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Fifty environmental activities kids can do at home
A blog by Megan Severson, Director of Wisconsin Environment:

As people in my hometown of Madison, Wisconsin, and across the United States brace for weeks of school closures and social distancing, I am searching for ways to make the most of this challenging period. While our own health, essential needs, and family care arrangements are top of mind, we are also staring down the inevitability of long stretches of boredom.

I’d love to help my kids fill this time by learning about the planet and how to protect it. So I asked my colleagues at Environment America to help me come up with a list of ideas.

  • Learn about solutions to climate change

  • Learn about ways to reduce waste

  • Learn about plants

  • Learn about plants

  • Learn about and protect birds, bees and other wildlife

  • Create a healthier home and community


Ken Notes: If you have children at home READ THIS, share this, Post this...

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What we know so far about Wisconsin Gov. Evers` stay-at-home order and what it means

Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers on Monday ordered Wisconsinites to stay in their homes starting this week to slow the spread of the worldwide coronavirus pandemic.

Will people be allowed to leave their homes?

Yes. Under the governor`s order, people will still be able to go to grocery stores and pharmacies, and go outside to exercise or walk their dogs. But Evers in a tweet urged people, "Please stay 6 feet away from others and shared spaces such as park shelters and visitor centers."...

Ken Notes:

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Take a mental break: a gallery of natural beauty
Ken Notes: Our environment is providing some much needed relief when we need it most which is a great reason to take care of if when it is not on the radar screen. We don`t consider bees, bats, and fish as priorities but we can now place this in perspective -- if we take care of the little things we will be better prepared to take care of the big things...


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When the Earth Moves Kicks Off Earth Day 2020 Online Events

Film reclaims the original vision of Earth Day and sends an urgent bipartisan message during a time of national crisis

Contact: Fred Frommer, media@outrider.org

MADISON, WI, March 23, 2020 – The timely short film When the Earth Moves is set to launch on April 15th on YouTube and at www.outrider.org, marking the commencement of the nation’s week-long online celebration of the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. The film will be screened at virtual events and festivals, including the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit and the EarthX Film Festival. 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. It also calls attention to the urgent need for Americans to unite around a common goal and purpose...

Ken Notes: It is sad that Earth Day this year will need to be a virtual event, but I have seen this film and it presents a message of hope that is on target for today in light of all we must deal with. I will keep you updated but consider a virtual event on or after the 15th of April where you all watch the film and them meet online to discuss it. WDNGreen will be hosting one and so should you...

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Huge Wisconsin operation shows promise of aquaponics in Midwest

Superior Fresh`s grand experiment raises an intriguing question that, for now, can`t be answered: How many other Midwest farmers can follow its path?

– Stepping into the massive greenhouse of Superior Fresh — 6 acres under one roof — the gentle embrace of warm, humid air is quickly followed by the smell of lush, green plants.

Daylight streams through the roof and the sound of sloshing water tricks the senses into a kind of tropical reverie. Seen from nearby Interstate 94, the greenhouse at night glows purple as red and blue lights come on to help organic leafy greens grow during sun-deprived winter months.

But Superior Fresh is not just another player in the nature-defying business of growing produce all year in the Midwest. It runs the nation’s, and likely the world’s, largest aquaponics facility, raising vegetables and fish in a way that benefits both...


Ken Notes: I would love to organize a tour of this facility taking a bus from Madison to the farm about 2 hours away. If there is interest in attending or sponsoring this drop me a note. Best way to contact me is Linked in here https://www.linkedin.com/in/kenharwood/. Use hashtag #WDNGreen...

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Wisconsin farmer wins National Conservation Legacy Award
ST. LOUIS, Mo. —The American Soybean Association (ASA) presented Nancy Kavazanjian, from Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, with the 2020 National Conservation Legacy Award during the annual ASA Awards Banquet on Feb. 28 at Commodity Classic in San Antonio, Texas.

Nancy and her husband Charles Hammer, a fourth-generation farmer, grow corn, soybeans and wheat. For the past 40 years, they have worked to implement innovative technologies and farming methods that protect their farmland while growing the highest-quality food and feed possible.

Kavazanjian and Hammer are firmly rooted in their motto “Our soil, our strength,” a guiding principal planted at the beginning...

Ken Notes: Congrats!

