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

In A Hurry Scan Just the Titles

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BUILD award winners named

The Associated General Contractors of Wisconsin announced the winning entries for the 2017 BUILD Wisconsin Awards.

The 2017 BUILD Wisconsin Awards includes projects that were completed in 2016.

For more information, visit www.agcwi.org.

Environmental Excellence Award: Miron Construction Co. Inc., Neenah, for the Menasha Corporation Corporate Office...


Ken Notes: This is an amazing project, Congrats!!

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Wisconsin Lawmakers Consider Eliminating State Air Pollution Rules
GOP Bill Would Eliminate State DNR Regulations, Leave Only Federal Rules

Wisconsin lawmakers are considering a proposal that would eliminate all of the state’s air quality regulations by the end of next year.

Assembly lawmakers met Tuesday for a public hearing on a bill that would eliminate all of the state Department of Natural Resource’s rules for air quality. The DNR would have the option to reintroduce those regulations. All existing federal regulations would continue.

The bill’s sponsors argued some of the state’s air standards are unnecessary and stifle growth...


Ken Notes: Are these the same legislators who said our local DNR and regulations would protect us from the elimination of federal agencies and regulations???

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We Energies Embraces Solar Power

State moving away from coal -- but still has a long ways to go.

For decades, We Energies has been a coal colossus. As recently as 2005, about 70 percent of its power came from burning coal and even today 51 percent of its power is coal generated, the company estimates. That meant more pollution for this metro area, which for many years fell hardest on minority residents, one study found.

That situation improved after the company’s Menomonee Valley plant switched to natural gas, but coal was still in heavy use and polluting the state. The company’s plant in Pleasant Prairie uses “an average of 13,000 tons of coal a day, shipped in train cars from Wyoming’s Powder River Basin,” to supply the electric needs of up to one million homes, as Lee Bergquist of the Journal Sentinel has reported...


Ken Notes: As wind and solar become more cost effective it is imperative that the large companies get on board and utilize the infrastructure they have in place.

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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 Gov. Scott Walker to sign bill Monday clearing way for copper and gold mining

Gov. Scott Walker will sign a measure Monday clearing the way for mining copper and gold in Wisconsin, handing a win to business groups over the proposal`s environmental opponents.

In signing Assembly Bill 499 at the Rhinelander airport, the Republican governor will repeal a nearly two-decade old state law that has essentially barred companies from extracting minerals besides iron because of pollution concerns. 

The legislation passed the Senate and Assembly last month without a single Democratic vote and with opposition from a handful of Republicans....


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Putting it back: Holy Wisdom Monastery restoring rare landscape with horse-powered help

TOWN OF WESTPORT — Rosebud and Duchess seemed anxious to get to work as they heard trees being felled on a recent misty November morning.

The pair of harnessed American Suffolk horses would soon be hauling timber out of a wooded area near Lake Mendota. The work, which recalled an earlier era when land was cleared by muscle alone, also seeks to turn the clock back on this parcel of land to oak savanna, now one of the rarest ecological environments in America.

Holy Wisdom Monastery is undergoing a years-long project to convert some 30 acres of its property to oak savanna, characterized by a sparse placement of oak trees with long grasses and flowering plants covering the ground in between...


Ken Notes: Very cool project...

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$300M for Great Lakes cleanup moves forward in Congress

DETROIT (AP) — A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee.

The measure cleared the committee this week and now goes to the full Senate.

The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region`s most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff, invasive species and declining wildlife habitat....


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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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Crickets may be answer to environmental sustainability

Crickets and other edible insects are the pathway to an increased economy, a healthy environment and sustainable agriculture, PhD student Valerie Stull said.

Wisconsin Union Directorate Cuisine hosted Stull to discuss how crickets can be effective in cultivating a better environment for the U.S.

Stull is the co-leader of the Mission to Improve Global Health Through Insects, where they believe insects are one of the best practices for sustainable food sourcing. Climate change, agriculture and human health are all affected positively by insect consumption, Stull said...


Ken Notes: mmmmmmm crickets???

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Aldo Leopold Nature Center to host holiday bazaar
The Aldo Leopold Nature Center in Monona will host a holiday bazaar on Dec. 3

The event, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at 330 Femrite Dr., supports children`s environmental educational programming and will include 30 local artists and vendors. Products will include cheese, honey, candles, tea, toffee and a variety of art work.


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Wisconsin’s Fire Sale for Big Business

Gov. Scott Walker had already reached desperate levels of generosity to entice a big electronics company to locate in Wisconsin. Last summer, the governor agreed to an eye-popping $3 billion in state subsidies to secure the arrival of Foxconn, a global manufacturer of flat-panel display screens. That amounts to an annual state subsidy (that is, taxpayer money) of $15,000 to $19,000 per promised job — more than five times the typical subsidy, according to job development specialists.

