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Environment

Discussions, news, and events about the environment in Wisconsin.

How Two Wisconsin Cities Want To Transform Their Energy Use

October 3, 2018

Climate change and the environmental unsustainability of fossil fuels pose problems of global magnitude. But local communities across the United States and around the planet see these challenges as a chance to take the lead, tackling carbon emissions and energy usage at the municipal level to make short-term strides amid pushes for longer-term transformation.

Ted Auch speaks at Wisconsin Grassroots Festival in Eau Claire

Ted Auch Speaks about Frac Sand Mining at Wisconsin Grassroots Festival in Eau Claire

October 1, 2018

Dr. Ted Auch spoke at the Eau Claire Grassroots Festival about the current status of fracking, frac sand mining in Wisconsin, and what we can expect in the future. The slide deck from his talk is attached to this article. Please note that the audio quality is sketchy as there was a fairly loud presentation going on in the next room, and the room dividers in this building are not great for sound isolation. 

Newly-Formed Covia closing sand mines, reducing production in Menomonie

September 28, 2018

Fairmont Santrol and Unimin merged in June to form a new company called Covia. Today Covia announced that they are reducing their frac sand production from 36 million tons per year to 32 million tons. This is primarily because many production companies are postponing fracking wells while waiting for more pipeline infrastructure. 

Foxconn site spilling into Pike River

Foxconn Draining to Pike River

September 4, 2018

Concerned citizens in Mount Pleasant have been documenting the spill of silt from the Foxconn development into the Pike River. The water has breached the containment barrier at the building site and is flowing through the "Lamparek Ditch" and then into the Pike. The attached video was shot yesterday. This was exactly the sort of thing that citizens in the area (and in Illinois) have been concerned would happen despite the money spent to mitigate damage from runoff.  

Algal Bloom in Dunn County causes sickness

Algae
August 27, 2018

The Dunn County Public Health Department has reported the first case of sickness caused by blue-green algae bloom in the county. Symptoms can show up  minutes to hours after exposure and can include shortness of breath, headache, fever, vomiting, and more. Please keep in mind that pets are also susceptible to illness from exposure to the algal bloom. 

Gravity Of Precedent Fuels Challenge To Foxconn's Lake Michigan Bid

map of diversion
June 21, 2018

Wisconsin's decision to let Foxconn draw water from Lake Michigan may set a precedent for water use that resonates across the Great Lakes region and beyond. But an emerging challenge to it is really a battle over how to interpret the Great Lakes Compact, the 10-years-young eight-state agreement that governs access to one of the world's most voluminous supplies of freshwater.

Hi-Crush incident update - metals release into river

Hi Crush Spillage
June 8, 2018

The at the Hi-Crush facility in Whitehall released 10 million gallons of (primarily) water, silt, clay, and sand from a retaiing pond at the site. The release flowed through a local creek and into the Trempealeau river, depositing silt and mud on local farmers fields in the process.

Legal Challenge filed to Foxconn water diversion

Great Lakes Map
May 26, 2018

On 5/25 Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a suit to challenge the recent DNR approval of diverting water from Lake Michigan to suppy the upcomfing Foxconn project.  The gist of the suit is that the DNR mis-interpreted the provision in the Great Lakes Compact allowing water diversions. The compoact requires that water diversions be made for public water supply purposes. Racine had argued that since the city primarily uses residential water that the diversion was appilcable.

Hi-Crush spill slowly pouring into the Mississippi

Spill in Trempeauleau River
May 24, 2018

I happened to be in Perrot State Park yesterday, and as we were driving up to the park I immediately notieced the plume of yellow silty water flowing into the MIssissippi from the Trempealeau River. The yellow flow of water is slowly starting to disappear into the Mississipi as it becomes diluted, but there is still a fairly heavy flow of silt coming in.