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


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Department of Energy Provides $40 Million for 4 DOE Bioenergy Research Centers

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Secretary of Energy Rick Perry today announced $40 million in Department of Energy awards for the establishment of four DOE Bioenergy Research Centers (BRCs), which will provide the scientific breakthroughs for a new generation of sustainable, cost-effective bioproducts and bioenergy.

The centers—each led by a DOE National Laboratory or a top university—are designed to lay the scientific groundwork for a new bio-based economy that promises to yield a range of important new products and fuels derived directly from nonfood biomass. Initial funding for the four centers will total $40 million for FY 2018, with plans for a total of five years of funding.

The following centers were selected based on an open competition using outside peer review: the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, led by the University of Wisconsin-Madison in partnership with Michigan State University; the Center for Bioenergy Innovation, led by DOE’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory; the Joint BioEnergy Institute, led by DOE’s Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory; and the Center for Advanced Bioenergy and Bioproducts Innovation, led by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Ken Notes: Congrats and well done...

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Wisconsin moves to protect groundwater with rules limiting manure spreading

After years of complaints about manure spreading and its potential to harm drinking water, state officials are advancing first-ever rules to limit animal waste on vulnerable soils of eastern Wisconsin.

The target of the proposed regulations is farmland that lies over fractured bedrock that, under the right circumstances, can serve as a conduit for pathogen-laden manure to soak into aquifers and taint drinking water.

After prodding from environmental groups and some rural residents, the Department of Natural Resources is targeting 15 counties, including those of metropolitan Milwaukee, for certain manure-spreading standards....


Notes: "The DNR has concluded that groundwater standards in eastern Wisconsin cannot be met with a one-size-fits set of regulations and that special actions must be taken in the region." About time especially as it relates to CAFO`s or mega farms, we are building cow cities and treating them like small farms. Digest and heat the effluent to 165 you can then sell it or use it as a far more safe product. It is organic and pathogen free...

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Horse-mounted protesters ride Wisconsin route of Canadian tar sands pipeline

STRATFORD - Last year Bill Greendeer walked the entire length of the buried pipeline pushing Canadian tar sands through Wisconsin.  

 A member of Wisconsin’s Ho-Chunk tribe, Greendeer spent 33 days walking what’s known as Line 61 owned by Canadian pipeline giant Enbridge.  

Tuesday morning, he was among a couple dozen people who saddled up horses to ride along part of the route in central and northern Wisconsin as a way to protest the pipeline that carries around 890,000 barrels of tar sands each day and possible efforts to build another pipeline to move more of the black sludge also known as bitumen....   ...more

Ken Notes: I think every pipeline and major powerline in Wisconsin should have a publicly accessible trail along it`s route with options for camping, recreation, and environmental studies.

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Wisconsin DNR to review wetland permit for Monroe County frac facility

Wisconsin’s environmental protection agency has agreed to reconsider whether to let a Georgia investment company fill Monroe County wetlands for a frac sand processing site.

The Department of Natural Resources issued a letter Wednesday granting Clean Wisconsin’s petition for a contested case hearing on a permit allowing Meteor Timber to fill 16¼ acres of wetlands for its proposed $65 million processing and loading facility...


Ken Notes: Good read, lets hope DNR gets this right. If we are going to have sand mines (and we are), we need to hold them to the fire and make sure they improve the land they effect. The private sector has used the industry to improve transit and other infrastructure, now it should at least it should be our turn.

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DOJ seeks to waive Harley-Davidson air-pollution punishment

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration agreed Thursday to waive part of the penalty Harley-Davidson Inc. agreed to pay last year to settle a case over air pollution involving racing tuners that caused its motorcycles to emit higher-than-allowed pollution levels.

The Justice Department filed a new consent decree with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. It eliminated a requirement that the Milwaukee-based company spend $3 million to curb air pollution in local communities by paying to replace conventional woodstoves with cleaner-burning versions...


Ken Notes: H-D is hurting right now, I would negotiate a program that captures future profits for the betterment of the environment. If we had done this with the paper industry, Wisconsin would still have a thriving paper industry.

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DNR Changes Dredging Rules For Inland Lakes, Great Lakes

New small-scale dredging projects guidelines for the state`s lakes, rivers and streams has been finalized.

