Wisconsin Development GREEN News
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Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at]  KenHarwood.com


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Jason Aldean Cold Open - SNL
Jason Aldean pays tribute to the victims of the Las Vegas shooting with a performance of Tom Petty`s "I Won`t Back Down."    ...more

Ken Notes: Today I am a country fan. I know this is not environmental but I felt this should be shared. In this country we work so much better as a team!

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WEC Energy CEO Leverett suffers stroke

Allen Leverett, chief executive officer of Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, has suffered an apparent stroke, the company announced in a statement Thursday afternoon.

Leverett is in the hospital and receiving medical treatment, the company said. Gale Klappa was appointed interim CEO today, until Leverett can recover and resume his role....


Ken Notes: We wish to extend our sincere condolences and best wishes for a speedy and complete recovery.

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League of Women Voters Presents a Public Program on Wisconsin’s Changing Environmental Laws & Regulations on November 11

Milwaukee – The Natural Resources Committee of the League of Women Voters of Milwaukee County will present a program on Wisconsin’s changing environmental laws and regulations on Saturday, November 11, from 10:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. (gathering time begins at 10:00 a.m.). This free public program will be held at the Shorewood Village Center, 3920 N. Murray Ave. (ground-level meeting room below the library).

The program features two presentations:

“The Perfect Storm” by George Meyer, Executive Director, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation; Past Secretary, Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources

“The Role of Citizens in Protecting Wisconsin’s Natural Heritage” by Kimberlee Wright, Executive Director, Midwest Environmental Advocates...

For more information, visit: www.lwvmilwaukee.org...   ...more

Ken Notes: Put this on your calendar. This will make for great articles, interviews, and other press...

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Eau Claire Gets National Recognition For Solar Efforts

A Nonprofit Backed By The US Department Of Energy Applauds City For Making Solar Transition Easier For Homeowners

A nonprofit organization called SOLSMART, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy has awarded Eau Claire with its top honor for easing the transition to solar power for homeowners.

SOLSMART is a group that encourages municipalities to reduce what it calls "soft costs" associated with the installation of solar panels and related infrastructure on peoples` property. For Eau Claire, Associate Planner Ned Noel said that meant getting the city council to enact solar specific rules that weren’t on the books prior to 2015.

"The ordinance really clarifies expectations for development of solar, whether it’s on a rooftop or on the ground," said Noel. “"t also is very solar friendly from the point of view that there’s not a lot of cumbersome ordinances or special permits that are needed."..


Ken Notes: Congrats.

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Gov. Scott Walker extends chamber of commerce theme with new DNR chief

Gov. Scott Walker on Monday announced he was appointing Dan Meyer, a former chamber of commerce director, as state Department of Natural Resource secretary.

Meyer replaces Cathy Stepp, who Walker appointed in 2011, saying he wanted someone with a "chamber of commerce mentality" in charge of the department.

Conservation groups have been highly critical of Stepp for failing to defend the DNR from budget cuts, relaxing enforcement of pollution violations and presiding over persistent shortcomings in its protection of water and air quality...


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Special Interests Like New DNR Appointee

A former northern Wisconsin Republican lawmaker was appointed as the next head of the state Department of Natural Resources (DNR), drawing praise from the state’s largest business group...

...George Meyer, a former DNR secretary and now head of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, told the Wisconsin State Journal that Meyer was “someone who can be worked with on conservation issues.” The two are not related....


Ken Notes: George is a voice I respect a great deal, so I hope he is right. I also hope Dan will be a far stronger, less political, leader than Kathy was. When I was in the Capitol, Dan was a strong advocate for tourism and health care.

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Proposed bill opens path for a sulfide mine at Eau Claire Dells near Wausau

TOWN OF EASTON - Environmental activists and three central Wisconsin mayors are sounding the alarm about a proposed bill that could pave the way for sulfide mines in Wisconsin, saying such operations could expose waterways to a dangerous cocktail of sulfuric acid and heavy metals like mercury and lead.

One area at risk, they argue, is a site near Marathon County`s Eau Claire Dells where a company called Aquila Resources has drilled in the past, in search of gold. If the law is approved, Aquila could establish an open pit mine on the site...


Ken Notes: I wish we were far more proactive on jobs that are good for the environment. Tourism comes to mind, along with organics, solar, control systems, light manufacturing, technology, beer, food and so much more....