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Tony Evers appoints clean energy advocate Tyler Huebner to Public Service Commission

Gov. Tony Evers has named an engineer and clean energy advocate to the state’s utility regulation board.

Tyler Huebner, who has served for the past seven years as director of Renew Wisconsin, will fill the Public Service Commission seat vacated last month by Mike Huebsch.

“Tyler has spent his entire academic and professional career focused on energy and efficiency,” Evers said in a statement. “He is a passionate leader, whose experience will serve the Commission and the people of Wisconsin well. I look forward to seeing his good work to ensure safe, reliable and affordable utility services for folks across our state.”


Ken Notes: Here Tyler Huebner talk with me on My radio show Development Matters, He understands the delicate balance between the environment, business, and the utilities. I believe he will do a good job.

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OPINION: Liberal activists have to think broadly and unite across lines
Fifty years before Greta Thunberg inspired youth across the globe to demand immediate action on climate change, students at the University of Michigan formed Environmental Action for Survival (ENACT) and organized a massive four-day Teach-In on the Environment from March 11-14, 1970. These campus activists popularized the slogan “Give Earth a Chance” and held more than 125 rallies, symposia, workshops and protests on the campus and in the surrounding Ann Arbor community. The ENACT Teach-In successfully focused public attention on the environmental crisis, paving the way for the national Earth Day demonstrations that mobilized 20 million participants on April 22, 1970...   ...more

Ken Notes: Interesting read, the question is how far are we willing to go and I think when business and the utilities are not at the table you do more harm than good. I would suggest that Senator Nelson did suggest working together on these issues and currently we can`t work together on anything!

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US climate activists to livestream Earth Day due to virus
CHICAGO (AP) — As the coronavirus causes shut-downs across the U.S., a coalition of youth-led organizations that had planned massive marches for the 50th anniversary of Earth Day next month are now planning a three-day livestream event instead, organizers said Tuesday.

..." Earth Day Live " will happen April 22-24 and will include speakers, voter registration, protests against financial institutions that support the fossil fuel industry, and entertainment. The event will be accessible on computers and mobile devices in the hopes that it will encourage engagement and action among people who are secluded at home and who may have planned to march in Washington and other places....


Ken Notes: Make sure you take in Tia`s new film in addition to several online events.

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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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Renovations help an already special Aldo Leopold Nature Center shine brighter

It had been a while since I had last visited the acclaimed Aldo Leopold Nature Center just off Femrite Drive in the city of Monona.

Our Evjue Foundation was one of several major donors to the center`s recent "Bridge to the Future" campaign, an effort to raise $1.5 million to renovate its existing building to tie it even closer to the 22 acres of wetlands and the large natural pond that sit just down a gentle slope behind the main building.

The center`s president and executive director, Mike Strigel, invited me to see what had been done to the building — a project that thanks to the generosity of several donors, including $300,000 from Monona`s Jon and Peggy Traver, who were among the center`s founders some 25 years ago, was completed nearly a year ahead of schedule...


Ken Notes: Yea!

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Taking survey can help thwart COVID-19, spread Wisconsin Idea

In a fast-moving response to COVID-19, the University of Wisconsin–Madison and the League of Wisconsin Municipalities are joining forces to help slow the spread of the disease. And they need your help.

What can you do? Take a 20-minute survey, and ask your friends to do the same. What do you know about social distancing? What are you willing to do? What motivates you?

Based on your responses, the UW–Madison team will design a social media campaign to successfully encourage healthy behavior. The survey will help researchers better understand how everyone — from students to faculty, city dwellers to rural residents — is reacting to COVID-19, including the benefits and barriers to physical distancing...


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Wisconsin PFAS Action Council works to develop action plan

FITCHBURG (WKOW) -- The Wisconsin DNR is developing a plan to respond to growing concerns about chemicals in drinking water.

In August, Governor Evers signed an executive order directing the DNR to establish The Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) to coordinate a state multi-agency effort to address PFAS.

PFAS are a group of man-made chemicals used for decades in numerous products, including non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam. These legacy contaminants have made their way into the environment through spills of PFAS-containing materials, discharges of PFAS-containing wastewater to treatment plants and certain types of firefighting foams.


