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This Weeks Articles...


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Here at Brightmark, we are big on solving big waste problems.

And one of those waste problems has been staring us in the face for a long time. In fact, you’ve probably seen it yourself, but failed to notice the issue. But the next time you drive by a marina, pay attention to how much shrink wrap covers the boats in dry dock.

That shrink wrap is the problem, but Brightmark has the solution.

Thanks to a pilot program with Dry Dock Marina in Angola, Indiana – and supported by the Northeast Indiana Solid Waste Management District -- we have figured out a way to recycle the shrink wrap and turn it into transportation fuel and wax at our plastics renewal facility.

The wrap, which is similar in structure to heavy duty garbage bags you buy in the supermarket, are difficult to recycle because they are contaminated and seasonal. Our recycling process turns it into fuel sold to BP and reentered into the transportation fuel pool in the Midwest. An example of a circular economy, if you will...


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Northeastern Wisconsin manure spill...

Northeastern Wisconsin manure spill thinning as it nears bay


Ken Notes: Why does not one article mention that Betley Farms was a CAFO with 1500+ head on site. We can fix this by requiring CAFO`s with 1,000+ head digest their manure and heat the effluent. It can, and is, being done right here in Wisconsin. I have been extremely worried about this happening in Wisconsin and I believe it will happen again....

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Jennifer Shilling Joins Dairyland Power Cooperative

Dairyland Power Cooperative has named Jennifer Shilling to the position of Government Relations Manager, effective June 1, 2020.

“Dairyland is pleased to add Jennifer Shilling to our government relations team,” said Barbara Nick, President and CEO. “Jennifer’s record of service to the people of western Wisconsin is well known, including her positive, proven ability to work with lawmakers of both parties.  Those capabilities will be an asset to Dairyland’s cooperative membership, as we continue to work for safe, sustainable and reliable power in our four-state service area.”

Shilling will be an integral part of Dairyland’s government relations team, developing and implementing Dairyland’s legislative, regulatory and member relations strategies at the state and federal level...


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770 N. Water St. tower is getting a green roof this week
This week, the more than 6,000-square-foot roof at 770 N. Water St. is getting a green makeover.

Designed by Milwaukee`s New Eden Landscape Architecture, the roof uses vegetated trays atop an open drainage board that helps facilitate drainage on a flat roof like the one on the the 1968 office building, which is on the way to getting a full interior rehab.

The roof covers a bit more than half the roof, leaving room for necessary building mechanicals.

Ken Notes: Great idea, great story! Between solar and vegetated trays we should strive to cover every roof in Wisconsin. For the business readers both of these techs are COST EFFECTIVE...

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Wisconsin’s Kenosha Selected as Next Region for Major Investment Under the Beverage Industry’s Every Bottle Back Initiative

Kenosha, WI – America’s leading beverage companies and their environmental and sustainability partners announced today that the city of Kenosha is the latest locale selected for investment under Every Bottle Back, a breakthrough initiative to improve the collection and recycling of plastic bottles.

The $520,000 investment will help more than 32,000 households convert from an outdated plastic bag recycling system to 96-gallon, curbside recycling carts. This modernization will support the automation of recycling collection so that carts will be lifted and dumped into trucks via an automated arm, upgrading from the city’s current labor intensive, manual collection of bags. 

Currently, Kenosha’s recyclable materials are sent to a materials recovery facility (MRF) that does not accept bagged recyclables, resulting in unnecessary landfilling of valuable materials, including recyclable plastic bottles. Over the next 10 years, this investment is estimated to yield 54 million pounds of new recyclables, including 2.1 million new pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET)...

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Alliant Energy sets goals for net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, no coal by 2040

Utility provider accomplishes 30 percent carbon-free goal 10 years early

Alliant Energy is seeking to have net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, along with the elimination of coal from its facilities by 2040, the company announced Wednesday morning in its corporate responsibility report.

“It’s a big statement,” said Jeff Hanson, director of environmental services and corporate sustainability for Alliant.

It doesn’t necessarily mean Alliant is aiming to stop all use of fossil fuels by 2050, Hanson said.

“There still may be some fossil-based generation — natural gas generation most likely,” Hanson said. “But any CO2 emissions that are released by those sites would be offset.”

Alliant already has been reducing its coal footprint, announcing two months ago the closure of a coal plant in eastern Wisconsin.

Ken Notes:Thank you! What a great commitment. Working together we can do great things....

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Hot summer warming up Lake Michigan, experts say

The average surface water temperature was 75.3 degrees on July 9, setting a record for the month based on 26 years of record keeping, government scientists said.

The summer high is 75.6 degrees recorded in August 2016, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration or NOAA.

