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


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Northern Lights Express Proposed Passenger Rail Service Receives Federal Environmental Approval

The Northern Lights Express intercity rail proposal, connecting Minneapolis and Duluth, Minnesota with a stop in Superior, Wisconsin, advanced forward following a Finding of No Significant Impact (“FONSI”) from the Federal Railroad Administration (“FRA”). The FRA’s decision found that the proposed rail project would not have any significant environmental impacts and allows the project to advance beyond the environmental phase.

Project proponents envision a rail service connecting six stations operating across existing BNSF Railway track. The Northern Lights Express trains would travel at 90 miles per hour over 152 miles. The new rail service would operate four round trips per day. The majority of the track is in Minnesota, but 23 miles will cross Wisconsin.

The project would require construction of 42 miles of mainline and sidings to permit the Northern Lights Express passenger trains to share the corridor with BNSF Railway’s freight trains...



Ken Notes: I sooo wish we had at least looked at connecting the Milwaukee, Chicago, Madison, Minneapolis metros with a high speed system...

Imagine a clean Midwest distribution corridor for large, cold, and warehoused product headed for the Midwest and both coasts...

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Wisconsin frac sand industry roars back, but new competition looms

Despite new competition, Wisconsin’s frac sand industry has come roaring back from a slump that idled mines two years ago, fueled by a continued surge in domestic crude oil production.

“They can pretty much sell all the sand they want,” said Kent Syverson, an industry consultant and chair of the geology department at UW-Eau Claire.

After a strong 2017, U.S. frac sand demand is expected to grow again this year and could hit an all-time high in 2019, according to producers and industry analysts...


Ken Notes: We should have been working on this for the past few years...

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

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Bayfield, other Great Lakes cities work to reduce water utility emissions

Several communities around the Great Lakes are competing to reduce pollution by controlling the electricity they consume from the power grid.

Bayfield is one of five cities working to lower mercury and other emissions through the Water Utility Energy Challenge, Wisconsin Public Radio reported...


Ken Notes: Always on of my favorite cities... If we need a reason to protect our environment Bayfield may be it!

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Feds say no to permit for Michigan mine

STEPHENSON, Mich.—Federal regulators are saying not so fast to a proposed open-pit mine in the southern part of Michigan`s Upper Peninsula.

The Environmental Protection Agency, in a recent letter to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, said it was objecting to the state`s wetlands permit for the Back Forty zinc, copper and gold mine proposed by Canadian-based Aquila Resources.

The EPA also cited shortfalls in how the mine project would impact Native American cultural resources...

See Also:

Can the Menominee Tribe in Wisconsin Block the Back Forty Mine?


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Wisconsin affiliate of the U.S. Green Building Council

Wisconsin Green Building Search


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

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Report: E-Commerce Set To Disrupt Cold Storage Capacity

Cold storage is heating up in the United States, according to a new report from CBRE Industrial and Logics. With e-commerce sellers like Amazon changing where food is stored and how it gets to consumers, analysts expect a major cold storage shift from retail to industrial properties.

Currently the country has approximately 3.6 billion cubic feet of food-commodity cold storage capacity covering 180 million square feet of industrial space, CBRE says. Compare that to the 2 billion cubic feet of similar capacity covering 300 million square feet of retail space..   ...more

Ken Notes: This could be a huge market for Wisconsin, I wonder if we could get the UW`s to come up with greener tech`s for these facilities...

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Environmental group taking Wisconsin DNR to court over Kohler golf wetlands permit

SHEBOYGAN - The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is being taken to court by an environmental group amidst claims that they were not thorough enough in their decision to grant Kohler Co. a wetlands permit for their proposed golf course.

Although the DNR granted Kohler a wetlands permit, they found that the proposed project would eradicate about 50 percent of the trees on the 247 acres of Kohler-owned land at the site. 

Now, the environmental group Friends of the Black River Forest (FBRF) and Sheboygan resident Claudia Bricks have petitioned the court to have the decision to grant Kohler the wetlands permit reversed because they believe the DNR was not thorough enough in its analysis and granted Kohler the permit despite the potential drastic environmental impacts.


Ken Notes: I wish we were focused on setting other lands aside for preservation and public use. This course will likely proceed and a few lawyers will dine a little better...

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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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A program that builds green infrastructure in the D.C. area sustains the environment, local workforce

Raymond Coates did not think he was going to make it to the end of his first day on a new job. The 58-year-old D.C. resident had never worked construction before, yet there he was on a warm fall day, struggling to move dirt in a wheelbarrow, and regretting decisions to skip breakfast and not pack a lunch...

