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
It’s a fresh start for Wisconsin’s environment and a fresh start for one of its leading conservation organizations. The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters is now Wisconsin Conservation Voters. “Today, we’re Wisconsin Conservation Voters because our movement is growing, and our mission to engage voters to protect Wisconsin’s environment has never been more important,” said Kerry Schumann, executive director. “We made these changes to better represent our bold commitment to protecting this extraordinary state, and to communicate to every Wisconsinite that they can be part of the conservation-voter movement.”......more
Ken Notes: My readers are welcome to call themselves just plain smart voters. Environmental Ideas That Make Economic Sense. No party, no BS, no hidden agenda -- Just make Wisconsin better for our grand kids.
You had to be listening closely to pick up an environmental message during Tony Evers` inaugural speech on Monday, but it was there. Evers drew applause when he talked about the need to address issues that matter to the state`s younger residents....more
Ken Notes: Maybe we will find middle ground here??? He will have to "deal" to move any agenda forward.
As news spread Wednesday that Foxconn Technology Group is reconsidering its plans for its first U.S. plant just across the Illinois border, the Lake County Board chairwoman said she hopes that Wisconsin will also reconsider its end of the deal.
The Taiwanese electronics giant, which supplies Apple, said Wednesday that it is considering doing research and development at the facility, which it originally said would be a manufacturing plant.......more
Ken Notes: I am not so sure. Foxconn made major commitments regarding environment, water, and production. Both the communities and company will now seek to use the space to recoup investment and commitments to infrastructure and development. It will be more difficult to monitor this type of growth. The idea of Wisconsin withdrawing is also not strongly supported. Now more than ever we need to trust but VERIFY....
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...
Gov. Tony Evers wants to let environmental officials borrow nearly $70 million more over the next two years to address groundwater contamination.
Gov. Tony Evers will call for allowing state environmental and agricultural officials to borrow nearly $70 million more over the next two years to combat water pollution and replace lead pipes in his first state budget, following through on his pledge to attack drinking water contamination during his first year in office....
Ken Notes: NUMBER 6: The county should be proactive rather than reactive by requiring CAFO`s digest waste and heat/dry the effluent. Crave Farms has a model that works. If we allow large herds to replace family farms we are inviting watershed and well problems without forward thinking solutions. Share this comment with your county rep. or exec. and suggest someone take charge.
Re the lead pipes, many communities have worked this into their long range planning and EVERY community should now do so. It took us 100 years to get here so an overnight fix will not work. Also in the meantime DO NOT CHANGE your water treatment systems at all. It is these changes that expose the lead in the system.
Public comment period extended for controversial Iowa-Wisconsin energy transmission line...
The public comment period for a proposed energy transmission line that would stretch from Dane County, Wis., to Dubuque County has been extended due to the government shutdown...... Comments now will be accepted on plans for the Cardinal-Hickory Creek Transmission Line through April 1. Comments can be emailed to comments@CardinalHickoryCreekEIS.us or mailed to SWCA Environmental Consultants, Attn: Cardinal-Hickory Creek EIS, 80 Emerson Lane, Suite 1306, Bridgeville, PA 15017....
Ken Notes: Take a second to weigh in on this. I suggest we ask for conservancy land, trails, recreational amenities, and a look at solar along the route....
Bob Bishop is a 61-year-old farmer living in dairy country in southwestern Wisconsin. Today he is helping his two sons pull a downed tree off of a fence line, stepping through piles of cow manure and corn stalks as he drags the branches into the big claw of a skid loader.
Soon, the family will stop raising dairy cows because the industry is in trouble. In 2018, Wisconsin lost 638 dairy farms because of falling milk prices. And the Bishops, who farm in Iowa County, still carry debt from when hog prices tanked in the 1990s......more
Ken Notes: There are several sides to this issue and we need to be talking about all of them. Here is one that is not yet on the table, we are losing small farms by the hundreds and the CAFO`s that are replacing them are not good for our watersheds and environment. I suggest we require large operations to digest waste and heat the effluent. We would get some energy, protect our waters, and help small farms by leveling the economic playing field. Regarding solar it appears farm land is the path of least resistance and the most economical. We should look at roof space, under power lines, and other space as well as farms...
SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years
This month`s Volunteer Spotlight puts the focus on Recycling Rangers of South Wood County, which was nominated by Carol Davis. Davis answered the following questions about the volunteer group:
A brief history of the volunteer group: This group started in 2009, after a Study Circle group showed the need for recycling at local public events. The group Recycling Rangers was created to collect recyclables at public events in the Wisconsin Rapids area.Please describe the type of work, kinds of tasks, and/or events the volunteers typically assist with: Our on-the-ground efforts at community events like the State Water Ski Show and Fourth of July Fireworks have rescued over four tons of recyclables ...more
Lloyd Shepherd is trying to figure out what to do with his body when he’s done with it.
After deciding against a traditional burial, he briefly settled on cremation. But it wasn’t until after he attended an open house at a natural cemetery in southern Wisconsin that he felt he had found the best option for his remains after shuffling off this mortal coil.
“I find standard burial kind of creepy, myself,” Shepherd said. “I was researching things a bit and convinced my son and even my grandson to come to the open house with me.”
The cemetery Shepherd and his family visited, Natural Path Sanctuary, is part of a nature preserve near Verona that includes 25 acres of woods and meadows, a pond and rocky ridges...
Please see the link for a presentation and tour on this subject...
Ken Notes: I support any effort that brings nature and the public together. What if we could get a whole new type of land trust dedicated to those whose remains remain there.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard’s maintenance shops were named among the best in the nation in the 2018 Army National Guard Environmental Awards Program.
The Wisconsin Army National Guard finished third in the Industrial Installation Environmental Quality category. Its industrial installation includes 10 field-maintenance shops, two Army aviation support facilities, a combined support maintenance site and a maneuver area training equipment site. According to Fred Gallatin, the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s environmental branch chief, the award recognizes successful efforts to protect human health regarding environmental planning, waste management, and compliance with environmental laws and regulations while maintaining thousands of critical vehicles and equipment for 99 Wisconsin Army National Guard units across the state. These efforts include upgrading or making plans to replace fuel storage tanks, and assessing wastewater discharge and air emissions compliance at the maintenance sites.
As proof of the effectiveness of the Wisconsin Army National Guard’s environmental quality program, the 14 maintenance facilities have had no compliance violations for the past decade....more
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...
Jeff Neterval practices riding a bike for the first time in his polar bear suit in July 2014 near his home in Madison. Neterval, who runs a non-profit focused on raising awareness about protecting biodiversity and helping organizations raise money for conservation efforts, was preparing for the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County’s Bike For Boys & Girls Club event.
...Running races in a polar bear suit is part of Neterval’s work with Race Against Extinction, a non-profit group he founded in 2007 that is dedicated to calling attention to the need to protect biodiversity and raise money for conservation......more
Ken Notes: Thumbs UP!
The Dairy State may become known as the Solar State too: While solar is a boost for some struggling dairy farmers, others fear the fallout of their communities becoming solar production sites......more
Madison College in Wisconsin has announced the completion of a 1.4 MW rooftop solar system.On Jan. 16, the college held a ceremony to mark the completion alongside Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes; Madison Gas and Electric Co.’s chairman, president and CEO, Jeff Keebler; other renewable energy industry representatives; and local dignitaries. In a gubernatorial proclamation read by Barnes, Gov. Tony Evers declared Jan. 16 “Madison College Solar Energy Day.”... ...more
Ken Notes: I would love to see every public and commercial rooftop have solar before farm land but economy of scale may become an issue.
A Milwaukee developer wants to build a high-rise out of wood, joining a trend that`s reaching new heights as developers embrace the unusual construction technique for its environmental benefits.
Wisconsin Public Radio reports that New Land Enterprises LLP plans to construct a 21-story apartment complex with laminated timber in Milwaukee. The project, named Ascent, will use a construction process called mass timber, which layers wood together to create a building`s frame.
The construction alternative is becoming increasingly attractive to some developers who view mass timber buildings as more environmentally friendly and aesthetically pleasing than concrete and steel structures.