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Dane County, Madison water utility sued for withholding PFAS records
An environmental advocacy group is suing Dane County and the Madison Water Utility over their refusal to release public records relating to hazardous chemicals.

Midwest Environmental Advocates filed the cases last week in Dane County Circuit Court on behalf of Citizens for Open Government, an anonymous group of citizens who are seeking documents relating to PFAS.

MEA alleges the county and water utility violated state law by delaying or denying access to the records and is asking the courts to order their release.

Ken Notes: This is difficult because without a clear understanding of all the issues this data could do more harm that good. We currently can not but toilet paper -- I see a run on bottled water in the near future, and for the record since bottled water is only filtered water there is no guarantee that it would not contain PFAS as well...

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Coronavirus Outbreak Prompts EPA To Slow Enforcement Of Pollution Regulations
The Environmental Protection Agency has slowed pollution enforcement as the ongoing novel coronavirus outbreak continues nationwide. We talk to a climate reporter about the news and what it could mean for environmental issues moving forward...

Ken Notes: There is good news, we are driving far less, using less energy, burning less coal, eating better, looking for nature to escape to, flying less, disposing of less waste, and gaining a new respect for our environmental resources. Our goal should be to keep these things in their new found perspective after this passes.

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Land stewards in training

Recruiting millennials to become the next generation of conservation advocates

The most well-trod paths into Wisconsin’s natural beauty are through the state parks, where signs on nature trails point out aspects of the native environment. But many State Natural Areas also dot our state, protecting some of the last glimmers of what Wisconsin was like before European settlement. Most of them have no trails or facilities, or in some cases even parking areas.

Both parks and natural areas depend on financial contributions and volunteer work that includes cutting brush, pulling and spraying invasive plants, collecting seeds, monitoring rare species and preparing fire breaks. Most of that invaluable cash and sweat equity come from seniors who have the savings and free time to contribute.

But what will happen to our parks and natural areas in decades to come when the boomers have signed their last check and pulled their last garlic mustard plant?..

Ken Notes: Sounds like a great program...

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      Help stop coronavirus

  1. HANDS Wash them often
  2. ELBOW Cough into it
  3. FACE Don`t touch it
  4. SPACE Keep safe distance
  5. HOME Stay if you can

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9 ways to mobilize globally and locally on Earth Day 2020
The 50th annual event is expected to activate millions.
Fifty years ago, a mobilization of 20 million individuals turned a conversation about our planet into action. A call for change rung out from streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities around the globe, and marked April 22 of 1970 the very first Earth Day. Now, on the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, hundreds of millions of people are estimated to activate for change, although events are going to look a little different this year. In order to curb the spread of coronavirus and keep people healthy and safe, many events have moved to a digital platform or campaign to comply with social distancing. Here are a few ways you can minimize contact and get involved, globally and locally...

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UWM gaining national attention for continued sustainability efforts on campus

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is gaining national attention for continuing to step up its game in sustainability efforts. 

The university has earned a gold rating from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education — the fifth Wisconsin school to get the top rating. The UW-Stevens Point, UW-Oshkosh, UW-River Falls and Northland College also have won gold ratings in the last five years. Seven schools have earned silver ratings.

This is the second gold rating UWM has received and its third high rating overall, with a gold rating in 2016 and a silver in 2013. No other Wisconsin school matches that record.

The Sustainability Tracking, Assessment and Rating System — known as STARS — is the most widely recognized yardstick for measuring a college or university’s sustainability performance. ..


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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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Milwaukee City Officials Announce Largest Solar Energy System

New Solar Field Will Have Over 7K Solar Panels

Milwaukee city officials announced on Tuesday plans to build the largest solar energy system in the city`s history.

The 8-acre project will be located close to General Mitchell International Airport, roughly 10 miles from downtown Milwaukee.

"This project is a real win for Milwaukee, for the planet and for national security," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said during the announcement at the field`s future location.

The city is partnering with We Energies for the solar project — most of the electricity used in the city comes from the electric services company based in Milwaukee.

"We are honored to be a part of this," We Energies President and CEO Kevin Fletcher said Tuesday. "As we look at continuing to look at our cleaner energy future, this is one way to illustrate that."...

Ken Notes: I love the partnership with WE Energies fron the onset! This should be 101 for any community or business considering major solar...