That mark likely will be broken this year, said scientist Andrea Vanderwoude of NOAA`s Great Lakes Environmental Research Lab...


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Climate Change May Help Asian Carp Thrive in Lake Michigan
New research shows that climate change may make it easier for Asian carp to grow and thrive in Lake Michigan if the invasive fish is introduced into the Great Lakes. The study, published Wednesday in the journal Biological Invasions, finds that warming would likely create less competition for food from invasive mussels.

Researchers also found increasing phosphorus pollution was the most influential factor in suitable habitat for bighead and silver carp. The research builds on a study released last year that found Asian carp could become more widely established in the lake.

Zebra and quagga mussels were first discovered in the Great Lakes around 30 years ago, and they were thought to be a potential barrier that could prevent the voracious Asian carp from gaining a stronghold if introduced into Lake Michigan because both the fish and the mussels compete for the same food source – algae and plankton...

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Sort of a Good Band and Ugly Story...

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Kraus-Anderson Construction Company

When Kraus-Anderson began the development process for its new corporate headquarters building in downtown Minneapolis, company leadership determined the guiding principle used throughout the project would be “cost-effective sustainability.” This principle has influenced all decision-making with regard to space planning for customers and employees; building components, systems, and technology; and construction means and methods.  As a result, the building is on track to achieve LEED certification for sustainability....


Ken Notes:KA is leading by example...

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Local couple`s fund distributes nearly $2.4 million in grants
The estate of a De Pere couple continues to make a difference in Northeast Wisconsin.

The David L. and Rita E. Nelson Family Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region awarded $2,362,100 in grants to local and state nonprofit organizations in July.

They include:...

Ken Notes: Thank you!!!

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Wisconsin must close coal plants now, not decades from now
Dear Editor: Wisconsin’s number one focus should be to shut down all of the coal plants by 2030. As we see the effects of climate change continue to negatively impact our environment, the worst thing we could do is hold off these closings. Coal seriously affects our air quality and I have personally seen the negative effects on my family: my sister and father who struggle with asthma and my grandmother who lives with COPD. Why continue to hurt the health of the people in our state when we can transition to safer, cheaper, and cleaner energy?...

Ken Notes: She is half right, but business, the power companies, and our communities need to be at the table. If we mandate change without understanding what we need to do to provide affordable energy 24/7 we will get push back that will delay our conversion which is very much on track now.

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Environmental Groups Argue Details Are Missing On Proposed Wisconsin Pipeline Relocation

Enbridge Says More Information Will Be Provided To Regulators About Line 5 Route

Multiple environmental groups say a Canadian energy firm hasn`t provided enough information for state regulators to decide whether to grant waterway and wetlands permits for a proposed pipeline relocation project in northern Wisconsin. Regulators and the company say details have yet to be submitted and reviewed.

But the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources said it`s made a tentative decision to approve the permits with modifications.

Enbridge Inc. is proposing a roughly 40-mile reroute of Line 5 outside the Bad River Reservation in Ashland and Iron counties that would cross more than 180 waterbodies and temporarily impact at least 109 acres of wetlands. Enbridge is looking to move its pipeline after the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa filed a lawsuit to shut down and remove Line 5 from the tribe`s reservation...


Ken Notes: Again for the record I am not a fan of this reroute. We need to work with the tribes to replace the old lines...

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Chimney swifts are disappearing in Wisconsin; fixing up your home is one way to help

If you hear something that sounds like gremlins chattering in your old brick chimney this July, don`t panic — you probably just have baby chimney swifts. 

After a long day spent snapping up insects and flying through the summer sky, chimney swifts return home, helicoptering down brick chimneys to chicks waiting in a teacup-sized nest of twigs glued together with spit. 

Watching these aerial acrobatics is "a special treat," according to Stanley Temple, an emeritus professor of conservation at the University of Wisconsin-Madison...


Ken Notes: These and the swallows and bats eat pounds of insects, so keeping them around is a good thing...

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Sierra Club kicking off week of climate action
The Wisconsin chapter of the Sierra club is kicking off a week of climate action starting Monday.

Members of the environmental organization said pollution from coal is making more people susceptible to bad outcomes during the COVID-19 pandemic. They said even when the pandemic is over the effects for those impacted will remain.

“It’s quite notable how the pandemic has exacerbated pollution,” said Victoria Gillet, a member of The John Muir Chapter, the Wisconsin branch of the Sierra Club.

The primary goal of the JMC’s week of action is to address the impacts coal and other pollutants have on the environment.

Gillet said she also wants people to understand that coal is costly not only to the environment but to people’s health and finances as well...

Ken Notes: Glad to see this effort, but I am worried about this becoming a partisan issue. I want to go back to the beginning and follow Gaylord Nelson`s vision, “Our goal is not just an environment of clean air and water and scenic beauty. The objective is an environment of decency, quality and mutual respect for all other human beings and all other living creatures.”

