Wisconsin Development News Green - Environmental Ideas That Make Economic Sense

This Weeks Articles for 5/23/2022 ...

  1. Hundreds of Wisconsin schools are teaching with a focus on environmental education
  2. Judge upholds state approval of Superior gas plant; $700M project faces additional hurdles
  3. RENEW Wisconsin: Launches two communications campaigns to promote the benefits of Wisconsin clean energy investments
  4. Wisconsin Makes New Commitment to Environmental Justice and Disaster Preparedness
  5. $835 million in contractor hands after utility regulators approve sale of Kewaunee nuke plant
  6. Celebrate National Trails Day On June 4
  7. Cutting air pollution emissions would save 50,000 US lives, $600 billion each year
  8. Milwaukee Zoom Meet Up
  9. Higher gas prices, concern for environment and more variety drives interest in electric vehicles
  10. Monona Grove School District shows off solar array it says is largest on K-12 school in Wisconsin
  11. Since When is Hog Building Construction National News?
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Dept. of Natural Resources: May is Clean Air Month
MADISON, Wis. – May is Clean Air Month, and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) celebrates the accomplishments of the last year, including the improvement in overall air quality in Wisconsin.

The DNR’s 2021 Wisconsin Air Quality Trends Report shows that air quality in Wisconsin continues to improve, including a 35% drop in fine particle concentrations, a dramatic reduction in emissions from industrial sources and motor vehicles and a 39% drop in industrial source emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs).

These improvements are due in part to implementing a variety of federal and state pollution control programs, and cleaner burning and more efficient fuel combustion from both highway vehicles and electric utilities...


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UW-Madison team looks to bring carbon capture to market
Researchers at UW-Madison have developed a way to pull carbon dioxide from the air and store the heat-trapping gas in solid particles that can be turned into building materials.

Now they are looking to scale their laboratory experiment into a business that can solve two of the biggest challenges to fighting climate change.

Known as Earth RepAIR, the project is built on concepts developed by Bu Wang, an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Rob Anex, a professor of biological systems...

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Ken Notes: If this scales and is cost effective it could be game changing! Imagine buildings literally made of pollution!

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‘There’s a lot to protect here’: These small Wisconsin towns want more regulations for big farms

The state`s agricultural lobby says local efforts to regulate CAFOs are illegal

Laketown, Wisconsin, is a rural community of 949 people, spread out among the green fields and ample lakes of the state’s northwestern corner, just over an hour outside of Minneapolis...

...Now, Laketown is at the center of a battle over this rural character, as the town aims to limit pollution from large, industrial livestock farms, also known as concentrated animal feeding operations, or CAFOs...


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Ken Notes: Follow the money, this will be an uphill battle, and to be honest it will not be won until it is state or federally regulated. As long as deep wells are allowed to convert manure into soup that can be pumped miles from the farm and spread year round, we will have more pollution, less water and an exponential reduction is smaller farms. There are solutions but the upfront costs and lack of regulation have all but eliminated them from consideration.

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WI: Racine`s electric buses now on the road, picking up passengers

RYDE Racine has integrated nine new all-electric buses into its fleet, which represents about 25% of its buses.

Apr. 28—RACINE — The largest all-electric bus fleet in the state of Wisconsin was unveiled Wednesday to a crowd of cheering attendees at the historic Corinne Reid Owens Transit Center on State Street.

RYDE Racine has integrated nine new all-electric buses into its fleet, which represents about 25% of its buses. RYDE held a reception Wednesday for local and state officials, who were given an opportunity to take a ride on the city`s all-electric buses.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers was on hand to say "a strong public transportation system is one of the most important assets a community can have."...

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Ken Notes: I will try this one more time. Madison needs a terrace to terrace tourist friendly transit system using electric trolley buses (see image above) made right here in Wisconsin. Specifically Hometown Trolley in Crandon Wisconsin. They have even offered to bring a unit down for us to take a look at, I`ll be happy to host an event if there is any interest!

