Environment

Bike to School Day

May 11, 2012

WUWM's environmental reporter Susan Bence met some students taking part in the first-ever National Bike to School Day, which actually encourages kids to bike or walk to school. She caught up with the kids from Fernwood Montessori, located just east of the intersection of Kinnickinnic and Oklahoma.

The Lake Sturgeon's New Lease on Life

May 4, 2012

Sturgeon, the prehistoric-looking fish that indeed, dates back thousands of years, were on the verge of disappearing from Wisconsin's waterways, due to overfishing and environmental factors. But the efforts of many, including fish biologists and conservationists, have led to a sturgeon comeback.

Photo courtesy of clickr.com purpleslog

The City of Milwaukee’s drinking water gets high marks when it comes to “quality”.

The Environmental Protection Agency requires every public water supplier around the country to publish its annual report.

Thousands of Milwaukee water customers will soon find the report tucked in with monthly bills.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence learned a bit more about what it takes to provide safe, drinkable water.

Wisconsin’s Department of Natural Resources secretary Cathy Stepp has faced her share of controversy.

Now, former Dane County executive Kathleen Falk is calling for her removal.

Falk – one of four Democrats hoping to defeat Governor Scott Walker in a recall election – believes environmental enforcement has suffered under Stepp’s watch.

Wisconsin leaders recently passed a controversial bill allowing people to hunt wolves starting this fall.

The move came shortly after the federal government removed the animal from the endangered species list.

Friday, researchers from UW-Madison share what they’ve learned about the impact wolf harvesting could have on the stability of its population.

The team will present its findings in Duluth, where a range of interested people – from scientists to livestock producers, are gathering for an annual conference on wolves in the Great Lakes region.

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence met the Madison researchers before they departed.

In honor of the upcoming Earth Day, we hear about the City of Milwaukee’s sustainability program. Matt Howard is the Director of Environmental Sustainability for the City of Milwaukee. Dennis Grzezinski is senior staff counsel for Midwest Environmental Associates and one of the 14 members of the city’s Green Team. They spoke with Susan Bence.

Cream City Hens

Apr 6, 2012

WUWM Environmental Reporter Susan Bence spoke with the official and unofficial voices of Cream City Hens – Jessica Lane and her daughter Ella.

Chickens are just a part of the pallet at Saturday's 5th Annual Green Living Festival taking place at the Mitchell Park Domes.

Gov. Walker is expected to soon sign into law a bill allowing wolves to be hunted in Wisconsin.

The Legislature recently approved a hunting season, after the federal government removed the wolf from the endangered species list, in January.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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