Double masked teen getting vaccine

Legislature bottles up vaccine changes; Senate passes bills to protect fossil fuels

BY: - June 8, 2023

Republican lawmakers blocked the state health department from updating childhood vaccination rules Wednesday, using procedural maneuvers that did not require a vote in either the Senate or the Assembly. Both bodies referred to their health committees bills that would prevent the Department of Health Services (DHS) from implementing the rules that it proposed earlier this […]

Effects of climate change on farming, federal spending explored by U.S. Senate panel

BY: - June 8, 2023

WASHINGTON — U.S. senators on the Budget Committee dug into the impacts of climate change on farming during a Wednesday hearing, raising concerns about what the next few decades hold for food production and the way of life. But Republicans and representatives of farm groups pushed back against increased government regulation. Brent Johnson, president of […]

Starkweather Creek empties into Lake Monona at Olbrich Park in Madison. (Henry Redman | Wisconsin Examiner)

Haggling begins over Republican PFAS bill

BY: - June 6, 2023

State agencies, legislators, advocacy groups and lobbyists spent more than three hours in a public hearing on Monday requesting amendments to draft legislation that would create a number of programs aiming at mitigating and treating PFAS pollution across Wisconsin.  The bill, SB 312, authored by Sens. Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay) and Eric Wimberger (R-Green Bay), […]

State law keeps Wisconsin’s wetlands protected despite U.S. Supreme Court decision

BY: - June 5, 2023

A U.S. Supreme Court decision has removed an estimated 50% of the country’s wetlands from protection under the federal Clean Water Act, yet more than a century of state laws and court precedent will leave most of Wisconsin’s wetlands protected.  The court’s majority decision, written by conservative Justice Samuel Alito, in Sackett vs. Environmental Protection […]

Decarbonization ambitions ignite debate over mining, permitting

BY: - June 1, 2023

The decarbonized, electrified future envisioned by the Biden administration, state governments, automakers, utility companies and corporate sustainability goals depends to a huge degree on minerals and metals. Lots more lithium will be needed for car and truck batteries, as well as the big banks of batteries that are increasingly popping onto the electric grid to […]

Clean water advocates ‘cautiously optimistic’ about PFAS legislation

BY: - May 31, 2023

Advocates for clean water in Wisconsin say that legislation and a potential $125 million budget appropriation to address pollution from harmful “forever chemicals” around the state would be a good “first step” toward better protecting the state’s water supply.  The group of chemicals known as PFAS has been connected to cancer and other long term […]

Helicopter pilot Rick Harmon of KG Livestock rounds up a group of wild horses during a gathering July 7, 2005 in Eureka, Nevada. The U.S. Bureau of Land Management wants to reduce herds in the American west, where an estimated 37,000 of the horses roam free, to 28,000 by the end of 2005. The U.S. periodically removes thousands of horses and donkeys in an attempt to ensure western rangelands have adequate food and water for the animals to survive. Those animals are either adopted out or housed indefinitely on government sanctuaries. Currently 24,000 horses and donkeys are housed in government-run facilities. Recently passed legislation allows for the sale for slaughter of wild horses and donkeys older than ten years old and animals that have been unsuccessfully offered for adoption at least three times, eliminating restrictions that had been in place since 1971 which prevented the animals from being sold commercially. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Western lands fight erupts over Bureau of Land Management’s conservation proposal

BY: - May 29, 2023

One thing opponents and proponents of a recently proposed U.S. Bureau of Land Management rule agree on: It would be a major shift in how the agency manages nearly 250 million acres of federal lands. The rule would allow for conservation leases, similar to how the agency auctions off parcels of land for mining, livestock […]

The U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C. (Jim Small | Arizona Mirror)

U.S. Supreme Court rejects Biden wetlands regulation, ruling for Idaho couple

BY: - May 25, 2023

The U.S. Supreme Court in a major environmental decision on  Thursday overturned the Environmental Protection Agency’s definition of wetlands that fall under the agency’s jurisdiction, siding with an Idaho couple who’d said they should not be required to obtain federal permits to build on their property that lacked any navigable water. All nine justices agreed […]

Despite public outcry, Madison Sewer District decides to shut off flow to Badger Mill Creek

BY: - May 25, 2023

The Madison Metropolitan Sewer District (MMSD) commission unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to shut off the flow of treated wastewater into Badger Mill Creek despite objections from local governments, community members who live near the creek and clean water interest groups.  The decision was made as the district is being required by the state Department […]

ROMEOVILLE, ILLINOIS - FEBRUARY 01: Smoke rises from a coal-fired power plant on February 01, 2019 in Romeoville, Illinois. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Overhaul federal permitting as part of the debt limit deal? Not as easy as it sounds.

BY: - May 22, 2023

Congressional leaders negotiating a deal to avoid a catastrophic default on the nation’s debt are talking about including an overhaul of how the federal government reviews projects for their environmental impact. There is bipartisan support for changes to the lengthy environmental approval process among climate-minded Democrats eager to speed construction of renewable energy projects, as […]

Judge decides not to shut down Line 5 over shoreline erosion concerns

BY: - May 19, 2023

A federal judge ruled against conducting an emergency shutdown of the Enbridge Line 5 pipeline Thursday, sections of which operate on Bad River tribal lands. The Bad River Band argued in U.S. District Court in Madison that Line 5 has become an imminent danger due to recent post-storm erosion, which has carved away large sections […]

Republicans approve $125 million for PFAS mitigation without specifying how to use it

BY: - May 19, 2023

Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee approved $125 million to create a fund that will be used to combat PFAS in Wisconsin, but refrained from establishing a plan or regulations for how the funds should be used. Republicans announced the proposal Thursday night, following a seven-hour delay. Lawmakers passed the proposal, which was included alongside […]