MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new study on ballast water discharge has found Great Lakes ships are moving non-native species from the lower lakes to western Lake Superior.
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RENEW Wisconsin Statement Regarding
300 MW Solar Proposal from Two Wisconsin Utilities
Today, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and Madison Gas & Electric (MGE) announced they propose to purchase 300 megawatts of solar power from two projects in Wisconsin. In
addition, the developers of the two facilities filed their formal proposals with the state’s Public Service Commission...
The projects are as follows:
- Badger Hollow Solar Farm in Iowa County in southwest Wisconsin...
- Two Creeks Solar in Manitowoc...
RENEW Wisconsin’s Executive Director, Tyler Huebner, said, “This is a landmark day for solar power and renewable energy in Wisconsin. Homeowners, businesses, and nonprofits have been enjoying the benefits of solar energy for years. We are excited that our power companies and these solar developers are making investments at scale to power Wisconsin with more home-grown clean and renewable energy....
Ken Notes: I have now said for eight years that technology and COST will catch up with the business side of our desire to develop sustainable renewable power. It has. Now we need to focus on replacing our existing infrastructure with renewables. In a past life I made a living replacing mainframe computer systems wit distributed processing based on PC tech. This is exactly the same thing.
To move forward with renewables we will need to look at smaller systems placed on the grid. We also need to explore distributed systems like geo thermal shared by neighborhoods, solar and wind shared by communities, natural gas co-gen shared by region, and a grid that provides infrastructure shared by states and nations.
We also need to seek models that can be implemented by public infrastructure like schools and government then adopted by business and homes. I have suggested we require CAFOs to adopt digestion and pasteurization. This technology could then be distributed to smaller dairies. While not a fan of dams, if we have one we should integrate or return generation to the site. Finally we need to seek a seat at the table and work with business and development rather than throw stones from the sidelines. Development is about money and like low-e glass and insulation before, renewable power is now a good investment - we need preachers not protesters...
I would be happy to expand on this for an editorial, or presentation for you publication or group.
RACINE COUNTY — Environmentalists are a step closer in their quest to challenge the Foxconn Technology Group project in Mount Pleasant.
At the end of May, the Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a petition for a “contested case hearing,” related to the City of Racine’s request to divert up to 7 million gallons of water per day to the Village of Mount Pleasant, which will mostly be used for Foxconn...
Ken Notes: This will be interesting to follow but I have to believe that the investment in both money and political capitol is too great a hurdle to overcome.
County officials in northeastern Illinois are concerned about the potential environmental impacts of the planned Foxconn manufacturing plant in neighboring Wisconsin.
The Lake County News-Sun reports the Lake County Board unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday calling for Wisconsin officials to reconsider waiving environmental regulations for the Taiwanese company. Suburban Chicago`s Lake County borders Wisconsin`s southern state line......more
Ken Notes: If I were the ombudsman for Foxconn I would sit down with all concerned parties and address the issues head on. I still believe that Foxconn could (and should) become a model for water use, treatment and recycling. If I were an environmentalist with concerns this is what I would be asking for. Alas I am but a aggregator / editorialist with a few readers (12K every week)...
Note to Foxconn -- step up with a water plan that makes everyone excited, I know you can do it...
MONROE, Wis. — Jeff Pfeuti recalled his anxiety when February rainstorms blasted the frozen ground and caused flooding throughout southern Wisconsin.
He hopped into his truck and surveyed his farm fields west of Albany. In this part of Green County, flat farmland begins to give way to low bluffs and rolling hills...
...Watershed groups are meant to improve water quality and began receiving state funding in 2016, The Janesville Gazette reported. A handful already were in place before then, and the Legislature felt a statewide program would get more farmers interested in conservation efforts, said Rachel Rushmann, a DATCP nutrient management coordinator.
The state allocates money to watershed groups through local coordinators. They collaborate with local farmers to determine how to spend money on conservation practices....more
Ken Notes: We should applaud these efforts and join them at the table to work together on the watersheds...
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — America`s Dairyland is hurting and a new task force plans to spend the next year figuring out how to save the industry that`s integral to Wisconsin`s economy and identity.
Gov. Scott Walker on Tuesday announced creation of the task force tasked with coming up with recommendations to save the Wisconsin dairy industry, which pumps $43.3 billion into the state`s economy every year, accounts for nearly 80,000 jobs and produces roughly 14 percent of the nation`s milk — second only to California...