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Less oil on the rails, but fears persist as old tank cars remain

The deluge of oil trains rolling through La Crosse three years ago has slowed to a trickle as the bulk of North Dakota’s oil production now moves through pipelines, helping the rail industry comply with new federal safety regulations.

That has assuaged some concerns, though rail safety and environmental advocates remain vigilant over ongoing threats from other hazardous materials on the rails....


Ken Notes: Again this is an issue where "just say no" will NOT work. Tar sand oil from Canada and shale oil and gas from out west has to get to the demand in the Midwest and East and all paths lead through Wisconsin. We need to use this demand to improve infrastructure, safety, and bring income into the state. Currently the money is flowing into the political arena to reduce regulation and restrictions. It is too bad that more attention is not paid to how the demand could be good for the State.

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Environmental Group Sounds Off On Proposed Wetlands Development Bill

A new bill being proposed in the state legislature would make it easier for people to build in state wetlands without a permit. On yesterday`s Central Time, we spoke with Senator Roger Roth (R-Appleton) about the bill which he co-sponsors and what he wants the legislation to accomplish. Today, we speak with Erin O`Brien, Policy Programs Director for the Wisconsin Wetlands Association, about her concerns over the proposed law.


Ken Notes: There has to be middle ground here! Just say no didn`t work and just say yes will not work either. We need a quick responsible evaluation of the project, recommended alternatives or offsets to environmental impact, and public private partnership to move forward.

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Blank to increase sustainability conversations this year

UW-Madison Chancellor Rebecca Blank said administration will highlight sustainability efforts more this academic year in her blog post Wednesday.

Research efforts are impacting sustainability on campus, Blank said. About $350 million in outside funding is going toward the 200 ongoing research projects on sustainability and environmental studies. This largest federal grant “focuses on alternative ways to generate renewable fuels.”

“Progress on sustainability requires new knowledge about how to increase the use of renewable energy, how to develop more sustainable technologies, and how to mitigate the environmental effects of past harmful practices,” Blank said....


Ken Notes: Thumbs up! Other media should cover this...

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Wisconsin mining bill authors argue economy, environment don`t have to compete

Economic gains can be made without jeopardizing Wisconsin`s environment, the authors of a bill that would promote mining activity in the state argued on Friday. 

But conservation groups and tribal leaders said the legislation would put Wisconsin`s long-term environmental integrity at risk in exchange for short-term profits.

"I believe there’s room for all. It’s a big state. We can do all these things and we can do them safely without intruding on each other," said Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst. "I know that we can do this safely."...


Ken Notes: If we can do this safely we need bipartisan consideration and DNR support. This is not how we are going about it.

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SunPeak Madison News Search
SunPeak is a turnkey developer of commercial solar PV electricity systems based in Madison, Wisconsin. Businesses can be assured their turnkey project will be professionally handled from initial feasibility study to final commissioning. Projects typically range from 100 kW to 5 MW (hundreds to thousands of solar panels) and offer significant cost savings relative to conventional utility electric rates.

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Op Ed: Environment Fading As Public Issue

Wisconsin needs a renewed dialogue on the protection of our natural resources.

Journalist Dan Egan, the foremost chronicler of the challenges to the Great Lakes, recently reported that two more invasive micro-species have been found in the lakes. The story is on the inside pages of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. More than 180 had already been identified...

....The state also needs a renewed dialogue during the next gubernatorial campaign in 2018 on the protection and conservation of our greatest asset, our natural resources....


Ken Notes: GREAT READ and I agree, wish we had discussed this more during the recent elections as well.

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Foxconn`s impact on Wisconsin will be closely watched by environmentalists

STURTEVANT - Foxconn Technology Group identified the site for a massive electronics plant in Racine County on Wednesday but provided few other details, prompting environmental groups to continue to raise questions about the impact a 20 million-square-foot facility might pose on natural resources.

The groups said they will monitor how the Taiwan-based company’s sprawling plant will conform with the regulation of Great Lakes water; the amount of pollution the plant will discharge; and the impact on wetlands at a site in the Village of Mount Pleasant...


Ken Notes: No doubt. The questions is which environmentalists will be watching and whose ear will they have. Those who hate the project and scream foul will not have as much impact as those who make suggestions, offer solutions, are true stewards of the land, and want the business to both succeed and set an example of how business development should be done.