But wait, there’s more, as TV hucksters say: To make it easier for this Taiwanese company to build what is promised as one of the largest economic development projects in United States history — a $10 billion operation supposedly three times as large as the Pentagon — the company will be exempt from the state environmental requirements that other companies have to follow...    ...more

Ken Notes: Remember when we were know nationally for bipartisan environmental excellence???

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Environmental groups challenge DBA-DNR settlement, file lawsuit

A handful of environmental groups are challenging a settlement the state Department of Natural Resources reached over large livestock farm regulations.

Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA) filed a lawsuit last week on behalf of the Clean Water Action Council, Milwaukee Riverkeeper and the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation alleging the settlement opens the door to pollution and the public never got a chance to provide input...


Ken Notes: We need to all sit down and discuss how to regulate these farms. They are cities in the most rural areas. What works for 500 head does not work for 5,000....

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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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Democrats could bring $3 billion jobs deal with Foxconn to a halt

MADISON - Republicans are charging that Democrats might accomplish more than even some liberals hope: Stopping Wisconsin`s $3 billion factory deal with Foxconn Technology Group. 

Also Tuesday, the Financial Times revealed that Foxconn has been using illegal student labor to assemble iPhones at its factory in Zhengzhou, China. The students are forced to work illegal overtime in order to graduate from their high school, the newspaper reported.

The Democratic candidates for governor have vowed to try to block or renegotiate the incentives to the Taiwanese company, which are aimed at bringing a flat-screen display plant and thousands of jobs to Racine County...


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Shake Shack Comes To Wisconsin, With Local Twist

East coast fast-casual darling Shake Shack has officially made it to Wisconsin.

Scores of people— including Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett— lined up Wednesday in Milwaukee’s Third Ward for the opening of the new location, the first in both Milwaukee and Wisconsin...

...The Milwaukee location features a special ice cream treat blended with a seasonal pie from local diner Honeypie Cafe. Five percent of the sales of the "Pie Oh My Concrete" go toward Groundwork Milwaukee, a Milwaukee-based nonprofit dedicated to promoting "environmental, economic and social well-being."


Ken Notes: WDNews would love to be adopted. We will mention your business to 10K of Wisconsin`s best professionals....

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Invasive Asian carp found in Wisconsin River

The five adult bighead carp found below the Prairie Du Sac Dam on the Wisconsin River this fall are a stark reminder that Asian carp are not just a threat to the Great Lakes but also to Wisconsin’s thousands of inland lakes and rivers.

The good news is that the pathway up the Wisconsin River basin is blocked by the massive dam on the river about 30 miles northwest of Madison. The dam, opened in 1914, was built to generate hydroelectric power, but a century later it is also proving to be a valuable invasive species barrier....


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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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WEC Energy Group collaborates with EEI in reporting of environmental, social and governance information

MILWAUKEE, Dec. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- To promote consistency and transparency in sustainability reporting, WEC Energy Group (NYSE: WEC) is participating in the Edison Electric Institute`s (EEI`s) public pilot of a new reporting template for environmental, social and governance (ESG) information. This pilot is part of an ongoing initiative to make ESG/sustainability metrics more accessible to investors and comparable across the electric sector...


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As one Wisconsin coal plant closes, neighbors of another worry pollution will shift to their backyards

When We Energies announced the closing of its Pleasant Prairie coal-fired power plant in southeastern Wisconsin last week, residents and clean power activists applauded. But the news has also caused anxiety as some fear it means We Energies will increase production at a pair of coal-fired power plants about 15 miles away.

Those concerns are heightened by earlier news that tech giant Foxconn plans to open a large factory nearby, which will likely increase power demand in the area....


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

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

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

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

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

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

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`Opt Outside` Day Brings Citizen Scientist Outdoors

While much of Wisconsin went shopping or to work on Friday, a smaller number of people went outdoors, as part of a national effort called "Opt Outside." 

REI, a national outdoors retailer is again promoting "Opt Outside," as an alternative to Black Friday. Instead of recreating or clocking in, Shorewood resident Kathy Beaver and 13 other volunteers made it a day to check local rivers for water pollution with environmental group Milwaukee Riverkeeper.


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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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For clean-energy jobs, sky`s the limit

Farm fields stretched out 24 stories below Will Osborn, the landscape dotted with silos and farmhouses.

Of course, he didn’t have much time to gaze. Planted atop a wind turbine — one of a few dozen at his work site in Sauk Centre, Minnesota — Osborn was diagnosing a weather sensor...


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DNR discounts hazardous fine particles, so neighbors set up pollution monitors

Members of a Madison neighborhood group plan to put up air pollution monitors to measure fine particle emissions from an aluminum die-casting company.

The neighbors are concerned because the state Department of Natural Resources hasn’t evaluated whether Madison-Kipp Corp.’s emissions of the hazardous particles violate air quality standards.

The Schenk-Atwood-Starkweather-Yahara Neighborhood Association’s environmental committee wants to spend about $2,000 on monitors that would measure airborne particulate matter around the company’s aluminum die-casting operations...


