This Weeks Articles...
Wausau dentist Dr. Fred Prehn elected as chair of Wisconsin Natural Resources Board
Wisconsin facing groundwater contamination similar to Minnesota`s
Green New Deal could create jobs, raise wages, improve environment in Wisconsin
OPINION: New DNR must stop coal pollution in Lake Michigan
Evers Joining Alliance To Uphold Paris Climate Goals
Menards says it is no longer buying toxic paint thinner that groups are trying to ban
Wisconsin Rail Enthusiasts, Advocates Keep Pursuing East-West Regional Train
Solar Jobs Grow, But Utilities Plan To Hire, Too
‘Food and the Wisconsin Idea’ talk discusses Wisconsin farming, solutions to dairy crisis
Environmental advocates decry proposed changes to We Energies’ Oak Creek power plant
Environment groups protest Dairyland natural gas project in Superior
The Quest to Turn Food Waste into Road Salt
A Wausau dentist will play a key role in setting the agenda for Wisconsin`s environmental policies for the next year after being elected as chairman of the state Natural Resources Board.
The board voted to elect Dr. Fred Prehn as chairman. The Wisconsin Natural Resources Board is the governing body for the state`s Department of Natural Resources: All new rules, land acquisitions, property management plans and budget proposals must be ratified by the board before getting final approval.A lifelong hunter, angler and conservationist, Prehn was appointed to the board by Gov. Scott Walker in May 2015. He foresees the board confronting in 2019 politically sensitive issues such as water quality,... ...more
Ken Notes: Congrats, I Hope we see water quality as a huge issue moving forward. I have lived on both bike trails, currently, and ATV trails in Lafayette County and would attest to the value of the biking community. We need to work on making these great assets more of a tourist destination for bikers from the Midwest. We need places to stay, things to do and destinations on the trail...
SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years
Concerns are bubbling up over contaminated drinking water in some Wisconsin municipalities, leading officials to take action.
The contaminants are per- and poly-fluorinated compounds, a class of more than 3,000 related chemicals known collectively as PFAS. They’re present in household items such as non-stick cookware and food packaging, as well as firefighting foam.PFAS exposure presents a health hazard... ...more
Thursday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., and Sen. Ed Markey, D-Mass., stood on the steps of the U.S. capitol to announce the introduction of a Green New Deal for America — a plan to achieve net-zero greenhouse gas emissions within ten years by mobilizing every aspect of the American economy. The deal proposes the creation of millions of “family supporting-wage, union” jobs through a federal job guarantee while ensuring economic security for communities that historically relied on fossil fuel industries. It’s a radical response to the climate crisis and the economic crises of wage stagnation and inequality.......more
Ken Notes: Did I mention too far... There are great jobs and opportunities by moving in a more sustainable direction. If business sees the policy and mandates as punitive and productions is moved to countries that do not have a GND vision we will fail miserably. We can`t mandate paying $15 per hour -- we can and should develop an economy that sustains a wage higher than that for any worker. If we are looking for compromises this is where they will be easy to find. The GND is a good conversation starter -- it is horrible policy...
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Until 2010, our Department of Natural Resources was one of Wisconsin’s hallmark achievements, protecting the environment and the lives depending on it. Indeed, it was Gaylord Nelson, a Wisconsin senator, who championed environmental stewardship and whose efforts provided the impetus for Earth Day.
With a new administration, Wisconsin has an opportunity to restore this tradition. But the destructive policies and actions taken during the past eight years have been costly, ongoing and not easily undone...
Ken Notes: Stop casting blame and pointing fingers as that is how we got here in the first place. We all have been guilty of swinging too far in any direction, what we need to remember is that to get the Nelson effect we have to work together embrace both the economy and the environment. If we have policy that costs jobs we will seek change and if we have policy that ignores the environment we we also change.