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Blue-green algae spotted in North Central Wisconsin

Algae blooms spread easily in the heat and move around the top of the water, making it essential for swimmers, fishermen, and boaters to be on the lookout.

North Central Wisconsin has spotted its first case of blue-green algae of the year on the Big Eau Pleine Reservoir.

This common type of algae also known as cyanobacteria can produce toxins that are both harmful to humans and deadly to animals if ingested.

The Marathon County Parks and Recreation Department put out a warning for the algae earlier this week.

The algae blooms spread easily in the heat and move around the top of the water, making it essential for swimmers, fishermen, and boaters to be on the lookout. The algae has been known to be multicolored and makes the water look like pea soup at times.

Health officials say that water that may be infected should be avoided at all costs, as even airborne toxins can be harmful.

Ken Notes: I know you are tired of hearing me beat the drum of the dangers of CAFO`s but From another article, "Jette-Nantel spoke recently at a land-value seminar in... He said there are almost 300 Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations in Wisconsin – big farms with more than 1,000 animal units. Having one in relatively close proximity resulted in about a $400-per-acre farmland sales-price premium, according to an analysis of actual land sales during the first half of 2017 in Marathon County, Wisconsin.

Marathon County Has new CAFO`s and new algae problems and this is NOT a coincidence...

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Sierra Club scrutinizes founder John Muir`s racist views; Wisconsin chapter reconsidering name

In an effort to confront its own racist origins and foster a more inclusive environment, the Sierra Club is taking a hard look at some of its most revered icons, including founder John Muir, namesake of the Wisconsin chapter.

In an essay posted to the group’s website Wednesday, executive director Michael Brune said it’s time to recognize the 128-year-old environmental organization’s past and continued harms to Indigenous, Black and other people of color...


Ken Notes: There is probably good and evil in all of us. I hope the environment can be the great equalizer. I mentioned before that in our campgrounds and parks all race and socioeconomic differences seem to melt away. This is the energy, acceptance, and understanding we need in our cities.

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Challenges remain in Fox River, despite $1.3 billion removal of 3.5 million tons of toxic sediment
The EPA and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources had identified ... acquired NCR`s liability for environmental wrong-doing when it bought NCR`s ..

Ken Notes: I really want to read this article, bu alas a paywall prevents it.

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House passes bipartisan public lands bill; next stop president’s desk

WASHINGTON — Major environmental legislation sailed through Congress Wednesday while the nation’s political leaders were stuck in intense negotiations over the contours of a fifth coronavirus relief package.

The bill would provide $9.5 billion over five years to pay down the National Park Service’s maintenance backlog and provide permanent funding at $900 million per year for the Land and Water Conservation Fund, which supports natural areas and recreation activities. 

It was sponsored by the late U.S. Rep. John Lewis of Georgia, a civil rights giant who passed away last week. 

The U.S. House approved the bill by a vote of 310 to 107. The bill had broad bipartisan support, with 228 Democrats and 81 Republicans voting for it. Voting against were 104 Republicans, two Democrats — Reps. Cedric Richmond of Louisiana and Peter Visclosky of Indiana — and one Independent, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan   ...more

Ken Notes: We can work together, at least some of us can...

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Arsenic, PFAS Contaminated Water Spill in Marinette

A Marinette manufacturer of firefighting foam is cleaning up a spill of contaminated water containing arsenic and so-called “forever chemicals” known as PFAS.

Tyco Fire Products, part of Johnson Controls International, reported the spill to the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources on Sunday around 9 p.m., according to a DNR release.

Company officials said a mixture of river water and contaminated groundwater at its 1 Stanton St. facility was accidentally released, making its way into storm water drains that flow into the Menominee River.

A spokesperson for Johnson Controls said they promptly notified the agency of a water line break that occurred on Sunday...


Ken Notes: Can we reach out and work with Johnson Controls on this issue rather than throw them under the bus...

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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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Chinese Electric Cars Will Take Over The World – If We Let Them
A few years ago, the cars coming out of China were the object of derision. They were either obvious copies of popular Western models, or they were utterly ridiculous. The Land Wind X7 was the spitting image of a Range Rover Evoque, the CH Auto Lithia Sports bore an uncanny resemblance to the Audi R8, and the rather lengthily named Dongfeng EQ2050 Brave Soldier could easily have been mistaken for an American military Humvee. On the other hand, the Li Shi Guang Ming The Book Of Songs didn’t just have a silly name; its looks were so bizarre even a cartoon character would have been embarrassed to drive one.   ...more

Ken Notes: I have been writing about this for years now, if we are not proactive China has plans to skip an entire generation of auto technology and enter the world markets with state of the art next generation electric vehicles. Don`t think it can happen, I`m old and I remember when we thought Japanese cars we laughable - Who`s Laughing now???

