More than 200 people are expected to attend the Zoom video conference, titled “Working Together to Address Water Challenges – UW-Madison and State Government.” The symposium, lasting from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will also be streamed on YouTube.
This Weeks Articles...
Yahara Lakes 101
Alliant Energy poised to become largest solar operator in Wisconsin
Edgewater coal plant closure signals move towards renewable energy
Great Lakes Energy News Roundup: Ohio wind power in Lake Erie, solar projects stall in Illinois, major Wisconsin coal plant to close
Sold Down the River
Environmental Groups, Landowners Ask State to Turn Down Enbridge Reroute
Wisconsin joins states, cities challenging Trump mileage standards rollback
Farm families, livestock exhibitors saddened by Wisconsin State Fair cancellation
BELOIT—A $10,000 Herb Kohl Educational Foundation 2020 Excellence Scholarship by Herb Kohl, Wisconsin philanthropist and businessman, has been awarded to Audrey McManigle, a senior at Beloit Memorial High School.
The Herb Kohl Excellence Scholarship recognizes students who have demonstrated academic potential, outstanding leadership, citizenship, community service, integrity and other special talents. The Herb Kohl Educational Foundation has been recognizing educational excellence since 1990 by annually awarding scholarships to 200 graduating high school students throughout Wisconsin. Currently in its 30th year, the Herb Kohl Educational Foundation has awarded $21.2 million to Wisconsin students, teachers, principals and schools...
...McManigle plans to attend the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall double majoring in political science and environmental science....more
Ken Notes: I don`t have the heart to tell her the two often don`t mix...
Yahara Lakes 101: The Beauty and Basics of Rain Gardens
Rain gardens are the ultimate multi-function garden, boasting an ability to provide aesthetic improvement, privacy screening, wildlife habitat, and even improve nearby water quality and clarity. So how can you create your own?
In this month`s ONLINE Yahara Lakes 101 talk, Paul Skawinski from the Extension Lakes program at UW-Stevens Point will teach us what a rain garden is, what it isn`t, and how to start adding one to your landscape. Creating a rain garden is not difficult, but considering a few helpful tips will get you on your way to a beautiful and functional rain garden in less time, with less effort.
Ken Notes: I still believe we should take a road trip to Minneapolis St. Paul and look at what they did to clean up their lakes...
Reverses opinion by former AG Brad Schimel; Supreme Court to rule on whether DNR can weigh environmental impact of wells.
Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul says the state Department of Natural Resources can weigh the collective environmental impacts of high-capacity wells on state waters. The move reverses a contested opinion from former Attorney General Brad Schimel.
Schimel’s opinion, issued in 2016, countered a 2011 Wisconsin Supreme Court case, known as the Lake Beulah decision, that ruled the agency does have the authority to consider when such wells harm state waters, prompting legal challenges from environmentalists. The state’s former top legal advisor argued the 2011 law known as Act 21, which was passed shortly before the Supreme Court ruling, limited the regulatory authority of state agencies to what’s expressly written in state law.
The wells, which can draw more than 100,000 gallons per day, are vital for irrigating farm fields, but they’ve raised concerns over waters drying up in some areas of the state...
Attorney General Josh Kaul reverses opinion on high capacity wells, allows DNR more control over permits
Ken Notes: This should now allow us to look at the impact of CAFO`s as well. They are using wells to not only water their animals, but to dilute the manure so they can pump it miles away from the source. If our elected officials actually knew how a CAFO disposes of its waste we would have a new set of rules.
Unfortunately these CAFO`s are well organized, well funded, and are presenting themselves as Wisconsin`s dairy farms. They are not. Large agriculture interests contributed about $3.8 million to legislative and statewide candidates between January 2014 and June 2019, including more than $1.3 million to current legislators.
It has been around two months of quarantine for many of us. The urge to get out and enjoy the summer is real. But what`s safe? We asked a panel of infectious disease and public health experts to rate the risk of summer activities, from backyard gatherings to a day at the pool to sharing a vacation house with another household.
