Vote for Clean Water!
Across the state, kids and adults alike are waiting to take their first jump into … algae-choked lakes?
For decades, Clean Wisconsin has been dedicated to controlling phosphorus, one of the main reasons our lakes become unswimmable as summer progresses. In fact, we helped create the phosphorus rules and the Adaptive Management Option (AMO), an innovative, cost-effective and collaborative solution for our green, gross lakes.
But for AMO to succeed, we need to cut some red tape and tomorrow the Senate has the chance to do that. Right now, communities and businesses can only get individual permits when they need to discharge wastewater in a lake, river or stream; this is a huge obstacle to AMO’s cooperative approach.
Senate Bill 190 changes that to allow watershed-based permits so all stakeholders can work with one another, not against. Without these permits, clean-up efforts in the Fox-Wolf watershed in Northeast Wisconsin, the Tainter-Menomin watershed in Northwest Wisconsin and the Yahara watershed in south-central Wisconsin could be hindered.
Ask your legislators to support this great bill today!
Low Income Weatherization in the State Budget
A critical low-income energy assistance program is in jeopardy, and your legislator is one of the deciding votes.
TOMORROW, the Joint Finance Committee is considering an amendment to the state’s budget that would gut critical low income weatherization and bill assistance programs. These energy assistance programs allow families to stay in their homes and keep money circulating in local economies by reducing their energy costs. In fact, more than 200,000 of your neighbors and friends are helped by these programs each year.
This amendment is on the agenda because of a handful of complaints to legislators. Your legislator is a key vote, and an email from you could tip the scales to show support and make the difference.
Email your legislator NOW and ask them to oppose Motion #258.
Take The Groundwater Amendment Out of the State Budget
The Little Plover River, in Portage County, has dried up several times since 2005, in part because of high-capacity wells overpumping groundwater in the area.
PHOTO: Friends of the Little Plover River
In late May, the Legislature’s Joint Finance Committee quietly pulled a fast one: A surprise groundwater amendment that puts Wisconsin’s lakes, rivers and drinking water at risk, snuck into the budget bill with a party-line vote at the 11th hour.
The amendment prevents neighbors from challenging the cumulative impacts of a high-capacity well permit. It limits property owners’ ability to ensure they have a safe, adequate supply of drinking water and is especially disastrous for people who live in those areas of the state where water resources are already strained by large farms and frac sand operations.
In less than five minutes, the committee derailed decades of work fighting for stronger water protections. This amendment would sink waterfront property values, turn our favorite lakes into mudholes, and make drinking water a commodity to be sold to the highest bidder
This is a hugely controversial policy that has absolutely no business in the state budget where it will receive next to no debate. But thankfully, a handful of strong legislators on both sides know it and are ready to rally.
TELL YOUR LEGISLATORS AND GOV. WALKER TODAY: Pull the groundwater amendment out of the budget bill!
Two is Not Enough: Increase frac sand monitoring positions
There are now more than 170 frac sand mines & processing facilities in Wisconsin!
It’s no secret: Frac sand mining is booming in Wisconsin. Back in 2010, there were just 10 mines here. Now there are more than 170 mines and processing facilities dotting western Wisconsin.
But the DNR doesn’t have the manpower to monitor them all. At present, they’re lucky to hit each one every 5 years.
That’s no good. This relatively new industry can have very serious health and environmental impacts. In the last year alone, nearly one-fifth of Wisconsin’s active frac sand mining operations were cited for violations, from mudslides damaging neighboring property to silt leaking into the St. Croix River for days before it was discovered.
There is an urgent need for more DNR staff to deal with frac sand mines. Legislators have the opportunity TOMORROW, Tuesday May 21 to make that happen.
Please act fast! Email committee members and your legislators today, asking them to increase this critical staff to protect our air, water and Wisconsinites living near these mines.
Don't Weaken the Front Line
Without county conservationists, our lakes and rivers would be more green and gross than they already are.
And unfortunately, the Governor's budget is serving them another big hit.
County Conservation staff are the "boots on the ground” for agricultural clean-up. Their work is essential for helping us achieve water quality by working directly with farmers to implement practices that help protect waters from polluted runoff. But these staff are threatened under Governor’s Walker’s budget with a $1.3 million cut, which will mean fewer staff out on the frontline, working on key water clean-up efforts, such as implementing the phosphorus rule.
County Conservation staff have taken their fair share of funding cuts the last few budget cycles. This budget's proposed cut would mean the complete loss of county conservation staff in some counties, and in all counties, it means more soil erosion, more polluted runoff, more contaminated groundwater and more environmental problems across the board.
We all want cleaner, safer water, but we need county conservationists to help achieve that. Luckily, legislators on both sides of the aisle realize that as well and have expressed their support for these staffers: Let's give our legislators the support they need to stand strong on this issue and restore funding for county conservation staff: Email them today.
