Environment

Person's mouth drinking water from a water fountain

Kaul objects to regs that could leave lead in Wisconsin drinking water

BY: - February 13, 2020

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul on Thursday weighed in on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s new position on lead line replacements. The EPA’s proposed changes to the Lead and Copper Rule (LCR) would give water utilities up to 33 years to replace lead lines that are problematic. Kaul joined with nine other attorneys general, including […]

Big-money lobbyists against regulating PFAS

BY: - February 12, 2020

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) and four other special interest groups opposed to bills aimed at regulating so-called “forever chemicals” have spent more than $13.3 million on lobbying and elections in the last five years. The bills they oppose, Assembly Bills 842 and 843 and Senate Bills 772 and 773, would fund research, clean-up efforts, […]

Marines fighting fires with foam

Wisconsin PFAS Action Council Developing Action Plan

BY: - February 5, 2020

The Wisconsin PFAS Action Council (WisPAC) is currently developing an action plan to identify priority responses to per-and polyfluroalkyl substances (PFAS) spread in the state. The substances are man-made chemicals used in a variety of products including non-stick pans, fast food wrappers, and firefighting foam. They’ve been industry staples for decades, and in that time […]

Firefighters use a foam product to suppress a blaze. Photo from National PFAS Contamination Coalition, licensed under Creative Commons

PFAS “compromise bill” moving forward in state

BY: - February 4, 2020

Wisconsin continues to develop a legislative response to the spread of PFAS chemicals across the state, in what is becoming a bipartisan race against time. Recently, a bill pushed by two representatives from communities hit hard by PFAS contamination, Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette) and Sen. Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), seeks to allocate $7.7 million to […]

Clear milk glass from Pixabay

Which way to turn?

BY: - February 3, 2020

(Part two in a two-part series.) Mark Kastel, a passionate organic farming watchdog, lays out the crisis that is chipping away at the moral high ground occupied by organic food. Consumers pay a premium price for federally certified organic farm goods, he says, not just for the selfish reason of protecting their own health from […]

COMMENTARY
Teen activists at Milwaukee's climate march 2019.

Stranger than fiction: how we are responding to climate change

BY: - February 3, 2020

In a manuscript I’ve tried to sell — agent rejections piled high — a subplot involves a time in the near future when a wildfire consumes Prescott, Arizona, killing hundreds.  This shocks the conscience of the nation so much that an influential climate-change denier in Congress changes his mind and his heart. He becomes a […]

Organic food crisis threatens Wisconsin dairy farmers

BY: - January 31, 2020

(This is part one in a two-part series.) “The last two years have not been smooth sailing,” Ron Miller, general manager of the R&G Miller & Sons farm, says carefully when I ask how the family’s organic dairy farm is faring. The Columbus-area farmer, one of six Miller family members running a venerable homestead farm […]

A garbage bin filled with plastic (Courtsey of Pixabay)

“Forever plastics” may soon leave Milwaukee County

BY: - January 29, 2020

Milwaukee County supervisors are continuing to tackle the use of plastic products, with Supervisors Marina Dimitrijevic and Marcelia Nicholson being the latest to introduce a new resolution. The measure, sponsored by the duo, would phase out single-use plastics from county facilities, in the hope of reducing pollution and improving water quality. The resolution targets “forever […]

COMMENTARY

Southwest Wisconsin voters rank safe clean water as top issue

BY: - January 27, 2020

There’s a problem with safe, clean drinking water here in southwest Wisconsin’s scenic Driftless Area. We know it, we understand what to do about it and we want politicians to step up with regulatory policy actions and solutions. The Environmental Law & Policy Center Action Fund commissioned top researcher Ann Selzer (who FiveThirtyEight calls “The […]

water faucet

DNR begins PFAS rule-making process

BY: - January 23, 2020

Updated, 12:15 PM, 1/23/2020 As concern continues to grow about PFAS contamination, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources announced plans Wednesday to institute rulemaking procedures to govern the family of ubiquitous chemical substances found in thousands of consumer, household and industrial products. The action, authorized Wednesday by the independent National Resources Board (NRB) that oversees  […]

Firefighters use a foam product to suppress a blaze. Photo from National PFAS Contamination Coalition, licensed under Creative Commons

U.S. House votes to crack down on toxic chemicals; Trump threatens veto

BY: - January 13, 2020

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House voted Friday to pass a comprehensive legislative package that would crack down on per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, a class of chemicals known as PFAS that are said to cause serious health problems. Used in tape, nonstick pans and other everyday substances, PFAS have been linked to cancer, decreased fertility, developmental […]

PFAS contamination of well leads to emergency water for homeowner

BY: - January 10, 2020

A Marinette homeowner has been given emergency water by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR), after PFAS (per and polyfluoroalkyl substances) were detected in the person’s private well. The water was tested by the homeowner, and is just one such contaminated well in the Marinette Peshtigo area. Under the oversight of the DNR, Johnson Controls […]