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Nelson Institute online conference to honor the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day teach-in

Celebrate the past fifty years of environmental stewardship while planning for the future at the free, online Nelson Institute Earth Day Conference on Monday, April 20, 2020. Join leading climate scientists and community leaders for an inspirational day of collaborative learning and exploration that will highlight the confluence between the traditional conservation and restoration of the planet and new, ecological innovations taking place.

Hosted by the University of Wisconsin–Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, which is named after Earth Day founder Gaylord Nelson, this conference titled, Earth Day@50: Aspiring for Sustainability, Striving for Justice, Crafting the Planet will feature a range of speakers who will discuss how we can leverage the best aspects of the past environmental movements while incorporating an increased sense of social justice...


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EPA’s reinterpretation of the Clean Water Act threatens our water, health and safety
Wisconsin has had a proud history of protecting our natural resources. Wisconsinites including John Muir, Aldo Leopold and Gaylord Nelson have been national leaders in the movement to protect our planet. In the past, Wisconsin has recognized the value of its water resources. Through the Public Trust Doctrine, the state declared that all navigable water was “forever free” and held in trust. Over time, that public trust has been broadened to include protected rights to water quality, recreational activities, and scenic beauty.

Today, protection of our water resources is under attack by the federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Since 2017, the EPA has targeted 95 environmental regulations to be rolled back for the express purpose of empowering commercial exploitation at the expense of our environment. This month, a new EPA rule change becomes operational that will dramatically weaken the landmark Clean Water Act of 1973 and threaten our water resources...

Ken Notes: I will continue to suggest that the long term non political solutions will come from business and environmentalists sitting down and discussing solutions both can support. I work with and talk to both groups often and suggest that we would be very surprised by the amount of agreement there is among these groups. Imagine pursuing the worst offenders when then no longer have big business and a political agenda to hide behind...

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Radium levels in public water supplies have increased in Waukesha County -- and much of Wisconsin, study finds
Increasingly, radium in public water supplies has become a notable element for other municipalities in suburban Milwaukee — and much of the state, new research from a Wisconsin study has found.

One ironic twist is that the levels in Waukesha, a community which was forced to find a solution to meet federally mandated radium limits, may have actually improved, albeit marginally, in recent years, the University of Wisconsin-Madison study suggests.

Overall, it`s the increase in radium concentration that stands out, and the researchers involved admit the reason for the rising trend is confounding — for now...


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Where to Celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day

Whether you’re a committed activist or looking for new ways to get involved, there is an Earth Day event for you.

The first Earth Day was conceived by Senator Gaylord Nelson of Wisconsin as an environmental teach-in. On April 22, 1970, an estimated 20 million people participated in rallies and protests.

With grass roots activism increasing over the years, Earth Day has since gone global. And for many organizers now, it feels more important than ever to call attention to environmental issues...


Ken Notes: Of course many events will be canceled but EVERYONE should see the new film by Tia Nelson and Outrider.com. I will have a link shortly after the premiere.

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Meet Rob Greenfield, aspiring millionaire-turned radical environmental activist

Rob Greenfield is on a mission to bring a sustainable living message to the world using unusual approaches from wearing the trash he produces and foraging for food to cycling penniless across the US on a bamboo bicycle.

Rob Greenfield bounds over to a plant growing amidst the makeshift garden plots on the grounds of Berlin`s defunct Tempelhof Airport. He rips off a leaf and munches on it.

"It`s either a radish or a mustard. It`s in the brassica family. There are a lot of edible greens around," he says.

He`s looking for the edible dandelion he had spotted earlier but is sidetracked by some nettle, which you can eat raw without stinging your mouth if you fold it correctly. It`s good for you, he explains.

Read more - Can a minimalist mindset help save the planet?

Greenfield should know. He recently spent a year growing and foraging his own food, while living in a 100 square foot "tiny house" built from reclaimed materials in a backyard in Orlando, one of the fastest growing cities in the US...


Ken Notes: This was interesting!

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Minnesota high court to take up Nemadji Trail environmental-review order

Minnesota’s high court will review a lower court’s ruling that ordered a new environmental review for a proposed $700 million natural-gas plant in Superior.