The DNR went to public comment about the general permit changes with more than 700 comments given by the public...

...Several groups, including Clean Wisconsin, Wisconsin Lakes, Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, The Nature Conservancy, the River Alliance of Wisconsin, Manitowish Waters Lakes Association, Plum Lake Association, and more than 30 others  asked the dredging language be removed from consideration. The opponents say even small scale dredging can damage a lake`s ecosystem...   ...more

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

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Wisconsin fish farming growing after 10-year lull

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — After a 10-year lull, Wisconsin’s aquaculture industry is seeing growth with new farms raising fish destined for the dinner plate.

Chris Hartleb is a University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point biology professor who’s tracked the state’s aquaculture industry. He told Wisconsin Public Radio that there’s been a resurgence in the past three years with new businesses, often run by a younger generation, opening up.

Fish farming in the state has traditionally centered on raising bait and sport fish for anglers, but new aquaculture businesses are moving the focus back to fish meant to be eaten...


Ken Notes: Again good and bad ways to do this. I like the fish farms with aquaculture vegetable systems that actually create a little ecosystem. UWSP has a research/demonstration facility that is way cool and they offer a certificate program for farmers...

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Dane County parks `visionary` Phil Lewis dies

He was nationally known for his work cataloging landscape features to be preserved

Phil Lewis, a nationally known professor of landscape architecture who was instrumental in the preservation of a vast swath of meadow and wetland that runs for 7 miles from Lake Farm Park to Dunn’s Marsh, died on Sunday, according to former colleagues.

The Lewis Nine Springs E-Way is an impressive example of the UW-Madison professor’s gift for designing environmental corridors that enhance relationships between people and nature, said Bill Lunney, a longtime Dane County Parks Commission chairman....


Ken Notes: We need visionaries like this now more that ever. We must work together to accommodate growth for business while preserving areas like the E-Way. If we would stop yelling at each other we would find that the vary economic resources we need to preserve our natural resources is readily available form the private sector. And they are willing to invest if we stop telling them what to do and start asking for help...

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Shrinking greenhouse gas emissions is all about economics for We Energies

WEC Energy Group Inc. president and CEO Allen Leverett enjoys reading biographies of America’s “conservationist president” Theodore Roosevelt, but it’s not environmentalism that’s igniting Leverett’s drive to reduce his company’s greenhouse gas emissions.

For Leverett, the even-keeled CEO of Wisconsin’s largest electric utility, it’s all about economics — not ecology. And definitely not politics.

Specifically, what Leverett calls “coal-gas economics” is behind WEC Energy’s long-term transition away from burning coal and relying more heavily on natural gas and renewable energy sources. My cover story in this week’s Milwaukee Business Journal print edition takes a close look at how this strategy is unfolding for the parent company of We Energies and Wisconsin Public Service Corp....


Ken Notes: I sooooo wish that Environmental advocates were required to take a course in business economics and it`s importance in our economy. We would then be seen as advocates for clean energy and sustainability rather that clueless advocates for costly mandates. In the end we would be far more powerful and accomplish much more. Especially now when new technologies make green economically attractive...

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Proposed Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service

The proposed Twin Cities-Milwaukee-Chicago Intercity Passenger Rail Service project between the Twin Cities, Milwaukee, Chicago, and smaller cities in between has completed a first milestone towards entering the federal passenger rail program.

A recently released Purpose and Need Statement defines the purpose of the project and the transportation needs it addresses. It is now available at www.dot.state.mn.us/passengerrail/tc-mil-chi/...


Ken Notes: I can think of two huge funding sources, Sand Mines, and E-retail looking for entrance into the Chicago Market. Wisconsin missed out on the economic impact of this rail corridor the last time, ihope this time the get on board...

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Opportunity to shine

Green energy jobs are booming even without government support

On a nine-day trip to Mastatal, Costa Rica, in the spring of 2011, a group of Madison College students got a glimpse of the future.

They found about 100 people in the remote farming village living in houses built by hand, with wood taken from the surrounding forest. The homes had dirt floors, tin roofs, no running water and no electricity. But the students helped the villagers get one modern convenience: electricity...