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Hundreds of Wisconsin schools are teaching with a focus on environmental education
Students at Fox River Academy need the usual supplies expected of any elementary and middle schoolers — a backpack, pencils, a notebook or two — but they also need a pair of boots, a raincoat and a willingness to get their hands dirty.

On any given Thursday, it isn`t unusual to find the kindergarten to eighth-grade students at the Appleton environmental charter school  digging in the dirt or running down to the ravine near the school on the edge of Pierce Park for an outdoor excursion. In April, for example, the students spent a day outside building a hugelkultur garden — a self-sustaining garden bed made from plant debris....


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`No Mow May:` How Wisconsin residents can help pollinators
MILWAUKEE - April showers bring May flowers, and those flowers will need help from humans during a movement known as "No Mow May."

The initiative started in Appleton and has since bloomed across Wisconsin. Organizations like the Urban Ecology Center encourage residents to let their grass grow.

The idea behind No Mow May is simple – don`t mow your lawn. That way, pollinators like bees and butterflies can have an early food source. Experts say it goes a long way....
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Ken Notes: I hope communities will allow this...

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Wisconsin Environment: Advocates urge EPA to deliver clean trucks for Wisconsin
MADISON, Wis. – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is accepting public comments on its federal clean trucks rule until Monday May 16. Ahead of the deadline, Wisconsin Environment, Wisconsin Health Professionals for Climate Action, and Masters Gallery Foods presented a webinar on Thursday, Clean Trucks for Wisconsin, that highlighted the benefits of cleaner trucks for the state. Heavy-duty vehicles, including trucks and buses, emit toxic air pollutants that cause and exacerbate heart and respiratory diseases from asthma to lung cancer. Those vehicles also emit greenhouse gases that contribute to the climate crisis...   ...more

Ken Notes: Interesting presentation well worth listening to. Again I will suggest that economics, revenues, and profit are the key - and we are close to formulas that make this work. Also talking with an industry is far more effective that talking about an industry.

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Judge upholds state approval of Superior gas plant; $700M project faces additional hurdles
Efforts to halt construction of a natural gas generator in Superior suffered a setback Tuesday, though the $700 million project faces additional legal hurdles.

Dane County Circuit Judge Jacob Frost said utility regulators followed the law when they approved the Nemadji Trail Energy Center.

Frost rejected arguments made by the Sierra Club and Clean Wisconsin that the Public Service Commission failed to consider the full environmental impact of the plant, which would be jointly owned by Dairyland Power Cooperative and two Minnesota utilities...


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RENEW Wisconsin: Launches two communications campaigns to promote the benefits of Wisconsin clean energy investments
Madison, WI – RENEW Wisconsin has launched two state-wide communications campaigns to promote the benefits of clean energy investments in Wisconsin. The two campaigns, “Clean Energy Works for Wisconsin” and “Clean Energy is Made in Wisconsin,” include print and digital ads and shareable communications assets for partners and clean energy advocates...


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Biden administration vows to speed up environmental permits needed for infrastructure projects
President Joe Biden’s administration will seek to hasten construction of roads, bridges, wind farms and more by tweaking the federal review process for environmental and other permits, administration officials said Tuesday.

On a press call, administration officials said they were seeking to make permitting easier without sacrificing environmental standards.

The new permitting plan includes five components, White House Council on Environmental Quality Chair Brenda Mallory said. They are:
  • Consolidating decision-making...
  • Establishing timeline goals and tracking project...
  • Engaging in “meaningful outreach and communication”...
  • Improving technical assistance and support...
  • Using existing agency resources to prioritize permitting review...

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Ken Notes: I have to smile, when business asked for this years ago they were seen as evil corporate bad guys looking to destroy the environment...

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Wisconsin Makes New Commitment to Environmental Justice and Disaster Preparedness

Governor’s order aims to coordinate climate resilience across agencies and communities

As research has shown, natural disasters and environmental threats have a disproportionate impact on marginalized communities in the U.S.