The Minnesota Supreme Court on Tuesday agreed to look at a Minnesota Court of Appeals decision from December that found the state’s Public Utilities Commission should have considered the likely environmental effects of building the proposed Nemadji Trail Energy center in northwest Wisconsin when it advanced the project in October 2018. The ruling could result in a significant delay in the project and would force Minnesota regulators to conduct a new environmental review of the project.


Ken Notes: In my next life I will definitely be an environmental lawyer.

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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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John Bates, Naturalist - Brief but Spectacular

John Bates is a naturalist who sees his professional purpose as enabling people to develop environmental literacy. Since 2003, Bates has been particularly interested in old-growth forests, made up of trees that are hundreds of years old at minimum. Bates shares his Brief But Spectacular take on helping others "fall more deeply in love with the world" and connecting time through old-growth forests.


Ken Notes: Watch this one, we must protect what is left of old growth in Wisconsin which is actually very little....

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Air pollution drops across the globe amid COVID-19 pandemic, data suggests
Stay at home orders, thousands of flight cancellations, and an overall decline in global trade and commerce due to the COVID-19 pandemic may be having a positive impact on the environment. 

This trend was first observed earlier in the year when the COVID-19 outbreak impacted residents in Wuhan, China. Quarantine protocols were put into place, such as businesses and transportation to and from the area being shut down, to help stop the virus’ spread...


12 of the world`s ruins that have been reclaimed by nature


Ken Notes: It will be interesting to see how much and fast the environment recovers as we slow our carbon output.

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OPINION: Superfund will not protect our waterways — or us — from the military’s toxic pollution

The final environmental impact statement (EIS) on basing F-35 fighter jets at Madison’s Truax Field states that the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA, or Superfund), will guide PFAS investigations and cleanups at the base.

Does this mean PFAS will be thoroughly investigated and remediated at Truax? Based on history, probably not.

This is nothing new. Truax Field has been regulated under CERCLA since 1987 when the base was identified under the Department of Defense’s Installation Restoration Program (IRP), created to “identify and fully evaluate suspected problems associated with past hazardous waste disposal and/or spill sites on DoD installations” and "control hazards to human health, welfare, and the environment."


Ken Notes: I am only the messenger...

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En­vi­ron­mental impact of coro­n­avirus on Wisconsin

MILWAUKEE (SPECTRUM NEWS) -- With all the chaos and unknown surrounding COVID-19, is the environment trying to tell us something, and what can Wisconsinites learn from it? The global pandemic has limited all kinds of travel for people in Wisconsin and around the world.

Images released by Nasa show a visible reduction in nitrogen dioxide emissions (NO2). These are the gases released by cars, power plants and factories. “I read there is about a 25 percent reduction in their carbon dioxide emission and that pretty substantial. Now we are seeing it in cities in the U.S., For instance, New York and soon we will see it in other cities too,” says Steve Vavrus, Senior Scientist, Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research. 

While the corona virus’s environmental impact in Wisconsin is still premature, it shows how closely it ties to economic conditions, says Vavrus. “The last time we had a global decline in carbon emission was 2009 - during the great recession,” he says....


Ken Notes: Silver lining???

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Coal-fired power plants finding new uses as data centers, clean energy hubs

A St. Louis firm specializes in getting environmentally challenged properties ready for reuse, including coal plants.

As coal-fired power plants become uneconomic and are shut down for good, a new sort of recycling industry is taking shape: the repurposing of those plants.

Utilities across the country are finding ways to redevelop abandoned fossil-fueled sites. In January, Beloit College in Wisconsin began operating a student union and recreation center in a structure where Alliant Energy formerly burned coal to produce power.


Ken Notes: This is brilliant...

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Midwest Energy News
Former Ohio governor joins climate change effort...

 Coal plants are closing, and even the ones that remain open are running much less often than before, according to new federal data....

A nearly 50-year-old, 600 MW nuclear plant in eastern Iowa is set to retire later this year...

...And Much More


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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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Environmental groups claim inadequate investigation into Superior power plant impacts

SUPERIOR, WI-- Two environmental groups filed a petition against the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) after the agency issued a permit approving the construction of the Nemadji Trail Energy Plant.

According to court documents, Sierra Club and Clean Wisconsin filed a petition against the agency in Dane County on Friday.

The groups claim the project poses significant environmental threats such as depletion of groundwater and loss of wetlands.