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Trump to tap longtime coal lobbyist for EPA’s No. 2 spot

President Trump will nominate a prominent coal lobbyist and former Senate aide, Andrew Wheeler, to serve as the Environmental Protection Agency’s deputy administrator, according to two senior administration officials.

Wheeler, a principal at Faegre Baker Daniels Consulting, is a lobbyist for coal giant Murray Energy and served as a top aide for Sen. James M. Inhofe (R-Okla.) when Inhofe chaired the Senate Environment Committee. He has represented Murray Energy — whose chief executive, Bob Murray, is a prominent supporter of the president — since 2009.


Ken Notes: So let me get this straight, instead of reviewing and controlling the EPA, the new goal is to turn the EPA into and advocacy agency for the industries that do anything but protect the environment.

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City of Superior Receives Large State Grant for Beach Improvements

A plan to improve the shoreline of Lake Superior along Wisconsin point in the city of Superior is close to becoming a reality.

Superior Mayor Jim Paine confirms that the state of Wisconsin awarded the city with a grant worth $1.375 million for the improvements.

“I am very grateful to the state of Wisconsin for recognizing the value of this project and investing in it so significantly,” Paine said.

The mayor says the project will improve water quality, restore the sand dunes, and generally improve public access to the beach.

Years of industry and commerce along the shoreline has caused environmental concerns for both the states of Wisconsin and Minnesota...


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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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July 15 is Aquaculture Day in Wisconsin
With today`s focus on natural, healthful and locally sourced foods, a visit to a Wisconsin fish farm offers people of all walks of life the ideal way to celebrate a quintessential pastime of summer. On July 15, the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association and member fish farmers welcome Wisconsinites to experience fish farming and learn firsthand how locally-grown, fresh fish are raised on today`s farms....

Attn Press, you may want to write a story on this. Here is a link to the state web page on Fish Farms.  There are good resources at the site. Also UWSP has a bunch of experts try Dr. Chris Hartleb Phone: 715-346-0123 CHartleb at uwsp.edu?...


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DNR Manure Plan For Eastern Counties Gains Early, But Guarded, Support

A Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources plan to limit manure spreading in about 15 eastern Wisconsin counties is getting a tentative thumbs-up from some environmental groups.  

The proposed regulations target more than 87,000 acres of farmland, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The land lies over fractured bedrock, which can serve as a pathway for manure to get into aquifers and taint drinking water.

The rules include certain practices farmers must follow, such as avoiding certain areas to reduce the possibility of polluting groundwater.

Currently, regulations are uniform across the state. Special action must be taken in eastern Wisconsin in order to meet the groundwater standard, according to the department.

Scott Laeser of Clean Wisconsin told WPR on Tuesday the proposal released this week will encourage farmers to make adjustments....


Notes: Number of anaerobic digestors in Wisconsin <200 in Germany >6000....

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Unanimous Opposition to Back Forty Mine Goes to County Board

The Door County Board of Supervisors will consider a resolution opposing the Back 40 Mine near Menominee at its monthly meeting Tuesday, July 25. The resolution passed the county’s Legislative Committee unanimously following comment from local and regional residents in opposition to the mine.

“Considering our close proximity to the mine, to the Menominee River and to Green Bay it would be very wise for this committee to oppose construction and the digging of the mine,” said Dennis Skahen, former Resource Development Specialist with the UW-Extension office in Door County....


Ken Notes: We do not learn from our past, in fact we seem intent on repeating it.

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American White Pelicans thriving in Northeast Wisconsin

DE PERE, Wis. (WFRV) - A large aquatic bird that has become a familiar sight in Northeast Wisconsin is thriving in the Bay of Green Bay. As Local 5`s Kris Schuller reports the American White Pelican now makes our area its summer home.

On the churning waters near the Fox River dam in De Pere - American White Pelicans perch. They are members of a growing colony that has found a home on the waters of Northeast Wisconsin.

“We have a pretty good population of white pelicans,” said DNR Wildlife Biologist Josh Martinez...

...“They`ll work together to herd fish into the shoreline or some other obstacle and force them to the surface in shallow water and you`ll see all their heads go down at one time,” said Mike Reed, director of the Green Bay Wildlife Sanctuary...   ...more

Ken Notes: I thought I was seeing things when I saw a flock in Albany this spring.

