Wisconsin Development News Green - WDNGreen.com

This Weeks Articles...

Report: Wisconsin led nation in cuts to environmental protection since 2008
Industrial dairy farming is taking over Wisconsin`s milk production, crowding out family operations and raising environmental concerns
Targeting nitrate: DNR policy board to consider manure regulations aimed at protecting drinking water
Protest calls for climate action, announces new student coalition
Editorial: Science, not politics, must guide monitoring of water, air quality
Madison, University Of Wisconsin Collaborate To Face Down Climate Change Future
UW-Madison students petition for transition to renewable energy by 2050
Wisconsin roads panel reconvenes after 5-year hiatus
Great Lakes colleges are green with sustainability
Student calls on University of Wisconsin-River Falls to take the LEED
Southeast Wisconsin company focused on wastewater innovation raising $3M
The City Known for ‘Sewer Socialists’ Actually Has Great Sewers
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MGE Releases 2019 Environmental and Sustainability Report

Annual report features company`s strategies for achieving net-zero carbon electricity by 2050

The link in the article last week did not work
so the actual report is HERE.

MADISON, Wis.--()--Madison Gas and Electric (MGE) has published its 2019 Environmental and Sustainability Report, detailing its sustainable energy goals including net-zero carbon electricity by 2050. The report covers the company`s clean energy investments and its partnerships with customers and other stakeholders to advance sustainability through energy efficiency, new technologies and other ways.

"As your community energy company, MGE is committed to serving and working with all our customers to create a more sustainable future for the benefit of all those we serve," Chairman, President and CEO Jeff Keebler said. "Our goal reflects our vision and signals our direction, but it does not determine our pace. We`re making decisions every day to achieve deep decarbonization as quickly and cost-effectively as we can while working to ensure all customers benefit from the use of new technologies and investments in clean energy."

Report highlights...

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Ken Notes: Let`s work together to get there...

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State Offers More Money To Reduce Diesel Emissions

Expanded Program Aims To Benefit Businesses, Environment

Construction vehicles, agricultural equipment and city buses are among the diesel-powered machines that can get upgraded with the help of an expanded state program this year.

Before, the Clean Diesel Grant Program could only fund school bus upgrades and replacements. Now, with $500,000 more dollars funding the program, the state Department of Natural Resources is widening its applicant pool.

The expansion comes in response to an executive order Gov. Tony Evers signed in August, establishing climate goals for the state and mandating state agencies to tackle climate change.

Mike Friedlander, program and planning analyst with the DNR`s Bureau of Air Management, said the program is good for the environment and the businesses that participate...

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Ken Notes: While we do not want to get too far ahead of the cost value curve, school buses may be a great way to dip our toes in the electric vehicle category. Routes are usually less than 100 miles, time to charge, regeneration on breaking, room for batteries, life span is longer... A state or federal program to encourage this would be interesting... Also this is often public private partnership...

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This Pipeline Cuts Across a Reservation. Wisconsin Might Make Tribal Members Felons for Protesting It.

They could face fines of $10,000 and up to six years in jail.

For more than 60 years, one section of Enbridge’s elaborate network of pipelines carrying petroleum across Canada has taken a detour through the Bad River Reservation in northern Wisconsin.

Some of the easements that allowed Enbridge to keep its Line 5 pipeline on the tribe’s land expired in 2013, and negotiations between Enbridge and the tribe to renew the leases fell through. Yet Line 5 is still funneling Enbridge’s petroleum across the Bad River Reservation. The tribe says Enbridge is trespassing, and has sued the company to kick it off their property.

If a bill awaiting Wisconsin’s Democrat Governor Tony Evers’ signature becomes law, members of the tribe protesting Enbridge’s operations on their reservation could face fines of $10,000 and up to six years in jail...

See Also:

Pipeline bill’s backers, critics both lobby Evers as signing deadline nears

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Ken Notes: This is becoming more complex. This is tribal land so a Wisconsin law dealing with what the Tribe members can do on their land could put us in the court system for years. This law would also increase pressure for the tribes to ask Enbridge to move the pipeline. This law was not well thought out and is not even in line with the federal recommendation. The governor has a difficult decision to make here, his phone is 608-266-1212.

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National group questions CAFOs` impact on public health as more Wisconsin counties halt expansion

A national public health group is calling on federal, state, and local governments to halt approval of large livestock farms until more is known about their impacts to public health.

The American Public Health Association (APHA), along with researchers from Johns Hopkins University`s Center for a Livable Future, recently announced a new policy statement on concentrated animal feeding operations or CAFOs.

The statement advises governments and public health agencies to impose a moratorium on new and expanding CAFOs until more scientific data has been collected and public health concerns are addressed...

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Ken Notes: Can I mention that I have been saying this for several years now. Also note that there is technology to now really use large farms to produce bio gas and energy and if we then heat the effluent we end up with a much safer system product. I will send out one more cautionary note, there is a substantial lobbing effort tied to large farms so watch for new legislation protecting CAFO`s from local legislation, citing restrictions, and any required treatment of manure. Let your elected officials know that you support the small farmer, clean water, and the effective treatment of CAFO waste....

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Report: Wisconsin led nation in cuts to environmental protection since 2008

Wisconsin lawmakers cut environmental protection funding more than any other state over the past decade, according to a new study of state pollution control programs.

Adjusting for inflation, Department of Natural Resources spending on programs designed to protect public health and the environment from pollutants was cut 36% between 2008 and 2018, according to findings of the Environmental Integrity Project...

See Also:

Report: Wisconsin Cuts Largest Share Of Pollution Control Funding Than Other States


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Ken Notes: Several articles mention this nationally. Is this really the attention we want for Wisconsin. Lets become the State working with business on environmental issues...