One big warning: Your personal risk depends on your age and health, the prevalence of the virus in your area and the precautions you take during any of these activities. Also, many areas continue to restrict the activities described here, so check your local laws......more
Ken Notes: I saw this just after making camping reservations at Big Foot, Lake Geneva. Glad to see camping was one of the better things to do this summer. We tend to avoid the restaurants and shopping and enjoy the lake and great park. Kayaks, bikes, aint life grand...
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...
he fifth annual Water@UW-Madison symposium will take place virtually Tuesday, highlighting water challenges at the university and state levels.
More than 200 people are expected to attend the Zoom video conference, titled “Working Together to Address Water Challenges – UW-Madison and State Government.” The symposium, lasting from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., will also be streamed on YouTube.
David Koser, a project assistant for the event, said this year’s theme will highlight UW-Madison’s “top-notch work” with the state government to address issues such as flooding or PFAS contamination in drinking water...
Ken Notes: Keep reading...
On March 13, nearly two years after first ordering the Wisconsin Air National Guard to clean up hazardous chemicals at the Madison airport, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources issued a new set of deadlines.
Less than a month later, with a statewide health emergency hindering virtually all activity, the DNR granted the guard yet another extension to address the pollution working its way into Starkweather Creek, Lake Monona and the groundwater that feeds Madison’s public wells...
Ken Notes: PFAS has definitely taken a back seat to Covid-19, which may not be the worst thing, because we are quick to identify the problems and sources, but as of yet do not have cost effective solutions to remove it from our drinking water not to mention our streams and lakes...
When you take a breath outside in Wisconsin, you are breathing the cleanest air the state has seen in 50 years. Not only is May Clean Air Month, but this year is also the 50th anniversary of the Clean Air Act.
Passed in 1970, the Clean Air Act is a landmark piece of environmental legislation largely responsible for the quality of the air we breathe today. Since its enactment 50 years ago, the combined emissions of six common pollutants have fallen by 73%. The Clean Air Act is one of the most comprehensive air quality laws in the world.
“Clean Air Month gives DNR the opportunity to shine a light on the accomplishments the state’s air has seen. Fifty years ago today, the air was nowhere near as clean or clear as it is today,” said Gail Good, the DNR’s Air Program Director. “Today’s positive air quality story is a direct result of a combination of federal regulation, state enforcement and action, and voluntary actions by businesses and citizens.”
"Wisconsin dairy farmers are facing unprecedented challenges due to COVID-19,” said DATCP Interim Secretary Randy Romanski. “We hope that temporarily lifting the state assessment on non-commercialized milk in this highly unusual situation will provide some relief to farmers or processors who may have to dispose of their product during this pandemic.”
“As the producer-elected marketing board responsible for promoting Wisconsin’s dairy industry, we know COVID-19 has made times even tougher for many of our farmers,” added DFW CEO Chad Vincent. “Wisconsin dairy is and will continue to be a cornerstone of our agricultural economy. We’re proud to partner with DATCP in finding opportunities like this to support our farmers.”
In Wisconsin, 10 cents per hundredweight of the total amount due to the farmer from the sale of their milk is collected by Dairy Farmers of Wisconsin. The funding generated by the state assessment is used for advertising and promotion, market research and development, industrial research, educational programs, and administrative costs...
Ken Notes: I again want to suggest we use a small portion of the 3 trillion dollars being spent to create shelf stable dairy products and make these products available to the billions of people who lake protein in there diets, not to mention the 850 million people who are starving...
In a move expected to benefit the environment and ratepayers, Alliant Energy plans to retire its Edgewater coal plant in Sheboygan by 2023, years ahead of schedule.
The plan, announced Friday, marks another step in the Madison-based utility’s pivot from coal to natural gas and renewable energy.
Alliant said it expects the retirement will save ratepayers hundreds of millions of dollars in long-term costs...
Ken Notes: I hope we can all work to help them get this done a quickly and cleanly as possible. In other cases it has been difficult to get the permits necessary to do the actual cleanup which make no sense to me.
