Wisconsin Development News Green - WDNGreen.com

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Wisconsin Legislators Seek to Criminalize Climate, Environmental Protests with Latest Bill

Lawmakers in Wisconsin introduced a bill on September 5 designed to chill protests around oil and gas pipelines and other energy infrastructure in the state by imposing harsh criminal penalties for trespassing on or damaging the property of a broad range of "energy providers."

Senate Bill 386 echoes similar "critical infrastructure protection" model bills pushed out by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) and the Council of State Governments over the last two years to prevent future protests like the one against the Dakota Access Pipeline.

The bill would expand a current law passed in 2015 that made it a felony to trespass on or damage property owned, operated, or leased by an electrical or gas company. Under the new bill, water, oil, petroleum, and renewable fuel companies` properties will be covered. Indeed, SB 386 goes even further than ALEC`s bill by including all property held by the oil and gas industry in the state instead of a finite list of "critical infrastructure."...


Ken Notes: What! I am not a fan of damaging property, but there are already laws for that, I understand the need for limiting trespass but there are already laws for that, I understand the need for safety but there are already laws for that. This is pandering to lobbyists of the worst kind! This is special interests protecting themselves from photo ops not damage. And most importantly this is designed to prevent people from free speech because of penalties tied to the edges of that speech.

What if we were to pass a law preventing the use of eminent domain to build a power line or pipe line. What if there were a law that mandated reverse metering without restrictions. What if the law said no utilities on public lands or lands held by tribes.

Why should we stop at utilities, why not the exact same protections for pharmaceutical manufacturers, or gasoline auto manufacturers, and of course there are a lot of protests at the Capitol -- lets ban those.

I have often written about the fact that I believe problems should be settled at the table not on the streets and I still believe that. But removing the streets from the equation makes it impossible to get to the table in the first place. If this passes it should be vetoed, and we need to remember who demanded this in the first place. I hope at least one power company, utility, pipeline, or transmission company comes out and suggests this law goes too far. You`ll be my hero!

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Trump agriculture secretary says during Wisconsin visit that family-run dairy farms may not survive

‘In America, the big get bigger, and the small go out’: Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue...

President Donald Trump’s agriculture secretary said during a stop in Wisconsin that he doesn’t know if the family dairy farm can survive as the industry moves toward a factory farm model.

U.S. Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told reporters Tuesday following an appearance at the World Dairy Expo in Madison that it’s getting harder for farmers to get by on milking smaller herds.

“In America, the big get bigger and the small go out,” Perdue said. “I don’t think in America we, for any small business, we have a guaranteed income or guaranteed profitability.”...

Listen to Development Matter with me, Ken Harwood on this topic here:

Development Matters 10-05-2019 Hour 2

Join host Ken Harwood as he discusses economic issues and updates you on the latest developments in Development. Hour 2 Calling in live from the 53rd World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin are Mark Comfort, Sherry Bunting of Ag Moos, and Chuck Worden, past president of...

Ken Notes: This angers me to no end! I am a pro business fiscal conservative, but reading between the lines, he is suggesting CAFO`s -- and he is wrong or should be wrong!!!!

This is a State built on the shoulders of family farms. Our products are globally known because of family farms. We now need to stand with family farmers and regulate the factory farms that are causing these farms to fail.

CAFOs are bad for the environment. They are bad for the economy. They are bad for our communities. And they are bad for Wisconsin.

My Radio Show on Saturday covered this and we barely scratched the surface. I will do more shows on the topic -- but it up to you to suggest we work together to find a sustainable future for family farms in Wisconsin...

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What your business needs to know about sustainability!
Wednesday, October 29th
from 11 - 3:30 (lunch will be provided)
Miron Construction,
1471 McMahon Dr. in Neenah.

Join Tom Eggert (founder, WI Sustainable Business Council) and Mark McDermid (sustainability specialist, WMEP) as the WI Sustainable Business Council presents two sessions on what your business needs to know about  sustainability.

The first session will dive into credentialing in the sustainability area, examining the Green Masters Program. 

Wednesday, October 29th from 11 - 1:30
Miron Construction, 1471 McMahon Dr. in Neenah.

There is a $25 charge for this session.  Please register at: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/green-masters-program-assessing-sustainability-to-improve-your-bottom-line-tickets-71001394081

The second session will expand sustainability thinking to the finance, investment and employee benefit areas.  In this workshop you will learn about:
  • Accounting and the rise of Sustainable Accounting Standards Board (SASB) standards
  • Banking options and choices
  • Investment decisions
  • Employee benefit packages
  • Updating financial and investment policies
This session will immediately follow the above, meeting on Wednesday, October 29th from 2:00 - 3:30 at Miron.