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Help!
As you read this weeks newsletter you will see I have included articles on millions of wasteful and unnecessary expenditures. I have highlighted programs and projects that benefit our environment that many, if not most, of my readers would otherwise miss.

I can do this because a handful of companies sponsor these efforts, Specifically:


and to be honest two of them are included for free...

This year I am pleased to welcome  Kraus-Anderson, to the fold but I need more help. I am still loosing money and have room for a few more sponsors. It is fairly reasonable, or so I am told. And you can learn all you need know at the link. 

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Ken Notes: Please remember sponsors do not agree with everything I say but they support the conversation that will help keep Wisconsin pursuing an environmental policy and programs that make us strong. We have the unique opportunity to lead the nation in innovation, production, and policy it we just work together...

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All about the PFAS problem

Why the state has commissioned not just one, but two panels to examine the risks posed by the ubiquitous chemical

They’ve been a part of life for decades, used for everything from waterproofing clothing to making foam for fighting airplane and industrial fires.

But for most of that time, the class of chemicals known as PFAS escaped detection as potentially hazardous to human health. And not until the last five years or so have Wisconsin regulators begun to understand how widespread potential contamination from PFAS chemicals might be.

PFAS stands for perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of manufactured chemicals that date back as far as the 1940s. There are anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 different compounds. And there’s still not much known about them, except for several health hazards attributed to exposure.

“Everybody’s learning here as we go,” Darsi Foss, administrator of the environmental management division at the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, told the Wisconsin Examiner...

See Also:

As DNR contemplates PFAS regulation, industry seeks to narrow scope

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Ken Notes: We know it is there, what we don`t know is how to get rid of it. What we need to know is how can we affordable do this when we are way ahead of the federal government where funding will eventually come from. I get very nervous when I see companies mentioned in articles that have not clearly defined the scope of the problem.

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Environmental researchers, educators ‘speed date’ to build partnerships

At the emcee’s signal, participants flock to different tables. They quickly get down to discussing their common interests, intent on discovering whether to meet up again soon.

This is speed dating, of a sort. But while participants indeed search for new partners, romantic matches aren’t the goal.

Over appetizers on a cool fall afternoon at the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arboretum, dozens of scientists and environmental educators are hashing out collaborations that can advance research, build new partnerships, and improve the experiences of hundreds of thousands of visitors to educational sites across South Central Wisconsin.

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Ken Notes: The medical field has been doing this for years in clinical research. Many companies right here in Madison are major players in this field, Forte and EPIC come to mind. We should have a green research data base that would allow researchers to consolidate efforts and results.

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Emails to Madison leaders reveal strong opposition to $40 wheel tax

A city employee union supported Madison’s new $40 wheel tax, as did a trio of environmental groups. And an official with the statewide organization that lobbies on behalf of municipalities wished Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway “good luck” in getting her signature initiative passed.

But the vast majority of people who emailed Madison’s mayor and City Council during the 27 days between the introduction of the vehicle registration fee and its approval were decidedly less enthusiastic.

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Ken Notes: This is difficult. I guess I am in favor of "cause and effect taxation" and this wheel tax fits into this category. The Madison wheel tax will be used to improve and create mass transit. I also believe there are far more cost effective ways deal with this. Much of the demand for better transit options come from those living outside the city and this tax does not impact them.

I would love to see better "Park and Ride" options and would point out that 6,000 parking spaces sit at Alliant Energy Center unused most days, why not a park and shuttle or park and bike system on this site. We say we want to solve problems but we often ignore the solutions that are in front of us in favor of those that cost more money....

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SCS Engineers


SCS Engineers Search


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

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Industrial dairy farming is taking over Wisconsin`s milk production, crowding out family operations and raising environmental concerns
ELLISVILLE - Arlin Karnopp doesn’t drink the water in his house.?

Taped to the refrigerator is a sign that says, “Do Not Use.” He’s afraid his grandchildren will fill their cups from the ice dispenser on the door.??

Since 2015, results of his well tests show potentially harmful bacteria and nitrates. Karnopp blames manure spread by large dairy farms on a ridge next to his property...

....“I’m very disgusted," he said. "If we could only turn back the clock.”

Turning it back even five years would take Karnopp to a time when Wisconsin boasted more than 10,000 farms — most of them small, family operations passed down for generations.

Since then, a drawn-out assault of low milk prices has pummeled America`s Dairyland. More than 2,700 Wisconsin dairy farms have gone out of business. Many more face tough decisions this winter as a poor fall harvest has led to soaring prices for cattle feed....

The average size of a Wisconsin dairy farm is about 150 cows. Farms qualify as CAFOs when their milk-producing herds reach 700......
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Ken Notes:Please read this....

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`Much too divided`: Lobbyists, Capitol observers adjust to slower pace under split government

Nearly a year into divided government in Wisconsin, many lobbyists and Capitol observers say they’ve adjusted to the new reality: things are moving slower and less is getting done. 

After a decade of one-party control of the state Legislature and governor’s office, a new Democratic face in the East Wing — coupled with Republicans holding onto their legislative majorities — has brought a change of pace to the state and its legislative process

Split government isn’t unusual in Wisconsin. Before the 2009-10 session when former Gov. Jim Doyle had Democratic majorities in both houses, the state was mostly governed under divided control since at least the late 1980s. Still, lobbyists largely agree the current state of affairs differs from recent history...

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Ken Notes: Split government should not slow things down it should cause compromise -- It is not working out that way. Both sides are waiting for yet another election cycle to change the numbers. We have become too polarized in Wisconsin not to mention Nationally.

The problem with this is that we are actually in a position to do great things. Renewable energy is now cheaper that coal, we could work with China who is leading the charge to electric vehicles for everyone, we have the opportunity to become energy independent, we can affordably clean up much of environment, we can build new affordable energy efficient housing, we can improve our dairy, and farming industries, and so much more.