LA FARGE — This is a place to escape without the crowds common at state parks.
The bathrooms, visitor center and campsites at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve are closed as a precaution against the COVID-19 coronavirus, but its namesake river continues its unencumbered flow towards the Wauzeka Bottoms 36 miles to the south before dumping into the main channel of the Wisconsin River.
The wildflowers in the KVR were beginning to pop last week as bald eagles soared above, sandhill cranes grazed in openings and, on a pond just beyond a covered bridge, Canada geese courted and the chorus of spring peepers echoed. There are stands of hemlock, white pine, maple and oak. Trails for biking, horseback riding, hiking and, in the winter, cross-country skiing zigzag the 8,600-acre property just north of Organic Valley’s headquarters...
Ken Notes: I have to agree it is a very special place and remember --- SHHHH it is a secrete... Great Read!!!
Energy News Network
SOLAR: Wisconsin utility Alliant Energy proposes to spend $900 million on six solar projects totaling 675 MW of capacity, which it says will save ratepayers $2 billion over the next three decades. (Wisconsin State Journal)
• COVID-19 has disrupted Illinois solar companies’ momentum while a lack of funding for a state incentive program looms even larger. (Illinois Newsroom)
• A solar developer plans energy efficiency and solar installations at six Ohio school districts to be completed later this year. (LimaOhio.com)
BIOGAS: Xcel Energy looks to “better understand the opportunities” of renewable natural gas by exploring costs and customer interest. (Star Tribune)
Many More Stories at the link......more
SCS - At the forefront of sustainable environmental solutions for over 40 years
On this Memorial Day, how far did you roam from home?
For the first time, the state tourism secretary – a job once called “secretary of fun” – hoped you didn’t go far.
“What we’re not doing is actively promoting travel,” Tourism Secretary Sara Meaney said in a WisconsinEye interview before Memorial Day, the traditional start of the summer vacation and travel season.
That unusual advice comes after a record year for the state’s tourism industry: $2.2 billion in direct and indirect spending by Wisconsin residents roaming around their state and out-of-state visitors in 2019.
“No one wants people to travel in Wisconsin more than I do,” Meaney added.
“The risk of spreading or contracting the (COVID-19) virus still exists....
Ken Notes: This is very difficult. If you are healthy, Wisconsin is a great place to visit, if you are a risk, we love you but stay home. The real problem is we have little way of knowing and we must err on the side of what is best for our health -- of course weighing into that comes the economic well being of our businesses. Then add the fact that the great divide politically is acting neither on behalf of our citizens or our businesses and you have the victims of the great compromise. (John Prine references were intentional)
Thanks for celebrating Earth Week with Wisconsin Conservation Voters at our virtual events and beyond!
Come have some fun at our online Environmental Trivia Night next week on Thursday, May 14, at 7 p.m.
Test your environmental and civic knowledge of Wisconsin and connect with conservation voters from across the state! Winner will recieve a bumper sticker and t-shirt or Nalgene water bottle!
Register here. You`ll receive a link to the Zoom event automatically. See you next Thursday, May 14!...more
Ken Notes: I hope this is a huge success... May 14, 2020 7:00 PM...
RIVER FALLS, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-River Falls College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences recently awarded six faculty research fellowships to help increase dairy-related research capacity through the Dairy Innovation Hub initiative. The selected faculty members will tackle research projects in the hub’s four priority areas: stewarding land and water resources; enriching human health and nutrition; ensuring animal health and welfare; and growing farm business and communities.
The Dairy Innovation Hub, which the state of Wisconsin is supporting to the tune of $1 million this year and $7.8 million per year in subsequent years, harnesses research and development at UW-Madison, UW-Platteville and UW-River Falls campuses to keep Wisconsin’s $45.6 billion dairy community at the global forefront in producing nutritious dairy products in an economically, environmentally and socially sustainable manner......more
Ken Notes: I love the research center, I home they look at better ways to deal with manure disposal especially on large farms...