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Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council

Wisconsin Green Building Search


WGBA has combined forces with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) and together we will pilot a new model for USGBC chapters and local market engagement...

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Two Wisconsin dairy farms earn national honors for sustainability efforts

MADISON - The Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy®, established under the leadership of dairy farmers, announced its sixth annual U.S. Dairy Sustainability Awards in a June 28 Chicago ceremony. The program recognizes dairy farms, businesses and partnerships whose practices improve the wellbeing of people, animals and the planet. 

Kellercrest Registered Holsteins, Inc., Mount Horeb, won the award for Outstanding Achievement in Resource Stewardship. Kinnard Farms, Casco, was one of three winners for Outstanding Dairy Farm Sustainability....   ...more

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Opinion: Feds should fund Great Lakes project
The Milwaukee County Parks system held a ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday to mark a $3.7 million project aimed at reducing pollution at Bay View’s South Shore Beach. Good for the county, but the fact that the beach was closed seven times in June serves as a stark reminder that completion of the project can’t come too soon...   ...more

Ken Notes: It is not as easy as saying the feds should fund it. We should be required to demonstrate need, cost effectiveness, and long term benefits as well as a funding source. We are in the dilemma we are in because we spent money we did not have on projects that were not well planned. I agree that the great lakes would be a very high priority, a great investment, with much economic gain and thus funding resources. So why not use this as example of how projects should be done responsibly.

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Interior Dept. ordered Glacier park chief, other climate expert pulled from Zuckerberg tour

Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg flew to Glacier National Park on Saturday to tour the melting ice fields that have become the poster child for climate change’s effects on Montana’s northern Rockies.

But days before the tech tycoon’s visit, the Trump administration abruptly removed two of the park’s top climate experts from a delegation scheduled to show him around, telling a research ecologist and the park superintendent that they were no longer going to participate in the tour...


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Protection of Great Lakes is a smart US investment

It’s premature to declare victory as Congress works to protect the Great Lakes from President Donald Trump’s proposed elimination of $300 million in funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, but action taken last week by the House Appropriations Committee is encouraging.

By a 30-21 vote, the committee restored $300 million for the GLRI to the budget. Many of the “no” votes such as that of U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan of Howland, D-13th, weren’t opposed to the $300 million restoration, but to other cuts made to Environmental Protection Agency funding...


Ken Notes: This is truly and investment! We should ask Canada to match this...

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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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Barrett Wants To Send `Loud And Clear Message` With Local Efforts To Combat Climate Change

President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord last month has mobilized mayors across the United States to double down on their commitments to tackle climate change in their respective cities.  

Part of this effort includes the Climate Mayors, a group of more than 300 mayors who agreed to uphold the Paris climate agreement and intensify efforts to combat climate change at the local level. Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett is one of those mayors...


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OPINION: City of Madison violates its own pesticide policies

Steve Elbow`s article on the Madison Parks Division`s use of pesticides reflects the city’s schizophrenic history of pesticide use — and several violations of its own policy.

In 1991, the City Council severely restricted the use of pesticides, and in 2002 Mayor Sue Bauman placed a moratorium on the use of Roundup (glyphosate). In 2004, the city developed a pesticide policy (see attached PDF), stating: “The City of Madison agrees with the U.S. EPA that ‘all pesticides are toxic to some degree, and the commonplace widespread use of pesticides is both a major environmental problem and a public health issue.’”...


Ken Notes: This is very difficult to address. I have two acres on the Sugar River and I refuse to use ANY pesticides and herbicides, but I fight it every day - Just say no is tough for a private individual, difficult for a community, and impossible for a farmer. I also was a park and rec commissioner in Neenah and we had some of the best soccer fields in the state. but to keep them up judicious use of some chemicals was necessary. It was either that or take them out of play....

My guess is that Madison is VERY cautious in the use of what they apply and are minimalist in there efforts....

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Proposed tariffs could let Trump crush the solar industry

Trade officials are weighing new tariffs on imported solar cells that, if passed, would send shockwaves through the industry. By blocking the influx of cheap panels from overseas, tariffs would stunt demand for solar, dealing a critical blow to U.S. installers. By one estimate one-third of the solar workforce could lose their jobs.