All this is right in front of us and yet we find things to keep us apart -- fighting and pointing fingers...

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Wisconsin Governor Evers Signs ALEC-Inspired Bill to Criminalize Protest

Wisconsin Governor Tony Evers (D) signed a bill into law Wednesday designed to criminalize and chill environmental protests, despite widespread opposition from local and national environmental and social justice groups, as well as some of Wisconsin`s federally recognized tribes.

In a press release, the Governor echoed oil and gas industry talking points, which the Center for Media and Democracy (CMD) revealed earlier, saying, "Today, I signed Assembly Bill 426, which aims to ensure each energy provider is treated the same under the law while still protecting the right to exercise free speech and the right to assembly."...

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Ken Notes: This one surprised me a little but if you were wondering if the lobbying money has an impact -- now you know. Finally you should also know that our bill was above and beyond what ALEC was actually recommending. There is language that seems to protect free speech in the actual bill but now the test will be in the courts and it may become expensive to test the line where speech becomes felony trespass.

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U.S. Gain Purchases Digesters at Two Wisconsin Dairy Farms

APPLETON, Wis., Dec. 02 /CSRwire/ - U.S. Gain®, a leader in development, procurement and distribution of renewable natural gas (RNG) announces the purchase of anerobic digesters at two Wisconsin dairy farms, S&S Jerseyland Dairy LLC and Dallmann East River Dairy LLC, to expedite RNG development for the transportation and energy markets.

U.S. Gain is currently coordinating installation of biogas clean-up equipment at both dairy farms to strip the impurities from the biogas, so it can be injected into the natural gas pipeline system. Next, U.S. Gain will pursue RNG certification through both the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the California Air Resources Board (CARB) so they can distribute through private natural gas fueling stations, their own GAIN Clean Fuel® network and other non-transportation outlets.

Jerseyland Dairy LLC

Dallmann East River Dairy LLC

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Ken Notes: What a great idea! Now if we can just get every CAFO in the state to enter the field we could become an energy production state instead of an energy purchaser state. Since I am always talking about CAFO`s take a look at two that are doing it right (above)!

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Targeting nitrate: DNR policy board to consider manure regulations aimed at protecting drinking water

In 2014, Connie Willett and her husband built a house on a 27-acre lot in the country between Green Lake and Ripon. They had a well dug and tested the water to make sure it was clean.

In the spring of 2016, Willett said, a farmer dumped liquid manure onto a field about half a mile from their home.

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Ken Notes: I am not even worried about the truckloads or the tractor loads in the photo. I am worried about the network of ten inch pipe and hoses that deliver liquid manure miles and miles from the source to fields obscure to what people can see and what DNR can detect with the sole intent of emptying the pits. This is not soil management this is equivalent to factories in the 60`s and 70`s dumping toxic waste into our waterways. These farms are lobbying heavily to remain unregulated and it is working...

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Trump promised Wisconsin`s farmers his trade wars would pay off. They`re still waiting

BLOOMER, Wis. — Marc Boettcher’s day started before dawn, when he fired up the hammer mill that ground up corn for a mixture he fed to the steers in his barn.

There was an empty room where he used to milk dairy cows until he sold them a couple of years back, but on a cold morning this summer, much of the barn was full of cattle — curious, anxious, and endearingly weird — who jostled one another to get a look at him. One left him a gift of manure in the drinking trough. Another managed to climb into the manger and stayed there, blinking, like that was the perfect spot...

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Ken Notes: We have countries like China begging for protein and yet we can not get milk prices high enough to sustain small farms. This is wrong. Make the trade wars about buying our dairy an recyclables in exchange for a market for your electronics and other consumer goods...

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Wisconsin hybrid owners are noticing a new state fee. Will they pay more overall than gas-only vehicle owners? It depends.

MERRILL — Joseph Dutton feels like he`s being punished for caring about the environment.

Dutton`s wife bought a used 2012 Toyota Prius because they wanted to use less gasoline during her 70-mile round-trip daily commute.

Dutton`s wife died two years ago, and the hybrid isn`t driven as much now. But when he went to re-register the car online in early October, he saw he would have to start paying a $75 surcharge, and he called his state legislators to ask why.

"They told me that they decided to do that because of fuel costs," Dutton said. "I wasn`t paying enough in taxes because I wasn`t burning as much fuel."

Wisconsin has technically had a $75 surcharge on gas-electric hybrids — as well as a $100 fee for electric vehicles — for two years, but the fee on hybrids was not initially collected by the state Department of Transportation because the law was written in a way that made it difficult to determine which cars qualified....

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Ken Notes: This is backwards thinking for sure. I like the cause and effect tax that fuel tax should be i.e. gas tax for roads but even this is often diverted into other programs or other regions in the state. You can not penalize someone for using less gas. Want to recoup any losses charge more gas tax, use tollways, use a wheel tax, but do not single out a specific type of vehicle. It is sort of like charging an elected officials vehicle tax, which may not be a bad idea....

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Wisconsin Regulators Study Growing Use of Electric Vehicles

The Public Service Commission, which opened an investigation into legal questions surrounding the use of electric vehicles and the role of regulators, is planning a workshop next month on breaking down barriers.

As Wisconsin regulators continue to study ways to respond to the growing use of electric vehicles, Xcel Energy is proposing programs to encourage adoption by its customers.

The Public Service Commission, which in April opened an investigation into legal questions surrounding the use of electric vehicles and the roles of utilities and regulators, is planning a workshop next month on breaking down barriers to the deployment of electric vehicles and EV charging stations.

Limited availability of public charging stations was the most frequently cited barrier to electric vehicle adoption in comments filed last summer. In a second round of comments, respondents suggested holding workshops....

