Update: On December 13th 89 US Representatives asking EPA to put forth regulations already to deal with confusion/loopholes (generated by several lawsuits) regarding what waters in the US are protected under the Clean Water Act. Read the letter attached below.
Update: As of Friday, December 6, 221 groups have signed the letter and it was resubmitted to the EPA docket.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper and 180 groups signed a letter to the EPA applauding their collection of scientific evidence to evaluate how wetlands and headwater streams have physical, chemical, or biological linkages to downstream waters and therefore impact the integrity of our rivers, lakes, and bays. The letter urges the EPA to use this science report "Connectivity of Streams and Wetlands to Downstream Waters” as it develops a rulemaking to clarify the scope of the Clean Water Act’s coverage.
Riverkeeper, Cheryl Nenn was quoted by the Journal Sentinel about the benefits of separating steam and electricity generation when the Valley Power Plant is renovated.
Last Thursday, November 14th the Public Service Commission held a public hearing on the Valley Power Plant conversion from coal to natural gas. The Journal Sentinel wrote an overview of the differing views surrounding the conversion.
Save the Date
Thursday, November 14th from 3-6 PM Ambassador Hotel (Embassy Room)
2308 West Wisconsin Ave, Milwaukee
At the request of the Cleaner Milwaukee Coalition, of which Milwaukee Riverkeeper is a part, the Public Service Commission (or PSC) has set a public hearing on the Valley Power Plant Conversion. While our Coalition is in support of the conversion of Valley to natural gas, we have concerns over We Energies’ preferred alternative, which would not decouple steam and electricity generation at this plant. This alternative, while cheaper in the short term, leads to waste of natural gas over the long term, creation of unnecessary greenhouse gases, and more thermal pollution to our rivers and harm to aquatic life.
The Great Lakes region has received much-needed support from the federal government from the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, and we are seeing on-the-ground results in Wisconsin and throughout the Great Lakes Region.
The Compact Implementation Coalition, comprised of conservation and environmental organizations, works for effective implementation of the Great Lakes Compact in Wisconsin. Our Coalition is not for or against diversions of water from the Great Lakes basin. Our goal is to protect the integrity of the Compact, which prohibits diversions except under limited circumstances and only as a last resort; protects and manages this magnificent resource in a unified manner; and requires the adoption and implementation of strong water conservation measures.
As the House and Senate begin conferencing the final 2013 Farm Bill, 278 groups including Milwaukee Riverkeeper, signed onto a letter urging the House and Senate to protect grasslands, wetlands, healthy soil, and clean water by supporting the national sodsaver provision and re-coupling basic soil and water conservation measures to premium subsidies for crop insurance.
On Thursday morning, State Senators will vote on a bill to make it easier for businesses to gulp up our groundwater by curtailing the authority of WDNR to regulate high-capacity water wells (that can draw more than 100,000 gallons of water per day). The bill allows for automatic groundwater permits after 65 days and removes WDNR’s ability to put conditions on permits to protect streams, lakes, and water resources.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has the opportunity to take a big step forward reducing pollution and flooding by updating the way polluted runoff is managed across the country. Show your support for the Agency’s efforts to modernize its stormwater runoff programs to better protect clean water, healthy lakes, and swimmable rivers.
After 3 years, the City of Waukesha has finally submitted its revised Great Lakes diversion application proposing to divert an average of 10 million gallons of water per day from Lake Michigan to Waukesha. Waukesha lies wholly outside of the Great Lakes Basin, but is within a “straddling county” and thus eligible to apply for an exception to the ban on diversions of water outside of the Great Lakes per the Great Lakes Compact. The revised application includes major changes from the initial application submitted in May 2010, including a slight decrease in the amount of water requested, a new preferred water supplier of Oak Creek, and a change in the preferred wastewater return location from Underwood Creek near Wauwatosa to the Root River near the Racine County line.
Waukesha now gets its public water supply from a mix of shallow and deep groundwater wells. The groundwater in the deep aquifer contains high levels of radium, a carcinogen, which Waukesha needs to address per court order by 2018. By mixing water sources, Waukesha currently meets federal radium standards 11 months of the year.
Given huge changes in the diversion application, City of Waukesha will hold public information meetings in Waukesha, Racine, Oak Creek and Milwaukee in early November to provide an overview of the revised application and answer questions. WDNR is currently working on the technical review of the application as well as an Environmental Impact Statement. WDNR will also hold hearings after the draft documents are done, most likely in early 2014. We will keep you informed of opportunities to provide public comment as information becomes available.