In Wisconsin, this is evident in how flooding affects communities of color, Tribal Nations, and low-income residents. These populations often lack the resources to adequately prepare for such events, which experts predict will become increasingly frequent and intense. Further, Wisconsin is a topographically diverse state and in any given year, flooding can wreak havoc in urban areas such as Milwaukee, agricultural communities in western Wisconsin, midsize cities nestled next to rivers, and communities along the shores of Lake Superior...

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Kinnard Farms sues DNR over water quality requirements

Lawsuit filed after Supreme Court rules on case over DNR authority

Kinnard Farms, one of Wisconsin’s largest dairy producers, has filed a lawsuit to challenge requirements that the operation test water quality near fields where manure has been spread. The lawsuit, filed on Earth Day against the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), comes weeks after the DNR announced that Kinnard Farms would be required to monitor groundwater.

The move represents the latest chapter in the ongoing conflict over how to address groundwater contamination in the state. Nitrate contamination from the waste of farm animals is Wisconsin’s most common groundwater contaminant. A report in February by the Environmental Working Group and Midwest Environmental Advocates found that in four Wisconsin counties, manure was applied more than 50% above the rate recommended by University of Wisconsin researchers to minimize pollution. Kinnard Farms, and Kewaunee County where it’s located, was cited in the report...


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Ken Notes: We need legislators from both sides to stand up for water quality in Wisconsin, this is not a matter for the Court, it is a matter for the people, especially when solutions are available, they work, they are cost effective. Digestors can produce power and a clean effluent.

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Pass the PFAS: Wisconsin communities grapple with ‘forever chemicals’ as state, federal officials stall regulation standards

`Sometimes you wonder who`s looking out for us,` Marinette Water Operations Manager says

Lee Donahue had been a town supervisor for the town of Campbell located on French Island for all of six months when news came to her that the town’s drinking water and groundwater had PFAS in it — forcing her to quickly get up to speed on the dangerous class of chemicals and what contamination meant for the island she’d called home for nearly 15 years.

PFAS, or Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, are a large class of chemical compounds, some of which have been linked to adverse health effects including decreased fertility, cancers, developmental delays in children, high cholesterol and more. Sometimes called “forever chemicals,” PFAS are found everywhere — from non-stick pans and fast food wrappers to dental floss and firefighting foams...

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Ken Notes: I would continue to suggest that by not working together with everyone at the table we are creating the differences that keep us from moving toward solutions. Lawyers love this, but as for getting things done...

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Salt in the wound: How brine could curb damage tied to road salting
When it’s Wisconsin in summertime, what comes to mind more than the topic of road salting?

Road salting and its harmful effects don’t evaporate once the snow melts and ice thaws. People are familiar with road salting when it’s applied to streets during the winter, but its effects can be clearly seen during the warmer months.

Stretches of dead grassland and strangled marshland near major roadways are obvious, but the damages of road salting are often deeper and longer-lasting than meet the eye.

“People seem to think that road salt just vanishes. It doesn’t vanish. It flows into the ditches and gutters. It seeps into lakes, rivers and watersheds,” said Allison Madison, sustainability and development coordinator with Wisconsin Salt Wise, an environmental advocacy organization. “It can take years and decades for salt to circulate out. In that time, it toxifies natural bodies of water, as well as service water and drinking water across Wisconsin.”...


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Ken Notes: We are systemically committed to road salt, so to change we need to grow into brine as we replace equipment and and upgrade our storage and distribution. A "mandate" will not work without substantial funding to support it. As a Mayor I was often forced to balance what I knew was right with what the community could afford. We should all brine and I believe we can get there, but we should also all drive electric cars, live in net zero homes, eliminate our waste stream and more...

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$835 million in contractor hands after utility regulators approve sale of Kewaunee nuke plant
Wisconsin regulators have approved the sale of a shuttered nuclear plant, leaving hundreds of millions of ratepayer dollars in the hands of a private contractor.

The Public Service Commission voted unanimously Wednesday to allow Dominion Energy to sell the Kewaunee Nuclear Power Plant to Utah-based EnergySolutions for an undisclosed sum. EnergySolutions will also get about $835 million set aside to cover the cost of decommissioning the 49-year-old plant...