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Dairyland Power Cooperative

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.

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Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts revived under Governor’s task force

The University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts will contribute climate data informing the work of a state task force charged with advising Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on climate change adaptation and mitigation.

In October, Evers established the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change in an effort to better understand the impacts of climate change on Wisconsin.

Chaired by Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes, the task force brings together state agencies and legislators, tribes, business leaders, and economic and conservation organizations from across the state — including WICCI, which is led by the UW–Madison Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR)...

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Quicfrez site cleanup report is in: Cost is more than $1 million

FOND DU LAC - Efforts to clean up a contaminated property — known as the former Quicfrez site, along the east branch of the Fond du Lac River — will cost more than $1 million.

A remedial action report developed by OMNNI Associates out of Appleton, under contract with the Department of Natural Resources, recommends removal of contaminated materials — soil, groundwater, sediment, gravel, boulders, sheet piling — to approximately 8 feet below ground surface on the 6-acre parcel.

High concentrations of diesel fuel, other petroleum-based products and heavy metals like lead, arsenic and chromium contaminated the property on which refrigerator manufacturing and storage took place for decades, beginning in 1916. The DNR said the chemicals seeped 40 to 50 feet underground and into the groundwater....

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Ken Notes: Cleanup is difficult and expensive but in most cases needs to be done. Again an opportunity for bipartisan legislative support to seek cost effective solutions with measurable outcomes. I would go one step further, tie some of the profits for the companies doing the work to a successful out come.

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Protest calls for climate action, announces new student coalition

Protestors will gather every Friday at Library mall as a part of Fridays for Future

Several student environmental organizations led a climate strike demanding climate action and clean energy on campus, they also announced the formation of a new student environemtal coalition, Friday afternoon.

The organizations also distributed petitions containing three key demands– have the University of Wisconsin run on 100% renewable energy by 2050 and have 100% of UW’s electricity come from renewable sources by 2030, open UW’s Sustainability Advisory Council meetings to students and have a plan in place from the sustainability Advisory Council by the end of January 2021...

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Ken Notes: I believe the UW can lead the way. I hope as much effort is being out into research by the students as is being put into protests...

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Wisconsin Water Utilities Point to State PFAS Challenges
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Ken Notes: Cart horse??? It is clear water utilities are not producing PFAS so I understand that there nervousness to get ahead of federal guidelines when reporting it. This is especially true if they have no way to cost effectively remove it. I also have to take note and ask why are we so far ahead of the curve on PFAS while turning a blind eye to CAFO waste. We know that our watersheds and ground water is impacted by both...

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When asked as a kid, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" I intuited there were only two possible answers: Get rich or help people. It was assumed you couldn`t do both. Fast-forward four decades to last fall when my daughter started college. As she weighed her career options in earnest, I heard myself asking her, "How important to you is making money?"

The rise in socially conscious companies?—?particularly benefit corporations and Certified B Corporations, or B Corps?—?has me hoping we`ve evolved. 

Benefit corporations, legal in Wisconsin since 2018, are essentially for-profit businesses with do-good missions baked into their bylaws. B Corps, which predate the legislation, are different. They undergo a rigorous, third-party certification process?—?think organic or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, known as LEED?—?that`s open to all types of businesses. And while certified B Corps require a bigger time investment and annual fee, the return on investment may be worth the altruistic branding alone...

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Ken Notes: Good read!

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Rollback of EPA oversight in Midwest favors polluters

SAUGET, Ill. -- Mamie Cosey and those living near this tiny, industrial village on the banks of the Mississippi River spent years wondering what poisons spewed from the three billowing stacks of a waste incinerator plant they all smell from their front porches.

Just two days before President Barack Obama left office, his Environmental Protection Agency ordered the stacks continuously monitored for arsenic, lead, mercury and other harmful metals that the 78-year-old Cosey blames for the health problems of her three great-grandchildren....

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Ken Notes: How do we remove EPA from the political yo-yo that benefits none of us. Liberal leadership creates standards that limit new business creation regardless of their pollution output while conservative leadership removes all restrictions allowing those who truly should be regulated to operate unrestricted.

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Radium found in Near West Side well; follow-up test results pending

High levels of a radioactive metal have turned up again in one of Madison’s wells.

In a sample taken in August, the radium concentration was above the federal drinking water standard in Well 19 near Picnic Point, the primary water source for most of the UW-Madison campus, including the American Family Children’s Hospital...

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Ken Notes:On a related note the number of Madison superheros has increased exponentially and both XAVIER`S SCHOOL FOR GIFTED YOUNGSTERS and AVENGERS ACADEMY, are considering remote locations in the immediate area.

If you read these comments drop me a note. Email here

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Editorial: Science, not politics, must guide monitoring of water, air quality

A report out by the Better Government Association last week should concern every Illinoisan who cares about the air we breathe and the water we drink.

The report states, among other things, that in Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency — Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio — inspections for air, water and land pollution have dropped by more than 60% in the past three years. That drop is twice as big as other regions of the U.S., which average a 30% decrease in the number of inspections.

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Ken Notes: politics is now about money, and money comes from business. So we need business to recognize the importance of a clean environment and many of them do!

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McMahon Group
McMAHON provides full-service engineering and architectural services to public and private-sector clients. We are driven by a service-oriented philosophy to achieve client satisfaction on every project.
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A battle brews in rural Wisconsin over factory farms

A community divided. A local official accused of self-dealing. A top political appointee ousted from his job. In Wisconsin, a state where the footprint of agribusiness is growing, the question of how to regulate factory farms is a pressing topic from the town hall to the statehouse. 