We’ve actually run this experiment before. It didn’t turn out well....


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New startups participate in water accelerator

The Water Council welcomes next round of entrepreneurs and graduates class of 2017

MILWAUKEE, WI, July 21, 2017 – The Water Council and Guest of Honor Wisconsin Lt. Governor Rebecca Kleefisch announced today the fifth round of winners of the BREW Accelerator and graduated the fourth round of startups during a special ceremony last night at City Lights Brewing in Milwaukee.

The BREW Accelerator is the world’s leading seed accelerator focused on innovation-driven startups with commercialization potential solving global water challenges. The accelerator pairs the water-focused startups with a community of credentialed experts, services and resources of Wisconsin’s historic world water hub to help entrepreneurs from around the world launch their businesses....


Ken Notes: This program will place Wisconsin on the map regarding water quality world wide. Support of the Global Water Center and these programs could well help attract foreign business to the state.

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Utility, clean energy groups call for higher social cost of carbon in Minnesota

EMISSIONS: Clean energy groups and Xcel Energy tell Minnesota regulators to adopt a “much higher” social cost of carbon figure than is used now. (Minnesota Public Radio)

• Clean energy groups are divided over the need for a 125-mile, $500 million transmission line proposed through southwest Wisconsin. (Wisconsin State Journal)

• Illinois utility representatives say their customers are being hamstrung by high electric rates because their wholesale power supplier is over-invested in coal. (Southern Illinoisan)


• More libraries in Wisconsin are installing solar panels to help reduce energy costs. (Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune)


Ken Notes: Much more at the link...

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Conservation Group Opposes Industrial Acid Mining In Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. — According to the Wisconsin League of Conservation Voters, a closed-door effort is under way to draft a bill that would weaken the state`s mining law.

The group said the bill would pave the way for industrial acid mining, also called sulfide mining. Mining companies have identified four potential sites in northern Wisconsin with mineral deposits suitable for sulfide mining.

Sulfide mining creates massive amounts of waste, and according to the league’s executive director Kerry Schumann, that`s is a huge problem....

Ken Notes: Alas it is now about money and election results more than a concern for balance and our future. We ignore jobs and potential jobs in favor of promised jobs with the profit margins to promote politics and, well... more profit.

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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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Sports Venue Owners Nab Sustainability Help...

....In April, the Milwaukee Bucks’ new Wisconsin Entertainment & Sports Center announced that it is being built with an eye to reducing the arena’s footprint, ensuring energy efficiency, and furthering sustainability. The Bucks contracted with Johnson Controls to install smart building solutions that will be managed on a unified, intelligent infrastructure including HVAC, building automation, security, lighting, fire protection and information technology. The Wisconsin Entertainment and Sports Center is a $524 million project, according to Sports Techie....


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Legislators take action against mine

MADISON, Wis. — Resistance to the Aquila Resources Back Forty Mine project has grown steadily over the past few years, and members of the Wisconsin Legislature have taken notice. 

On Thursday, State Senator Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay) and Representatives Amanda Stuck (D-Appleton), Jeff Mursau (R-Crivitz) and Eric Genrich (D-Green Bay) introduced a bipartisan Joint Resolution opposing the mine project along the Menominee River in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, following in the footsteps of many municipalities who have voiced their opposition due to environmental, cultural and economic concerns. 

The resolution contains references to the potential long-term effects which could be caused by pollution from the mine, including the loss of natural resources, species habitats and clean water; the possibility of hazardous wastes degrading water quality and causing risks to human health; the loss of Native American cultural sites and areas of historical significance; and the loss of tourism revenue and reduction of property values along the Menominee River and other affected bodies of water. 

The LRB 3922 Joint Resolution is currently out for review and support, which the legislators sponsoring it are sure it will receive.


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Door County Mulls Opposition to Menominee’s Back 40 Mine

Door County is considering whether to become the last of the three counties in Green Bay’s immediate watershed to pass a resolution opposing a mine proposed near Menominee, Mich., along the Menominee River. Despite the resolutions, Wisconsin governments do not have much say in the permitting process for a mine located in Michigan, even if the mine would affect a waterway shared between the two states.