There is no charge for this session.

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Wisconsin tribe opposes Superior gas plant, questions environmental review

A Native American tribe in northern Wisconsin has joined environmental groups urging state regulators to reject plans for a $700 million natural gas generating plant in Superior.

The Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians says the Nemadji Trail Energy Center would damage local wetlands, contribute to climate change and perpetuate the practice of hydraulic fracking.

“Ultimately, the Band’s opposition is necessary to protect natural and cultural resources for the generations to come,” said Linda Nguyen, environmental director for the band.


Ken Notes: This issue is so controversial and complex. Gas vs. Coal -- hands down it is gas. Gas Vs. Renewable -- hands down it is renewable. Yet Renewable without co-gen does not work. This will be debated until some workable storage solution is developed and storage brings up other issues that are even more complex. I love the fact that we are moving rapidly toward renewables and I support the efforts. But it is not easy.

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California sues Trump over revoking state’s authority to set car emissions standards

A coalition of states led by California filed a lawsuit Friday against the Trump administration, challenging its decision to revoke a rule that empowers the state to set tougher car emissions standards than those required by the federal government.

The lawsuit seeks to defend California and the 13 other states that follow its car pollution rules from the administration’s latest effort to loosen environmental regulations. It maintains that the special waiver the state has relied on for the last 50 years to set its own standards is not only lawful but essential to protecting California’s air quality and preventing the worst effects of climate change.

Attorneys general from 22 other states and the District of Columbia joined the lawsuit, as did the cities of New York and Los Angeles. The list includes states that have adopted California’s more stringent car emissions rules, such as New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Washington and Oregon. It also includes several states — Michigan, Wisconsin and North Carolina — that Trump won in 2016...

See Also:

Wisconsin among 23 states suing Trump to keep California’s auto emission rules



Ken Notes: I always sort of liked California pushing the envelope on energy and consumer protection standards. Sometimes they are right, and lead the charge, sometimes they are wrong, and we become the black market into the state. I do understand the costs for the automotive industry bending to unique standards for one State. But we are a country of somewhat independent States and that is what makes us strong. There are other options and 22 States agree...

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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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Wisconsin GOP lawmaker vows to block new rules meant to protect farmers’ neighbors from manure stench

A key Republican lawmaker vowed Wednesday to block new state restrictions designed to protect farmers` neighbors from the stench of manure following a flurry of complaints from Wisconsin`s agricultural community.

The state Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection has spent the last three years drafting revisions to farm siting regulations. The latest version calls for dramatically expanding manure storage facility setbacks from neighbors` property lines for new farms and farms looking to expand...


Ken Notes: Notice how quickly CAFO`s are being protected as "just farmers". This is not the case these are factories not farms and the manure they produce and the way they distribute it is nothing like farming, and it sure does not smell like farming.

Where were the legislators, on either side, when 20% of our dairy farms were shutting down each year. You know real farmers who had been farming for generations. Please do stand behind the, "I`m protecting farmers", shield when you are addressing CAFO issues. It smells bad!

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Trump administration`s environmental actions hurt wildlife and hunting in Wisconsin

...The Clean Water Act, which was passed in 1972, is generally interpreted by the public in the simplest terms, as a mechanism for the prevention of water pollution in bodies of water like rivers and lakes. But outside of that traditional image of water protection is one of the CWA’s most important functions: wetland conservation. Between the 1920s and the 1970s, Wisconsin lost about 47% of its wetlands. The CWA has helped dramatically slow this destruction through regulations and other protections. This is important because wetlands supply vital habitats or resources for 75% of the wildlife in the state, including ducks, deer, cranes and thousands of other species. And it’s why we’ve seen hunting groups, like Ducks Unlimited, and environmental groups, like the Sierra Club, work side by side in advocating for the future of the CWA...


Ken Notes: The problem is that some of the Clean Water Act unnecessarily hampered business development -- not all of it but some. Now the "solution" is to remove it - all of it. The real solution would have been to sit down together and fix it, today`s politics will simply not allow that to happen. I hope we fix this but I would not hold my breath. Want to talk about this call into my radio show Saturday 10 am to Noon - 844-967-2789.

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Ag groups push back against proposed farm siting rules

Representatives with the state’s largest agricultural groups say proposed changes to livestock siting rules aimed at giving local governments more say in the process would cause further harm to Wisconsin’s embattled farm industry.

Eleven groups, including the Dairy Business Association, Wisconsin Farm Bureau and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, signed the joint statement in opposition to the siting law revisions....