The issue made national news earlier this month, when the Republican-controlled state senate voted not to confirm the governor’s appointee to lead the state’s agriculture department, effectively firing him. The official, Brad Pfaff, had polarized the state’s agriculture groups by supporting stronger regulation of large-scale livestock farms.

Yet for some time before that, the debate over how to regulate huge animal farms was underway in towns and counties across the state. As the conversation continues, Wisconsin’s residents are facing a defining battle over the rights of rural residents to shape the future of their communities.

Two counties in the Northeastern corner of Wisconsin recently issued temporary moratoriums on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) in response to concerns from residents, and plan to use the pause to better evaluate the implications of inviting massive livestock farms to town....

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Ken Notes: While I applaud the efforts. Temporary often means until the Sate intervenes or new officials are elected locally. Rather than trying to delay or ban CAFOs why not require ground water and well testing and regulation that would lead to better treatment options at the source. It is nice to also see an article that really identifies why Brad was fired...

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Foxconn Smart Cities – Smart Futures competition continues
MILWAUKEE — Earlier this year, Foxconn launched the Year Two Smart Cities–Smart Futures competition, in which individuals and teams representing higher education in Wisconsin compete for financial awards, technical support and in-kind contributions.

Foxconn says ideas submitted for the competition will help improve and enhance living and working environments, manufacturing facilities and processes, promote attractive streetscapes, transportation network and living spaces, and encourage sustainability.

This past week, Foxconn announced it has narrowed the list of finalists down to 25, although the company did not publicly release the identity of the finalists...

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As Utilities Cut Carbon Emissions, Some Transitioning Faster To Renewables

Technology, Regulatory Uncertainty and Investments Play A Role

Major utilities serving Wisconsin are moving forward with plans to increase solar and wind projects as they’ve set goals to drastically reduce carbon emissions over the next several decades. But some are making the transition to renewable energy faster than others.

Minneapolis-based Xcel Energy was the first major utility to announce its commitment to transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2050. Madison-based Alliant Energy and Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group, which owns We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service, have both pledged to cut carbon emissions 80 percent from 2005 levels by 2050.

The transition to renewable energy is being driven by declining costs, customer and investor demand and anticipated policy changes on carbon emissions.

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Ken Notes: Must read! We need to help facilitate this change by working together with power companies to decommission their coal operations and bring more renewables online...

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EPA’s Updated Guidance Helpful to Buyers of Impacted WI Properties, but Wisconsin Still Lags Behind

Under current Wisconsin law, a property owner is generally liable for contamination regardless of when the pollution occurred and regardless of who caused the contamination. There are some limited exceptions for qualifying local governments, lenders, impacted neighbors and persons who obtain what is known as a Voluntary Party Liability Exemption.  But, Wisconsin does not provide “bona fide prospective purchaser”  (BFPP) protections for a buyer who wants to knowingly purchase a contaminated property for redevelopment.....

....Conclusion

While this new Guidance will be helpful to buyers of impacted properties in Wisconsin and may help shield those buyers from federal liability, Wisconsin law still presents a significant barrier to the redevelopment of contaminated properties.  The federal BFPP protection has been proven to foster redevelopment of contaminated properties and the Guidance further defines and clarifies the standards for obtaining BFPP protection.  If the redevelopment of contaminated properties is one of the goals of environmental regulation in Wisconsin, as it should be, it may be time for Wisconsin to adopt its own bona fide prospective purchaser protection program....

DNR Website here:

Environmental cleanup & brownfields redevelopment

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Ken Notes: I am a fan of brownfield redevelopment. We do not benefit Wisconsin when we abandon a site in favor of a corn field just outside the city because it is "easier"...

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Battle over proposed Wisconsin gas plant shows shift in climate fight

On a cold, rainy day in early October, five young activists calling themselves “Friends of the Climate” held a news conference outside Minnesota Power`s Duluth headquarters to voice their opposition to the Nemadji Trail Energy Center, a $700 million natural gas plant proposed to be built in neighboring Superior, Wis.

"It is my future, my generation’s future at stake here," shouted 16-year old Izzy Laderman, a student at Duluth East High School. "It makes no sense to me why they want to add another plant, except that the people in charge are so stuck in the toxic tradition of fossil fuels.”

Natural gas may be better than coal, said Elizabeth Evans, a senior at Superior High School. But “renewable energy sources are the only answer to reverse climate change and save the earth.”....

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Ken Notes: There were a lot of stories on this issue this week. My favorite was a lobbying organization pointing out that another organization was writing letters for elected officials. This is clearly the pot calling the kettle black, lobbying organizations have been writing letters, talking points, and legislation for legislators forever. In fact that is the nature of lobbying!!! Note the signs in the picture were printed for the protestors - who do you think printed them.

The gas plan proposed is controversial. It should be debated. Renewable can not replace 100% of carbon, so how should we balance the equation? Natural gas is now prevalent and cheap, that is because of fracking, gas is much cleaner than coal. Should we use gas? Should we build a few large gas plans or lots of little ones? Should energy policy be government driven, energy company driven, or market driven? Should solar and wind arrays be larger or small?

The answers are NOT EASY and we need to examine both sides from unbiased sources. I`ll see what I can do to help...

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Madison, University Of Wisconsin Collaborate To Face Down Climate Change Future

City Will Look At Infrastructure, Operations And How Climate Change Will Affect Them

The city of Madison is teaming up with the University of Wisconsin-Madison to identify the problems that come with climate change and ways to adapt to them.

Worsening climate change means the city and its staff will have to adjust to warmer temperatures, stronger storms and increased precipitation, according to a press release about the partnership.

UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts and UW-Extension Dane County will present those impacts to help the city plan proactively.

Madison Mayor Satya Rhodes-Conway said the city is already experiencing the effects of climate change in the form of severe flooding. Floods have battered communities across Wisconsin and storm damage cost the state over $233 million last year alone....