By the end of 2022 Alliant Energy, a Madison-based energy company, will be shuttering the Edgewater coal plant in Sheboygan. By closing the plant, the company said in a press release, it hopes to transition to renewable energy, and avoid long-term costs for current customers.
“For decades, our Edgewater Generating Station has been providing customers and communities safe and reliable energy,” said David de Leon, president of Alliant’s Wisconsin Power and Light Company. “As we transition from coal toward a cleaner energy mix, we are caring for our employees, creating new jobs and bringing new economic development opportunities to the communities we serve.”
Revitalizing the coal industry was one of President Donald Trump’s main campaign promises back in 2016. Not only has that not happened, but use of coal energy has continued to decline throughout his administration. In some cases, as with sand fracking, these changes may be due to the shifting tides of business. In others, companies seem to have realized that the future is quickly running out of room for dirty energy...
Each spring, hundreds of area bird lovers have grabbed a pair of binoculars and joined others in the Great Wisconsin Birdathon.
Teams ranging from school groups to professional naturalists have participated, collecting pledges for how many different bird species they can spot in a 24-hour period. Since it was launched in 2012, the Birdathon has raised more than $500,000 for bird protection via the Madison-based Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin.
But faced with the COVID-19 pandemic, organizers have made some changes this year so the event can continue in accordance with Gov. Tony Evers` “safer at home” order...
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.
Ever heard of Green Ramadan? How about Green Muslims? Meet Huda Alkaff, a champion for environmental justice whose Islamic faith informs her activism.
This article is part of an ongoing series highlighting authors from Rooted and Rising: Voices of Courage in a Time of Climate Crisis (Rowman & Littlefield, 2019). Co-edited with my colleague, Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, Rooted and Rising is a collection of 21 chapters from religious environmental activists who reflect on their faith journeys amidst the climate crisis. In this segment, we meet Huda Alkaff, founder and director of Wisconsin Green Muslims, a grassroots environmental justice group formed in 2005...
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A federal judge in Montana on Monday upheld
his ruling last month that canceled an environmental permit for the
long-delayed Keystone XL oil pipeline and threatened other oil and
natural gas pipeline projects with delays.
Chief U.S. District Judge Brian Morris denied a request by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to narrow his April 15 ruling that canceled the so-called Nationwide Permit 12. The permit allows dredging work on pipelines across water bodies...
Ken Notes: One observation, several of these proposals are upgrade replacements of existing lines. I worry that aging lines will fail and environmentalists will be blamed for this.
Thanks to a major pollution cleanup effort by multiple federal and state agencies and citizen groups, the Lower Menominee River will be “delisted” or removed as an “Area of Concern” for pollution and habitat loss. This restoration work took more than two decades and cost at least $200 million, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The delisting of the Lower Menominee River was announced at the same time that American Rivers, a national conservation group, named the Menominee River one of the 10 most endangered rivers in America, citing the threat from Aquila Resources’ proposed metallic sulfide mine on the banks of the river. This is the second time in four years that the river has made the endangered list. Why spend so much time and money on cleaning up pollution in the Lower Menominee River only to allow potential toxic discharges from the proposed Back Forty mine into the headwaters of the river?
Ken Notes: Great points and I am pretty sure the Back Forty Mine will say anything to move forward then do the very least amount of prevention to save costs on the other end. I also promise the if we could see the real budget for the mine the cost of both fines and political contributions are in there as a "cost of doing business".
Wisconsin’s Alliant Energy to Close Coal Plant in Sheboygan – Wisconsin Public Radio
Alliant Energy announced on Friday
last week that its Edgewater coal plant – located in Sheboygan,
Wisconsin – will be closed at the end of 2022. In a press release, the
utility company said the closure of the 400 MW power plant is part of a
broader company policy to move towards renewable energy. By 2023,
Alliant Energy intends to generate up to 1,000 MW of solar power.