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Proposed mine faces mounting troubles

Back Forty Mine along Wisconsin border faces insufficient funding, increasing opposition.

The controversial proposed Back Forty open pit metallic sulfide mine on the Michigan-Wisconsin border has suffered major financial and permitting setbacks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and increasing public concerns over the safety of tailings dams to store mine waste. The proposed mine, would be located next to the Menominee River, which flows into Lake Michigan, and has raised concerns about potential pollution.

Ken Notes:Good, but remember the strategy of the companies behind this will be to wait for the tides to change then move forward when their is less resistance. Especially when they can invest is support at all levels of government.

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OPINION: Speak out about our waters

Dear Editor,

Wisconsin has had a proud history of protecting our natural resources. In the past, state and national leaders from both parties have recognized the value of its water and other natural resources.

Today, protection of our natural resources is under attack by the Trump administration. The EPA has targeted 100 environmental regulations to be rolled back for the express purpose of empowering commercial exploitation at the expense of our environment. In March, a new EPA rule dramatically weakened the landmark Clean Water Act of 1973. More than 42 million acres of wetlands —about half the country’s total — will no longer be protected...


Ken Notes: Well said but the environment is not high on any candidates radar screen these days...

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Gathering Waters names Wisconsin’s 2020 Land Conservation Leadership Award winners

Gathering Waters: Wisconsin’s Alliance for Land Trusts announces the winners of Wisconsin’s 2020 Land Conservation Leadership Awards. Each award recognizes an individual or individuals, land trust, partnership or other conservation group that demonstrates outstanding commitment, accomplishment and leadership in protecting Wisconsin’s special places.

“We’re thrilled to recognize the achievements of these remarkable conservation leaders,” said Mike Carlson, executive director at Gathering Waters. “Each of the award winners has made a positive impact in their communities through their dedication to protecting Wisconsin’s land, water, wildlife and way of life. Their work has provided tangible benefits to the people living and working in Wisconsin.”

The award with a Harold “Bud” Jordahl Distinction honors a nominee involved in extraordinary land conservation projects and accomplishments throughout their career.

This year’s Harold “Bud” Jordahl Lifetime Achievement Award winner is Peter McKeever of Monona. His passion for land protection and his skills as an attorney have made a lasting contribution to land conservation across Wisconsin.?..


Ken Notes: Congrats!!!!

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UMD researchers identify factors causing algae blooms on Lake Superior

Algae blooms on Lake Superior have caused a lot of public concern in recent years and now researchers from UMD believe they know why they`ve been happening.

Although there`s no evidence of toxicity in Lake Superior blooms so far, they are monitoring it closely to see what triggers these blooms.

"We`ve seen either small or large blooms of a blue green algae along the south shore of Lake Superior between the Twin Ports and the Apostle Islands. This falls under the general subject of harmful algal blooms," said Bob Sterner, the director of UMD`s Large Lakes Observatory and the lead researcher of these blooms...


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Court Orders EPA to Redo Ozone Findings in Five States
A federal appeals court ruled Friday that the EPA erred when it found at least seven counties in five states were meeting federal ozone limits, and the court ordered the agency to rework the designations for all the challenged areas using the latest science.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, in a per curiam decision, sided with multiple environmental groups led by Clean Wisconsin. The groups claimed the Environmental Protection Agency didn’t follow its own scientific and technical record when it decided many counties nationwide had met the 2015 ozone pollution standard of 70 parts per billion.

“It’s a big win for public health and the environment,” said Ann Weeks, senior attorney for Clean Air Task Force, who argued the case on behalf of Clean Wisconsin in November. “The court recognized these decisions should have been made on science grounds and rational bases, and not arbitrarily on political considerations.”.

The court said the EPA has to redo the designations “as expeditiously as practicable” for all but one of a dozen areas that were subject to the legal challenge, including Racine County, Wis...

See Also:

Court rules EPA must reassess air pollution designations in Illinois, elsewhere


Ken Notes: I am not sure this is a win, it will be interesting to see the new results. Also we must work with businesses to create reasonable standards that let them bring new cleaner companies into the mix. Now we simply force these to go to a neighboring community or overseas. This is a global problem and requires global solutions.

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DOJ obtains environmental restoration judgment for Dodge Co. petroleum contamination
The Department of Justice has obtained a judgment requiring a complete environmental restoration and payment of $100,000 for petroleum contamination at a former Dodge County bulk petroleum-storage center.   ...more

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Plastics add convenience but contribute greatly to environmental woes

A University of Wisconsin Oshkosh professor says American’s addiction to convenience is helping drive the explosion of plastic used in virtually all consumer goods.