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Lawsuits against US Postal Service aim to alter Oshkosh Defense production plans

Unions blasted decision to build postal vehicles in South Carolina instead of Wisconsin. New lawsuits target vehicles` environmental impact.

Three federal lawsuits against the U.S. Postal Service are the latest battle in a fight Wisconsin workers say they hope will bring the production of new postal vehicles to the state.

The lawsuits were filed late last month by environmental groups, the United Auto Workers and 15 states. The groups say the Postal Service failed to clear environmental regulations before it awarded a multi-billion-dollar contract to Oshkosh Defense to build what it calls its "Next Generation Delivery Vehicle."...

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Ken Notes: Oshkosh would have been nice, and as electric becomes more affordable there is a plan to transition. But at the end of the day this is an economic driven process based on a bid. I have seen contacts where the Union was at the table, but it is rare. By contract Oshkosh Corp. has to build units to spec for X dollars...

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Green Bay rally held against mining project: `If I have to stand out in front of the machines and give my life, that’s what I’ll do`
GREEN BAY – About 40 environmental activists led by Indigenous water protectors gathered along the Fox River in downtown Green Bay on Friday to demonstrate against proposed mining near the Menominee River in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.

“This is the Menominee River, too,” said Guy Reiter, a Menominee tribal citizen whose Menominee name is Anahkwet and is the executive director of the Menominee community organization Men?k?naehkem, Inc. “The way we think about water is that all water is connected.”

Friday’s event brought awareness to the Back 40 Mine project in the Upper Peninsula....
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Ken Notes: Back Forty needs to be on everyone`s radar screen...

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Environmental Education for the Next Generation: SC Johnson and NGO Ocean Generation Announce New Partnership
LONDON, May 3, 2022 /CSRwire/ - SC Johnson, the maker of household consumer brands such as Mr Muscle®, Ecover® and Duck®, today launched a new partnership with UK Charity Ocean Generation, an authority on tackling ocean-bound plastic waste, to bring the ocean and its importance to classrooms across the UK.

The partnership represents the next step the company is taking in driving education on the ocean plastic crisis, following The Blue Paradox, an immersive experience SC Johnson hosted on the topic in London last year in partnership with Conservation International. The partnership sees content from The Blue Paradox exhibition incorporated into Ocean Generation’s Ocean Academy programme, an open-source digital learning hub with a toolkit of educational materials for teachers and parents...

...Founded in 1886 and headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin USA, SC Johnson believes that a more sustainable, healthier and transparent world that inspires people and creates opportunities isn`t just possible – it`s our responsibility....
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Ken Notes: Thank you! I know we love to hate the private sector but if we really want to make a difference we should seek public private partnerships to work together on our issues. Ocean plastics is one place to start...

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WI tribal advocates: Pipeline threatens agricultural traditions
Enbridge is seeking to reroute a portion of its Line 5 around the Bad River Band`s territory in northern Wisconsin.

The rerouting falls within the tribe`s watershed, and tribal advocates argued it poses risks to tribal farming traditions.

Aurora Conley, chair of the Anishinaabe Environmental Protection Alliance and a member of the Bad River Ojibwe, said the potential environmental fallout could be disastrous for the region`s wild rice fields. She explained wild rice, or manoomin, is more than an agricultural commodity to the tribe...

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Ken Notes: The real issue is that Line 5 is in place now, it is old, it has and will continue to fail and we have a one time chance to make it exponentially better. I believe that it will be very difficult to stop or prevent it from being upgraded, so I would rebuild it in such a way that the environmental impact is mitigated... Michigan should also take this approach...

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Celebrate National Trails Day On June 4
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) invites the public to celebrate National Trails Day on June 4 by visiting state trails. Whether by foot, bike, horse, ATV or watercraft, Wisconsin has thousands of miles of trails to enjoy.