Alliant also intends to recover $500 million worth of investment in the plant, which will be overseen by state regulators. Only one other coal plant is still operated by Alliant, the Pardeeville-based Columbia Energy Center, co-operated with the Wisconsin Public Service and Madison Gas & Electric. Alliant made no announcements regarding the Columbia Energy Center but intends to completely phase out the use of coal in its energy production by 2050....more
Film Screening of "Sold Down the River"
Please join us on June 4th at 7 p.m. for a FREE online screening of Sold Down the River, a short documentary film that tells the story of Kewaunee County’s drinking water crisis and of the continued environmental exploitation of rural communities. Filmmaker Karen Erbach Lawlor says she was inspired to create Sold Down the River after reading about MEA`s work to obtain justice for Kewaunee County families.
After the film, John Peck, executive director of Wisconsin-based Family Farm Defenders, and Lynn Utesch, Kewaunee Cares, will join MEA staff attorneys Andrea Gelatt and Adam Voskuil to discuss opportunities for progress in the struggle for clean water in Wisconsin.
View the trailer here >> https://beloitfilmfest.org/films/sold-down-the-river/
The Environmental Educator & Butterfly Garden Coordinator at Woodland Dunes Nature Center and Preserve in Two Rivers has been presented with an Outstanding Educator Award.
Wendy Lutzke was the recent recipient of the honor from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Division of Extension and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.
Lutzke has established herself as a leader in local watershed issues, including her experience in monitoring streams...
Ken Notes:Attention media outlets, looking ofr good news in a sea of C-19 issues. Find an environmentalist or naturalist in your area and do a story. Promote respectful use of our parks and waterways. Anyway Congrats Wendy... Someone share this with her!!!
A Canadian company that has paid more than a billion dollars for environmental law violations and oil spill cleanups is trying to seize private property in northern Wisconsin to reroute one of its crude oil pipelines.
Enbridge Energy has asked the state Public Service Commission (PSC) to give it eminent domain authority to take private land in Iron and Ashland counties, according to a report by The Wisconsin State Journal’s Chris Hubbuch. The company wants to remove a 12-mile portion of its Line 5 pipeline from the Bad River Reservation and bypass the reservation with 41 miles of new pipeline after a lawsuit filed by the tribe.
Enbridge says the line transports an average 540,000 barrels a day between Superior and southwestern Ontario that is eventually used to supply propane to dealers in Wisconsin and Michigan.
Midwest Environmental Advocates, a Madison environmental law firm, filed a petition on Thursday on behalf of five organizations with the PSC seeking a contested hearing on the matter. A group of more than 20 landowners and a property rights group filed similar requests, claiming the U.S. Constitution prohibits taking private land except for public use....more
Ken Notes: Agrhhhhh! Lets sit down and do what is best for both sides on this one. I do not like the pipeline but a new route? Get the tribe to the table give them some of the costs of rerouting. Make the fines more than just the cost of doing business so Enbridge is serious about the end products. And can we finally get rid of contributions with huge string attached. This is becoming ugly.
MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Attorney General Josh Kaul has restored the state Department of Natural Resources’ power to consider whether high-capacity wells might drain area water bodies when granting permits.
Kaul, a Democrat, has withdrawn former Republican Attorney General Brad Schimel’s 2016 legal opinion that the DNR can’t consider the wells’ cumulative effect on nearby streams, rivers and lakes when granting a permit, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported.
Kaul said in a May 1 letter to DNR Secretary Preston Cole that he withdrew the opinion based on a Dane County judge’s ruling in 2017...
A group of environmental advocates and property owners are seeking to stop an energy company’s attempt to reroute an oil pipeline in northern Wisconsin.
The pipeline is owned by Endbridge, a Canadian energy company. According to the company’s website, the line was built in 1953 and transports as much as 540,000 barrels of oil a day.
Last year, the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa sued Enbridge to remove the pipeline that runs through their land. Mike Wiggins Jr., the chief executive of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, says Enbridge has no right to be on their land after the tribe refused to renew the company’s lease in 2012......more
MADISON, Wis. (CBS 58) — The UW Board of Regents met Thursday, May 7 to discuss a proposal by UW System President Ray Cross, which would dramatically alter how the system operates....more
Ken Notes: I love the idea of formalizing the idea of program excellence, but My guess is displaced programs and teachers will protest. It is actually the exception to the rule that a campus like UW-Stevens Point can gain national prominence for environmental sustainability.