...Wisconsin lost 500 dairy farms in 2017 while the total number of milk-cow herds is down about 20 percent from five years ago.......more
Ken Notes: CAFO`s reduce cost exponentially and increase milk production while thriving on lower prices. We need to require better environmental controls like digestion and pasteurization at these facilities which will level the playing field and slow the tide. Our small farms provide jobs and stability in the industry we need to support these farmers.
I like the idea of a task force, but if they become advocates for only larger farms we are defeating the need for diverse agriculture in the state.
During the past decade, Gundersen Health System has tapped the sun, the wind, trees and even cow manure to heat about 2.6 million square feet of hospitals and clinics, earning a reputation as a national leader in environmental stewardship.
But the La Crosse-based health care organization’s quest to shrink its carbon footprint last year resulted in more than $4 million in cost savings. Jeff Rich, who heads Gundersen’s energy initiative, calls it a “two-sided green” strategy: saving the environment and saving money...
...Coenen is executive director of the Wisconsin Conservative Energy Forum, a new nonprofit organization seeking to convince policy makers on the right that moving Wisconsin toward renewable energy will stimulate economic growth, lower electricity costs and enhance national security — while also benefiting the environment....
Ken Notes: This has been my message for 8 years now. We need to return Wisconsin to a leadership role environmentally as well as developmentally.
Property rights advocates are hailing a Wisconsin Supreme Court ruling in favor of a proposed large-scale dairy farm in central Wisconsin.
Opponents of Golden Sands Dairy insist they are not defeated.
The company wants to house 5,300 cows and grow vegetables on almost 6,400 acres of land in Wood County`s Town of Saratoga.
A state appeals court blocked the project in 2017 when it sided with town officials.
The town officials said the building permits they issued did not give the dairy the right to farm on the adjoining acreage. The town board re-zoned the property to prohibit farming after Golden Sands had acquired the land and applied for the permits. The board also initially refused to grant the permits, but was forced to issue them by a circuit court judge after Golden Sands sued.
The state Supreme Court reversed the appellate court ruling on a 5-2 vote. Justice Michael Gableman, writing for the majority, said because it had the building permits, "Golden Sands has a vested right to use all of the property for agricultural purposes."......more
Ken Notes: Read this and let me suggest one more time that the time to consider regulations is before a CAFO is even proposed in the region. Require digestion, water and waste management, limited water use, and other things now - today - soon - go to the councils and boards with ideas and recommendations not protests and an anti farm bias...
Biogas recovery systems that use anaerobic digestion are sophisticated systems. To help you plan and optimize your anaerobic digester, AgSTAR provides the following information:...more
Ken Notes: Save this link -- Read this article -- adopt regulations to require these system for larger farms...
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...
Hayward native Scott Spoolman has authored a book titled “Wisconsin State Parks,” a volume that provides a deeper understanding of our state’s dramatic natural history, and explores the complexity behind the impressive landscape we see today....
Ken Notes: You can buy it on Amazon here...
Foxconn wants to draw 7 million gallons of water from Lake Michigan a day. A coalition of environmental groups says it violates state law.
WISCONSIN — A coalition of environmental groups has banded together in order to stop a massive Lake Michigan water diversion plan that would fuel the Foxconn Technology Group`s $10 billion electronics plant, which is in its early stages of development in Racine County.
The coalition`s chief concerns are that the 7 million gallons-per-day water diversion plan goes against a 2008 Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact - a legally-binding interstate compact among the eight Great Lakes states that establishes a framework for joint management and protection of the Great Lakes...
Ken Notes: While David won in the bible, I see Goliath winning here, I would like to think we could work with Foxconn to create a model system regarding water use, conservation, treatment and release. and I suggest I have a better chance of taming the giant the others do of slaying it. Also, to be honest, I will not feel good in ten years in saying, "Well I tried"...
Many hands makes light work! Check out one of our rain garden installations from 2017, from start to finish!......more
Ken Notes: Way cool!
Concerns over the potential environmental impacts that the Foxconn development in Racine County could have on Lake County residents were voiced in a resolution passed Thursday by the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission.
A similar resolution is expected to be considered by the Lake County Board next Tuesday, according to county officials.......more
Ken Notes: Once again this could be a great opportunity to work WITH Foxconn to address water issues. Lake country floods now so we need to develop a plan for relief...
Aquila Resources Receives Wetlands Permit With Conditions
The state of Michigan has issued a wetlands permit for a Canadian company’s plans to mine gold, zinc and other metals near the Michigan-Wisconsin border. The permit marks the final of several needed for the project to move forward...