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OPINION: Air and water suffer as politicians pander

There`s obviously no end to the degradation of what was once Wisconsin`s revered environmental heritage by the wrecking crew that currently runs state government.

The latest outrage is yet another proposal last week to put the interests of big business political donors ahead of safeguarding our state`s natural beauty, its environmental equilibrium and the quality of its waters.

With the now-infamous Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce leading the cheers — they are never satisfied with the handouts given to big business interests — this Legislature has been giving away the store since it took control seven years ago...

...The late Gaylord Nelson, the former Wisconsin governor and U.S. senator who famously founded the annual celebration we know as Earth Day, warned that the combination of corporate greed and pandering politicians presented the biggest danger to Wisconsin`s trees, lakes, rivers, wildlife habitats and scenic landscapes. Once destroyed, he lectured, they could never be replaced....

Ken Notes: Let me add a little balance here, in the past we lost major industries and prevented new ones from entering the state because the permitting process was arduous and we refused to work with business on environmental solutions. This ying yang is bad for the State on all fronts.

Gaylord Nelson was successful in making Wisconsin a showcase because he understood the balance between environment and business and the good that could come from it. We never mention the Regulatory Flexibility Act where he advocated for small business or his leadership in bringing new business to the state. He did not want business to go away, he wanted business to be responsible.

"Earth Day 1970 achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, city slickers and farmers, tycoons and labor leaders."


While I question the partisan veracity with which we did it, I understand the need to clear the regulatory path for a business like Foxconn. In development delay means money and a record of spending years clearing the way for a project can easily cause a company, of any size, to look elsewhere.

We need to return to the shared goals of the past and realize the need to work together to accomplish them.


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In Wisconsin, GOP pushes to end sulfide mining moratorium

MADISON, Wis. — Gov. Scott Walker voted to ban copper and gold mining in Wisconsin two decades ago. Now he may be asked to lift the one of-a-kind prohibition as his fellow Republicans push to continue opening up the state’s north woods to mining.

Conservationists have warned pollution from mining for so-called sulfide ores such as copper, zinc and gold could devastate northern Wisconsin’s water — one of the reasons the Legislature adopted a de facto moratorium on such mines in 1998. But after relaxing the state’s iron mining laws four years ago, GOP lawmakers have introduced a bill that would lift the prohibition. They say they want to jump-start the economy in the rural, sparsely populated northern half of the state.

The measure could put Walker in a tough situation, forced to choose between sticking with his long-ago vote when he was in the Assembly or signing the bill in hopes of sparking a slumbering industry. Supporting the measure would be a reversal he might have to explain on the campaign trail next year....


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CMU beefs up Great Lakes research team

The group that has kept Central Michigan University a key player in the health of the Great Lakes is growing in size and scope.

Alongside the endangered creatures and invasive species that keep the public’s attention, there now are quieter — but equally important — interviews and number crunching.

The university’s Institute for Great Lakes Research, conceived in 2009 and formally established in 2010, started with five representatives from the departments of earth and atmospheric sciences, geography and environmental studies, biology, and chemistry and biochemistry.

Today the institute boasts 26 faculty members from the four departments and an agenda that changes as Great Lakes issues evolve...


Ken Notes: Using the Midwest university’s to work on these issues is brilliant. The new DNR head should consider more partnerships like this. Someone mention this to him...

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Foxconn Project Creating Interest And Concern In Great Lakes Basin
Great Lakes Mayors Urging No Weakening Of Environmental Protections

A group representing mayors from around the Great Lakes says it`s concerned about exemptions from environmental regulations being given by Wisconsin for the large Foxconn electronics factory planned for Racine County.

The Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative represents about 170 mayors. Initiative President John Dickert says the proposed Foxconn plant could mean thousands of jobs. But Dickert recently told a forum at the Society of Environmental Journalists annual conference that if environmental regulations are compromised, other companies will come to the Great Lakes region seeking exemptions and access to resources, like large amounts of water....


Ken Notes: Again I HOPE this is about process not about actual protections. I actually think this is the case because Foxconn does not have their head in the sand regarding the potential for a legislative shift in the future. If they do we are all in trouble.