People need water to survive. A lot of us learn as children that our bodies are 60% H2O, and we know that both humans and animals rely on access to clean water and all its many benefits. From the smallest streams to the widest wetlands and the greatest lakes, water and the landscapes that hold it are our life support system.
That’s why I was distressed to see the recent elimination of the Waters of the U.S. rule, or WOTUS, followed by a weakened replacement. The new rules were finalized by the Environmental Protection Administration in January and published in late April. The changes have the potential to remove an enormous number of our wetlands and waterways from federal protections......more
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...
May 7, 2020 – Washington Co., WI – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced the selection of Washington County for $800,000 to assess and clean up contaminated properties under the Brownfields program.
Under President Trump’s Administration, EPA has delivered approximately $287 million in Brownfield grants directly to communities and nonprofits for cleanup and redevelopment, job creation, and economic development through the award of over 948 grants....more
“I was pleased to hear the Environmental Protection Agency has awarded a Brownfields grant to Washington County. For over 25 years, the Brownfields and Land Revitalization Program has been a vital resource for community redevelopment and improvement,” said U.S. Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner...
SHEBOYGAN - A solar panel farm roughly twice the size of the Whistling Straits golf course is planned for the town of Holland near the Onion River.
New York-based Ranger Power will submit a proposal to the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin for the 1,000- to 1,200-acre and 150-megawatt project by the end of the second quarter, company representatives say, and they anticipate the review process will take about a year.
About a dozen land owners have agreed to lease their land if the 450,000-panel project is approved......more
Thirty-two members of the University of Wisconsin–Madison faculty have been awarded faculty fellowships for 2020-21. The awardees span the four divisions on campus: arts and humanities, physical sciences, social sciences and biological sciences.
“During these difficult times, it is a pleasure to be able to recognize our outstanding faculty who every day support the research, teaching, outreach and public service missions of the university,” says Steve Ackerman, vice chancellor for research and graduate education....
...Joel Rogers, Noam Chomsky Professor of Law, Political Science, Public Affairs and Sociology, also directs COWS, a national think-and-do tank on high-road development. He has published widely on democratic theory and practice and developed the influential “high-road” approach to development. This reconciles concerns with social inclusion and material fairness, environmental sustainability and popular accountability. It considers competitive market conditions by using democratic organization to increase the economic efficiency of place and capture and share its benefits locally...
...Jamie Schauer, William C. Boyle Professor of Environmental Engineering, is a professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene. His research focuses on development and application of measurement techniques to understand the sources and impacts of air pollution. Schauer’s research has contributed to numerous efforts around the around the world to mitigate air pollution and identify how controlling air pollution sources can reduce the effects of air pollution of human health...
...Holly Gibbs, associate professor of Geography and the Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies, studies how and why people use land around the world, including in the United States and the Brazilian Amazon. Gibbs previously received the Phillip R. Certain – Gary D. Sandefur Letters & Science Distinguished Faculty Award and the Chancellor’s Distinguished Teaching Award.......more
6 Projects Would Produce Two-Thirds Of Alliant`s 1K Megawatt Goal
Madison-based Alliant Energy is announcing a $900 million plan to add 675 megawatts of solar across six counties as part of its goal to add 1,000 megawatts of solar power by the end of 2023. The announcement follows the utility`s decision on Friday to shutter its Edgewater coal plant in Sheboygan.
The six solar projects in Grant, Jefferson, Richland, Rock, Sheboygan and Wood counties are expected to power 175,000 homes each year. The increasing cost to operate coal-fired plants, falling price of renewable energy and customer demand are driving forces behind the utility`s investment in renewables.
The investment is expected to create more than 1,200 construction jobs and provide roughly $80 million in local tax revenues over the next three decades, said David de Leon, president of Alliant subsidiary Wisconsin Power and Light...