A spokesperson from Sierra Club released the following statement:

"Climate change is a global crisis, but the causes and impacts can be seen right here in Wisconsin. Allowing utilities to swap one fossil fuel for another is not only shortsighted for our environment, it will leave Wisconsinites saddled with the costs of an expensive new power plant for decades to come."

Minnesota Power is currently in the permit-gathering phase of the $700 million project...

See Also:

 Eco-groups challenge approval of Wisconsin gas-fired power plant


Ken Notes: It is interesting that a few years ago we would have been strongly supportive of this type of project specially if there was an offset in coal production. Personally I favor a more distributed solution but that would also require gas co-gen facilities as well, and I am not sure that is any cleaner or safer for the environment. Bottom line is that until we develop storage technologies, moving to solar and wind will require some form of co-gen.I would also like to know if this or other natural gas plants could us biogas from digestion....

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Wisconsin tribe recognizes Menominee River rights

You may be familiar with the concept that people have rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Have you ever considered the rights of a river?

The Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin recently asserted that the Menominee River has the right to exist naturally, flourish, evolve, remain unpolluted and carry out its natural ecosystem functions.

The Menominee River, at the border between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Wisconsin, is at the center of a controversy over a proposed open-pit sulfide mine known as the Back Forty Project. Aquila Resources, a Canadian mining company, wants to extract zinc, gold, copper, silver and lead 150 feet away from the river...


Ken Notes: I could actually side with the tribes on this, I just do not know of any statute or law that this could stand on. It is a beautiful thought though...

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High Court Asked To Review Helicopter, Gun Use In Rec Area - Law360
A Wisconsin environmental conservation alliance asked the U.S. Supreme Court to review the Seventh Circuit`s ruling that the National Park Service had the legal authority to allow dog training with guns, off-road motorcycle riding, and military helicopter drills on land converted into a state recreational use area...

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Minnesota, Wisconsin frac sand mines crushed by oil industry shifts
Frac sand miner Jordan Sands in North Mankato was pushed into receivership recently after its banker declared a loan default. A few months earlier, Minnesota’s largest frac sand producer by far, the Kasota mine near St. Peter, was idled.

In western Wisconsin, 10 frac sand processing plants have closed over the past 18 months. That’s one-third of the industry’s dry sand milling capacity, said Kent Syverson, a geology professor at the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a sand-industry consultant.

Many other Wisconsin frac sand operations were operating well below capacity at the beginning of March, he added...

Ken Notes: Remember sand is a bankable commodity with a million year shelf life. The industry can shut down for years and quickly restart when oil prices rebound.

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How to Talk to People Who Doubt Climate Change
As an atmospheric scientist, Katharine Hayhoe understands the realities of climate change more deeply than most. As an evangelical Christian atmospheric scientist, she understands her religious brethren — and their propensity to doubt man-made climate change — probably better than anyone. So she’s made it her mission to help them see the light.

For her, science and faith have never been at odds: “I grew up with the idea that science was the coolest thing you could study. Every summer my dad would have a project for us: wildflowers of Ontario, bird calls, learning about fractals.”...

Ken Notes: I have just decided to talk about carbon in the air and how bad it is for our health. It is easier that getting into the science with those who believe the scientists are lying to us all.

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Five new air developments from Wisconsin DNR and U.S. EPA

The following are five new air developments from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that impact Wisconsin businesses: 

1. DNR Air Guidance Documents

The 2017 Wisconsin Act 369 requires state agencies to repost all existing air guidance documents for public comment and certify that the contents of the documents include no pronouncements that otherwise should proceed through rulemaking....

2. The EPA announces reversal of “once in, always in” policy for major source treatment for hazardous air pollutants...

3. New EPA guidance for netting emissions to avoid New Source Review (NSR) requirements...

4. New EPA guidance on determining source boundaries for analysis of impacts to ambient air...

5. Challenges to EPA designations of nonattainment for ozone under 2015 ozone standards...


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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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How climate change is impacting Wisconsin’s maple syrup production

While many people enjoyed the mild winter, maple syrup producers are concerned about what the changing climate could mean for the industry`s future

MADISON, Wis. — Wisconsin’s changing climate is creating an uncertain future for many of the state’s profitable industries.