...Last year, Coates, discovered the National Green Infrastructure Certification Program. Created through a partnership between DC Water and the Water Environment Federation, the program educates and trains new workers in how to build, inspect and keep up green infrastructure like rain gardens, roof gardens and pavement that absorbs water. The projects can slow, clean and sometimes reuse storm water that otherwise would flow dirty and unchecked into area waterways...


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Nature Conservancy to Work With Forest Service in Wisconsin

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — An environmental organization and the U.S. Forest Service are working together to harvest timber in northern Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Public Radio reports that the 2014 Farm Bill has allowed the two groups to enter into a stewardship agreement. The conservancy will hire loggers, sell timber and use the proceeds for projects the Forest Service can`t afford to do.

The conservancy plans to use some money to restore Simpson Creek by rerouting the channel and exposing the gravel floor that fish need to spawn. The group also plans to rebuild a handicap accessible boardwalk on the Oconto River and will use funds to restore habitat for the endangered Kirtland`s warbler...


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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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House Bill Exempts Farms from Reporting Emissions
A bipartisan bill to exempt farmers from reporting to the U.S. Coast Guard emissions from the natural breakdown of manure on their farms yesterday was introduced in the U.S. House.

Sponsored by Reps. Billy Long, R-Mo., and Jim Costa, D-Calif., along with 85 cosponsors, the "Agricultural Certainty for Reporting Emissions (ACRE) Act," H.R. 5275, would fix a problem created last April when a U.S. Court of Appeals rejected a 2008 U.S. Environmental Protection Agency rule that exempted farmers from reporting routine farm emissions under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA).

CERCLA, more commonly known as the "Superfund Law," is used primarily to clean hazardous waste sites but also includes a mandatory federal reporting component.   ...more

Ken Notes: The change here is a good thing BUT we need to look at waste management across the board, especially in CAFO`s. Trust but verify...

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The Wisconsin Energy Conservation Corporation (WECC) is partnering with energyOrbit to use its cloud-based energy efficiency and demand-side management (DSM) programs, which will allow WECC to provide the latest in modern energy efficiency technology solutions to its clients.

“We are tapping the power of the energyOrbit platform because it’s designed with energy efficiency and DSM operations in mind,” said Mary Woolsey Schlaefer, WECC’s President and CEO. Organizations similar to WECC have realized improved efficiency and DSM operational savings of up to 75% by utilizing such cloud-based programs.


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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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Foxconn could increase Racine County’s emissions by 6 percent

DNR reviewing air emissions permits for LCD campus

The company, which plans to build a 22-million-square-foot, $10 billion campus, submitted permit applications to the DNR for a series of facilities, including an initial assembly facility, a nitrogen plant, energy facility and the main 818 fabrication plant. The four facilities, to be built in phases over the next several years, could combine to emit 229 tons per year of nitrogen oxides, 240 tons of carbon monoxide, 52 tons of particulate matter, 4 tons of sulfur dioxide and 275 tons of volatile organic compounds...


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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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Tritium found in groundwater at former Genoa nuclear plant

The company charged with decommissioning a shuttered nuclear power plant in Genoa has reported elevated levels of radioactive material in groundwater.

LaCrosseSolutions, a subsidiary of the nuclear waste disposal company EnergySolutions, announced Monday that it had detected elevated levels of tritium in a monitoring well near the former reactor building.

EnergySolutions spokesman Mark Walker said there was a reading of 24,200 picocuries per liter recorded on Feb. 14 in a monitoring well 25 feet below ground. That’s below the Environmental Protection Agency’s drinking water limit of 25,000 picocuries per liter, though EnergySolutions notified the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission...


Ken Notes: Too bad it is not vibrainium... Glad to see this being delt with in the light of day...

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Lake Michigan water is the latest weapon in ongoing Illinois-Wisconsin border war

They`ve come for our jobs and our children. Now they want our water.

By all accounts, our neighbor to the north likely will be able to drain Lake Michigan of millions more gallons of water a day. Wisconsin needs the water for its growing industrial base and residential expansion...   ...more

Ken Notes: this could get interesting...

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Wisconsin Officials Want a Break on Tougher Ozone Rules

State officials are asking the Trump administration to set aside a recent federal finding and conclude that Wisconsin is in compliance with newer and tougher ozone emission standards.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — Wisconsin officials are asking the Trump administration to set aside a recent federal finding and conclude that the state is in compliance with newer and tougher ozone emission standards.

The request to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would weaken the impact of the standards on factories and other large sources of air pollution, including the Foxconn Technology Group`s plan for a manufacturing complex in Racine County....


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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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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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