This year, National Trails Day falls on the DNR’s 10th annual Free Fun Weekend, June 4-5, when all admission and trail fees are waived at state parks, forests and trails. From linear trails to hilly terrain, you can discover all types of trails across Wisconsin. Visit the DNR`s Wisconsin State Parks webpage for trail maps, directions and park info.

“After a long winter, it’s a great time to dust off your hiking boots or running shoes, get the bikes out of the rafters and head outside for some fresh air,” said Missy VanLanduyt, DNR Recreation Partnerships Section Chief. “On National Trails Day, we encourage Wisconsinites to celebrate their hometown trails and show their support for our state’s trail networks.”...


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Cutting air pollution emissions would save 50,000 US lives, $600 billion each year
Date:         May 16, 2022
Source:     University of Wisconsin-Madison

Summary:

Eliminating air pollution emissions from energy-related activities in the United States would prevent more than 50,000 premature deaths each year and provide more than $600 billion in benefits each year from avoided illness and death, according to a new study.

Published today in the journal GeoHealth, the study reports the health benefits of removing dangerous fine particulates released into the air by electricity generation, transportation, industrial activities and building functions like heating and cooking -- also major sources of carbon dioxide emissions that cause climate change, since they predominantly rely on burning fossil fuels like coal, oil, and natural gas...
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Gov. Tony Evers announces more than 9.3 million trees planted in Wisconsin since last year
HALES CORNERS, Wis. (CBS 58)-- Governor Tony Evers announced more than 9.3 million trees were planted in Wisconsin since last year.

Evers signed Executive Order #112 in 2021, which pledged to plant 75 million trees and conserve 125,000 acres of forest in the state by 2030.

The pledge is expected to result in nearly 29 million metric tons of carbon dioxide stored over the next 50 years, according to a press release...
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Ken Notes: That is only two per person, lets shoot for ten...

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Wisconsin schools celebrate `Better World Day` with community projects

`We can use this, in the community, to make this a better place for people,` one Kenosha junior said

Four Kenosha schools were set to spend their Friday cleaning up 10 local parks. And although rain delayed their plans, the students instead used the day to think of ways to make their worlds better.

The schools, all in the national EL Education network, were celebrating "Better World Day" by identifying service projects they could do within the community...


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Ken Notes: Congrats and every school in the State should do a project like this...

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Midwest Environmental Advocates: Public testimony reveals overwhelming support for permit changes that require Portage County CAFO to test groundwat
MADISON, WI— Today, at a public hearing held by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR), members of the public expressed overwhelming support for a proposal to modify a wastewater discharge permit for Gordondale Farms, a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) in Portage County. The draft permit includes conditions that require the farm to monitor groundwater quality in areas where large amounts of manure are spread.

Close to 50 people attended today’s hearing. Those who testified at the hearing voiced support for the proposed permit modifications by a 10-to-1 margin.

If DNR’s proposed modifications are incorporated into the final version, it will be the third CAFO permit to incorporate conditions and authority outlined in a state Supreme Court ruling last summer. That decision affirmed the DNR’s authority to use commonsense permit conditions such as groundwater monitoring and limits on herd size to protect water quality...


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Ken Notes: Why single out Gordondale, we should require all CAFO`s to test ground water as well as surface water for manure contamination. The DNR is tasked with regulating this but is not staffed or supported legislatively to actually monitor these new large farms.

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Wisconsin coalition urges Congress to pass bill that would save habitat and keep species from becoming endangered
With National Endangered Species Day on the near horizon, members of a Wisconsin coalition of conservation organizations issued an urgent call last week for Congress to pass the Recovering America`s Wildlife Act.

“Each week seems to bring more dire news for our natural world,” said David Clutter, executive director of the Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin, in a statement. “Recovering America’s Wildlife Act is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to save our wildlife and their habitats."

The Recovering America`s Wildlife Act would dedicate $1.3 billion annually to state fish and wildlife agencies to implement their science-based wildlife action plans and an additional $97.5 million for tribal fish and wildlife managers...