With the utilities able to include affordable renewables, companies seeing real value in going green, and opportunities to clean our watersheds now is the time to work together. We need to return the scientists to the DNR and search for way to improve our use of natural resources. We need better and more jobs as well.
Evers Becomes 4th New Democratic Governor To Join US Climate Alliance
Democratic Gov. Tony Evers says he`s joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, a coalition of governors formed in 2017 to implement the Paris climate agreement.
The group initially organized after President Donald Trump vowed to remove the United States from the Paris agreement, which seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Evers is the latest of four newly elected Democratic governors to join the U.S. Climate Alliance, which now includes 21 states...
Ken Notes: The Paris agreement addresses the issue as a global problem which it is, has a basic understanding of economic issues, and offers obtainable levels. So bringing this to the table is ok just remember we need to work with business and utilities to get there and again I believe this is doable. WMC should advocate for the economy not against sound environmental policy. I get nervous when a Democratic Governor and a Liberal Editorialist make more sense that the leading business lobby. I am a fiscal conservative, pro-business advocate but we have an opportunity to do some real good here!
Menards said it has stopped purchasing paint removers that contain a pair of chemicals blamed in dozens of deaths after groups sent letters to company officials last year saying they wanted the home improvement retailer to phase out and ban the sale of the products.
On Tuesday, 17 Midwest health and environmental groups publicly asked the Eau Claire-based company to stop selling the chemicals — methylene chloride and N-methylpyrrolidone, or NMP......more
The Wisconsin Association of Railroad Passengers, a railroad passengers group with nearly 700 members, is trying to steer the idea of a second daily Amtrak train across Wisconsin into reality. Town hall meetings will be held Wednesday and Thursday evenings on the possibility of a shorter, more reliable, Empire Builder.
Amtrak`s current Empire Builder train runs from Chicago, through Milwaukee, to the Twin Cities, all the way to the West Coast...
Ken Notes: I would love to see the corridor improved and used for distribution for large manufactured items into the MSP and CHI markets as well as points east and west. This would have huge economic benefits for the state. Additional passenger service would logically follow...
WGBA has combined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and together we will pilot a new model for USGBC chapters and local market engagement...
PFAS — or per- and poly-fluorinated compounds — are chemicals found in household products that can be harmful to humans.
The EPA says it will advance on several fronts: drinking water, clean up, enforcement, monitoring, research and risk communications.
By the end of this year, it will propose a maximum level in drinking water for two of the most common PFAS chemicals, PFOA and PFOS, which is the next step under the Safe Drinking Water Act. It is also in the progress of listing those two comounds as "hazardous substances," and will provide "interim groundwater cleanup recommendations" for sites currently contaminated with PFOA and PFOS......more
Ken Notes: And on the other side of the pendulum we have legislation that does not do enough...
A report issued this week shows jobs in the solar industry in Wisconsin grew by 3 percent in 2018. But the state`s largest electric utility, Milwaukee-based We Energies, also hopes more people will consider joining its company.
The report by The Solar Foundation indicates the U.S. solar industry employed 242,000 people last year. That was down 3 percent nationally.But the percentage of solar workers in Wisconsin went up 3 percent, to more than 30,00 full-time jobs... ...more
Our commitment to preserving the quality of our environment is not just a program at Dairyland. It reflects a deeply held view that good environmental practices reflect sound operations and contribute to the overall economic and social health of the communities we serve.
Farmers, activists discussed current issues in Wisconsin agriculture, including economic crises, stress
Farmers and community members met Wednesday to discuss what food and agricultural policies they would like to see in Wisconsin.
The discussion was the most recent installment of Food and the Wisconsin Idea’s monthly discussions on food systems...
When it comes to being a steward of the environment, Kenosha Pastor Jonathan Barker said he feels a higher calling.
Barker, who is on staff at Grace Lutheran Church, was one of multiple concerned southeastern Wisconsin residents, environmental activists and others who filled a meeting room at the Oak Creek Community Center on Monday and weighed in on a permit under review by the state Department of Natural Resources for We Energies’ Oak Creek power plant....