Ken Notes: Arghhhhhhh!!!!! Follow the money. Dairy farms have lost their voice because large farms own the lobbying groups and the new regulations setting the number at 500 vs. 1,000 tips the scale. This was intentional and manipulative. Change the number to 1,000 head and see what happens. This is so obvious and we are being manipulated like -- well cattle...

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`OK, so how?` These Wisconsin farmers are trying to tackle climate change, but they could use some help
The herd of black Angus beef cattle perks up as Rick Adamski and Valerie Dantoin approach them on a sunny summer morning, straining at the wire fencing Adamski will soon strip away to let them into a new section of field filled with clover and alfalfa...

...Not so for a neighboring farm that manages a much larger herd and stretch of land. As Dantoin and Adamski fence in the next paddock for their livestock, tanker trucks rumble over the roads that zig-zag the neighboring farmland, burning diesel as they haul manure to be disposed of elsewhere...


Ken Notes: Great read and someday we will learn that smaller farms that combine land and animals are far better for the environment not to mention our health...

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Editorial: DNR finally able to get back to science

Today we’ll give a shout out to climate change.

Or, at least, to studying it and its potential impact on Wisconsin’s water, air and land and game resources.

The change we’re talking about is in the political climate at the state Department of Natural Resources, the state agency most responsible for overseeing those resources and developing policies to shape Wisconsin’s future...


Ken Notes: I hope we bring business into the discussion as well. This will take a team of experts and economists not politicians to move forward. We must remove this from the political arena and special interest groups.

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Foxconn Launches ‘Earn and Learn’ Talent Development Programs for Technical College and University Students in Wisconsin

Novel program will provide up to six months of intensive, on-campus and on-the-job training; will help Wisconsin students develop skills and knowledge while working full-time at Foxconn locations across Wisconsin...

Foxconn Technology Group (Foxconn) today announced it will launch a far-reaching, innovative talent recruiting and development program for students enrolled in higher education institutions in Wisconsin. Dubbed ‘Foxconn Earn and Learn Program’ (FELP), this program will provide students enrolled in select technical colleges and universities to work for Foxconn as full-time FELP employees in training. Furthermore, students will be provided time allowances to continue their studies to “earn and learn.”...

...Information and recruiting sessions for the FELP will run from October 9 to November 19 at FELP partner campuses – starting with Gateway Technical College, Chippewa Valley Technical College and the University of Wisconsin-Parkside as launch partners:

  • October 9, 2019 Gateway Technical College Mount Pleasant iMET Center
  • October 10, 2019 Gateway Technical College Downtown Racine Campus
  • October 15, 2019 Chippewa Valley Technical College Eau Claire Clairemont Campus
  • October 16, 2019 University of Wisconsin-Parkside Wyllie Hall


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Dairyland Power Cooperative

Our commitment to preserving the quality of our environment is not just a program at Dairyland. It reflects a deeply held view that good environmental practices reflect sound operations and contribute to the overall economic and social health of the communities we serve.


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Snapshot: WATERshed champion Carlson inspires youth

...Carlson, now the naturalist educator at Hawthorn Hollow Nature Sanctuary and Arboretum in Somers, began sharing her passion for nature with children at Riveredge Nature Center in Newburg....

....Founded WATERshed

It led her to southeastern Wisconsin, where she created the WATERshed Program 11 years ago.

In partnership with the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, the city of Racine, Hawthorn Hollow and Southport Beach Park, Carlson secured grants from Wisconsin Coastal Management, Funds for Lake Michigan and other partners, to cover the full cost of bringing Racine Unified School District fourth-graders to the Root River Environmental Education Community Center and Kenosha Unified School District fifth-graders to Southport Beach, to learn how to be good stewards of the world’s largest freshwater resource....


Ken Notes: I want to hang out with her! Great read and a Great person...

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Environmental group urges further testing of water, fish after report shows PFAS in lake
From the moment firefighting efforts began on the massive transformer fire in July, the Wisconsin DNR was keeping track of long term environmental impacts firefighting foam would have.

Now data showing various levels of PFAS in our storm water and ultimately Lake Monona is concerning people like Maria Powell, the executive director for the Midwest Environmental Justice Organization.

"The science is telling us these levels are concerning," she said...


Ken Notes: We are going to find PFAS at some levels in much of our water sources. The problem is going to be how to get rid of it especially in drinking water and other consumables. The process will be expensive and someone will need to pay for it. One of the problems I have is the failure to prioritize issues and work together to find cost effective solutions.

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Maps showing potential for soil contamination issued for Wisconsin’s lead-zinc mining district

Maps showing the aftermath of lead and zinc mining in Southwest Wisconsin became available in early October. The maps build on digitized information about mine shafts, open-pit mines, smelters, abandoned rail lines and other features from the 150-year history of mining for lead and zinc in Green, Lafayette, Grant and Iowa counties.