Don't Clear-Cut the Stewardship Program
If they keep cutting, what will be left?
On Wednesday, the powerful Joint Finance Committee (JFC) will vote on funding for the Stewardship Program, the land conservation program that preserves Wisconsin’s natural landscape for future generations. The rumblings inside the Capitol are that they’re considering deep cuts.
If you enjoy hiking, biking, hunting, fishing or snowmobiling, chances are you’ve used Stewardship lands. From small projects to large, from bike trails to the Wild Rivers Legacy Forest, this program helps protect critical land and habitat and provides access to open spaces for us all to enjoy.
Just two years ago, this same committee cut Stewardship funding by 30%. If they keep cutting, what will be left to protect the very things that make Wisconsin special?
The committee is scheduled to vote Wednesday. Contact JFC members and your legislators TODAY and ask them not to clear-cut the Stewardship Program.
Make Clean Energy A Priority in Wisconsin
Wisconsin is overly dependent on fossil fuels; in fact, we send over $12 billion out of state each year to import these dirty fuels. On the other hand, we can choose to invest in clean energy, create jobs in the hundreds of clean energy businesses in Wisconsin, and keep more money flowing in our economy.
Billions of dollars were invested in clean energy in 2012 alone, but Wisconsin is poised to miss out on this economic development unless our leaders pass polices that support clean energy.
We have a clear choice: invent and manufacture the clean energy technologies of tomorrow in Wisconsin, or surender this opportunity to other states and countries.
Please urge your legislators to prioritize clean energy economic development in Wisconsin.
EPA: Keep Toxic Coal Ash Out of Lake Michigan
How would you feel if you found out that a company was dumping toxic substances into the water your family relies on for drinking every day?
Unfortunately, it’s not a hypothetical. The Environmental Protection Agency is considering an agreement that would allow the Badger Car Ferry to dump over 1,000 tons of toxic coal ash, including arsenic, mercury and other dangerous substances, into Lake Michigan over the next two years.
Tell the EPA to keep toxic coal ash out of Lake Michigan today!
By emailing the EPA today, you can help protect the Lake Michigan, which provides drinking water for millions of people. The public comment period only open until April 26, so don’t miss your chance to act!
Don't Close the Door to Clean, Renewable Energy
Just a week after voting to open Wisconsin's Northwoods to dangerous mining by out-of-state companies, Sen. Frank Lasee (R-De Pere) is proposing a bill that would slam the door on clean, renewable wind energy.
Wisconsin is quickly falling behind our neighbors in the development of wind energy. Now, Sen. Lasee is pushing a bill would make it nearly impossible for wind companies to build wind farms and reduce our reliance on dirty out-of-state fossil fuels. If enacted, this proposal would immediately jeopardize several pending wind projects in Wisconsin.
A hearing on the bill is already scheduled for next week, so this bill is moving fast. By contacting your legislator today, we have a chance to stop the momentum of this bill.
Please contact your legislators today and tell them to oppose Sen. Lasees attack on wind energy!
Help Make Highland Wind a Reality
The Highland Wind Project proposed for St. Croix County would bring over 100 jobs and enough clean renewable energy to power 29,000 homes in Northwest Wisconsin, should it get approved.
Unfortunately, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin (PSC) denied the Highland Wind Project’s permit on February 14, imposing burdensome new sound modeling standards and asking the developer to reapply for a permit.
Please email Gov. Walker and Rep. Honadel today to ask them to support this important project.
Public support from these key leaders could represent a turning point in the fight to make the Highland Wind project a reality
(For individuals outside Rep. Honadel's district, you will only be contacting Gov. Walker.)
Pres. Obama: Direct the EPA to act now on climate change!
The President’s leadership on climate change is unbelievably important with a conservative Congress unlikely to act on this important issue. To avoid the most catastrophic consequences of climate change, however, science shows that we must act immediately to reduce carbon pollution.
Setting standards for carbon pollution from existing power plants is the fastest way to achieve reductions in carbon pollution. Last year, the Environmental Protection Agency issued draft rules to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, but have yet to issue rules limiting carbon pollution from existing ones.
Thank Pres. Obama for his leadership on climate change and ask him to act quickly to limit carbon pollution from existing power plants.
Tell Legislators to Oppose Nukes as Renewable Energy
We all know that nuclear energy is not renewable energy, yet lawmakers in the Capitol are pushing a bill that would allow nuclear energy to count toward Wisconsin’s Renewable Electricity Standard.
Current law requires utilities to get 10 percent of their energy from renewable sources like wind and solar power by 2015. The bill released Tuesday (LRB-0527/3) would allow nuclear energy to count toward this standard.
