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

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Thursday, May 24 2018

Wiscontext - What Foxconn Means For The Great Lakes Compact

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At the turn of the century, a Canadian company named Nova Group sparked outrage across the Great Lakes region when it proposed to withdraw millions of gallons water from Lake Superior water and sell it in Asia. In the short term, this led Canada to crack down on freshwater exports.

Lead Pipe Replacement Costs Are An Ongoing Issue For Wisconsin's Local Governments

Around 176,000 lead pipes connecting municipal water systems to homes, businesses and other buildings are known to exist in Wisconsin. That number is gradually decreasing as communities around the state look to replace this antiquated and dangerous infrastructure, but the scale and cost of the problem is making for a slow process.

The Life Of Land After Frac Sand

Since the late 2000s, growth in hydraulic fracturing has created a new demand for sand deposits around western Wisconsin. Of highest value is hard, fine-grained sand perfect for cracking underground rock formations that hold oil and natural gas.

Scott Walker Set to Sign Koch Anti-Regulations Bill in Wisconsin

A bill with the potential to hobble government agencies' ability to propose regulations, known as the REINS (Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny) Act, has passed in both chambers of the Wisconsin Legislature and Republican Governor Scott Walker's office has told DeSmog he intends to sign it into law. REINS has been pushed for…

Climate Change Effects: Sea Level Rise Speeding Up

Sea level rise is real, and it’s getting worse. A study published in the journal Nature Climate Change shows that global sea level rise jumped by 50 percent from 1993 to 2014, the most recent year for which data are available. In 2014, sea levels rose 3.3 millimeters—more than an eighth of an inch—while in 1993…

Researchers say we have three years to act on climate change before it's too late

If we want a smooth transition into a sustainable future, we need to act fast. A comment article in the journal Nature says we have to act fast if we hope for a painless transition to a low-carbon society. Pexel If you want to lose 10 pounds by a certain date there are, broadly speaking, two…

EPA releases plans to gut Clean Water Rule

By Valerie Volcovici

(editor's note - we've been running occasional stories from Reuters Media Connect, which has allowed us to run a small number of Reuters stories for free.  That experiment is coming to an end at the end of June, so this is likely going to be the last of these stories until we become successful enough financially to subscribe to their new service plan).

The Penokees Are A Geologic Gem

In a state where the landscape tends towards low-lying swamps, flat fields and rolling hills, northern Wisconsin's Penokee Range of mountains are a dramatic outlier. Though their elevation is relatively modest — the Penokees are often just called hills — the range stands out. Billions of years of geologic processes, a cataclysmic meteor impact and changes in Earth's atmosphere all contributed to shaping a land with striking visual and physical properties.

Lawmakers say GOP reining in DNR scientists who rebelled on climate change

Deep in Gov. Scott Walker’s budget proposal is a seemingly benign item formalizing the transfer of 15 scientists within the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

Two years ago, Walker and lawmakers enacted a budget that cut 18 DNR science service bureau researchers amid complaints that their research related to climate change, pollution and wildlife habitat were controversial and unneeded.

Sustain Rural Wisconsin Network calls for moratorium on CAFO approval in the state.

Wisconsin citizens’ right to clean water, clean air and a good quality of life is endangered by water pollution frequently caused by agriculture. Wisconsin’s industrial agriculture industry generates more manure than crops can safely use as fertilizer leading to excess phosphorus and nitrate levels in the soil and groundwater. As a result, our local streams, lakes, and waterways are quickly becoming damaged beyond repair.

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Today, February 21

  • Steve Hanson
    5:19pm

    Changes to Tags
      +
    Clean Water
      +
    PFAS
      +
    environment and politics
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  • Steve Hanson
    5:18pm

    Playing politics with PFAS crisis is cowardly

    MADISON – In a return to late night, last-minute tactics just before the end of the Assembly’s session, GOP legislators hastily wrote and passed a pitiful amendment to an already inadequate bill and are now claiming it as a victory over potentially deadly PFAS pollution.

    At the center of this failure is Rep. John Nygren who, on the floor of the Assembly, rationalized his own failure to pass a decent PFAS compromise bill co-authored by Sen. Dave Hansen by falsely claiming that PFAS chemicals are merely a “local issue.” 

    PFAS are a well-documented problem across Wisconsin, and as testing continues, the scope of contamination is widening at an alarming rate – despite industry’s efforts to stamp out further testing for the dangerous toxins that are leeching into drinking water from an array of household and industrial products.

    Rep. Nygren’s constituents live near what is considered “ground zero” for PFAS contamination. In Marinette, there’s emerging evidence and stories of cancer clusters, thyroid defects, and hormone and fertility problems. 

    Executive Director Kerry Schumann had this to say about last night’s activities:

    “If these pro-polluter lawmakers want to play political games late at night to quench their thirst for political theater, that’s their prerogative. But, when these purely political tactics are hurting people, it’s not silly, it’s not funny – it’s downright dangerous. People will suffer because of this failure. 

    Rep. John Nygren has had over a year to pass legislation to protect his constituents from the number one threat to their health and safety, and he didn’t get the job done. Our organization will remind voters of that this election season. We will not allow him to trot this out as a victory to fool voters into thinking he actually stepped up and did his job. He didn’t. 

    What happened in the Assembly last night is clear – pro-polluter politicians tried to make it look like they care and are doing something about PFAS. In reality, they let down the people who are struggling with health care bills, devastating illnesses, and constant worry because the water that came out of their faucets made them sick.

    These legislators need to look into the eyes of a sick child, or a mother who lost a pregnancy, or a cancer victim and tell them that they did nothing to help them.”

    ...
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