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Going full Doomsday: Reporters must convey the perils of climate change without paralyzing their audience

According to the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication, Americans fall into six groups when it comes to climate change: alarmed, concerned, cautious, disengaged, doubtful, and dismissive.

I would add a seventh category: panicked. That’s me. I’m a science journalist, so I understand and accept the problem. But I when I read articles about global warming, my anxiety soars. I have to disengage. I check Facebook for puppy videos...


Ken Notes: And then there is my idea --- CHANGE THE DEBATE, eliminate global warming and long term effects from the discussion and start talking about the benefits of clean air and water now. Show the effects of controls in the 70`s on the Great Lakes and rivers. Contrast the US, China, Mexico and India. Talk about the fact if we clean up production elsewhere we return manufacturing to the US. There is lots to talk about that is not subject to denial.

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Kronenwetter high school installs solar energy system

KRONENWETTER, WIS. (WSAW) Northland Lutheran High School in Kronenwetter is seeing the light and learning from it.

The school became the 56th member Monday of the Wisconsin Public Service SolarWise for Schools program. School leaders and WPS representatives unveiled a new three-kilowatt solar energy system. The system was donated by the SolarWise for Schools program which is funded through voluntary donations to the WPS Community Foundation.

The program, in it`s 22nd year, allows students to learn about renewable energy through hands-on lessons.


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Miron Construction

Miron Construction News Search

Miron specializes in providing innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general construction and industrial services.

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Report: Apple spent more than $1B on construction of new `spaceship` HQ
Permits for the 2.8 million-square-foot, ring-shaped main building — a structure that has been likened to a "spaceship" — totaled $427 million, including $85 million for landscaping and irrigation, $14 million for a solar roof and nearly $9 million for two outdoor dining facilities. Other building features included in its report are the Steve Jobs Theater ($179 million), visitor center ($109 million), a secondary office building ($115 million) and parking facilities ($113 million)...   ...more

Ken Notes: As a lead supplier to Apple, Foxconn may want to develop a Green presence to send a positive message to Apple. We need to suggest a willingness to help in this regard.

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Local delegation travels to Japan to learn about Foxconn

RACINE COUNTY — While many local officials were celebrating Gov. Scott Walker signing the $2.85 billion legislation package to bring the Foxconn Technology Group to Wisconsin, several local officials were in Japan preparing for the next step.

The trip, which took place Sept. 18-22, was attended by a delegation of local officials from the private and public sector.

Those who attended were Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave; Racine County Board Chairman Russell Clark; Racine County Corporation Counsel Michael Lazendorf; Racine County Economic Development Corp. Executive Director Jenny Trick; Gateway Technical College President/CEO Bryan Albrecht; Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce President/CEO Matt Montemurro; Mount Pleasant Village President Dave DeGroot; Village of Mount Pleasant Project Director Claude Lois; and Tom Ludwig, state operations director for the Foth Company...


Ken Notes: Good to see the Local ED professionals involved... Would have loved to see local environmental advocates along as well, but I an sure this is an issue that local officials will watch closely.

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GOP Introduces Bill To Wipe Out State Air Pollution Rules

Co-Sponsors Of Bill Say State Regulations Are Burdensome On Businesses

Republicans are proposing eliminating any state air pollution rule that goes beyond federal regulations.

Reps. Jesse Kremer, R-Kewaskum, and Cody Horlacher, R-Mukwonago, and Sen. Duey Stroebel, R-Saukville, have introduced a bill that would eliminate any state air pollution rules that go beyond federal regulations....


Ken Notes: The problem here is if we do this what happens when the feds say air quality is a state issue.

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Judge throws out well permits while ordering Wisconsin DNR to consider impacts of heavy water use

A  Dane County judge ruled this week that the Department of Natural Resources must take into account the cumulative impacts of high-capacity wells on other water resources in cases where she invalidated seven permits approved by the agency last year.

In a closely watched case, the judge said Wednesday the DNR had ample authority to set limits on well applications to protect drinking water supplies and lakes and streams that might be imperiled by heavy water use...


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Long-range plan addresses Wisconsin`s future wastewater needs

MADISON, WIS, OCT 16, 2017 -- A plan to manage the region`s wastewater through 2040 will advance to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources following a hearing and public comment period organized by Madison Metropolitan Sewerage District and concurrence by the Capital Area Regional Planning Commission.