Which food type is more environmentally costly to produce — livestock, farmed seafood, or wild-caught fish?
The answer is, it depends. But in general, industrial beef production and farmed catfish are the most taxing on the environment, while small, wild-caught fish and farmed mollusks like oysters, mussels and scallops have the lowest environmental impact, according to a new analysis...
Ken Notes: Again in seeking leadership roles, Wisconsin could work with farmers to reduce the environmental impact of beef and dairy production.
There are nearly 9,000 biogas – or anaerobic digestion – plants in Germany. They are typically operated by farmers, and turn renewable energy crops like maize or turnips, plus manure, into a gas constituting of roughly 50 percent methane and 50 percent CO2. This gas is then burned in a CHP plant to generate electricity and heat. The renewable power is fed on to the grid and the plant operator receives feed-in tariffs in return.
The Kewaunee County Dialogue Series screens the short, locally made documentary movie “Searching for Sustainability” at 7 p.m. Monday at Algoma United Methodist Church.
Released last year, the 69-minute documentary was produced by Valerie Dantoin, farmer and instructor of sustainable agriculture at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay. It focuses on farming and its relationship to sustainability and the environment, especially in northeastern Wisconsin, and has been shown several times on Wisconsin Public Television and at environmental awareness events...
Miron specializes in providing innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general construction and industrial services.
Wisconsin became 30th state May 28, 1848
MADISON, Wis. - The state of Wisconsin is celebrating its 170th anniversary of statehood Tuesday.
Wisconsin was admitted as the 30th state in the Union on May 29, 1848 by an act of Congress...
Ken Notes: I hope in reflection we remember our role in conservation and environmental protection. Happy Birthday!
Silica sand is used for fracking. Pure silica is scarce in the oil fields. But it`s easy to find beneath the farms of Wisconsin. When the fracking craze started, corn fields turned into open pit mines. Then, when the price of oil dropped, mines started to close. What happens when a mining boom goes bust?
Ken Notes: You need Amazon Prime or a few bucks to watch this but it is worth it - interesting film....
MADISON, Wis. – The City of Wausau is an applicant for funding through the SDWLP to address deficiencies in their public drinking water system. The project entails the replacement of lead service lines and water main relay throughout the City of Wausau.
Activities related to this/these project(s) are minor actions under Chapter NR 150, Wis. Admin. Code, for which no environmental analysis is required; however, in accordance with the SDWLP federal requirement 40 C.F.R. s. 35.3580, an environmental review must be conducted prior to funding this project. The SDWLP has determined that the project(s) will not result in significant adverse environmental effects and no further environmental review or analysis is needed before proceeding with funding the project(s)......more
Ken Notes: This issue has been known since I was mayor long long ago. We need a program that works for all cities to address this if they have not already. It is also sad that those who have addressed this did not have the benefit of federal funding. Madison, Neenah....
LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) — The developer of the Keystone XL pipeline is showering Nebraska public officials with campaign cash as it fights for regulatory approval in a state that is one of the last lines of resistance for the $8 billion project......more
Ken Notes: We HAVE to fix this, in Wisconsin we are even seeing this type of spending and the county and municipal levels and even if the candidate does not get the money directly ads in support can be run by a third party.
Scott Walker`s former environmental chief now oversees six-state region for the EPA.
Over the past seven years, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) has overseen a sweeping rollback of state environmental protections, implementing a suite of industry-friendly policies that have since been embraced by the Trump administration at the national level...
Ken Notes: Remember conservative businesses see this as smoothing the path for development - not a permit to increase pollution. We need to watch the results and call attention to increases in carbon and water pollution and work with businesses to improve this now that they have the fast track they have been advocating for...
About 13,000 people attended the Midwest Renewable Energy Fair in Custer this weekend to review dozens of exhibits and workshops with the mission of learning more about "clean energy and sustainability."......more
Ken Notes: Can someone who attended and survived the heat write a review and comment on any new announcements that came out of the the events... Editor@WDNGreen.com
SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is once again taking steps to remove the gray wolf from the endangered species list. The move comes after a federal appeals court retained federal protections for the species last year.
The agency released a press release in March announcing it was beginning the process of delisting gray wolves in the western Great Lakes region. The statement said USFWS would examine the health of the gray wolf in the western Great Lakes area after it reported population goals were exceeded in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Upper Michigan...