Local governments, environmental groups and the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin have criticized the mine for its possible environmental and cultural impacts. The proposed open pit sulfide mine would sit around 150 feet from the bed of the Menominee River...


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Links we like supporting Wisconsin`s Environment and Business. More will follow each week...

USGBC Wisconsin
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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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University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee now has first accredited public health school in Wisconsin

The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee announced Thursday it received accreditation for its public health program, making it the first in the state. 

The Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health attained national accreditation from the Council on Education for Public Health. Schools that win accreditation must pass a series of tests by peer institution judges who determine if 20-plus criteria have been met with curriculum, research, community engagement and retention rates. 

Ronald Perez, interim dean of the Zilber School, said, “We can now be even more effective in pursuing our mission of advancing population health, health equity, and social and environmental justice throughout Milwaukee, the state of Wisconsin, and beyond.”


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The name of the Driftless Region has always seemed a misnomer to me.

Less implies lacking something. The last glacier to plow through Wisconsin didn`t touch this western portion of the state, so it doesn’t have the glacial drift (sediment and large rocks) left behind in the rest of Wisconsin.  

But the Driftless is not less than in any way. In a state full of remarkable places, this area is its own kind of special paradise.


Ken Notes: Yo may want to check out DriftlessNotes.com...

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Climate change needs action, not gridlock

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend the Citizens’ Climate Lobby national conference in Washington, D.C.

I’ve been involved with CCL for about five years as a La Crosse chapter co-leader. The seventh annual conference attracted 1,300 attendees from almost every state and several other countries. With more than 400 active chapters in the United States, Canada and other countries and more than 60,000 members, CCL is a rapidly growing organization...


Ken Notes: Good read...

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New law should boost Wisconsin aquaculture industry

STAR PRAIRIE – When Gov. Scott Walker recently traveled to northwest Wisconsin to sign AB 160 (now Act 21) into law, it marked the culmination of more than two years of hard work by members of the Wisconsin Aquaculture Association (WAA) and state lawmakers.

“This is a historically significant law for the aquaculture industry in Wisconsin as it addresses numerous regulatory burdens that the industry has been struggling with for decades,” said WAA president Peter Fristch, “It also helps to put fish farming on a more level playing field by defining it across statutes as agriculture.”


Ken Notes: Thanks to the dozens of media outlets that ran stories on this...

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Environmental groups drop lawsuits over Monroe County frac mine, continue challenge to DNR permit

Groups opposed to a proposed Monroe County frac sand operation have dropped court cases against the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources but are continuing efforts to overturn the agency’s approval of a permit to fill pristine wetlands.

The DNR in May granted Meteor Timber permits to fill 16.25 acres of wetlands to make way for a proposed $65 million processing and loading facility that would serve a nearby mining site the Georgia investment company acquired in a 2014 purchase of nearly 50,000 acres....


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Smoggy skies: Why solar energy isn`t as efficient as it could be

According to a new study, air pollution may have yet another harmful effect—reduction of solar energy production.

Researchers from Duke, the Indian Institute of Technology at Gandhinagar and the University of Wisconsin at Madison performed the research, which appeared last month in Environmental Science & Technology Letters. The investigators—including Mike Bergin, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Drew Shindell, professor of climate sciences at the Nicholas School of the Environment—found that solar energy production was reduced by about 17 to 25 percent in India, China and the Arabian Peninsula due to particulates in the air....


Ken Notes: Now that is the Catch 22...

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R.A. Smith National

R.A. Smith National Search


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

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Groundwater concerns floated as Wisconsin reduces well regulations

NEW RICHMOND, Wis. — Owners of wells that pump more than 100,000 gallons of water a day are no longer subject to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources review for maintenance and replacement of existing wells.

Gov. Scott Walker signed a bill June 1 that reduces DNR oversight of high-capacity wells, which are used mostly by farmers and industrial businesses.

The new law allows well owners to forego DNR review for well maintenance, reconstruction and ownership transfers....


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UW-Madison professor bikes to bring attention to wind energy

CADOTT, Wis. (WEAU) -- James Tinjum, Ph.D., associate professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison`s Department of Engineering Professional Development (EPD), will travel across four Midwestern states by bicycle in July to visit wind turbines and bring attention to wind energy....