Ken Notes: and they are doing all of this because it is good business to do so! We need to think like business to persuade business...
Nearly two dozen states and several cities on Wednesday filed a legal challenge to the Trump administration’s rollback of Obama-era mileage standards, saying science backed up the old regulations developed with the help of the nation’s car makers.
They asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit to review the actions by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Transportation Department and its National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that led to the Safer Affordable Fuel-Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles rule issued in March. A coalition of environmental groups also filed a similar petition with the court...
MADISON (WKOW) -- A company headquartered in Madison has developed a face mask that is scientifically proven to destroy pathogens.
Swiss hygiene company Livinguard (U.S. headquarters in Madison) tells 27 News the technology has been used in the past on camping clothing, to make reusable sanitary napkins and to treat water.
When applied to textiles, the technology destroys pathogens upon contact. Livinguard says the mask can be washed and used more than 200 times while maintaining its virus destroying capabilities.
Tests recently completed at the University of Arizona, Tucson, Department of Environmental Studies, show that over 99% of Human coronavirus 229e – the surrogate to the novel coronavirus -- that comes into contact with Livinguard treated textiles are destroyed.
Miron specializes in providing innovative pre-construction, construction management, design-build, general construction and industrial services.
Among the casualties of the battle against COVID-19 is the understandable loss of focus on another huge threat to our long-term well-being — climate change.
As someone drily commented during the online Earth Day program, there will likely be a vaccine to guard against the coronavirus in time, but there will be no vaccine to protect against the ravages of climate change.
In a way, the American experience with the virus should enhance our understanding of consequences for not acting when a threat to public welfare is apparent...
Ken Notes: All so true, alas I am guessing when we exit from this our politicians will return to quagmire that got us here in the first place. I actually heard someone say we need more global warming to prevent Covid-19. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!
Wisconsin farm families, and Milwaukee high school students who raise livestock, will be disappointed if the cancellation of the Wisconsin State Fair means they won’t have an opportunity to showcase their animal this year.
“I’m still holding out hope there will be something … because when I was a kid, showing animals at State Fair was something I looked forward to all summer long,” said Chad Ryan, a dairy farmer from Fond du Lac.
“A lot of these kids have been working on their projects for months, so to not have a place to go would be pretty sad,” Ryan said.
It’s the first time in 75 years that the Wisconsin State Fair has been canceled. Organizers said Thursday they were worried about operating a massive event safely and economically during the coronavirus pandemic......more
Ken Notes: This is sad, I also worry about the purchase awards for he individuals showing animals at local and state fairs. We need to create an ag scholarship fund...
Local thrift stores begin to accept donations again, and rev up online sales
The pandemic created the perfect storm for spring cleaning. Most everyone has had more time at home to realize they have way too much extra stuff, but with thrift store donation sites closed, there was nowhere to unload it.
Neighborhood listservs like Nextdoor were inundated with posts about free items on the curb; donations were dropped off at closed stores, falling victim to the elements. (Strictly speaking, it’s illegal to “dump” items at closed stores.) And, unfortunately, more items may have ended up in the landfill.
But for everyone who held onto items until donations could be made, your time is now...
As EPA moves to reconsider a set of politically fraught air quality decisions for Wisconsin and address other environmental battles, one key player must watch from the sidelines.
The reason: Kurt Thiede, the agency`s current Midwest regional chief, played at least a supporting role several years ago in shaping those decisions.
As deputy secretary of Wisconsin`s Department of Natural Resources, Thiede was looped into a lobbying campaign by then-Gov. Scott Walker (R) to dissuade EPA from declaring a large swath of land along Lake Michigan out of compliance with ground-level ozone standards.
That campaign largely prevailed despite objections from EPA career staff.