The district`s proposed liquid processing facilities plan focuses on future needs of the district and opportunities related to the Nine Springs Wastewater Treatment Plant liquid treatment processes. The facilities plan addresses the need for increased capacity, resiliency and flexibility to manage peak flows...


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OPINION: Tourism is the goose laying golden eggs --

Our state`s tourism industry is often ignored by both taxpayers and legislators. It’s fed by small business owners and families who love what they do. For many years the tourism industry has been the goose laying golden eggs for Wisconsin’s economic basket. Tourism eggs accounted for a $20 billion impact on the state’s economy in 2016. And that was up $700 million or 3.5 percent compared to 2015, according to www.travelwisconsin.com.

Our tourism goose thrives on clean air, clear water and natural ecosystems. But, its very existence is threatened by big business initiatives like American Transmission Co.’s Cardinal-Hickory Creek transmission plan for Southwestern Wisconsin, Foxconn’s manufacturing complex in Southeastern Wisconsin, sulfide mines in Northern Wisconsin supported by Sen. Tom Tiffany, R-Hazelhurst, and run off from factory farms in the center of the state....


Ken Notes: YEP!!!

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Environmental Groups: Keep Hounding Out Of State National Forests
MADISON, Wis. - A number of environmental groups, including the Endangered Species Coalition, want to keep hunters who use packs of dogs out of public lands in Wisconsin, including the state`s national forests. The groups say the hunters and their dogs have made the public lands inhospitable, and they want the federal government to launch an investigation into the practice...   ...more

Ken Notes: Again if we were using these lands for other recreational pursuits we would see less of the uses we do not like... With the current legislative balance we could even see mining, more aggressive lumber harvesting and more...

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Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council

Wisconsin Green Building Search


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...

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MREA Hosts Wisconsin Solar Tour

Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA) is organizing a free statewide Solar Tour as part of the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour. In collaboration with the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and hundreds of solar installers and grassroots organizations throughout America, thousands of solar-powered homes, schools and businesses – throughout Wisconsin and across North America – will open their doors to the public in celebration of the 22nd Annual National Solar Tour, the world’s largest grassroots solar event.

The 2017 Wisconsin Solar Tour is free and open to the public. It will be held Oct. 7, 10 am – 4 pm. Homes and businesses in Wisconsin will open their doors to the public and showcase their solar technologies, and sustainable living techniques....


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Land O`Lakes opens $40 million innovation center in Wisconsin

Land O’Lakes Inc. has opened a $40 million innovation center in River Falls, Wis., that includes a pair of special wind tunnels and other advanced systems to help bring products to market more quickly.

The center will be run by WinField United, the crop products and consulting division of the Arden Hills-based cooperative.

Land O’Lakes President and CEO Chris Policinski said it takes one to five years for products to be developed, and the aim of the new center is to accelerate that process toward more sustainable use of agricultural chemicals and nutrients...


Notes:This is cool, I hope we work with them at the UW level...

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Advocates, legislators trying to legalize hemp in Wisconsin

During World War II, Janesville and other communities across southern Wisconsin petitioned the U.S government to build a lucrative crop processing plant near their cities.

The crop would be used primarily to build rope for the war effort, and a factory could provide an economic boom to a small or midsize town. Southern Wisconsin, with its fertile silt loam soil and proximity to Chicago shipping yards, was the perfect place to build.

The crop so desired? Hemp....


Ken Notes: An opportunity to lead the nation in responsible ag. New plastics, cloth, and sustainable building products should be an opportunity for economic growth and should be a nonpartisan issue. I am a fiscal conservative and business environmentalist and this is a good thing.

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Commercial Geothermal Contractors Stay Upbeat

Geothermal continues to be a worthwhile investment for the right customers in the right applications

Both the commercial and residential geothermal markets have felt the sting of the loss of federal tax credits for geothermal projects, but contractors on the commercial side remain reasonably upbeat about their market’s outlook. Certain building owners are able to take a long-term view of their properties that makes the return on investment offered by geothermal systems very attractive. In addition, environmental sustainability has become a corporate initiative at an increasing number of companies....


