DNR PFAS Graphic

Three homeowners receive emergency drinking water due to PFAS

BY: - April 15, 2020

Johnson Controls Inc. and its subsidiary, Tyco Fire Products, has been ordered by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) to provide emergency drinking water to three homeowners in the Marinette and Peshtigo areas. The homeowners’ private drinking wells were found to have high levels of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances), so-called “forever chemicals” used in […]

Courtesy of the Department of Natural Resources page on parks and recreation.

40 state parks ordered closed by Gov. Tony Evers

BY: - April 9, 2020

With few recreational activities left to help Wisconsinites ride out the state’s stay at home order, many are turning to nature. The state’s network of parks and trails have always been gems for nature and outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds. With most businesses closed, people out of work, and anxiety running high, those winding paths […]

Wisconsin dairy cows in large animal feeding operation

How a fast-tracked bill got stopped in its tracks

BY: - February 25, 2020

A fast-tracked bill that would have given farm groups a virtual veto power over changes to a Wisconsin rule governing large livestock farms has run aground over a one-word change. The bill, AB-894 in the Assembly and SB-808 in the Senate, was introduced on Feb. 10 and the subject of a joint Assembly-Senate public hearing […]

Low prices drive Wisconsin recyclers to send more to the landfill

BY: - February 21, 2020

Much of what Wisconsinites are careful to recycle may actually be ending up in landfills, thanks to the industry’s economy which has, for the last year, stagnated. Market analysis in an October 2019 trade publication showed one type of plastic lost almost half its value between January and August. Steel cans dropped from $191 per […]

Glass of water being filled from a tap

Water Quality Task Force bills pass with some debate

BY: - February 19, 2020

Water quality wouldn’t seem like a partisan issue, and for the most part it appears the two sides of the Wisconsin’s legislature are approaching it with agreement. A package of 13 bills to address water quality issues that came to the Assembly for a vote on Tuesday had Republicans and Democrats alike agreeing that the […]

Wisconsin dairy cows in large animal feeding operation

Livestock bill ‘streamlines’ permitting process

BY: - February 14, 2020

Legislation that would make a sweeping change to the process for municipalities to weigh in on large livestock operations ran into resistance Thursday as lawmakers conducted a public hearing on the measure. Advocates for AB-894 in the Assembly and SB-808 in the Senate — the result of collaboration between some farm lobbying groups and the […]

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 […]

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 […]