Melissa Bublitz, associate professor of marketing at UWO and an affiliate with UWO’s Sustainability Institute for Regional Transformations, was a panelist recently with alumnus Peter Christensen ’10, a chemist working on plastics recycling at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab.

They led a virtual discussion related to The Story of Plastic documentary that depicts how plastic pollution is smothering the oceans and polluting communities around the world...


Ken Notes: Two notes here, one, China is no longer buying our recyclables which exasperates this problem. And two, the paper industry is advancing new technology that could help.

Also the United States should consider a federal packaging tax to offset the cost of landfills and recycling. They could actually charge a little more on imports than domestic products and could fund much of the waste disposal and reuse industries. Not a new tax because we pay for these thing now with little cause and effect options.

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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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USFO, professors ‘cautiously optimistic’ with Thompson appointment

Professors and the UWO faculty union are remaining “cautiously optimistic” on the appointment of former Gov. Tommy Thompson as interim UW System president, and hope that he will lead the System in a more positive direction.

UW System Board of Regents president Andrew Peterson announced on June 19 that former Thompson will serve as interim president of the UW campuses. Thompson’s appointment was effective on July 1...


Ken Notes: Two notes, One Tommy will bring everyone into the room to discuss issues. He will hold the reigns on spending but he will balance that with creating the best UW System he can. Two, He understands environmental policy and I believe he will bring UW System into creating and advocating for better environmental policy for our future...

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Spilled coal from derailed train could cause environmental issues

Thirteen cars from a Union Pacific train overturned Sunday afternoon near Oostburg.


A massive cleanup is underway in Sheboygan County after a freight train derailed and spilled tons of coal into a river.

Thirteen cars from a Union Pacific train overturned Sunday afternoon near Oostburg.

Crews spent Monday pulling out and replacing sections of the busted tracks.

Remnants of mangled rail cars laid nearby.

The coal spill is also causing some environmental concerns on the Black River...


Ken Notes: We need to upgrade our rail system and it is still privately controlled in most areas. I served on Tommy Thompson`s rail advisory committee 20 years ago and we identified problems then. Little has been done since. We will continue to see spills like this a worse until we address our rail lines. Infrastructure is an issues we have to talk about.

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Proposed Mine Faces Mounting Troubles

Back Forty Mine along Wisconsin border faces insufficient funding, increasing opposition.

The controversial proposed Back Forty open pit metallic sulfide mine on the Michigan-Wisconsin border has suffered major financial and permitting setbacks due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and increasing public concerns over the safety of tailings dams to store mine waste. The proposed mine, would be located next to the Menominee River, which flows into Lake Michigan, and has raised concerns about potential pollution.

The COVID-19 pandemic has so far wiped $282 billion from the value of the top 50 mining companies worldwide, according to figures published by Mining.com. These huge losses suffered by the world’s largest mining companies has made it extremely difficult for junior mining companies, like Aquila Resources, the owner of the Back Forty Project, to raise sufficient funds to take the project through exploration, development and final permitting of a mine and tailings dam next to the Menominee River....


Ken Notes: Careful, this mine will always seek the path of least resistance and will buy the support it needs when we are not paying attention. They budget for spills as a cost of doing business. This is not a good project for Wisconsin and Michigan and I believe it is not going away!

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More Than 500 Wisconsin Residents Received Unidentified Seed Packages, Other Items

State Officials Working With USDA To Investigate Unsolicited Seeds, Warn Against Planting Them

More than 500 Wisconsin residents have reported receiving unidentified seeds that appear to have come from China.

Reports of strange seed packages arriving unordered have popped up across the U.S. and in Canada.

The Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection released an online form on Tuesday for residents to report the unsolicited packages. 

As of Thursday, DATCP Secretary Randy Romanksi said the agency has already received more than 500 form submissions, as well as phone calls, emails and social media messages...

See Also:

Eau Claire woman receives mystery package with seeds


Ken Notes: Yes we need to be very careful here. Do not plant anything unless you know what to expect and trust the source...

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Efforts to improve water quality throughout Wisconsin move forward

MADISON, Wis. (WMTV) - The Environmental Protection Agency approved site-specific phosphorus criteria for multiple Wisconsin lakes, allowing the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to continue their efforts of improving water quality throughout the Wisconsin River Basin.

The approval was given for Petenwell Lake, Castle Rock Lake and Lake Wisconsin, according to an official press release.

The maximum amount of pollutant allowed to enter the bodies of water for adequate water quality requires substantial reductions in phosphorus. While phosphorus needs to be reduced, the press release says the statewide criteria were not appropriate for the bodies of water.