Mass timber projects have gotten taller across the world over the last five years. The University of British Columbia recently opened an 18-story building......more
Ken Notes: Surprisingly this was my most read article in Thursdays WDNews. I love this project because I love wood, I hope we see more projects like this one.
In January, we published a special report called "A New Weapon In The War Against Plastic Waste." It profiled Froilan Grate, a Filipino environmental activist, and his efforts to fight the non-recyclable plastic waste that is clogging miles and miles of coastline in the Philippines.
Grate argues that the corporations that produce the waste should be responsible for cleaning it up. And one way he`s getting the brands` attention is by naming and shaming the companies.......more
Ken Notes: This is a great article and identifies many of the problems we face. One major issue is that China is no longer taking our waste plastic which is a huge issue. We may need to develop plants to process the recycled plastic into pellets and ship that to China (this is happening with paper now) but these plants produce co2 and other pollutants and need to run on very thin margins.
Miron specializes in providing innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general construction and industrial services.
Whitefox Technologies is proud to kick off 2019 with the announcement of its fourth successful installation and start-up of its Whitefox ICE™ system at United Ethanol LLC`s plant in Milton, Wisconsin.
United Ethanol is already experiencing positive improvements to its operations and is currently running at a 15% overall capacity increase with the capability of a further 5% increase. The modular bolt-on system has freed up capacity in the distillation-dehydration section, which will allow the plant to increase its annual production capacity to over 60 million gallons......more
Ken Notes: I know the farmers and some environmentalists will disagree, and I encourage the dialogue, but I am still not ethanol`s biggest fan. We need corn to feed the world not our automobiles. I hope we can bring electric to the mainstream faster so we do not need to debate this.
I will be happy to print articles on both sides of this issue...
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!
What continually amazes me is how little attention so many voters give to our two most pressing issues: the environment and the threat of nuclear war.
While the Democrats leave much to be desired, President Donald Trump’s record is horrendous. The Environmental Protection Agency`s pollution enforcement has been turned over to fossil fuel lobbyists. Global warming is ignored. President Trump then pulled out of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty with Russia, which makes an accidental nuclear exchange more likely.......more
Ken Notes: Yes but both issues should be moved from a political agenda to a people agenda. When we have the clear majority of all people supporting bettering our future via cleaner energy, more efficient buildings, new technologies, and sustainability, I believe we will have far more impact than we do now. The sad part is that we are probably there as far as the numbers go, but the partisan mentality alienates the strength we actually posses. We now mandate that people choose a side not an issue -- and this is not working. The writer here furthers the problem not the solution.
Lobbying organizations in Wisconsin spent just under $8 million more on their efforts influencing policy in the 2017-18 session than they did the session prior, according to data submitted to the state’s Ethics Commission.
Initial figures reported Friday show nearly 800 lobbying organizations racked up about $70 million and the equivalent of about 15,585 days, or 43 years, of work attempting to sway the course of Wisconsin lawmakers and officials....
Ken Notes: When I am asked to address issues I look at these numbers and realize what an uphill climb it is. I have trouble finding just a few sponsors on the green side of many of these issues while millions are being spent on the other side. This is also why I look for middle ground on issues like transmission lines that I think are going to get built anyway.
Climate change is a risk to businesses around the world, but company disclosures show deforestation and drought are quickly climbing the list of worries.
For the past 15 years, has been asking companies and investors to disclose their businesses’ impact on the environment, as well as the environment’s impact on their businesses. My Bloomberg colleague Christopher Flavelle examined how some of the U.K.-based nonprofit’s respondents view the effects — and the — of climate change on their businesses in a deep dive last month. This week, I’m looking specifically at company risks related to water security and forests, and how the effects of climate change will force companies worldwide to change how they operate...
Ken Notes: Once again may I suggest that we look at the specifics and not just toss out climate change as the only issue. If we do this many will say I do not believe in climate change so we do not have a problem.
Arghhhhh, we are losing the water quality that we need to drink, we are losing habitat for our wildlife that sustains us, our air that we breathe contains particulates that make us ill, our resources are not sustainable, and our economy will eventually suffer.
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...