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UW-Madison students petition for transition to renewable energy by 2050

MADISON (WKOW) -- A group of students at UW-Madison are calling on the University to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

During a day of global climate action, students and community members gathered at Library Mall to strike against climate change.

Campus Leaders for Energy Action Now (CLEAN) announced a petition demanding the university transition exclusively to renewable energy by 2050, and derive all electrical power from renewable resources by 2030.

The petition also called on university leaders to open up meetings of the Sustainability Advisory Council to students of the University and come up with a plan of action from the council by the end of January 2021 to reach the energy goals...

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Ken Notes: On my radio show last Saturday I was talking about this and suggested we should work with the energy companies to get there by 2050. A caller suggested we should take over or "Socialize" the energy companies and make them 100% green tomorrow. While I appreciate her enthusiasm, if we are not willing to work on these issues is a somewhat reasonable manner I question whether we can get there at all...One more time, if you want to facilitate change, seek a seat at the table.

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Milwaukee Common Council Bans Plastic Straws

Ordinance Will Go Into Effect In April 2020 If Signed By Mayor

The city of Milwaukee is following the trend of limiting access to plastic straws, but they aren’t issuing a strict ban.

On Tuesday, the Milwaukee Common Council approved an ordinance that would prohibit the city’s food and beverage establishments from handing out plastic straws to customers. The only exception will be for people with limited physical abilities who may ask for a plastic straw.

The policy sponsored by Alder Cavalier Johnson, met little opposition during the Common Council meeting. Only Alder Bob Donovan opposed the ordinance and did not express the reasoning behind his disapproval. 

According to Johnson, Milwaukee’s ban on single-use plastic straws is similar to bans adopted in other cities and municipalities across the nation...
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Ken Notes: The only issue I nave with this is that straws came to our attention because of one sea turtle image and now we are not addressing the issue of containers, cups, packaging, utensils and the other billions of pounds we toss each year. Remember the "six pack ring"??? same thing...

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Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council


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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In Chicago and across the Midwest, Trump’s EPA inspecting polluters less, cutting staff

The number of people working in the federal environmental agency’s Chicago region has hit an all-time low. So has the number of inspections — down 60% since the president took office...


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Ken Notes: Interesting story, but I will bet that there is another side to it. Our environment should not be a political football it should be an issue we work on together.

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State of Wisconsin joins suit against the EPA

Attorney General Kaul announced Monday the State of Wisconsin joined a coalition of 24 states and 2 cities in filing a lawsuit opposing the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) attempt to revoke the portions of a waiver it granted California in 2013 that permit the state to implement its greenhouse gas (GHG) and zero emission vehicle (ZEV) standards. The action, filed in the D.C. Circuit, is part of the coalition’s ongoing fight to protect the ability of states to adopt California’s Advanced Clean Car Standards. These standards are followed, in whole or in part, by 13 other states and are a key part of state efforts to protect public health and the environment...

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Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago Conference Discusses Ag Solutions to Environmental Issues

Years ago, Kevin Mahalko remembers his father talking about being able to see great northern pike in the crystal clear water of northern Wisconsin’s Yellow River. 

But now? The Gilman, Wisconsin, dairy farmer says rivers are “…just filled with chocolate water. Not chocolate, but soil,” Mahalko says. “It’s more than a little change. It’s something we have to fix.” 

A slate of speakers attending the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago’s annual Agriculture Conference addressed the effects and impacts of agriculture on the environment on November 20...

...PCM work shows that in many cases, 160 to 180 pounds of nitrogen per acre tends to be an adequate amount to maximize profitability and reduce nitrogen runoff....

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Ken Notes: Good read, clearly outlines the issues...

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OPINION Editorial: Science must guide water, air quality — not politics

A report out by the Better Government Association should concern every Illinoisan who cares about the air we breathe and the water we drink.

The report says, among other things, that in Region 5 of the Environmental Protection Agency — Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Indiana, Michigan and Ohio — inspections for air, water and land pollution have dropped by more than 60% in the past three years. That drop is twice as big as other regions of the U.S., which average a 30% decrease in the number of inspections.

The report by BGA reporter Brett Chase adds that there are about 150 fewer scientists, technicians and other employees in the Chicago headquarters of Region 5 than before the Trump Administration took office...

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Ken Notes: Eve worse it is a money issue...

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Wisconsin roads panel reconvenes after 5-year hiatus

MADISON, Wis. — A bipartisan commission tasked with making recommendations on what major Wisconsin road projects should move forward met for the first time in half a decade on Friday.

The Transportation Projects Commission did not recommend any new projects at its meeting, but Wisconsin Department of Transportation Secretary Craig Thompson said it would consider new projects, and how to pay for them, at future meetings.

Gov. Tony Evers, who convened and presided over the meeting, proposed raising the gas tax by 8 cents a gallon in his state budget this year to pay for road improvements. Republicans who control the Legislature rejected that proposal, instead relying on a mixture of cash, borrowing and higher fees to pay for about $465 million road spending...

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Ken Notes: Yea!

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In Effort to Avoid Rock Salt, States Look to Briny Solutions

As the snows start to fall, many northern states are mixing up some nice saltwater brine to keep their roads safe.

Concerned about the environmental impact and rising cost of rock salt, Wisconsin recently ordered up high-capacity brine machines that allow a smaller amount of salt dissolved in water to be sprayed directly on the road, instead of dry salt that tends to bounce off the pavement...

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Ken Notes: National attention...

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Great Lakes colleges are green with sustainability

Great Lakes colleges fared well on recent separate lists from the Sierra Club magazine and the Princeton Review that ranked the top green colleges of the United States and Canada.