Ken Notes: I am a fan, but am often chastised for advocating protection by those who have pets or farm animals at risk. I have to agree I would be sick if one of my cattle dogs failed to return home. So we have a real challenge in front of us how and where can we do this while keeping our pets and livestock (not to mention people) safe.
MONROE, WI (AP) — Jeff Pfeuti recalled his anxiety when February rainstorms blasted the frozen ground and caused flooding throughout southern Wisconsin.
He hopped into his truck and surveyed his farm fields west of Albany. In this part of Green County, flat farmland begins to give way to low bluffs and rolling hills......more
Ken Notes: Glad to see a number of papers picked up this story. Hope you can get out and talk to your farmers about these issues.
SHEBOYGAN - Residents voiced fears Friday at a public trial that a proposed Kohler golf course will damage the environment, and blasted the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources` process for approving it...
...More than 20 people weighed in on the DNR`s decision. Most of the speakers were against the course being built and argued that it would destroy too much of the natural habitat and wetlands of the area. A smaller group of speakers in favor of the course consisted mainly of members of the business community, who spoke about the economic advantages of the course being built......more
Ken Notes: What we need now is people showing up asking for setbacks from the watershed, controls on fertilizers, clean storm-water retention for the course, and public access to the lakefront. If we are seen as the just say no minority our voice is lost after a project is moving forward.
Within hours on July 7, the water on Lake Mendota went from summer blue to slimy green, thanks to the first major algae bloom of the season. As the State Journal reported, at least five Madison-area beaches were closed because of concerns over blue-green algae — and summer has barely even begun. For our lakes — and all of us who enjoy them — algae blooms do not have to be the norm...
Ken Notes: If we even created a shoreline buffer of a few feet it would make a difference... If we diverted ag runoff to storm-water retention ponds... If we created sand and other natural filter systems... If we digested our farm waste... Here is what the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes did!
Wisconsin officials found elevated levels of toxic heavy metals near a frack sand mine spill that sent millions of gallons of sludge into a tributary, carrying it downstream into the Mississippi River.
Department of Natural Resources test results showed high levels of arsenic, lead and other contaminants at the source of a spill at the Hi-Crush mine near Whitehall in western Wisconsin. The mine drained an estimated 10 million gallons of water last month to rescue a contractor who became trapped inside a bulldozer’s watertight cab for more than two hours after sliding into a pond......more
Ken Notes: This a great time to work with every sand mine to create tighter controls and better systems.
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.
My recent attendance at the Wisconsin Citizens` Climate Lobby Convention made a point very clear: there is evidence of climate change. It is not simply a matter of believing or not believing. At the end of the day, issues revolving around climate become issues of politics and economics. And then the web continues with issues in social and environmental justice.
I spent my last semester shadowing the Chequamegon Citizens` Climate Lobby chapter, researching, immersing, educating and connecting myself to local knowledge, political issues and environmental issues. It was enough for me, as a member of the next generation, to have a mix of emotions. One step forward, two steps back. We all strive to live the best lives, trying to achieve societal standards and the unsaid rules of acceptance. As a simple human being, I experience these demands coming from numerous directions....
Ken Notes: One more time, with the current legislation and executive power structure we need to address this topic as global carbon and pollution reduction for our health and economic benefits. Same outcome different approach.
A Ladysmith High School team of environmentally-minded students recently won at state and is advancing to nationals.
Wisconsin Envirothon is a multi-disciplinary environmental science problem-solving challenge, where teams of five high school or middle school students participate in hands-on, outdoor field challenges designed by natural resources professionals and educators. They train and compete in the areas of soils, water resources, wildlife, forestry and current environmental issues......more
In 2013, I paddled almost the whole Namekagon River with the St. Croix River Association. It was an amazing adventure, when challenging conditions fused me together with some new friends.
Rain early in the trip raised the water levels to flood stage, and we rode rushing currents all the way downstream. When people capsized, we helped them. When the weather finally improved, we relished it together.
The next year, we paddled 90 miles of the St. Croix. I remember launching at Riverside Landing in a cold, driving rain. I remember packing up my tent at Wild River State Park in a warm, driving rain......more
Ken Notes: We need to create a tourism economy in these area or the economics of pipelines and power transmission will win the day. This is by the way one of Wisconsin`s greatest ecological assets...
MADISON, Wis. - A study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison found that heavy rain and manure levels have been causing more algae blooms.