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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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Frac-tured hills: Professor’s book goes inside the fight against Wisconsin sand mines

MENOMONIE — Like the west-central Wisconsin residents he attended meetings with, Thomas Pearson became aware of frac sand mining as a citizen, concerned about a new industry that threatened to alter lives and landscapes.

His concern, as he watched the drama unfold, grew into a research project and then, over the course of several years, a book. “When the Hills Are Gone: Frac Sand Mining and the Struggle for Community,” was published in early November by the University of Minnesota Press....


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Got questions about the Wisconsin Foxconn deal? We have (some of) the answers

MADISON - After months of work, the multibillion-dollar Foxconn Technology Group deal is almost done at both the state and local level. 

But the questions are just beginning about the effort to lure Foxconn to Racine County, where the Taiwanese company is planning to build a massive flat-screen display plant in the village of Mount Pleasant.

Here are answers to some of readers` most frequent questions about the deal.

Q: What hurdles does this project have left?...


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Green jobs essential for state’s future

Throughout 2017, Wisconsinites kept hearing an old argument: jobs versus the environment. We must choose, we are told, between a healthy environment and a strong economy.


In fact, during this age of global warming, one of the best ways to build a robust economy is to protect the environment and promote clean energy. And ignoring the effects of climate change hurts our economy...


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Officials Have More Work Ahead on Enbridge Pipeline Review

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Minnesota officials need to do more work on the environmental review of Enbridge Energy`s proposed replacement for its aging Line 3 crude oil pipeline, which has drawn strong opposition from environmental and tribal groups.

The Public Utilities Commission voted 4-1 Thursday to declare that the environmental impact statement is "inadequate" and sent it back for revisions to the Minnesota Department of Commerce, which conducted the review, the Star Tribune reported. The PUC isn`t scheduled to decide the bigger question of whether the project is needed until late April at the earliest...


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Conditions were scary dangerous in Wisconsin barrel plants, say workers hurt on the job

For most of three years, Phillip Leitze stripped used 55-gallon chemical barrels to get them down to bare metal and ready for a fresh coat of paint.  

It was dirty, dangerous work, but Leitze was glad to have the job at Mid-America Steel Drum in St. Francis — at least at first.  

Each day, Leitze put on two extra layers of clothes. The machine he operated blasted tiny metal balls of "shot" that would ricochet back as if he was facing a hail storm. He wore the extra clothing to protect himself even when temperatures soared into the 90s....


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EPA union warns of impending public health, environmental emergency without federal budget deal

A government shutdown this week would disable the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and create a public health and environmental emergency, the union representing some 900 EPA employees across the midwest warned on Monday.

The deadline is December 8th for Congress to reach a funding deal or pass a continuing resolution to allow the current federal appropriations to remain in place for an additional amount of time...


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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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Michigan, Enbridge reach deal to boost safety of pipelines

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. (AP) — Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and Canadian oil transport company Enbridge Inc. announced an agreement Monday intended to boost the safety of twin oil pipelines beneath the waterway where Lakes Michigan and Huron converge.

The deal does not call for the decommissioning of Line 5 as environmental groups have demanded, although it does include a procedure for temporarily halting the flow of oil through the 5-mile-long (8-kilometer-long) underwater segment when storms cause sustained periods of high waves....


Ken Notes: The same Enbridge who has said local Wisconsin communities request for added safety are unwarranted....

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H&H Solar completes two utility-scale solar arrays in Iowa

H&H Solar, a unit of H&H Group Holdings with headquarters in Madison, Wisconsin, has announced the completion of two of their latest solar energy projects located in West Dubuque, and the other in the Port of Dubuque area located near the center of downtown Dubuque, Iowa.

For both projects, H&H Solar provided the design, engineering, construction and final installation. The West Dubuque project, now the largest and most powerful solar energy location in Iowa, is a 5-MWdc ground mount installation sitting on a 22-acre parcel utilizing AP-Alternatives Fixed Tilt Ground Mounted Racking, Canadian Solar Modules and Canadian Solar Inverters. In addition to the design, engineering and construction services provided by H&H Solar, the company also handled the procurement and permitting for the project. Because accessibility to the site was a challenge, the construction of 2,000 feet of service roads was required for a successful installation...


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Green cars waiting to hatch
Pune’s green mobility plans are in tandem with the Centre’s e-vision for automobiles by the coming decade

The government is asking the automotive industry to go green and electric by 2030. And Pune is more than warming up to the prospects, developing its own vehicles to realise this e-mobility plan, albeit with a few clauses of its own to ensure some other technology doesn’t upset this green future...   ...more

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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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Horicon Marsh Bird Club to host historian and birder Michael John Jaeger
HORICON - Michael John Jaeger, president of the Wisconsin Society for Ornithology, will present a program on the history and future of Wisconsin bird conservation at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 21, at the next meeting of the Horicon Marsh Bird Club in the lower level of the Horicon Marsh Education and Visitor Center.   ...more

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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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