The Sierra Club ranked five Great Lakes colleges in its top 100 — SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (#3), Grand Valley State University (#59), Michigan State University (#66), University of Michigan (#71) and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (#92).

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Miron Construction

Miron Construction News Search

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

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UW to sign environmental Resilience Commitment

Climate Action Plan to mitigate issues caused by climate change.

Chancellor Rebecca Blank announced that the University of Wisconsin would be signing the Resilience Commitment administered by Massachusetts-based nonprofit, Second Nature, at the Climate Fast Forward Conference last Friday.

UW Director of Sustainability Missy Nergard, said Second Nature has three commitments: a climate commitment, a carbon commitment and the resilience commitment. Nergard said the resilience commitment focuses on creating long term solutions to the problems caused by climate change...

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Wisconsin DNR says "No" to Johnson Controls International

MILWAUKEE (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources is rejecting a plan from a unit of Johnson Controls International that calls for the agency rather than the company to determine the extent of pollution from firefighting foam around Marinette.

   Tyco Fire Products, a unit of Johnson Controls, has been testing firefighting foam in the area for decades.

   The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports that Tyco has proposed that the DNR assess the extent of contamination because the department is better positioned to obtain permission from landowners and government agencies to access land for testing.

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Ken Notes: I really need someone to explain this to me. I think we need to work as a team to address this issue and we seem not to have the leadershop in place to do this....

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Eau Claire Leaders Hope Everyone In City Eventually Drives Electric Cars

Goal Is Part Of City`s Carbon Neutrality Pledge By 2050

As part of a plan to become carbon neutral by 2050, the city of Eau Claire has a goal of having everyone eventually driving electric vehicles. 

Eau Claire City Council Member Kate Beaton said the city is already taking steps.

"We’re looking at electrifying our fleet, our police vehicles, our snowplows and city buses. But our goal also includes electrifying every car in the city of Eau Claire. That means investing in charging stations and making it easier for people to own an electric car," said Beaton. "It also means energy conservation when it comes to transportation and investing in infrastructure that makes it easier for people to not use their car, which obviously is good for our carbon goals but also the community’s health."

Last year, Eau Claire became the first city in Wisconsin to approve a goal of carbon neutrality by 2050. ...


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States Turn to Programs, Legislation to Boost Conservation Funding

Wisconsin`s wetlands are in trouble. Soil experts have estimated that the state once held about 10 million acres of the habitat, which supports 75% of local wildlife, but human development has reduced that area by roughly half. Last year, Republican Gov. Scott Walker signed a construction-friendly bill that removed state protections on some 1 million acres, and in September, the Trump administration rolled back Clean Water Act protections, a move the state`s Secretary of Natural Resources said could threaten rare plant life, important fish species and drinking water quality...

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Senior Tiffany Clark digs Badgers volleyball but also passionate about the environment

Climate change deniers and environmental scofflaws be forewarned, Tiffany Clark is coming after you. And she plans to do so with the same ferocity she brings to hunting down digs for the University of Wisconsin volleyball team.

Clark’s immediate priority is to help the No. 7 Badgers (17-5, 13-1 Big Ten) realize their lofty aspirations this season, beginning with Thursday night’s showdown with No. 5 Minnesota (19-3, 13-1) in a battle for first place in the conference.

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Student calls on University of Wisconsin-River Falls to take the LEED

RIVER FALLS, Wis. — Plans call for a science and technology building at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls to be state of the art.

The proposed Science and Technology Innovation Center would include a dedicated makerspace and high-tech laboratory facilities where students and faculty would tackle projects in a building meant to foster relationships with private business

....It’s a high standard and Kassem is reaching for the very top — a LEED platinum designation. Mark Klapatch, sustainability/facilities manager for the university, said that would involve analysis of the building site, construction materials and ongoing sustainability operations once it’s built....

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Notes:LEED certification is a great goal but can be expensive. Remember there are dozens of ways you can make your project mor environmentally friendly. Ask your architect or construction company for ideas and the cost and return for each. Doing nothing is the worst sin here....

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Southeast Wisconsin company focused on wastewater innovation raising $3M

Aqua Innovation`s nutrient concentration system technology reclaims water and other nutrients from raw cow manure while eliminating pathogens.

You may find this article behind a paywall, but the website for the company is here:

aquainnovationsllc.com/

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Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council

WI Sustainable Business Council Search


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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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Ken`s Electric Automotive Stories
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Ken Notes: look at the LA auto story if nothing else...

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A Nation Run by Billionaires and Lobbyists

In 1961, I left Greece for the United States. The reason for that life-changing decision was education. The University of Illinois and the University of Wisconsin welcomed me and gave me a free education. I earned my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Illinois and my doctorate from Wisconsin...

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Ken Notes: Great read, but alas no one reads these articles and even fewer will publish them...

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Legal bills for taxpayers hit $2.3 million in court fight over Wisconsin`s lame-duck laws

MADISON - Wisconsin`s court fight over the state`s lame-duck laws has cost taxpayers $2.3 million in outside legal fees.  

That figure will go up because not all the bills are in and some of the five cases that have been filed against the laws are ongoing. 

A separate string of lawsuits this year has cost taxpayers another $290,000. In those cases, Republican lawmakers have tried to get involved in lawsuits against the state, to mixed results....

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Ken Notes:ARGHhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Thump, thump, thump (head against wall).

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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
Focus on
Wisconsin



The Water Council


Restore
WSBC
WI Sustainable Business Council


Sustain Dane




Midwest Energy
News


Focus on Energy

Renew
Renew Wisconsin



Clean Wisconsin


MADISUN SOLAR ENERGY PROGRAM


Search News
nhlt
Natural Heritage
Land Trust



University of Wisconsin Sustainable Management


USGBC Wisconsin

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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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UW study says `hidden overharvest` contributing to decline of walleye population

A new study by UW-Madison researchers says Wisconsin needs to change its approach to walleye management to halt decades of “hidden overharvest.”