The study comes after multiple beaches were closed Wednesday when the Center for Limnology reported that a toxic algae bloom had begun to spread across Lake Mendota....more
Links we like supporting Wisconsin`s Environment and Business. More will follow each week...
Ken Notes: Share this and if you want to be included:
Call us - 608.334.2174 or Editor [at] WDNGreen.com....
Few places in the world are as married to the water as Venice, Italy. The Floating City replaced streets with canals and land with islands, its buildings sitting on wooden piles, driven into the ground deep below the water. Like much of the sea-hugging world, the city is also facing an existential threat, as the waters rise and its ground sinks....
... “You cannot not deal with environmental issues if you’re an architect these days. It has to be an essential part of your value system,” added Shelley McNamara, who is also one of the directors. “We’re all connected. We have to find solutions where art and culture and industry can all find a way to survive.”......more
Ken Notes: This is one of the best quotes I have ever read and it is a very interesting article. Share it with an architect you know...
New groundwater contamination has been found near Lake Michigan in northeastern Wisconsin, involving a group of chemicals that is raising concerns nationally about their effects on human health.
Tyco Fire Products said June 7 it discovered the chemicals in well samples at its manufacturing plant in Marinette on the banks of the Menominee River, a tributary to Green Bay......more
Ken Notes: Lets work WITH the company and fix this...
As the Wisconsin ethanol industry has grown, so has the economy in west-central Wisconsin, benefiting our community. If we want to continue this success we need Washington to lift outdated seasonal regulations on E15, a 15 percent ethanol fuel blend from plants just like the one in Necedah....
Ken Notes: I get nervous even touching on this subject because I will get attacked from all sides for even mentioning it.
RACINE — The mayor has begun working to fulfill the city’s promise to reduce its carbon footprint.
To start that process, Mayor Cory Mason has received approval from the City of Racine Public Works and Services Committee to apply for an Energy Innovation Grant.
Ken Notes: What if every city had to just examine their carbon footprint every few years...
A new study on ballast water discharge has found Great Lakes ships are moving non-native species from the lower lakes to western Lake Superior.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new study on ballast water discharge has found Great Lakes ships are moving non-native species from the lower lakes to western Lake Superior.
The study was conducted by the Great Waters Research Collaborative, which is a project of University of Wisconsin-Superior`s Lake Superior Research Institute, Wisconsin Public Radio reported .
Researchers sampled 15 ballast water discharges from U.S. and Canadian lake vessels last year and found 13 samples had non-native species, said Allegra Cangelosi, the principal investigator...
Ken Notes: This is a real issue, Asian carp, zebra mussels, and many more species are challenging our waterways. Lake Superior is one of the best water sources in the World, we need to work hard to keep it that way...
We try to include links to help you consider your GREEN economic development options in Wisconsin. Businesses feel free to send us your information here. ...more
Ken Notes: Feel free to include this link and logo on your website. Our Tools and Resources are always a click away. Also a new easy to use address:
Two Hong Kong institutions have been singled out as exceptional ‘green schools’ in the city, teaching ecological literacy?that will stand their pupils in good stead as the job market increasingly values green credentials...
It’s midday on a hot spring day and the “traffic lights” in a Year 3 classroom at The Independent Schools Foundation (ISF) Academy have just turned from green to orange. Students at the Pok Fu Lam campus start scurrying around to see which air conditioners are on and if any doors have been left open in what is possibly one of most intensely energy-monitored schools in the world....
Ken Notes: WOW just wow. Read this, share this, and remember in 10 years when China owns the renewable world that we had a chance to make a difference but chose to let others lead the way....
Leonardo da Vinci said "Water is the driving force of all life." Put more simply, "Water is life." We cannot live without water, making it a precious commodity. Indeed, it`s even called "The New Gold."
In 2014, Manitowoc County`s Soil and Water Department developed a survey to identify what the public views as our most critical environmental concerns locally. The top concern was water contamination. Groundwater topped the list, followed closely by lakes and streams. Water quality assessment is divided into groundwater and surface water......more
Coverage of local and national eco news for commercial development, home, transportation, food and community. We search for environmentally friendly news that makes economic sense for Wisconsin. ONLINE HERE. Please share with a friend. To receive WDNews GREEN on Monday of each week as an email you must subscribe - secure link to subscribe is here.
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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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Our resource guide at the bottom of this publication will continue to grow, and you may add links, suggest articles, include your press releases, or comment by eMailing Me. As always thanks for reading, and if you would like to sponsor or get involved call 608.334.2174... ...more
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