“It affects everything in our natural world,” said David Stevens, a maple syrup producer and curator of wooden plants at the University of Wisconsin – Madison’s Arboretum.

Stevens said he is concerned that the future of the maple syrup industry in Wisconsin is at the mercy of climate change.

“Earlier warm ups and bud breaks are going to shorten the season, and that’s what we are very scared about,” Stevens said.

Maple syrup brings in about $7 million annually to our state...

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Huge Wisconsin operation shows promise of aquaponics in Midwest

NORTHFIELD, Wis. — Stepping into the massive greenhouse of Superior Fresh — 6 acres under one roof — the gentle embrace of warm, humid air is quickly followed by the smell of lush, green plants.

Daylight streams through the roof, and the sound of sloshing water tricks the senses into a kind of tropical reverie. Seen from nearby Interstate 94, the greenhouse at night glows purple as red and blue lights come on to help organic leafy greens grow during sun-deprived winter months....


Notes: There was a fair amount of interest in touring this facility so WDNGreen is looking for a partner to help orgnize an promote this. Please call me at 608.334.2174 if interested....

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Hazards of 5G and ‘Internet of Things’ presentation at Foster library draws 50 people from Wisconsin, Illinois

A talk on the hazards to health and the environment from wireless technologies brought nearly 50 attendees to the Dwight Foster Public Library in Fort Atkinson on March 3...

...According to Kleiber, the coming 5G microwaves, “small cell” antennas and the Internet of Things (IoT) will add additional frequencies untested for safety to the radiofrequency (RF) radiation already saturating Earth’s atmosphere.

Thousands of research studies, including the $30 million National Institutes of Health National Toxicology Program’s Cell Phone Radiofrequency Radiation Study, have shown that wireless radiation poses a serious environmental and public health hazard...


Ken Notes: Wow, 5G is a trillion dollar technology and I can not imagine anything stopping it. In fact I was disappointed to see Wisconsin not advocate for using the technology to help provide broadband to rural areas.

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How John McCain and a cabin in the woods inspired an environmentalist

To spur action, progressive voices of warning on climate change have heightened the alarm. Benji Backer wants young conservatives to know that there’s room in the conversation for them.

Benji Backer stood in front of 100 college Republicans at the University of Central Florida and asked for raised hands from those who consider themselves environmentalists. Everyone held up an arm.

Then came the follow-up question at the College Republican State Convention last month: “Do you guys know what the conservative environmental platform is?” The hands went down.

Mr. Backer went on to talk about the role of markets and capitalism in a greener future, bringing local hunting and fishing communities into the conversation, and looking to innovation and technology for environmental solutions. 


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Thinking big while staying at home
Joel Rogers, University of Wisconsin professor of law, political science, public affairs and sociology and the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation “genius” grant, was sitting around his house the other day like everyone else in Wisconsin, complying with Gov. Tony Evers’ stay-at-home order.

I reached him by phone to ask what he makes of the idea that the coronavirus pandemic and attendant economic crisis might lead to major progressive policy shifts....

...After the current economic relief bill passes, “a large stimulus will still be required to put Americans back to work once public health officials deem it safe,” says Mark Paul, assistant professor of economics and environmental studies at the New College of Florida, and a senior fellow at Data for Progress. “This next round of stimulus, which would be round 4, must focus on green stimulus.”...

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Green New Deal Would Ruin America’s Dairyland, Study Warns
It’s been pretty clear that the New Green Deal would be a disaster for businesses and for consumers. Now a new study confirms just how disastrous the environmental and wealth-redistribution plan would be for Wisconsin.

Wisconsin families would be shackled with $40,000 in new costs, and the Dairy State’s struggling agricultural sector would be crippled, according to the multistate analysis authored by the Competitive Enterprise Institute and Power the Future...

Ken Notes: I wish we could work together on these issues. I see digestors as a piece of the co-gen system.

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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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Enbridge hires companies to design, build Great Lakes tunnel
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Enbridge Inc. said Friday it has hired companies to design and build a disputed oil pipeline tunnel beneath the channel linking Lakes Huron and Michigan, despite pending legal challenges.

The Canadian company is forging ahead with plans to begin construction work next year on the tunnel, which would replace twin pipes that have lain across the bottom of the Strait..