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Wisconsin still going green during COVID-19 pandemic, giving sustainability advocates hope for future
A Green Bay-area herbal store has seen an uptick in customers during the COVID-19 pandemic, and it`s not alone in Wisconsin.

"People seem to be much more interested in natural things in general," owner Heather Herdman said...

..."The need to educate residents on recycling or compost didn`t stop. In fact, it probably only increased," Goetsch said.

Consumer relationships to sustainability are morphing. On one hand, people are focusing on biking and gardening, and they`re commuting less. On the other hand, use of single-use plastic is on the rise out of necessity for public health. Stores, coffee shops and restaurants have had to temporarily ban reusable bags and containers....


Ken Notes: We have a governor who should understand the value of education an bring this expertise to the citizens to address any number of issues. Instead he is in the partisan trenches fighting a battle he does not need to fight. We need to highlight the values of environmental efforts rather than to ask for mandates and and control...

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Why limiting PFAS in drinking water is a challenge in the US

An article in the local newspaper caught Andrea Amico’s eye in May 2014. It reported that one of the three drinking-water wells at a sprawling business and industrial park nearby was shut down because of high levels of chemical contamination.

“Instantly, my heart sank,” says the Portsmouth, New Hampshire, woman. Amico recalls her reaction to the news: “My husband works there and he drinks water all day, and my two kids go to daycare there and they drink water all day.”...


Ken Notes: I have been saying this for a couple of years now. We need to sit down at the national level a create a plan of actions. We seem to be much better at finding problems than we are at solving them...

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WED AM News: Mike Huebsch to serve as Wisconsin Water Alliance president; Epic offers risk-scoring algorithms to prioritize patients
— The Governor’s Task Force on Broadband Access will advise lawmakers on strategies for expanding high-speed internet access and initiatives for digital inclusion...

— Mike Huebsch, a former GOP Assembly speaker, DOA secretary and Public Service commissioner, will serve as the Wisconsin Water Alliance president after his unanimous election by the board.

Huebsch told WisBusiness.com  the biggest challenge facing Wisconsin water right now is the balance between government regulation and everybody who uses water in the state...


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Grazier journey enriches Wisconsin

LODI, Wis. – Brian Pillsbury was in his element during a recent pasture walk at Schoepp Farms near Lodi. He maintained the recommended 6-foot COVID-19 distance from others attending the event but could still talk with them to share his passion for grazing.

The pasture walk was one of the last such events he’d attend in his official capacity as grazing-lands specialist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Natural Resources Conservation Service in Wisconsin. He’s retiring July 31.

Pillsbury has held the post since 1997 – but he’s been a grazing enthusiast since childhood. He was raised on a 40-cow dairy farm near Shelburne, Vermont. He entered the University of Vermont with plans to become an engineer but said he found that field of study boring. He changed his major and in 1979 earned a bachelor’s degree in plant and soil science...


Ken Notes:Remember when a 40 cow and 40 acres was a good life for a family.....

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EPA Signs Off On Standards To Reduce Phosphorus Pollution In The Wisconsin River Basin
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has approved site-specific criteria to reduce phosphorus pollution in several lakes within the Wisconsin River basin. The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources proposed site-specific standards as part of efforts to address impaired water quality in Castle Rock Lake, Petenwell Lake and Lake Wisconsin.

The decision marks the first time Wisconsin has sought and received approval of site-specific standards since statewide phosphorus rules were developed in 2010, according to Pat Oldenburg with the Wisconsin DNR...

Ken Notes: I need more details but it seems the DNR is working with communities to actually address issues and solutions.

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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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Waste Management dumped hazardous waste for decades at its Franklin landfill, EPA says
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency fined Waste Management of Wisconsin, Inc. after decades of hazardous waste violations at the Metro Landfill in Franklin.

The EPA issued a $232,000 fine to WMWI through a settlement resolving violations of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, according to a news release from the EPA. WMWI has agreed to conduct leachate and groundwater monitoring, per the settlement, and will update its waste management and training program.

The claims against WMWI are directed toward the Metro Landfill, where WMWI owns and operates a recycling and disposal facility. According to the EPA, “the Metro Landfill is licensed by the state of Wisconsin to accept non-hazardous municipal, commercial, industrial and special wastes for disposal.” However, the facility is not authorized to store, treat or dispose of any hazardous waste...

Ken Notes: Lets see how they respond and move forward.

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Governor Evers’ Task Force Confronts Climate Change With Environmental Justice

Lt. Governor Barnes pushes members to inject environmental justice into all task force recommendations

Some members want to solve climate change by “dismantling capitalism”

Climate change isn’t just about the climate changing anymore. At least, not according to Lt. Gov. Mandela Barnes. Barnes believes preventing global warming won’t be done correctly unless solutions also cure societal inequities and pave the way for the “transition into a just and equitable clean economy.”