Regulators and consumer advocates are questioning the value of Wisconsin’s first large-scale solar project, while environmental groups are lining up in support of the investor-owned utilities as they embrace renewable energy.
Madison Gas & Electric and Wisconsin Public Service Corp. have jointly proposed to buy 300 megawatts’ worth of solar panels at two projects under development along Lake Michigan and in rural southwestern Wisconsin......more
Bob Bishop, a 61-year-old farmer living in dairy country in southwestern Wisconsin, plans to soon stop raising dairy cows because the industry is in trouble.
In 2018, Wisconsin lost 638 dairy farms because of falling milk prices. And the Bishops, who farm in Iowa County, still carry debt from when hog prices tanked in the 1990s.
Yet a rare opportunity has come the Bishops’ way. For at least a generation, the family would receive double or more the market rental rate on about 650 acres to be used for a giant solar power project. The Badger Hollow Solar Farm would be the largest such project in the Midwest.......more
Ken Notes: I prefer solar over something other than land, but the size of this project requires far more that buildings and infrastructure provide. I want the discussion to continue because this project has at least two sides....
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...
A Marinette manufacturer of firefighting foam knew it was polluting groundwater at least four years before the company began providing bottled water to residents and was ordered by state officials to investigate the extent of the contamination.
State records show Tyco Fire Products had test results of soil and well contamination on its property dating back to October 2013 for a class of compounds known as perfluorinated chemicals.
The chemicals are facing growing scrutiny in Wisconsin and nationally because of their human health risks.
wasn’t until November 2017 that Tyco said it believed the chemicals had
spread outside its 380-acre fire technology center, where testing and
fire-control training have taken place since about 1962....
Ken Notes: I hate these stories because for a company this is an almost impossible position to be in. One side treats them as if the infractions were intentional and they company should be destroyed, while the other side is dealing with the issue as a totally financial matter and looking for the best solution economically.
The reality is that BOTH of these positions are wrong. We need to focus on the solution first with an economic component on the table. These are not easy decisions to make.
Moving away from fossil fuels could create thousands of jobs, improve public health, and increase overall economic activity by nearly $14 billion in Wisconsin, according to a new study.
Despite providing the frac sand used to extract oil and natural gas, Wisconsin has no significant fossil fuel deposits to exploit and generates three-quarters of its electricity with coal and natural gas, leaving it with one of the largest “energy deficits” in the country...
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...
New reports show two recent high-voltage power line projects in western Wisconsin will cost consumers almost $60 million less than originally expected.
American Transmission Company, the primary utility behind a controversial line between Dubuque and Madison, have notified Wisconsin regulators that it will likely trim $46.4 million from the budget of its last big project, known as Badger Coulee.
Approved in 2015, the 180-mile line between Holmen and Middleton was originally projected to cost $581 million, but ATC said it now expects the line will cost $535 million...
Ken Notes: Since much of the power will continue east should these cost Wisconsin payers anything???
The Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) Distinguished Individual Achievement Award (DIAA) recognizes success on behalf of individual members for service to their Technical Division and clients for long-term achievements in the solid waste industry.
Michelle Leonard leads Sustainable Materials Management (SMM) at SCS Engineers. Leonard is well-known in the solid waste industry for her guidance helping businesses, educational institutions, and municipalities successfully turn to SMM as a systemic approach to using and reusing materials more productively over their entire life cycles. The methods find new opportunities to reduce environmental impacts, conserve resources and reduce costs.
Leonard was nominated for the award by Kim Braun, the Environmental Programs & Operations Manager at the Culver City Public Works in California, for her many accomplishments in the last eight years helping California meet some of the most stringent standards in the nation, with tact and innovation.
Ken Notes: Solid waste is the most hidden issue in environmental science. As the worlds population grows what we do with our waste becomes a huge issue. The US could help the rest of the world here but it is not often addressed.
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.
Pennsylvania`s Department of Transportation still relies on a steady diet of salt to de-ice state roads and highways.
But in some other states, including neighboring New Jersey, products like beet juice and cheese brine are being used to keep drivers safe and roads away from salt.