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Ruling leaves insurers exposed to environmental claims

A 1989 settlement that released insurers, including a Liberty Mutual Holding Co. Inc. subsidiary, from any future claims arising from environmental contamination at five facilities did not include a New Jersey storage battery facility because it was not specifically named, says a federal appeals court in a divided opinion that overturns a lower court ruling...

...After Waukesha, Wisconsin-based Cooper Industries acquired McGraw-Edison, it discovered that several of McGraw’s factories, including the Primary Battery plant, had potentially contaminated the environment...


Ken Notes: This is going to be a problem going forward and I wonder how it will effect negotiated settlements...

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Marinette council opposes mine

MARINETTE — Opposition to the Back Forty mine project grew by one municipality on Wednesday evening. 

The City of Marinette formally passed a resolution during a special meeting on Wednesday opposing a plan from Aquila Resources to open an 83-acre mine in Lake Township, Menominee County, north of the Shakey Lakes system and just about 50 yards from the eastern side of the Menominee River. In addition to the resolution in opposition to the mine, the City Council also passed a resolution urging Wisconsin legislators "to enact legislation which would allow the adjacent Wisconsin State government, Wisconsin county governments and local Wisconsin municipalities and towns to have input on the regulation, permitting, operation and reclamation of sulfide mining operations which pertain to sulfide mining operations on Michigan/Wisconsin boundary waters." ...


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Formula E: Sam Bird wins historic New York ePrix

(CNN)Set against the iconic backdrop of the New York skyline, Sam Bird claimed victory in a thrilling race as Formula E fever swept the city.

The race marked the first time in which an international motor race of any kind had lit up the Big Apple and the historic occasion didn`t disappoint...

...The response to Formula E`s arrival in New York had been overwhelmingly positive, with one local businessman, Matt Lewis, telling CNN "we embrace them with open arms."...

Ken Notes: Wisconsin???

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The Model 3`s Success Depends Upon Tesla Building More Than a Decent Car
In just two weeks, Tesla will start delivery of the Model 3, its long-awaited $35,000 sedan. After handing over the first 30 sets of keys, Elon Musk will hustle back to the factory, where he hopes to build 20,000 more of the ‘affordable’ electric cars by the end of 2017. Then production really accelerates: Musk has pledged to build 500,000 cars in 2018, more than double the total number of vehicles that Tesla has sold, to date.

Even if Tesla can deliver all those cars, cashing checks is but a tiny part of building an automotive business. Perhaps the bigger challenge for the Silicon Valley outfit is building the infrastructure that will keep its cars charged, and fix them when they break. Giant touchscreens and ludicrous acceleration may attract buyers, but easy ownership will make them come back for more....


Ken Notes: Hmmmmm jobs, revenue, growth....

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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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Meetings planned for public response to oil pipeline report

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan business groups on Monday defended twin oil pipelines beneath the Straits of Mackinac, saying Enbridge Inc.`s Line 5 provides crucial energy supplies and is safer for the environment than transporting the oil another way.

Representatives of several organizations, most with ties to the energy industry, said the line should continue to operate with frequent maintenance and close scrutiny. They differed with environmental advocates who contend the nearly 5-mile-long (8-kilometer) segment beneath the waterway where Lakes Michigan and Huron meet is aging and should be decommissioned...


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Northland College Divests From Fossil Fuels
College Moves To Eliminate Fossil Fuels From Its Endowment Portfolio

The Northland College Board of Trustees has committed to eliminating its investment in fossil fuels as a part of the college`s endowment portfolio over the next five years.

Around $823,000 of the college’s $28 million endowment is invested in fossil fuel companies, according to Mike Fiorio, Northland trustee and financial advisor for Fiorio Wealth Advisors.

“The college’s endowment presently is invested in a portfolio of capital market, securities, stocks and bonds.” He said Wednesday, “The only thing that will change is what is presently allocated to fossil fuels - oil, natural gas, coal what have you - will now be re-allocated to the remaining portfolio.”...


Ken Notes: The publicity is good but the actual action does nothing to address the issues. I would keep the investments Transfer ownership to environmental students and send them to the annual meetings of these companies.

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