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Drinking Water News Roundup: First Nation residents call settlement restrictive, Wisconsin towns try regulating big farms, Chicago cans tap water

From lead pipes to PFAS, drinking water contamination is a major issue plaguing cities and towns all around the Great Lakes. Cleaning up contaminants and providing safe water to everyone is an ongoing public health struggle.

Keep up with drinking water-related developments in the Great Lakes area.

Click on the headline to read the full story:

Wisconsin:

Kinnard Farms, one of Wisconsin’s largest dairy producers, has filed a lawsuit to challenge requirements that the operation test water quality near fields where manure has been spread. The lawsuit, filed on Earth Day against the Department of Natural Resources, comes weeks after the DNR announced that Kinnard Farms would be required to monitor groundwater.

The project includes the replacement of lead service lines throughout the city. Activities related to this project are considered minor actions according to state code, and an environmental review required by federal government under program guidelines determined the project will not result in significant adverse environmental effects.

However, the public is encouraged to submit comments regarding this decision and its potential environmental impacts.

Over the past few months, Laketown and two nearby towns, Trade Lake and Eureka, have passed laws regulating how CAFOs can operate, requiring them to show how they will dispose of dead animals and avoid polluting groundwater. But these policies have faced stiff pushback from the state’s powerful agricultural lobby, which has called the new regulations illegal.

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Milwaukee Zoom Meet Up

WISCONSIN WOMEN IN CONSERVATION
Growing Community in Milwaukee County

Time & Location - May 24, 4:00 PM – 4:30 PM CDT

Zoom

About the Event
Are you a Milwaukee County woman farmer, landowner, or conservation enthusiast? Join us on Tuesday, May 24th for an introductory zoom call about WiWiC.

Learn about our programming, conservation plans, and our outreach in Milwaukee, while connecting with other women landowners, farmers, and conservation enthusiasts in the area.

Note: This event is open only to those who live or own land in Milwaukee County. ..
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Concerns raised about solar imports investigation; DHS leader highlights need for more behavioral health professionals
Renew Wisconsin is raising concerns about a federal investigation into “alleged unfair trade practices” targeting solar energy products imported from southeast Asia.

The renewable energy advocacy group highlighted the U.S. Commerce Department’s investigation into certain solar products imported from Cambodia, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam. A release notes 80 percent of all U.S. solar panel imports come from these countries.

The investigation was launched in response to a complaint by a California manufacturer called Auxin Solar, which argued the imports from the four southeast Asian countries represent “pervasive backdoor dumping” by China, the Associated Press reported...


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Ken Notes: This is complex, China has made solar very cost effective but has also made it difficult for domestic manufacturing to compete. Do we want utilities to continue to build huge solar facilities using domestic labor or do we want tariffs that would slow this. We need a global renewable policy to deal with this...

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Evers touts new WI Office of Environmental Justice
Wisconsin has a new Office of Environmental Justice, which is tasked with centering equity and fairness as the state proceeds with a new clean-energy strategy.

The Environmental Protection Agency reports the heaviest impacts of climate change typically fall on underserved communities who are "least able to prepare for and recover from heat waves, poor air quality, flooding and other impacts," a disparity the new office will be tasked with addressing.

Gov. Tony Evers said at a news conference Friday the office will work across state agencies to ensure an equitable response to climate change...
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Wisconsin Band Seeks Ruling to Evict Enbridge Line 5 from Indigenous Territory
A Wisconsin Indigenous band is seeking a permit to immediately evict the Line 5 pipeline from its land, creating a second shutdown risk for a piece of fossil infrastructure that has already faced closure threats from the Michigan government, as well as other Indigenous and environmental groups.

Earlier this year, the Bad River Band of the Lake Superior Tribe of Chippewa filed an application asking a United States federal court for a permanent injunction that would order Calgary-based Enbridge Inc. to “cease operation of the pipeline and to safely decommission and remove it,” reports the Globe and Mail...


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Ken Notes: I like the Bad River Band, but the contract is pretty solid. They could gain far more by negotiating a replacement/upgrade that better protected the sensitive lands while infusing capital into other tribal environmental interests.