A coveted trophy for anglers, a supper club mainstay and a staple of traditional Ojibwe diets, the cool-water fish has suffered a nearly three-decade decline as climate change and development have taken their toll on its habitat...

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Ken Notes: Great read on a very difficult issue...

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With mushroom-blended burger, UW-Madison takes another small step toward sustainable dining
As University of Wisconsin-Madison dining halls continue to take steps toward environmental sustainability without sacrificing taste, a new burger blend with 70% beef, 30% mushrooms is showing up around campus this year.

The move reflects a trend across college campuses, where students are becoming increasingly concerned about what goes into their food...

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Ken Notes: And they taste good....

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The City Known for ‘Sewer Socialists’ Actually Has Great Sewers

Milwaukee now averages a mere 2.4 combined sewer overflows a year, thanks to a massive underground tunnel, green infrastructure, and flood-control measures.

“Sewer socialists” was a pejorative label applied to the leftists who governed Milwaukee during the early 20th century and often boasted about their achievements in sanitation. One hundred years later, the city’s sewerage system is a source of pride again. Joel Brammier, the executive director of the Alliance for the Great Lakes, has hailed the “astounding” performance of the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District (MMSD) at stopping overflows, while Adam Krantz, CEO of the National Association of Clean Water Agencies, described the leadership of MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer as “the gold standard.”...

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Ken Notes: It is an impressive system. Good read...

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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:

www.WDNGreen.com/tools/

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ABOUT - Wisconsin Development GREEN News
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...

Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at]  KenHarwood.com
608.334.2174

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Ideas for Consideration - Please forward, share and discuss!

An agenda for the new administration...


An overriding principal - Restore Wisconsin to the bipartisan national environmental leadership it once enjoyed...


  • Building and Design

    • Work with developers, architects, communities, and business to ensure the highest and most cost effective Green building practices are used in new development.
    • Expedite projects who guarantee the best environmental practices and make sure the systems are in place to ensure this. Trust but Verify.
    • Avoid costly mandates and restrictions that will move businesses to other states or regions.
  • Mining

    • Explore the restoration of the sulfide mining moratorium or...
    • Work with counties to create and enforce new mining regulations, restrictions and enforcement.
    • Delay approval of any new mines until counties have their regulation policies in place.
    • Restore DNR environmental staff and expertise to levels that can review any requests in a timely manner.
    • Require a site reclamation fund be established from the onset of any approved project with a plan in place for complete site reclamation.
    • Allow municipalities to enact special utilities in lieu of or in addition to regular taxes for issues like impact on roads, utilities, infrastructure, and public safety.
  • Renewable Energy and Fuels

    • Work with the utilities, business and communities to encourage the use of renewables, reduced carbon output, and better reporting and measurement.
    • Establish a PSC willing to work with business and power companies while progressing to a lower carbon renewable future.
    • Do not impose legislative mandates on renewables but rather incentivize use of new technologies while maintaining an open dialogue among all parties involved.
  • Our Watersheds and the Great Lakes

    • Become a strong partner in Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
    • If water is removed from the watershed, require that it be returned cleaner that it was taken. Again make sure DNR has the resources to monitor and ensure this policy.
  • Land Use and Transmission / Pipe Lines

    • Require the need and or profit for new systems to Wisconsin citizens. If a system like tar sand or electricity is for other states or regions, require that the land uses benefits all citizens in our state in lower utility costs, additions public facilities and reduced air and water pollution.
    • Require that any new system create an environmental offset equal to or greater than the land they take. This can be done in two ways: One additional Parks, Public Lands, Trails, Access to Waterways, Etc. OR Two reduced carbon emissions through the elimination or older less efficient production facilities or the conversion to renewable or exponentially lower emission fuels.
  • CAFO`s and Agricultural Issues

    • Address and regulate CAFO`s like the "cities" that they are.
    • Develop regulations and controls to address the scale of effluent that these facilities produce.
    • Consider using CAFO`s as a model for new waste treatment like digestion and pasteurization.
    • Preserve the small farm in Wisconsin by encouraging sound environmental practices in a cost effective way.
    • Work with all farms, businesses, and communities to improve watersheds, runoff and source point pollution focusing on results rather that penalties or mandates.
  • Transit and Mass Transit

    • Improve our transit and shipping corridors like rail and interstate access to encourage Wisconsin to become an efficient  distribution hub for the Midwest.
    • Encourage communities to adopt new and more efficient mass transit systems.
    • Encourage the use of more efficient buses, trucks and vehicles in the state.
  • ECO Tourism

    • Explore ECO Tourism as an option to preserve our vast agricultural heritage and natural waterways and woodlands.
    • Allow ECO TIF financing to pair tourism development with land and watershed preservation.
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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.

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WELCOME to WDNews GREEN!
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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Development Matters with Ken Harwood
Each week Ken will review economic development, job creation, environmental trends, and social issues in the Wisconsin. He will try to discuss issues from a sound business perspective and he will encourage his guests to do the same. He will offer alternative solutions from experts, pundits, and politicians, and then examine the economic realities behind them.

Ken notes, "The idea is simple, if we can discuss problems and solutions without pointing fingers or calling each other names we may get Wisconsin back on track, because it has damn sure derailed over the years".

Ken brings decades of political experience and journalism to the table and will call on a long list of friends, colleagues, and associates to address ideas, solutions and funding on hundreds of issues facing Wisconsin today.

Listen Live Saturday fron 10AM until Noon
On 92.7 FM Madison or 1510 AM Milwaukee

or online at Talk927FM.com

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