Barnes is the head of the Governor’s Task Force on Climate Change. The task force was created on October 17, 2019 by Gov. Evers to propose strategies and legislation that “mitigate and adapt to the effects of climate change.”

Evers plans to achieve this by making the energy grid in Wisconsin 100% carbon-free by 2050. No coal, no natural gas, just “green” renewable energy sources. He set this goal on August 16, 2019 in Executive Order #38. The Order also established the Office of Sustainability and Clean Energy and codified Evers’ commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement.


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Enbridge contractor vessels may have bumped pipeline support

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Recent damage that prompted the temporary shutdown of an Enbridge oil pipeline in a channel linking two of the Great Lakes may have been done by vessels working for the company, according to an in-house report provided Thursday to The Associated Press.

Enbridge this week submitted to government agencies the results of its investigation into “disturbances” that were discovered during inspections of dual pipelines that run across Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac. The two pipelines are part of Line 5, which carries oil and liquids used in propane between Superior, Wisconsin, and Sarnia, Ontario....


Ken Notes:oops...

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Sauk County Well Water Monitoring Program’s results

Sauk County Well Water Monitoring Program’s results.

Groundwater is the principal water supply for Sauk County municipalities, industries, and rural residents. While municipal water supplies are regularly monitored and required to meet drinking water standards, private well owners must make decisions regarding when and what to test for and what to do if there is a problem. In an effort to understand changes to well water quality over time, effectively target management, and focus public health outreach efforts related to groundwater and private well owners, Sauk County undertook steps to initiate a 5-year project to monitor well water quality....

...This study provides an important benchmark of well water quality in Sauk County. Work will be done in years 2-5 to investigate the main factors affecting well water quality. Year 1 results provide a foundation for future sampling efforts to investigate how or if groundwater is changing over time....


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State’s Largest Brownfield Now Clean

The largest single site of industrial contamination in Wisconsin has been certified by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) as cleaned up.

The 110-acre brownfield was where the Milwaukee Road Shops stretched out as a sprawling complex of industry dedicated to producing and repairing rail cars and locomotives. In the beginning of the 20th century as many as 3,000 workers labored away at the shops on the rail cars that carried freight and passengers around the country...


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Wisconsin joins lawsuit challenging change to Clean Water Act that limits states` power to prevent pollution
Wisconsin has joined a lawsuit against a new environmental regulation passed by the Trump administration curtailing states` ability to reject federally permitted projects that may cause pollution in bodies of water or wetlands.

Attorney General Josh Kaul announced Tuesday afternoon that he joined 20 other attorneys general in opposing the change to the Clean Water Act, which he contends violates both the Administrative Procedure Act and the Clean Water Act.   ...more

Ken Notes: More details here...

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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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Red Sand Beach closed due to high E. coli counts

WOOD COUNTY – South Wood County Park Red Sand Beach closed on July 9 due to high E. coli counts.

Beach water samples collected on July 8 prompted the closure.

The Wood County Health Department routinely conducts water sampling for bacteria at all county beaches throughout the summer. The recent water samples collected from the beaches exceed the maximum level considered to be safe. The count at South Wood County Park Red Sand Beach was >2419.6 Most Probable Number (MPN).

“The presence of E. coli bacteria in water indicates human or animal pollution, and the potential presence of bacteria that can cause illness,” a health department release said. “Wood County Environmental Health staff will collect samples from the beach, and will reopen the beach when the water quality is considered safe for swimming. The beach closure will end when the results of two consecutive days’ samples are below 235 MPN.


Ken Notes: I do not even know why I try, CAFO yes beach no... go figure...

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Unpredictable Wisconsin PFAS Regs Are Bad For Business - Law360
As Wisconsin attempts to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic, uncertainties surrounding ramped-up regulatory efforts and costly cleanup of per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances could slow real estate and business development and expansion in the state, says Delanie Breuer at Reinhart Boerner...

Ken Notes: Again I feel we need to align with federal policy and then push our agenda to move them forward. In this case going forward without a plan of attack may do more harm than good.

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Rich Americans’ homes generate 25% more greenhouse gasses than those less affluent

An analysis of 93m US homes found that the most energy intensive dwellings are found in Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin

The homes of wealthy Americans are major engines of the climate crisis, research has found, with the United States’ most affluent suburbs generating as much as 15 times the greenhouse gas emissions as nearby, poorer districts.

An analysis of 93m homes in the contiguous US found that the most energy intensive dwellings, per square foot, are found in Maine, Vermont and Wisconsin, while the least energy intensive are located in Florida, Arizona and California...