Ken Notes: Here is another crazy idea for your consideration. When we do a large scale public project like roads or sewer could we add a geothermal loop accessible to the private sector? One of the serious costs of geo is the excavation, if we are already in the dirt wouldn`t it make sense to add a few extra lines. In Neenah we did this with utility chases in new developments for gas, Cable, electric, and other utilities when we did the streets, that worked well.

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OPINION: Loss of bipartisanship on environment hurts Wisconsin

Wisconsin has a rich heritage of conservation. From the Native American tribes who inhabited this land for generations, to John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Warren Knowles and Gaylord Nelson, Wisconsin has been a national leader in protecting our land, water and air. The Public Trust Doctrine, enshrined in our state constitution, guarantees that the waters of Wisconsin belong to the people of Wisconsin....


Ken Notes: True BUT, we are still pointing fingers and blaming others. While under more liberal control the administrative and DNR did nothing to build bridges...

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Miron Construction wisn awards!
Miron Construction Co. Inc., Neenah, recently received the "Best Higher Education Project" award from Engineering News Record Midwest...  Miron Construction also was ranked among the "Top 100 Green Building Contractors" in the nation, by Engineering News Record, for leading the construction of third-party certified sustainable buildings in the United States. Over the past 10 years, Miron’s commitment to building green is demonstrated by its portfolio of 64 LEED projects, valued at more than $866 million....

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Renewable energy jobs up 16 percent in Minnesota

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A nonprofit study shows renewable energy jobs in Minnesota grew by 16 percent from 2015 to 2016.

The research by Clean Energy Economy Minnesota says there are about 6,200 jobs in the state in renewable energy, most in solar or wind power.

Some traditional energy sectors, such as coal mining, have seen an exodus of jobs. In Minnesota, six coal-fired generators are set to close over the next decade. The coal plants are a major emitter of greenhouse gases...


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SCS Engineers

SCS Engineers Search

SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years

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OPINION: Stewardship under attack in the Walker era

Wisconsin is a place that prides itself on our clean and abundant water.

Each of us expects and deserves access to safe water to drink and the reassurance that our state policies reflect a long-term commitment to safeguarding the quality and health of our shared natural land...


Ken Notes: The solution here is a public private partnership. We have made this issues totally political when it should be economic to establish the value of our environmentally sensitive lands. I like the offset provisions and would like to see a 2 to 1 or higher ratio.

I have also proposed environmental TIF developments to allow private use of some lands and the placing the rest in a public trust with acquisition paid for by the property taxes on the private lands.

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OPINION: What happened to Wisconsin`s environmental heritage?

Wisconsin has a rich heritage of conservation. From the Native American Tribes who inhabited this land for generations, to John Muir, Aldo Leopold, Warren Knowles and Gaylord Nelson – Wisconsin has been a national leader in protecting our land, water and air. The public trust doctrine, enshrined in our state constitution, guarantees that the waters of Wisconsin belong to the people of Wisconsin.

There was a time when this was a shared ethic amongst Democrats and Republicans. Our greatest environmental achievements have always been accomplished together, working toward the goal of making a better Wisconsin for our children and grandchildren...


Ken Notes: Again true but one sided.

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2 Milwaukee Women Hike 330 Miles for Conservation Awareness

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Two Milwaukee women are hiking from their hometown to Lake Superior to will raise awareness and funds for conservation.

Julia Robson and Alyssa Armbruster started the Walk to Sustain Our Great Lakes to raise $10,000 for three Great Lakes organizations, Milwaukee Public Radio reported .

Robson came up with the idea for the project last January.

"When we started hearing about proposed cuts to the EPA and the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative program, we both really felt it was important to bring attention to all of the positive progress that`s been made to restore and clean up the Great Lakes and a lot of our freshwater systems — rivers and streams," Robson said....   ...more

Ken Notes: Wow national attention, good luck!

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$2 Million in Cash Grants from WI`s Focus On Energy Announced for Commercial Solar
Applications for the ~$2 million in solar grants available from Focus On Energy (FOE) are due Oct.13, 2017.

FOE`s new solar funding can greatly improve project financials, and may be combined with the existing 30% Federal Investment Tax Credit (ITC) and accelerated depreciation tax benefits.

Cumulatively, these incentives can now cover upwards of 60% of a solar project`s costs.

Commercial solar electric systems installed in 2017 or 2018 are eligible for these cash grants through a competitive bidding process.

As full grant parameters are complex, SunPeak is offering free grant writing and submission services for committed customers.