The digitized Digital Atlas of Historic Mining Features in Southwestern Wisconsin, developed in the department of soil science at the University of Wisconsin–Madison, shows areas where contamination may be found. It does not show the results of any soil tests for lead or zinc.


Ken Notes: it is $9.95...

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Evers, Governors Push Congress on PFAS

15 governors call for tougher standards, more protections on PFAS chemicals.

Gov. Tony Evers joined a group of 14 other Democratic and Republican  governors in sending a letter Wednesday to both the U.S. Senate and House Armed Services Committees backing provisions related to per- and polyfluoralkyl substances (PFAS) in the FY2020 National Defense Authorization Act.

In August, Evers issued an executive order on PFAS chemicals, which are found in firefighting foam, non-stick cookware and fast-food packaging, among other things...

Ken Notes: The letter makes more sense than the executive order because to affordably work on solutions we will need a national standard.

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PFAS: What Is It and Why Should You Care?

Recent Wisconsin headlines have focused on efforts to regulate PFAS chemicals. In the coming months and years, both government entities, as well as manufacturers and other industrial users, will be forced to navigate what will likely be a complex bureaucratic maze. What follows is a primer that attempts to answer several questions – what exactly are PFAS compounds, why is there urgency to address PFAS contamination, and what does the regulatory framework look like?

What Are/Is PFAS?

Why is There Urgency to Address PFAS Contamination?

What Does the Regulatory Framework Look Like?

The Private Sector is not Exempt



Ken Notes: This is the best overview I have seen... READ THIS!

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A look inside Secura`s new $98 million headquarters

FOX CROSSING – What does $98 million buy?

The first group of employees moving into Secura insurance company’s new headquarters office building today will see things that could make other cubicle-dwellers green with envy.

Starting with the green.

The massive building has walls of windows that look out on trees, ponds, a cornfield, wetlands and solar panel field on a nearly 200-acre property. It takes advantage of the rural setting with balconies, outdoor Wi-Fi seating areas and walking trails.


Ken Notes: WOW!!

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McMahon Group
McMAHON provides full-service engineering and architectural services to public and private-sector clients. We are driven by a service-oriented philosophy to achieve client satisfaction on every project.

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Is Your Favorite Waterway Facing the Threat of Toxic Algae?

...Because harmful algae blooms have increased significantly over the past 40 years and are now found in every state in the country, NRDC set out to find out how states are tracking this growing menace and how (and whether) states are educating and warning the public of the threats posed by toxic algae. We sought data from all 50 states and posted what we received here...

...To our dismay, 16 states reported no data at all. But that doesn’t mean there isn’t a toxic algae problem in those states. Take Wisconsin, for example. When contacted, Wisconsin provided no data on harmful algae blooms. But our friends at the Environmental Working Group have collected media reports indicating that Wisconsin has experienced more than 30 toxic algae outbreaks over the last decade that were serious enough to warrant a news report. In fact, a young teenager tragically died in Wisconsin from ingesting toxic algae after swallowing some pond water on a golf course that contained toxic algae....

...The source of the problem is not mysterious:  toxic algae blooms form when excess nutrient pollution flows into a waterbody where conditions -- warm and stagnant water -- favor algae growth. If we want to save our favorite waterways from this growing threat, we need to reduce pollution inputs, increase flows where excessive diversions have turned flowing rivers into stagnant ponds, and tackle climate change.

NRDC is working on implementing these solutions in myriad ways.  To learn more about the causes, threats, and solutions to toxic algae blooms, check out our Freshwater Harmful Algal Blooms 101 guide here. And raise your voice with your local representative to demand more action to address this growing crisis....

See Also


Ken Notes: Great links here and we need to encourage a national solution as well as identifying source point pollution in Wisconsin.

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Proposed Oak Creek plant permit revised following public comment
The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has submitted to the Environmental Protection Agency a revised version of the pollutant discharge permit for the Oak Creek Power Plant, which officials stated was shaped by the more than 600 public comments the agency received.

“Public participation is essential to the permitting process,....

...Three sizable changes were made to the proposed permit since the public hearing that was held on Feb. 11.

  • It sped up the timeline for the plant to change from one type of ash handling to another which does not discharge ash into waterways.

  • It lowered the limit of mercury that can be discharged.

  • It also sets a limit for discharging arsenic, although the DNR states the plant currently discharges at below ambient lake levels....

Ken Notes: Of course the ultimate solution will be closing the plant, but regulation also make this very difficult as well. We need to work with the utilities on a long range comprehensive solution. In this case all the parties are at least at the table.