The unique de-icers — beet byproducts in New Jersey and Minnesota, molasses in Maine and cheese brine in Wisconsin — supplement salt or replace it entirely. They are a way to reduce pollution and lessen salt’s corrosive impacts on roads and waterways, according to researchers and state transportation officials......more
Ken Notes: Every year we discuss this. A couple of notes, we should look for higher concentrations of salt in products we "process" anyway - cheese whey comes to mind. Also below 18 Degrees salt stops working. Finally pretreating roads works better that most solutions.
We really need to address the entire issue from a runoff perspective -- the problem is that our road salt finds its way into our watersheds virtually unfiltered.
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...
The results of the November 2018 midterm elections could have an impact on environmental policy and enforcement. Less noticed than the takeover of the U.S. House of Representatives by the Democrats, but also significant, were victories by Democrats in four state attorney general (AG) contests. Nationwide, the voting shifted the balance in favor of Democrats, who now occupy 27 state AG seats to 23 held by Republicans... ...more
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.
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Green Tier program launched a video series in November with its report to the Wisconsin Legislature, showcasing new tools for participants committed to improving their environmental footprint. In the videos, Green Tier participants tell how partnerships forged through the program helped them minimize their environmental impacts, maximize their bottom line, and share their experiences with others.
“It’s gratifying to hear how Green Tier has helped our customers become stronger, more productive organizations contributing to a healthy environment, workplace and economy,” said former DNR Secretary Dan Meyer.
Green Tier is a voluntary sustainability program that provides a framework for businesses and organizations who want to proactively improve their environmental performance. Participants use a system to guide and monitor their environmental initiatives. In exchange, the department provides recognition, a primary contact in the agency, and, in some cases, regulatory flexibility to Green Tier participants......more
I remember a conversation with some farmers last October who were excited that they had been contacted by the Wall Street Journal about contributing to a story. I travel the country telling farmers how important it is that everyday consumers hear from them.
Rarely, if ever, does a mainstream media outlet contact a farmer with any sort of fact checking, let alone the possibility of being featured in an actual story. In fact five farmers (four CAFOs and one smaller farm) from eastern Wisconsin spent a substantial amount of time talking to the journalists from the WSJ…proudly sharing all the things their farms are doing to conserve resources and improve and nurture the environment, while investing in the future.The recent article, “Farms, More Productive Than Ever, Are Poisoning Drinking Water in Rural America” is missing several key points... ...more
Ken Notes: An interesting read, I am very surprised to see Wisconsin State Farmer so strongly supporting CAFO`s. The author fails to talk about the loss of smaller farms in the state, the rapid increase in well contamination in alignment with the rise in CAFO`s, and her suggestion that CAFO`s are as regulated as a nuclear power plant should raise many red flags.
I am worried that the economics are driving the train and we are all tied to the tracks...
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!
The results of the first round of groundwater sampling in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties in southwest Wisconsin show widespread problems with well-water contamination by nitrate and coliform bacteria. Results of random samples from 301 private wells were released last week by researchers involved with the groundwater sampling study.
Overall, 42 percent of the wells tested in the tri-county area were considered unsafe. Thirty-four percent of the samples were positive for total coliform and 4 percent were positive for E. coli. The presence of either total coliform or E. coli at any level in drinking water is considered unsafe according to state well codes and indicates possible risk of unsanitary water......more
Ken Notes: Issues is still getting attention but CAFO`s are still not mentioned in the articles, WHY???
As Democratic Gov. Tony Evers emerged from behind a curtain at Renew Wisconsin`s annual summit, his presence in the convention hall ballroom was more meaningful than the substance of his keynote speech.
For eight years, renewable and environmental advocates in Wisconsin wrangled with Gov. Scott Walker (R) in their efforts to accelerate the state`s energy transition and tackle climate change. Now they have an ally....more
TRANSPORTATION: The Green New Deal aspires to build out high-speed rail...
TransCanada says its Keystone pipeline was likely the source of an oil spill...
Minnesota emergency managers worry about an increase in oil shipments by rail as Canadian supply exceeds pipeline capacity...
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: The director of Colorado’s energy office says the state could be reaching a major tipping point on electric vehicles...