Commitments must be secured by Sept. 22, 2017 to ensure adequate time for grant compilation.

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Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council

WI Sustainable Business Council Search


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.

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Evidence of invasive grass carp signals threat to Lake Erie

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) — Researchers have fresh evidence that invasive grass carp are swimming and spawning near the mouth of a river that flows into Lake Erie.

Their next step is figuring out how to stop it from gaining a foothold and devouring wetland plants along the shoreline and underwater vegetation in the lake that shelters native fish.

Grass carp are one of four Asian carp species threatening the Great Lakes, but they`re not as worrisome as the bighead and silver carp, which could devastate fish populations in the lakes...


Ken Notes: It took decades to return the Great Lakes to the watershed they are today. We need to be even more diligent to keep them that way!

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St. Croix bridge project spawned dozens of environmental improvements
Environmental improvements on both sides of the St. Croix River are driven by an influx of funding.

Giant concrete piers, standing like the ghosts of early industry, for years inhabited the St. Croix River where a new four-lane bridge now links Minnesota and Wisconsin. To conservationists, those 24 unused piers represented blight on a free-flowing river.

Now they’re gone, removed in a great sweep of environmental improvements made possible by Minnesota’s largest bridge project....

....While the bridge captured the headlines, conservationists and local governments have used a $42 million budget for “mitigations,” as they’re known in the public policy world, to fund parks, study phosphorus runoff, preserve land along the river bluffs from development, and even write a “spill response plan” should mass pollution of the St. Croix occur....


Ken Notes: I have long suggested that large development projects can be used to fund ancillary projects. I hope we apply this concept to Foxconn...

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Bill to end sulfide-mining moratorium moves forward

Wisconsin Republicans took their first votes last week on a bill (SB 395) that would lift the state’s nearly 20-year moratorium on sulfide mining, pushing the measure through committee and clearing the way for a full Senate vote.

The Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters says the bill, known popularly as the Prove It First law, is a gold standard, bipartisan law enacted 20 years ago that has protected the state from the effects of sulfide mining, which include poisoned rivers, ecological dead zones, and toxic drinking water, for a generation.

Under the moratorium, anyone looking to mine sulfide ores such as copper, gold or zinc must prove to the state Department of Natural Resources that a similar mine has operated in the U.S. or Canada for a decade without causing pollution...    ...more

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Why is the grass greener? Sports-field experiment to reveal results on Oct. 19 in Stoughton

The results of an unusual, real world experiment on four methods for managing sports fields will be shown to the public on Oct. 19.

The experiment has run for three years on four baseball diamonds at Racetrack Park in Stoughton.

The experiment’s designer, Doug Soldat, a professor of soil science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, explains that the project “arose from a really common issue. There are different opinions on the acceptable amount of maintenance for sports fields and turf in general, particularly around the use of pesticide and sometimes of fertilizers.”...


Ken Notes: This is good info!

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Some of our links... Many more at WDNGreen.com
Links we like supporting Wisconsin`s Environment and Business. More will follow each week...

USGBC Wisconsin
Focus on

The Water Council

WI Sustainable Business Council

Sustain Dane

Midwest Energy

Focus on Energy

Renew Wisconsin

Clean Wisconsin


Search News
Natural Heritage
Land Trust

University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management

USGBC Wisconsin

Ken Notes: Share this and if you want to be included:
Call us - 608.334.2174 or Editor [at] WDNGreen.com....

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Plain Talk: Under-the-radar attacks on environment will have lasting damage

Fascinating piece in the Los Angeles Times last week about what`s been going on in Donald Trump`s Department of the Interior.

The country is being damaged by a government that really doesn`t want to govern, but because everyone is being distracted by Trump and his tweets, few are paying attention.

The story revealed how Ryan Zinke, the former Montana congressman who believes that climate change is an "unsettled" theory and that more public lands need to be opened to commercial use like mining and ranching, has been moving scientists out of their jobs and into unrelated positions in an effort to thwart their research....


Ken Notes: This is true, but we have to do more that pull our hair out. We need to change the dialogue to things they will listen to. Like carbon is bad for our health, water, economy and future. Foreign governments that ignore environmental issues produce products that undercut our economy, jobs, and innovation. Green technology represents trillions in new jobs, taxes, and lower costs to business.