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Wisconsin Environmental group focuses on facts, not choosing sides
"We have water experts, we have attorneys, we have wildlife experts," said President Fred Clark.
Its team of experts focuses on facts, not politics.

"Where we`re trying to provide value is by providing objective information based on the science and based on our unique knowledge of natural resources," said Clark. "Believe it or not everybody`s interested in that."

Fred Clark was one of hundreds attending the annual Wisconsin`s Green Fire meeting Friday at Treehaven. Its focus was on learning and planning.

"We don`t need to have a debate about whether climate change is happening," said Clark. "Most reasonable people accept that. Then we can have a conversation about how do we prepare for that."

Ken Notes: I agree but the terms actually cause people to stop listening. Talk about carbon and pollution not global warming.

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Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council

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


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DNR Secretary Preston Cole urges return to climate change research

After years of downplaying climate change, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is again focusing efforts on research and communication about the impact on the state’s environment.

In a memo to all staff sent last week, DNR Secretary Preston Cole called climate change “one of the defining issues of our time” and said the department will again focus on climate adaptation research and communication — as well as working to lessen the damage...


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Trump administration says plan would restore ethanol demand
The Trump administration announced Friday it plans to implement new rules that will increase demand for ethanol, reversing a decline caused by exemptions given to oil refineries.

The proposal follows months of complaints by Midwest farmers, politicians and the ethanol industry that the federal government’s granting of waivers to refiners had violated federal law and forced some ethanol plants to close.

Roughly 40 percent of U.S. corn is used to produce ethanol, so declining demand for the fuel additive can depress prices for the grain. The issue carries extra political weight because the ethanol industry is concentrated in Iowa, Nebraska and other Midwest states, where farmers have been among President Donald Trump’s most loyal supporters...


Ken Notes: This is not my favorite topic. Ethanol was originally thought to reduce carbon in the atmosphere, the science now suggests otherwise, now it is a political football driven by farm lobbies, money and politicians.

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Enbridge To Hold Oil Spill Response Exercise On Wisconsin River

Drill Part Of Multi-Million Dollar Settlement Following Kalamazoo River Spill

Canadian energy firm Enbridge Inc. will hold an emergency response exercise Thursday on the Wisconsin River near Wisconsin Rapids. The drill is one of four major exercises the company is required to complete as part of a $177 million settlement following the company`s largest inland oil spill on Michigan`s Kalamazoo River...


Ken Notes: I pray they never have to do this for real. The Kalamazoo is a gift to Wisconsin...

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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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Northwoods teens call for climate action
Teen voices cut through the nearby traffic at Torpy Park in Minocqua Friday.

"I`m terrified of the fact to have children because I don`t want to bring them into this earth just to destroy it."

"I think in the 2020 election [climate change] should be our most important issue when we go to vote."

After holding up signs along highway 51, high school senior Maile Llanos shared her concerns.

"I care because it is uncertain if I have a future to look forward to," said Llanos. "I care because the outcome of my future is in the hands of someone else. To all the politicians, I want you to know that the state of our environment is not a partisan issue. Know that climate change will affect you whether you are a Democrat or a Republican."...

Ken Notes: Too many great stories from across the State to cover all of them but it was good see them all!!!

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Proposed Superior natural gas plant would have negative effects on groundwater

Wisconsin regulators say a proposed $700 million natural gas power plant in Superior would have significant negative effects on groundwater quantity at its preferred site on the Nemadji River.

A subsidiary of Minnesota Power and La Crosse-based Dairyland Power Cooperative are planning to build the 625-megawatt Nemadji Trail Energy Center in Superior. The Public Service Commission (PSC) and Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recently released a final environmental impact statement for the power plant.

The project would include construction of five high capacity wells about one mile southeast of the Nemadji River, which would have a total pumping capacity of up to 5.4 million gallons per day. The plant is expected to have an annual average withdrawal of 2.9 million gallons per day that would be used for cooling of the generating facility, according to Ian Anderson, a DNR hydrogeologist....


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2 PSC regulators accused of bias in Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line case, outside ruling sought

Opponents of a proposed power line through southwest Wisconsin have leveled conflict of interest charges against two utility regulators and argue the Public Service Commission cannot legally approve the project.

Attorneys for the Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation filed a motion Friday claiming Public Service Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Valcq and Commissioner Mike Huebsch have “entanglements” that should prohibit them from ruling on the $500 million line known as Cardinal-Hickory Creek.

Both were part of a 3-0 vote on Aug. 20 to approve the project, a joint venture of ATC, ITC Midwest and Dairyland Power Cooperative that will run about 100 miles between Dubuque, Iowa, and Middleton...