...While We Energies’ coal-fired power plant in Pleasant Prairie has ceased operations, the Oak Creek facility continues and has been the source of ongoing controversy — particularly for residents in southern Milwaukee County and northern Racine County.
In the past year, residents and activists have taken aim at We Energies for stray coal ash derived from the plant landing on adjacent properties...
...Knutson said the DNR will continue taking public comment through next Monday, Feb. 18. Comments can be sent directly to him at email@example.com...
Ken Notes: This is tough because I do not know what plan B is. We all want to get to renewable the question is how, how fast, how much, and how do we pay for it... Today is the last day to comment...
The WI Sustainable Business Council is a network of Wisconsin businesses and organizations that are interested in, or actively responding to, the challenge of sustainability.
Environmental groups filed a petition Wednesday asking Minnesota regulators to reconsider their approval of the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, a proposed 525-megawatt natural gas plant in Superior, Wis. The plant would be jointly owned by La Crosse-based Dairyland Power and South Shore Energy, a subsidiary of Minnesota Power...
Ken Notes: I am confused, this will take coal off the grid, sustain the use of solar and wind, and be built to the highest standards. I get that it is big and in Wisconsin serving Minnesota but we need to start building the systems that move us to zero emissions. Until we have storage capacity that will involve some carbon based production. Lets work to get this right!
From cheese brine to beet juice, these locally-sourced, environmentally-friendly de-icers are turning waste into safe driving.
Outside of the ocean, few plants or animals thrive when saturated with salt. Which means the mountains of rock salt spread over roads and sidewalks each winter amounts to an environmental catastrophe — roadside vegetation withers and salt-laden runoff kills fish and aquatic organisms in nearby waterbodies....more
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Texas A&M environmental soil scientist Paul DeLaune to discuss the benefits of cover crops in continuous wheat and cotton rotations in a semi-arid environments at the 2019 National Cover Crop Summit.
Many growers in drier environments on the Great Plains could benefit from cover crops but worry that adding covers to their rotation will take too much moisture away from their cash crops and potentially hurt yields.
During the 2019 National Cover Crop Summit, March 20-21, 2019 — a free-to-attend online event featuring a series of knowledge-building sessions taught by the foremost authorities on covers today — Texas A&M environmental soil scientist, Paul DeLaune, will share the results of two multi-year studies. These Texas A&M University studies carried out on the effects of cover crops are not only on yields in continuous cotton and wheat systems but also important metrics, such as water infiltration and retention, changes in soil properties and soil microbial activity......more
Water researcher, city planner discuss urban hydrology policy
Water specialists discussed strategies to protect urban water resources at a forum hosted by Wisconsin’s chapter of the Society for Conservation Biology Tuesday night.
The discussion focused on the reduction of runoff water in urban areas through research that is currently being carried out and governmental policies being created and enforced through urban planning. University of Wisconsin PhD student Carolyn Voter said her research in urban hydrology specifically focuses on the single-family residential sector of Madison and Milwaukee...
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An agenda for the new administration...
An overriding principal - Restore Wisconsin to the bipartisan national environmental leadership it once enjoyed...
Ken Notes: Just a few ideas, please feel free to pick and choose then share with those on both sides of the isle that will be making decisions.
We now have an opportunity to grab the pendulum in the middle and make a real long term difference in how we manage our resources and what kind of Wisconsin we leave to our grandchildren!
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We may now need to build a coalition that is willing to lobby from a "greener" yet pro business perspective. Lots of HUGE issues: Sand Mining, CNG, LEED Alternatives, Focus On Energy, LED Lighting R&D, Cleaner Power Generation, Recycling, Power Lines, Electric Cars, Wind, Solar, Bio Fuels, Digestors, Green AG, Business Incentives...And of course the Greenest and Happiest of Holidays to you!
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