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General Motors announces plans for an ‘all-electric future’

ELECTRIC VEHICLES: Detroit-based General Motors announces plans for an “all-electric future,” which calls for 20 all-electric vehicle models due out by 2023. (MLive)

• A solar project on several buildings along a major rail corridor in Minneapolis-St. Paul is being studied to determine how distributed energy could impact future transit investments. (Midwest Energy News)
• Ohio’s biggest electric cooperative plans to have a community solar project available to customers next year. (Columbus Dispatch)
• Consumers Energy plans to buy a 24 megawatt solar project near Lansing, Michigan that will provide energy to the local municipal utility. (Renewables Now)
• Officials in a western Minnesota town approve plans for a 1 megawatt community solar project. (Pope County Tribune)


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Lawmakers Want to End Reformulated Gas

Republican lawmakers want to end the sale of reformulated gas in southeastern Wisconsin with a bill asking President Donald Trump`s administration to grant a reprieve from a requirement to use the more expensive and often-unpopular fuel to combat air pollution.

Motorists in southeastern Wisconsin have been required to burn the specially formulated gas since 1995.

The counties are: Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine and Kenosha...


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Deaths of farmworkers in cow manure ponds put oversight of dairy farms into question

After sitting idle for more than two years, a biodigester in Fremont is open again under new ownership and management.

The new owner is San Francisco-based Generate Capital Inc., which focuses on waste-to-energy products. Generate Capital also partnered with Dynamic Systems Management LLC (DSM) to manage the facility...


Ken Notes: Like so many technologies before, we need to work on lowering the cost of digestion and improving the technology. This will happen when we see a profit model that works, China saw this in solar and the future looks bright.

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Yet Another Environmental Disaster-in-Waiting

Thoughts and prayers for the salmon—and for us.

...First, in Wisconsin, the state legislature, which is chock-full of extraction industry sublets, is about to pass something called the Industrial Acid Mining Bill, which is every bit as horrible as its name implies. This bill would effectively eliminate Wisconsin`s beloved "Prove It First" law by which companies wishing to open mines in Wisconsin have to demonstrate that they`ve managed to open and close a sulfide mine for 10 years without leaching acid into the groundwater and surface water. The new bill—sponsored by, I swear to god, a state legislator named Tom Tiffany—would do away with Prove It First....


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Report identifies 2.6 gigawatts of ‘uneconomic’ coal plants in Midwest

In a report released today, the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) identifies 2.6 gigawatts (GW) of coal capacity across six Midwest states considered uneconomic compared to cleaner alternatives, raising the possibility that some of those plants may close in coming years.

Nationwide, the report found that 21 percent of the coal-fired generation capacity in 2016 is currently deemed uneconomic, while an additional 18 percent of national coal-fired capacity is covered by announcements of closure or conversion to natural gas...


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R.A. Smith National

R.A. Smith National Search


Our ecological staff provides needed information to clients, enabling them to make informed decisions about their land use planning efforts and site development decisions. Our goal is to facilitate our clients’ project needs without compromising the important values that natural resources provide to the community.

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Would-be solar plant operators search for new funding

MURPHYSBORO — A company proposing to build a $1.7 million solar project in Murphysboro was not the winner of first-round funding to help with that project.

The Vancouver, Canada-headquartered Solar Alliance Energy, Inc., lost the bid in this first round of competitive procurement processes organized by the Illinois Power Agency. The bid for solar was awarded to Prairie State Solar, according to Anthony Star, director of the Illinois Power Agency. The first round of bids was for up to 200,000 renewable energy credits, he said; other competitive procurement processes are planned...


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La Crosse Officials Work to Address River Marsh Pollution

La Crosse officials say they`re hopeful they may avoid a costly project to remove lead contamination in the city`s River Marsh.

LA CROSSE, Wis. (AP) — Officials in La Crosse officials say they`re hopeful they may avoid a costly project to remove lead contamination in the western Wisconsin city`s River Marsh.

An environmental consultant`s report found that contaminants from thousands of lead pellets left from trap shooting decades ago haven`t affected the water table below the marsh. The large wetland complex is in the Lower La Crosse River`s flood plain.


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Wisconsin and National Links for GREEN Resources
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:


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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!

Please consider sponsoring WDNGreen!

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.

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