Ken Notes: All the details are here including the complaints. This has split even the environmental groups. It will be interesting to see if the courts delay the project as issues are heard...

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Film for a troubled planet

It’s not too late to save the planet, according to a visually stunning documentary to be screened by UW-Madison’s Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies in advance of a pivotal United Nations climate summit.

A free showing of Anthropocene: The Human Epoch on Sept. 25 at Union South Marquee theater coincides with others across the nation, timed ahead of the United Nations Climate Action Summit in New York. The event is co-sponsored by the Madison-based Outrider Foundation, where Tia Nelson, daughter of Wisconsin Sen. Gaylord Nelson — the founder of Earth Day and the Nelson Institute’s namesake — is a managing director...


Ken Notes: Are we just continuing to preach to the choir??? How can we have a meaningful conversation with the "other side", we need a movie to address that...

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PSC rejects conflict-of-interest assertions, authorizes $500 million Cardinal-Hickory Creek power line
Wisconsin utility regulators granted final approval Thursday for a controversial power line while rebuffing conflict of interest charges from opponents of the nearly $500 million project.

At a meeting interrupted by protesters, the Public Service Commission voted unanimously to authorize construction of the Cardinal-Hickory Creek line between Dubuque, Iowa, and Middleton in a written order summarizing points the three commissioners agreed to during a hearing in August.

The commission rejected a call for recusal by the Driftless Area Land Conservancy and Wisconsin Wildlife Federation, which last week alleged real or perceived conflicts of interest by Chairwoman Rebecca Valcq and Commissioner Mike Huebsch....


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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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Study Links Climate Change To At Least $10B In Health Costs In 2012

2012 Heat Wave Caused Around $250M In Health Costs In Wisconsin

A new study finds climate change cost Americans at least $10 billion in health-related expenses in 2012. In Wisconsin, extreme heat caused a quarter of a billion dollars in health costs that year.

The study by the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and University of California looked at health costs stemming from 10 climate-related events that year spanning 11 states. They ranged from wildfires to air pollution to extreme weather. Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey and wildfires in Washington had the largest health costs associated with climate change in 2012, according to the study. 

The study examined the number of deaths, hospitalizations and emergency room visits. Nationwide, climate change was tied to 917 deaths and 20,568 hospitalizations....


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EDF, Allies File Lawsuit against Trump Administration to Protect Americans from Auto Pollution
Environmental Defense Fund and a coalition of environmental and public interest organizations have filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump administration from interfering with states’ long-standing authority to reduce dangerous pollution from cars.

The groups filed a complaint today in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, one week after a similar lawsuit was filed by 23 states, the District of Columbia and two major cities.

“America has a long, bipartisan tradition..   ...more

Ken Notes: Unfortunately that "tradition" is over.

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As battery-powered vehicles catch on, policymakers, utilities grapple with roles
Ask Lee Gasper-Galvin about her Tesla and you’d better set aside some time. You might even find yourself behind the wheel of the Model 3.

She recalls the day last spring when she swapped her Buick Lucerne for the new electric car.

“I thought I was going to drive right up into heaven,” she said. “For over 20 years I’ve been waiting for this moment.”...

...With more than 100 new models about to hit the market, policymakers and utilities are grappling with how to best support and respond to the emerging technology...


Ken Notes: Good read and these are just a few of the issues. I have an ongoing debate with a few readers on what will we do with the batteries when the cars die, Lithium mining in Chile, Argentina, and Bolivia, charging stations, Chinese manufacturing and much more. Keep reading...

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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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China Is Winning the Race to Dominate Electric Cars

This week, General Motors Co. Chief Executive Officer Mary Barra spoke to the future of her company, the U.S.’s biggest automaker. “Once you start to believe in the science of global warming and look at the regulatory environment around the world, it becomes pretty clear that to win the future, you’ve got to win” electric and driverless personal transportation, she told Bloomberg Businessweek. If we look at today’s data in key markets — and from some of Barra’s biggest competitors — it also looks like an observation of the industry right now...


Ken Notes: I have been writing about this for ten years now, and it may be too late. China deliberately skipped a generation for vehicles for export to be tooled for the electric generation. No that generations is here and China is ready. They have sub 15K product in production, they have the newest technology, they have the most automated manufacturing, and they have major producers behind them. Remember iPhones and Apple, well get ready for the same thing in cars...

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2019 Senate BILL 386
The actual bill is at the link...

Ken Notes: I need to step back just a bit on this issue. There is language that allows free speech and assembly -- so while more restrictive in designation of where and thus increasing the potential for penalties -- it appears those who want to can still state their mind on the sidewalk just don`t throw stones or step off the sidewalk....