WIND: Demand for wind turbine technicians will more than double by 2026, making it the fastest-growing job in Texas, government data projects...
SOLAR: Illinois’ Future Energy Jobs Act provides funding for solar jobs training at community colleges and in low-income communities...
And much more...
Ken Notes: Some ideas and concerns for the state...
Manufacturers are increasing their focus on sustainability as they realize that there is a strong business case that comes with the commitment. A primary contributor, from a financial perspective, is from improved resource utilization, which boosts overall productivity and profitability......more
Ken Notes: Great article!!!
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
Ken Notes: Wow there is no middle ground here... at least look at the report it is at best interesting... Especially Page 36 Region 5 Great Lakes by the Numbers. I do not think Wisconsin Gazette got that far!
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....
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Preston Cole announced additional appointments to his leadership team.
Todd Ambs has been named DNR assistant deputy secretary. He served as DNR Water Division administrator from 2003 to 2010 and has worked in the environmental-policy field for more than 35 years, most recently as the director of Healing Our Waters–Great Lakes Coalition. He has extensive experience in both state government and nonprofit organizations, including serving as executive director of two statewide river organizations, as policy director for the Ohio attorney general and as senior policy analyst for the Wisconsin Department of Justice.Eric Ebersberger has been named interim DNR budget director for the DNR Office of Management and Budget... ...more
Ken Notes: Let go back to a few more DNR Magazine issues per year...
Has a realization that Flint’s drinking water problems are not confined to Flint finally registered with politicians in the Great Lakes region? Or are they worried that a 2014 Toledo-style water crisis fueled by agriculture pollution could happen again?
A new crop of politicians in the region is emerging, putting a spotlight on long-entrenched drinking water quality issues.
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
SHEBOYGAN - The Sheboygan Common Council voted Monday to ban the sale and use of coal-tar sealant products in the city, following a trend in communities throughout Wisconsin.
These sealants are sprayed or painted on asphalt pavement in parking lots, driveways, and playgrounds to improve appearance and protect the asphalt.
Studies show hazardous chemicals from coal-tar sealants make their way into nearby homes and water sources. Studies mostly examining the effects of inhalation of those chemicals show exposure is linked to increased risk for several cancer types including lung, skin, bladder, respiratory and urinary tract.......more
Ken Notes: I would love to see a county require Pervious concrete (also called porous concrete, permeable concrete. It is tough to use in Wisconsin because of our freeze thaw cycle, but research could fix this...
The recent collapse of a mine tailings dam in southeastern Brazil has already resulted in 134 fatalities, leaving an estimated 300 people still missing, according to rescue workers....
...Tailings dams are some of the largest human-made structures on earth....
....This failed upstream dam construction method is now being proposed for Aquila’s tailings dam at the Back Forty project next to the Menominee River which eventually drains into Lake Michigan, providing drinking water to millions in the Upper Midwest....
STEVENS POINT - The University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point on Friday proposed offering three-year degrees with a year-round class schedule and ramping up majors including fish farming as a way to attract more students and help plug a gaping budget deficit.
Chancellor Bernie Patterson presented UW-Stevens Point’s request to the UW System Board of Regents, according to a university statement.
“UW-Stevens Point’s vision for a new regional university aligns perfectly with the UW System capacity building initiative,” Patterson said.......more
Ken Notes: UWSP is leading environmental issues on a national scale...
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...
Ten thousand of environmentally minded business professionals, 500+ News outlets and reporters, and even a treehugger or two now read WDNGreen each week. Thank you!Please share WDNGreen with a friend... WDNGreen Network of Links... or Search WDNGreen...
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:
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!
These are personal viewpoints shaped by your feedback. They are not the positions of my sponsors or partners.
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.
Want to comment, or have an idea: Ideas[at]WisconsinDevelopment.com
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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WDNews GREEN will be emailed on Mondays, included in WDNews on Thursdays, and online all the time at: WDNGreen.com Each week we will find 10 to 20 articles from Wisconsin and across the Nation dealing with environmental issues. Our goal is to promote environmental excellence from a sound business perspective.
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
Ken Notes: Please forward this to friends and colleagues who have an interest in our economy and environment. You may eMail Me Here.