If the governor of Michigan can not stop the line in an area far more sensitive, the chance that the tribe will succeed is very slim.

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Dept. of Natural Resources: DNR awarded $2 million to assess Brownfields
MADISON, Wis. – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) today announced the department was awarded a $2 million grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) made possible by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to assess potentially contaminated brownfield properties throughout the state in historically underserved areas.

“From Superior to Rhinelander to Milwaukee, these funds will play a critical role in continuing to address various contaminants, hazardous substances, and pollutants, as well as the economic, social, and environmental consequences they cause,” said Gov. Tony Evers. “I want to share my thanks to the Biden Administration for this critical investment, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Secretary Preston Cole for their leadership on this issue, as well as the local leaders who are critical partners in these cleanup efforts as we continue our work to ensure safer, cleaner communities across our state.”...


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Ken Notes: I wonder if we can classify farm runoff as brown fields... For the record this is about 34 cents per capita.

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Higher gas prices, concern for environment and more variety drives interest in electric vehicles

But getting more electric vehicles on the roads will be a `glacial movement,` car dealer predicts

Gas prices are climbing to record highs in Wisconsin and across the country, and that has more drivers considering turning to electric vehicles. But the price of gas is just one part of the equation, industry experts said, and won’t necessarily translate to more electric vehicles on the road.

Interest in electric vehicles has been on the rise after a decade of slow growth. Electric vehicle sales in the United States increased 60 percent in the first quarter of 2022. And that’s after nearly doubling from 2020 to 2021. In Wisconsin, there were 7,521 electric vehicles registered as of July 2021, up 22 percent from 2020...



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Monona Grove School District shows off solar array it says is largest on K-12 school in Wisconsin

May 21, 2022 - The array covers roughly two-thirds of the roof of Monona Grove High School. When fully operational, the district expects it will generate about half of the school’s electricity.

Peter Sobol, the chair of Monona Grove’s Ad Hoc Sustainability Committee, said the district applied for and received a $300,000 grant from the state’s Public Service Commission to help cover some of the project’s costs. The district borrowed roughly $1 million to pay for the rest of the array.

The project, he said, will more than pay for itself over its 30-year life. It will be cash flow positive in the first year, and over 30 years, the district expects it will save them $1.5 million in energy costs...



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Arbor Day awareness
According to the National Forest Foundation, in one year 100 mature trees can remove 53 tons of carbon dioxide and 430 pounds of pollution from the atmosphere. In the U.S., forests only absorb 12 percent of total carbon emissions each year.

So while there is clearly work to be done, and there is no better time to spread awareness on the importance of planting trees than Arbor Day. The exact date for Arbor Day is not consistent among states and countries due to different growing seasons, but the message stays the same: plant more trees. The UW-W Sustainability students spent this Arbor Day planting trees on campus, educating other students on the importance of planting trees, and celebrating all of their hard work this school year...
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DNR project to improve Kewaunee`s public water system seeks public comments
MADISON – The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources is seeking public comment by May 16 on a project designed to improve the public drinking water system in Kewaunee after the city applied for funds for the project through the DNR`s Safe Drinking Water Loan Program....

SEE ALSO:
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Wisconsin DNR explains how to fight food waste for Stop Food Waste Day
MADISON (WKOW) - April 27 is Stop Food Waste Day, and the Wisconsin DNR wants your help to keep food waste out of Wisconsin landfills.

Food waste is edible food that`s thrown away before it`s eaten or because it`s spoiled, or other scraps such as banana peels and eggshells.

According to the DNR`s 2020-2021 statewide waste study, food waste makes up 20% of the trash that goes to our landfills, which is more than double since the last study in 2009. And the DNR says that most of this food, around 14.5%, could have been eaten.