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Manitowoc Lakes banquet to feature ex-Wisconsin DNR chief George Meyer

Manitowoc County Lakes Association will hold its 2019 annual banquet Oct. 18 at Meat`s Opera Haus in St. Nazianz. Cocktails (cash bar) and social hour will be from 6 to 7 p.m. with a family-style dinner at 7 p.m. and program to follow.

Speaker will be George Meyer, former secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and executive director of the Wisconsin Wildlife Federation.

Cost is $20 per person at the door and includes dessert and gratuity. Door prizes and 50/50 raffle to follow the speaker...


Ken Notes: George is one of my Environmental Heroes...

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Plastic Straws Are A Visible Embodiment Of A Bigger Problem

Plastic straws are the latest poster child of environmental concern.

The Masked Biologist examines the current cultural move away from the use of plastic straws in this week’s Wildlife Matters.

If you have spent any time on social media, you may have seen it—a video of a person using a pliers to extract a plastic straw from the nostril of a sea turtle. It was no surprise to me, a short time later, to start hearing about some locations outlawing plastic straws. When I started doing a little research, I found out that while sad and a little disgusting, the turtle nasal straw apparently was not the primary impetus for subsequent straw bans around the country...


Ken Notes: Good read! One idea not on the radar screen is to incorporate the cost of disposal or reuse into all our consumables and packaging. We pay for this now in taxes or waste management fees, why not collect for this up front where we can charge a little more for products that cause the most problems. This would also encourage the actual industry to promote proper disposal or products with less environmental impact.

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Just one word: Plastics

The late August afternoon sun is slanting through the trees of Troy Kids’ Garden as Ida Sobotik explains the origin of her latest project, Precious Plastic Madison. “It started with a conversation last year with an 8-year-old boy under that mulberry tree,” says Sobotik, manager of the kids’ garden at Troy Gardens on Madison’s north side. “We watched a piece of plastic roll like tumbleweed over the broccoli plants and settle under a leaf. ‘Plastic is so ugly, it never disappears,’ he said. In my mind I thought, I wish I had something concrete I could do about it. Why are we not addressing plastic pollution?”...


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Wisconsin transmission line critics says regulators had conflicts of interest and other stories...
Opponents of a planned transmission line in southwestern Wisconsin claim two state regulators who voted to support the project have conflicts of interest...   ...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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ABOUT - Wisconsin Development GREEN News
Ten thousand of environmentally minded business professionals, 500+ News outlets and reporters, and even a treehugger or two now read WDNGreen each week. Thank you!
Please share WDNGreen with a friend...   WDNGreen Network of Links... or Search WDNGreen...

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


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Ideas for Consideration - Please forward, share and discuss!

An agenda for the new administration...

An overriding principal - Restore Wisconsin to the bipartisan national environmental leadership it once enjoyed...

  • Building and Design

    • Work with developers, architects, communities, and business to ensure the highest and most cost effective Green building practices are used in new development.
    • Expedite projects who guarantee the best environmental practices and make sure the systems are in place to ensure this. Trust but Verify.
    • Avoid costly mandates and restrictions that will move businesses to other states or regions.
  • Mining

    • Explore the restoration of the sulfide mining moratorium or...
    • Work with counties to create and enforce new mining regulations, restrictions and enforcement.
    • Delay approval of any new mines until counties have their regulation policies in place.
    • Restore DNR environmental staff and expertise to levels that can review any requests in a timely manner.
    • Require a site reclamation fund be established from the onset of any approved project with a plan in place for complete site reclamation.
    • Allow municipalities to enact special utilities in lieu of or in addition to regular taxes for issues like impact on roads, utilities, infrastructure, and public safety.
  • Renewable Energy and Fuels

    • Work with the utilities, business and communities to encourage the use of renewables, reduced carbon output, and better reporting and measurement.
    • Establish a PSC willing to work with business and power companies while progressing to a lower carbon renewable future.
    • Do not impose legislative mandates on renewables but rather incentivize use of new technologies while maintaining an open dialogue among all parties involved.
  • Our Watersheds and the Great Lakes

    • Become a strong partner in Great Lakes–St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.
    • If water is removed from the watershed, require that it be returned cleaner that it was taken. Again make sure DNR has the resources to monitor and ensure this policy.
  • Land Use and Transmission / Pipe Lines

    • Require the need and or profit for new systems to Wisconsin citizens. If a system like tar sand or electricity is for other states or regions, require that the land uses benefits all citizens in our state in lower utility costs, additions public facilities and reduced air and water pollution.
    • Require that any new system create an environmental offset equal to or greater than the land they take. This can be done in two ways: One additional Parks, Public Lands, Trails, Access to Waterways, Etc. OR Two reduced carbon emissions through the elimination or older less efficient production facilities or the conversion to renewable or exponentially lower emission fuels.
  • CAFO`s and Agricultural Issues