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When the Earth Moves Premieres at the EarthX Film Festival and the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit

PRNewswire -- The timely short film When the Earth Moves is set to premiere via back-to-back screenings at the EarthX Film Festival on April 22nd and the Smithsonian Earth Optimism Summit on April 25th and will then immediately be available on YouTube and at www.outrider.org. 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.

Watch the trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wWqUjQw2Jl0&feature=youtu.be


Ken Notes: Make sure you find a way to see this film...

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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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Ken`s Electric Automotive Stories


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Composted manure moves easier and cheaper

Jeff Endres of Endres Berryridge Farms started composting manure six years ago. Their composting system has gone from basic beginnings to the more advanced system it is today. Endres shared a few details about his manure composting process at the Yahara Pride Farms annual meeting held in DeForest, Wis.

Endres farms with two brothers near Waunakee, Wis. They milk 600 cows, and manure from the herd is trucked to a local community anaerobic digester. Separated solids return to the dairy and are mixed with manure scraped from the freestall barn and bedding pack material that comes from their heifer barns.

The manure is emptied from the spreader and placed in pyramid-shaped windrows. Some of the windrows are under a covered roof, while others are located on a pad outdoors. “We can make it work in both places,” he said, noting that a lot of rain can slow down composing in the outdoor windrows.

They build one new windrow each week, and remove one windrow each week, working on an eight-week cycle. Eight weeks is the amount of time it takes for the manure to finish composing...


Ken Notes: Another great idea.

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Baum Revision misses another deadline for micro-lodges at Madison`s Garver Feed Mill
The future of Baum Revision’s proposal to place micro-lodging on the Garver Feed Mill property on Madison`s near east side is under question again after the developer failed to meet a March 5 deadline.

Madison signed a development agreement with Baum Revision in 2017 to overhaul the crumbling, dilapidated mill between South Fair Oaks Avenue and Olbrich Gardens. The project, which is now open to the public, included redeveloping the former sugar beet mill into a food production facility and hub for local businesses.

The second phase of the project planned for five acres to the northeast of the mill, known as Lot 2, included plans for up to 50 micro-lodges, or small, short-term rental units. City economic development director Matt Mikolajewski said Baum Revision did not submit proof of financing for this part of the project by the deadline last week...

Ken Notes:en Notes: This is a great opportunity to develop a demonstration micro village with a diverse population from homeless to Air B and B renters and everything in between.

Use a "TIF like" program and agreements to value the units at 50K regardless of actual value. Then sell the lots to those who submit a unit and plan approved by a controlling board for $1.

You will generate a property tax income based on 2.5 million in assessed value (based on a development agreement). Non profits could raise funds for homeless dwellings and entrepreneurs could develop high end rentals. Limit any "idea" to 5 units and use the board to ensure diversity. You will get between 10 and 50 projects and a demonstration of how it can be done.

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Detailed Maps And Airborne Chemicals: How The PFAS Landscape Differs State-By-State
A month ago, in a ballroom at a hotel conference center in a Madison suburb, social distancing wasn’t even in the vocabulary of most people.

The coronavirus wasn’t yet a threat to Wisconsin.  Hundreds of people packed into a convention to talk about, and hear about, a different threat to health--PFAS.

“It is the hot ticket issue right now,” conceded Bridget Kelly, the Wisconsin DNR’s Program Coordinator for Emerging Contaminants.

The topic is only growing hotter.

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a group of manmade chemicals found in drinking water across the country, including in Rhinelander.  They’re linked to health risks like thyroid disease, high cholesterol, and even cancer...

Ken Notes: No doubt that Covid-19 will change our perspective on issues that once were high on our priorities scale. What I hope we learn is that we work better together as a team...

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Native Groups, Private Citizens Among Those Concerned About Possible Mining Near Wolf River

Badger Minerals, a subsidiary of a Canadian mining company, wants to begin exploratory testing in eastern Oneida County near the headwaters of the Wolf River. The area sits on an ancient volcanic deposit that often contains high concentrations of zinc, lead, copper, gold, and silver. Recently, a group met in Mole Lake, which sits a few miles from the site, to express their concerns over the proposed mining.

Forest County Potawatomi Tribal Member Nick Shepard began his speech by saying, “I’m here today in support of protecting the Wolf River, again.”...


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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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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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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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