Environment

Environment
2:59 pm
Mon March 5, 2012

Visit to the Solar Farm

Convergence team installs solar panels at its solar farm.

A local solar farm brings cutting-edge technology to Wisconsin. Susan Bence is WUWM’s Environmental Reporter. The 9th annual Green Energy Summit is scheduled for Wednesday through Friday in downtown Milwaukee. Tomorrow on Lake Effect, we’ll learn about a company also playing a role in solar technology in Wisconsin.

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Environment
5:33 pm
Thu March 1, 2012

An Environmental Balancing Act? Wisconsin's New Wetland Law

Wetland area near Ashland

After weeks of heated debate, Wisconsin has a new wetlands policy.

Governor Walker signed a bill into law Wednesday that he and Republican lawmakers call a “job creator” because it makes it easier for businesses to build or expand.

Supporters call one of the law’s strengths, the requirement that applicants submit a mitigation plan to “make up” for affected wetlands.

According to WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence, we will likely hear more about that “compensation” clause, as the state implements its new wetlands law.

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Environment
5:41 pm
Fri February 24, 2012

A Sign of Sustainable Energy

Rotor being secured on Port of Milwaukee turbine

If your commute takes you over the Hoan Bridge – between downtown Milwaukee and Bay View - you have surely spotted a gleaming white turbine take shape.

It should go “on line” Monday.

Federal stimulus money – along with state and local grants funded the $600,000 project.

Its owner - the City of Milwaukee – wants not only to power the Port of Milwaukee building, but also showcase the city’s commitment to renewable energy.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence donned a hard hat to talk with workers during the final construction phase.

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Environment
5:45 pm
Wed February 22, 2012

State Senators Pin Hopes on Bipartisan Mining Bill

Penokee Range south of Lake Superior holds coveted iron ore stash

A couple state Senators hope to slice through Wisconsin’s rancor-ridden mining debate.

A Florida-based company wants to extract iron ore from south of Lake Superior, creating hundreds of jobs, but only if the state does not drag out the permitting process.

Republican Senator Dale Schultz and Democrat Bob Jauch say they have drafted a 12-page bill addressing concerns some have with the lengthy bill the Assembly approved.

Jauch took a break from the Senate floor late Tuesday to talk with WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence.

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Environment
5:51 pm
Fri February 17, 2012

Mining 4: Scientific Perspectives

Momentum to streamline Wisconsin’s mine permitting process is rocketing ahead.

This week, to accelerate Senate action, Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald disbanded a bipartisan mining jobs committee - sending the Assembly’s bill to the budget committee.

It will hold a hearing Friday at the Capital, with a potential Senate vote next week.

Supporters of the faster permitting process say northern Wisconsin needs the jobs an iron ore mine would bring.

Critics insist the state needs time to study whether the operation would irreparably harm the environment.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence visited the region to gather residents’ views. She now concludes her series by chatting with researchers on the scene using what they know to predict how a strip mine might affect a pristine watershed.

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Environment
6:17 pm
Wed February 15, 2012

Mining 3: Dissenting Voices

Pete Rasmussen outside his home

Environmental groups are not any happier with a new Senate mining bill, than with legislation the Assembly passed weeks ago.

Advocates of streamlined regulations want to pave the way for an open pit iron mine just south of Lake Superior.

People who live nearby have mixed opinions.

Yesterday we spoke with residents who support mining because of the hundreds of jobs it would create.

Today, WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence steps into the Penokee Range where some people hope to stop or at least slow the process.

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Environment
5:56 pm
Tue February 14, 2012

Mining 2: Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

Terry Peters owns a logging business in Mellen

A state lawmaker revealed a much-anticipated iron mining bill Monday. It’s still in draft form.
Senator Neal Kedzie of Elkhorn wants the Select Committee on Mining Jobs, which he heads - along with the public - to comment on both the preliminary document as well as a mining bill the Assembly passed last month.

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Environment
5:35 pm
Fri December 30, 2011

Wielding Words to Conserve Wilderness

Michael Frome in his Port Washington office

We conclude our year-end tradition, Life’s Voices. WUWM shares the stories and perspectives of people making a difference, often without public fanfare. Today, our installment takes a green turn, as we meet a man dedicating his life to preserving open and wild spaces.

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Environment
2:51 pm
Fri December 23, 2011

Goats and Landscape Management

Cherrie Nolden of Prairie du Sac is using goats to better control brush.

WUWM's Environmental Reporter Susan Bence spoke with Cherrie Nolden, who is researching how goats can be better used in managing land. Nolden lives in Prairie du Sac.

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Project Milwaukee
1:47 pm
Wed December 14, 2011

Testing the Resilience of the Environment

We continue our week-long series Project Milwaukee: State of Upheaval.

This first year of the Walker Administration may be remembered as one of Wisconsin’s most tumultuous political eras.

Early on, the governor created environmental waves by putting the brakes on much-anticipated wind turbine siting rules – stifling a fledgling industry.

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