    • Address and regulate CAFO`s like the "cities" that they are.
    • Develop regulations and controls to address the scale of effluent that these facilities produce.
    • Consider using CAFO`s as a model for new waste treatment like digestion and pasteurization.
    • Preserve the small farm in Wisconsin by encouraging sound environmental practices in a cost effective way.
    • Work with all farms, businesses, and communities to improve watersheds, runoff and source point pollution focusing on results rather that penalties or mandates.
  • Transit and Mass Transit

    • Improve our transit and shipping corridors like rail and interstate access to encourage Wisconsin to become an efficient  distribution hub for the Midwest.
    • Encourage communities to adopt new and more efficient mass transit systems.
    • Encourage the use of more efficient buses, trucks and vehicles in the state.
  • ECO Tourism

    • Explore ECO Tourism as an option to preserve our vast agricultural heritage and natural waterways and woodlands.
    • Allow ECO TIF financing to pair tourism development with land and watershed preservation.

Ken Notes: Just a few ideas, please feel free to pick and choose then share with those on both sides of the isle that will be making decisions.

We now have an opportunity to grab the pendulum in the middle and make a real long term difference in how we manage our resources and what kind of Wisconsin we leave to our grandchildren!

These are personal viewpoints shaped by your feedback. They are not the positions of my sponsors or partners.

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Coverage of local and national eco news for commercial development, home, transportation, food and community. We search for environmentally friendly news that makes economic sense for Wisconsin. ONLINE HERE. Please share with a friend. To receive WDNews GREEN on Monday of each week as an email you must subscribe - secure link to subscribe is here.

Want to comment, or have an idea: Ideas[at]WisconsinDevelopment.com

We may now need to build a coalition that is willing to lobby from a "greener" yet pro business perspective. Lots of HUGE issues: Sand Mining, CNG, LEED Alternatives, Focus On Energy, LED Lighting R&D, Cleaner Power Generation, Recycling, Power Lines, Electric Cars, Wind, Solar, Bio Fuels, Digestors, Green AG, Business Incentives...And of course the Greenest and Happiest of Holidays to you!

Please consider sponsoring WDNGreen!

WDNews GREEN will be emailed on Mondays, included in WDNews on Thursdays, and online all the time at: WDNGreen.com Each week we will find 10 to 20 articles from Wisconsin and across the Nation dealing with environmental issues. Our goal is to promote environmental excellence from a sound business perspective.

Our resource guide at the bottom of this publication will continue to grow, and you may add links, suggest articles, include your press releases, or comment by eMailing Me. As always thanks for reading, and if you would like to sponsor or get involved call 608.334.2174...   ...more

Ken Notes: Please forward this to friends and colleagues who have an interest in our economy and environment. You may eMail Me Here.

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Development Matters with Ken Harwood
Links for my recent radio shows...

Development Matters 10-05-2019 Hour 2

Join host Ken Harwood as he discusses economic issues and updates you on the latest developments in Development. Hour 2 Calling in live from the 53rd World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin are Mark Comfort, Sherry Bunting of Ag Moos, and Chuck Worden, past president of...

Development Matters 10-05-2019 Hour 1

Join host Ken Harwood as he discusses economic issues and updates you on the latest developments in Development. Hour 2 Calling in live from the 53rd World Dairy Expo in Wisconsin are Mark Comfort, Sherry Bunting of agmoos.com , and Chuck Worden, past president of...

Development Matters 9-28-2019 Hour 2

Ken’s guest today is Robin Pharo of Treysta Group. Development Matters with host Ken Harwood airs live on Saturdays from 10 AM to Noon on WRRD and WTTN. Call in at 844 967 2789...

Development Matters 9-28-2019 Hour 1

Ken’s guest today is Robin Pharo of Treysta Group. Development Matters with host Ken Harwood airs live on Saturdays from 10 AM to Noon on WRRD and WTTN. Call in at 844 967 2789...

Development Matters 9-21-2019 Hour 2

The inaugural episode of Development Matters with host Ken Harwood. of wisconsindevelopment.com first guest is Micheal Crute of Devil’s Advocates Radio Show followed by an interview with Madison developer, George Austin....

Development Matters 9-21-2019 Hour 1

The inaugural episode of Development Matters with host Ken Harwood. of wisconsindevelopment.com first guest is Micheal Crute of Devil’s Advocates Radio Show followed by an interview with Madison developer, George Austin....

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