participation in the program by any participant is voluntary and is subject to review every three years.