Now, under legal pressure, the agency wants the opportunity for a do-over. Thiede, meanwhile, is barred from involvement in any determinations on whether nine eastern Wisconsin counties clustered on or near the lake meet the national standards, his recusal statement shows....more
Since well before the Class of 2020 arrived on the Beloit College campus, sunnier days during the spring semester have promised not only Mayfest and clouds of gnats, but also the Outdoor Environmental Club’s annual Earthapalooza celebration each Earth Day, April 22. On Chapin Quad after classes end that day, students have gathered for live music, free food, and environmental games and trivia. The rest of the year, an Earthapalooza banner created by members of the Class of 2019 takes up most of one wall in the OEC house. ...more
Ken Notes: I think we should have an Earth Day this winter if Covid-19 is under control!!
MADISON, Wis. (PRESS RELEASE)-- Scott C. Blader, United States Attorney for the Western District of Wisconsin, announced the filing of three Informations and plea agreements yesterday charging Thomas Drake, 80, Jasper, Georgia; James Moss, 61, Ladysmith, Wisconsin; and Bonnie Dennee, 66, Phillips, Wisconsin, with conspiracy to store and transport hazardous waste without the required permits and manifests, in violation of the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The Information filed against Moss also charged him with conspiracy to evade the payment of employment taxes and income taxes to the Internal Revenue Service.
As part of their plea agreements with the United States, Drake, Moss, and Dennee agreed to waive their right to be charged by indictment by a grand jury. In these circumstances, federal charges are entered by way of an Information filed with the Court....more
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.
Food waste is taking on a new meaning in the pandemic era.
Dumped milk in Wisconsin. Smashed eggs in Nigeria. Rotting grapes in India. Buried hogs in Minnesota. These disturbing images have stirred outrage around the world. But here’s the surprising part: the world may not actually be wasting more than normal, when a third of global food production ends up in landfills.
What’s changing now is that rather than being thrown out by consumers as kitchen waste, an unprecedented amount of food is getting dumped even before making it into grocery stores.
Blame broken supply chains. Across the globe, production is handled through what’s known as just-in-time methods. Output from farms can be shuttled into stores or restaurants within just a few days, and the next batch of crops and livestock is ready to take its place immediately.......more
Ken Notes: arghhhhhhhhhh!!!
Virtually attending a film festival on Martha’s Vineyard has become a lot easier over the months since the pandemic first sent movie presenters scrambling for alternatives to in-person screenings.
Using an internet streaming platform called Eventive, the Martha’s Vineyard Film Society opened its annual Nature as Inspiration Environmental Film Festival last Thursday with six films, a program of shorts and a series of recorded interviews, all of which remain available through May 27.
It’s a leap forward from the society’s Spectrum LGBTQ+ festival a few weeks ago, for which every film was hosted on a different website and every ticket purchase required an individually-composed email....more
Links we like supporting Wisconsin`s Environment and Business. More will follow each week...
Ken Notes: Share this and if you want to be included:
Call us - 608.334.2174 or Editor [at] WDNGreen.com....
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...
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.
Ken Notes: Please share this link with friends and family. It would be a great opportunity to share and discuss with students. The film is less than 10 minutes long but presents a great deal of information and hope for our future...
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:
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...
An agenda for the new administration...
An overriding principal - Restore Wisconsin to the bipartisan national environmental leadership it once enjoyed...
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.
Hot off the “press,” AgSTAR’s updated handbook is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for anaerobic digestion and biogas systems.
For 26 years, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (US EPA) AgSTAR Program has been helping farmers and communities across the United States develop and implement anaerobic digestion (AD) biogas systems. These systems are critical to reduce methane emissions from manure management operations, while also providing other environmental and economic benefits. As a trusted partnership program, AgSTAR helps educate the public on best practices for designing, implementing and maintaining digester projects and brings together leading experts to discuss opportunities and challenges for advancing the biogas industry.
AgSTAR’s newest resource, the Anaerobic Digester Project Development Handbook, is a comprehensive compilation of the latest knowledge in the industry on best practices for AD/ biogas systems. The goal of the Handbook is to ensure long-term project success for AD biogas systems by providing background and a framework for AD project development....more
Ken Notes:I would love to see Wisconsin become the leader in this technology! Every farmer and elected official in the state should download this.
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.
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.