Around 854,000 tons of food waste was put into state landfills state’s landfills in 2020, rounding out to around 294 pounds per Wisconsinite. The DNR says that residential sources like households are a major contributor to this number, creating around 30% of this waste.
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Ken`s Pick - Electric Automotive Stories

The 2023 Subaru Solterra review: Rejoice Subaru fans, there’s now an electric compact SUV

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OPINION: Thriving economy, improved environment need well-functioning democracy
Democracy in Wisconsin is under attack by autocratic forces. Their victory will spell doom for a more sustainable economy and environment.

The threat comes from the continued onslaught of hyper-partisan redistricting, plus restrictions on voting, conspiracy-laden legal actions, and baseless claims of election fraud. If successful, these efforts will lead to one-party rule that ignores the will of the people and undercuts local businesses. Even successes in clean energy jobs and environmental protection will be reversed.

Small business owners understand that a thriving economy depends on a vibrant democracy. The two go hand in hand.  And in one-party rule, the politically well-connected and business as usual will control the agenda.

To ensure a healthy economy and environment, we need to strengthen, not weaken voting rights and democracy across Wisconsin. A national poll of small business owners found 74% support for such efforts...


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Head of Kaukauna’s 1000 Islands Environmental Center offers advice on handling bird flu

She also explains what people should do with their bird feeders, shares tips for new birders

The head of a conservancy in Kaukauna said last week that her environmental center hasn’t suffered much directly from the recent strain of avian influenza, but she offered advice to limit its reach on the local ecology.

Debra Nowak is the director and a naturalist at 1000 Islands Environmental Center, a 350-acre area on the Fox River.

Wisconsin Public Radio reported this week that the latest outbreak of the avian flu already reached a higher number of non-commercial cases than the state saw in 2015, the year of its previous outbreak...


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Grain Milling Company Charged with OSHA Crimes for Causing Worker Deaths

Company and Employees Charged with Conspiracy to Conceal Violations; Two Employees Plead Guilty to Related Charges

A federal grand jury in Madison, Wisconsin, returned an indictment charging a corn milling company, a company vice president, two environmental coordinators and three additional supervisors with crimes related to worker safety, fraud, air pollution and obstruction of justice, the Department of Justice announced.

Two former company supervisors previously pleaded guilty to related charges in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin.

According to the indictment handed down on May 11, Didion Milling Inc. (DMI) owned and operated a corn mill in Cambria, Wisconsin. Grain milling generates large amounts of grain dust, and DMI was required to regularly clean dust accumulations from inside the mill in order to prevent both food safety and quality issues and to remove accumulations that could fuel combustible dust explosions...


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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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Dane County approves 300-megawatt solar energy project

`Everyone who flips on a light switch in Southern Wisconsin ... this is a big part of a transition to a clean energy future,` expert says

Koshkonong Solar Energy Center, a planned 300-megawatt solar project slated to go into service in 2025, was approved for construction by the Public Service Commission last month.

The center, developed by Invenergy, will be located in southeast Dane County, and it will be one of the largest renewable energy sources in the state...

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Since When is Hog Building Construction National News?
Is putting up a new swine barn in southwest Wisconsin national news? With all the important issues facing our world today, it doesn’t seem to be a pressing issue worthy of national media attention. So when the Associated Press released a story about Howard “AV” Roth’s plans to construct a new hog building, he admits he was a little surprised.

Roth plans to put up a 5,000-sow, farrow-to-wean building in Crawford County, a region known for its rolling hills and clear trout streams.

Although his permit was approved by the Department of Natural Resources to begin construction, it still found a way to make the news as some residents in Crawford County are concerned that liquid manure could be overapplied to fields as fertilizer and potentially seep into the groundwater, or run off the soil and into streams and rivers, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported...


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ABOUT - Wisconsin Development GREEN News
Ten thousand environmentally minded business professionals, 500+ News outlets and reporters, and even a treehugger or two now read WDNGreen each week. Thank you!
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Ken Harwood
Advocating for Wisconsin
Editor [at]  KenHarwood.com
608.334.2174

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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.
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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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AgSTAR’s New Digester Project Development Handbook
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.
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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.

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WELCOME to WDNews GREEN!
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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