Ken Notes: This should be an opportunity to encourage wealthy homeowners to embrace the new renewable technologies available today. These people are wealthy because the understand business and now "Going Green" is good business...

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Promega surpasses all environmental improvement goals for end of 2020
Promega Corporation announced it has surpassed all its environmental improvement goals set for the end of 2020 and achieved absolute reductions in key sustainability metrics.

In early 2016, Promega determined environmental improvement goals that it wanted to meet by the end of 2020. These goals were based on 2015 data. Promega met and exceeded its goals by the end of 2019, according to Corey Meek, who heads Promega’s corporate responsibility program.

Promega is currently in the process of setting its next environment improvement goals “focusing heavily on renewable energy to further reduce our carbon footprint,” Meek told WisBusiness.com. “Energy efficiency is another we are targeting.”

Meek attributed Promega’s success to its employees. ..

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Good as news: positive environmental stories you may have missed this week
U.S. House passes historic Great American Outdoors Act
Thousands call for clean energy to be part of Covid-19 recovery
Rare plant seen in northern Wisconsin after long absence
Climate action is a large part of EU stimulus
N.Y. governor unveils large EV charging investment
Australian town to house ambitious solar thermal plant

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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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In Its 50th Year, EPA Reports Nation Experiencing Cleaner Air
The EPA recently released its annual air quality report, which concluded that air quality nationwide continues to improve. Our nation’s air quality is 77% cleaner today than it was in 1970, according to EPA Administrator Andrew Wheeler.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the creation of the EPA. “Since 1970, implementation of the Clean Air Act (CAA) and technological advances from American innovators have dramatically improved air quality in the U.S.,” according to the report. “Since that time, the combined emissions of criteria and precursor pollutants have dropped by 77%. In recent years, the progress has continued: since 2017, the emissions of these pollutants dropped 7%.”...

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Ken`s Pick - Electric Automotive Stories

Meet The Cheapest New Electric Car In The USA: China’s Kandi K23


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Committee sets out land and water goals
 A citizen advisory committee to the Marathon County Environmental Resources Committee (ERC) has named four goals for a 10-year (2020 to 2030) county land and water resources plan.

The goals were presented to the ERC at its June 30 regular meeting.

A first goal is to protect and improve the county’s land resources, emphasizing a reduction in erosion on cropland and improvement in soil health.

Strategies to achieve the goal are to increase use of best management practices and establish grass waterways in cropland gullies, as well as increase the use of no-till farming and better manure management. The goal calls for management of public forest and protection of prime agricultural lands. Outcome measurements for this goal include:

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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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State Launch of Wisconsin’s Clean Energy Toolkit
Communities across Wisconsin are looking to develop clean energy plans to do their part against global warming, and La Crosse is getting in on the action as well.

The Wisconsin Clean Energy Toolkit will launch statewide today, with La Crosse, Madison, Eau Claire, Green Bay, and Milwaukee all participating. The Toolkit is a comprehensive guide to energy policy options in the state, and is designed to help communities of any size achieve their goal of going green.


Ken Notes: I will keep this link for awhile...

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When the Earth Moves - Film online NOW!

When the Earth Moves reclaims the authentic story and original vision of Earth Day as a bipartisan and socially just environmental movement and highlights the need for people across generations and on both sides of the political aisle to play an active part. The premiere coincides with the 50th anniversary of Earth Day – an event that is expected to activate over a billion people worldwide around environmental and climate action.


The PBS Biography of Gaylord Nelson


Ken Notes: Please share this link with friends and family. It would be a great opportunity to share and discuss with students. The film is less than 10 minutes long but presents a great deal of information and hope for our future...

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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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ABOUT - Wisconsin Development GREEN News
Ten thousand 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


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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.

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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AgSTAR’s New Digester Project Development Handbook
Hot off the “press,” AgSTAR’s updated handbook is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for anaerobic digestion and biogas systems.

For 26 years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) AgSTAR Program has been helping farmers and communities across the United States develop and implement anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas systems. These systems are critical to reduce methane emissions from manure management operations, while also providing other environmental and economic benefits. As a trusted partnership program, AgSTAR helps educate the public on best practices for designing, implementing and maintaining digester projects and brings together leading experts to discuss opportunities and challenges for advancing the biogas industry.

AgSTAR’s newest resource, the Anaerobic Digester Project Development Handbook, is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for AD/ biogas systems. The goal of the Handbook is to ensure long-term project success for AD biogas systems by providing background and a framework for AD project development.

Ken Notes:I would love to see Wisconsin become the leader in this technology! Every farmer and elected official in the state should download this.

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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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Development Matters with Ken Harwood (on hiatus)
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.


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