With dozens of new legislators in the Capitol, now is an important time to demonstrate Wisconsin’s strong support for renewable energy. Contacting your legislator today to tell them you support renewable energy can help set the tone for the rest of this legislative session.
Help show Wisconsin’s strong support for renewable energy by telling your legislators to keep nuclear energy out of Wisconsin’s Renewable Electricity Standard!
Vote Against the Mining Bill
Over the next two weeks, the Assembly and Senate mining committees will vote on the environmentally destructive mining bill.
As written, AB 1/SB 1 (the mining bill) cuts the public out of the process and ties the hands of the DNR in protecting our air and water. It grossly rolls back current protections for wetlands, groundwater and lakes, rivers and streams. In short, it swings the door wide open for environmentally destructive mining in our Northwoods and beyond.
Tell your legislator today: Don't roll back environmental protections for mining.
This is the final push. As the pressure mounts and legislators prepare to make their final votes on this bill it’s critically important legislators hear from people like you and me.
EPA: Make the Badger Car Ferry Clean Up Its Act!
The owners of the coal-fired SS Badger car ferry have long held a top spot on the Naughty List.
For decades, the Badger has been dumping coal ash into Lake Michigan – over 500 tons a year – as it ferries cars between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich. And for the last few years, it’s tried a long list of ploys to get special permission to keep dumping this toxic byproduct into Lake Michigan, rather than getting serious about solutions.
In coming weeks, EPA will be writing a new permit for the Badger. Sign this petition to tell the EPA not to allow the Badger’s owners to keep treating Lake Michigan like a toxic dump.
Containing 24 known carcinogens, this coal byproduct becomes even more toxic when mixed with water. By dumping it into Lake Michigan, the Badger carferry threatens more than 10 million people who rely on this lake for drinking water.
The company has had plenty of time to clean up its act and move itself to the Nice List, but executives have chosen to skirt the system instead. Tell the EPA to hold the Badger car ferry to the Clean Water Act and prohibit them from dumping dangerous coal ash into Lake Michigan.
EPA: Set Carbon Pollution Standards
For the first time in history, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to limit the carbon dioxide pollution emitted from power plants, and now is the perfect time to send a message to the EPA in support of strong carbon pollution standards to be promulgated in a timely manner.
This is a crucial first step to curb carbon pollution that threatens each of us. Please tell the EPA that the public supports carbon standards to protect our health and trigger investments and innovation in clean energy.
Thank Executive Parisi for His Proposed Budget!
Dedicated funding to create hundreds of miles of new hiking and biking trails, clean our lakes, power county buildings with clean wind and solar energy, and preserve thousands of acres of land — those are just a few of the great items included in Dane County Executive Joe Parisi’s proposed budget.
Coming off of a legislative session in the State Capitol where many environmental protections were weakened or eliminated, Executive Parisi is proving his environmental leadership by doubling down on Dane County’s commitment to improving our quality of life by investing in a cleaner, healthier future. This proposed budget promises to bolster Dane County’s economic strength and make it a better place to live for all of us.
Thank Executive Parisi today for his foresight and environmental leadership.
We need strong leaders who stand up for clean air and clean water. Executive Parisi’s budget will help Dane County clean up its lakes, reduce air pollution and ensure that thousands of acres of land are open to the public. He deserves our thanks and needs to hear that you support his efforts.
Please take one minute to thank Executive Parisi for working to make Dane County a cleaner, better place to live.
Restore Full Funding for Focus on Energy
Did you know that last year alone, Wisconsin residents saved $264 million in energy costs by using the Focus on Energy program to help make upgrades to their homes and businesses? And, since 2001, Focus on Energy has saved Wisconsin businesses more than $212 million in annual energy costs.
You can see why we are working extra hard to protect the funds for this important program!
We think it’s time to turn up the heat on Governor Walker about important funding for Focus on Energy.
Would you take 30 seconds to send this email to Governor Walker?
Tell Congress to Stop the Asian Carp
Please tell Congress we need immediate action to stop the Asian Carp from destroying our Great Lakes! Right now, thousands of Asian Carp are swimming north, infesting many rivers and lakes – even ones flowing into neighboring Great Lakes. Because Asian Carp consume up to 40% of their body weight each day, they have the potential to radically alter the Great Lakes by destroying the food chain that sustains our native fish. Plus, they've been known to jump high enough to land in fishing boats!
Bottom line: If they become established, our $7 billion fishing industry would be at risk, as would our ability to enjoy Wisconsin's beautiful waterways. Asian Carp have not yet entered our Great Lakes, which means we still have time to stop them by permanently separating the Great Lakes and Mississippi River waterways. A recent report demonstrates that restoring the separation between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River systems can be done cost-effectively and provide a permanent solution to invasive species entering the Great Lakes through the Chicago Waterway System.
Please contact your members of Congress to tell them to stop the Asian Carp!