Comments and opinions by WEAL members
|Posted by sue reimund on November 17, 2013 at 4:30 PM|
Waukesha County e-Newsletter LINK
|Posted by webmaster on November 12, 2013 at 11:35 PM|
New Berlin Land Conservancy & Ecology Association
Invite you to attend a Wetlands of the Penokee Hills presentation
Monday November 18th, 7pm
New Berlin Public Library---Community Room
Presenter: Tracy Hames
Tracy is the Executive Director of Wisconsin Wetlands Association (WWA); a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to the protection, restoration, and enjoyment of Wisconsin’s wetlands. WWA staff has spent much time this summer assessing the wetlands of the proposed iron mine project area in the Bad River Watershed of the Penokee Hills.
Before returning to Wisconsin in 2011, Tracy gained decades of experience protecting, restoring and managing large wetland projects on the Yakama Indian Reservation in eastern Washington state.
Presentation will cover:
1. Penokee Hills Iron Mine Proposal:
What we know about where the project will be located.
What we know about what is being proposed.
2. Wetlands of the Proposed Iron Mine Project Area:
Wetlands and their role in project area watershed health.
Potential project impacts to wetlands and the health of the Bad River watershed, including the Kakagon/Bad River Slough estuary.
3. A discussion period will follow the presentation.
Presentation is free of charge
Questions or concerns?
Contact Mary Hiebl, President
|Posted by webmaster on November 10, 2013 at 11:20 PM|
How do you want your community to look in 2050? Better? . . . more liveable ? . . . more sustainable ?
Here's your chance to let planners know. Your ideas your opinions your VISION are sorely needed to drive the future of Waukesha County toward a brighter future.
You are needed at a special VISION 2050 workshop that WEAL is presenting with SEWRPC. Please Attend! Tuesday, November 19, 6:00-8:00 p.m. Carroll University Center for Graduate Studies, 2140 Davidson Road, Waukesha.
The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission (SEWRPC) is kicking off VISION 2050: One Region, Focusing on our Future with an improved process including interactive visioning workshops. The input gathered at this and future visioning and activities will become the framework for the SEWRPC's long-range land use and transportation plan, including the steps and funding needed to implement the plan. This is key: what's in the plan has the opportunity to get funded and implemented.
As background: I've been working with SEWRPC for the last 3 weeks to schedule a second VISION 2050 planning workshop for the public in Waukesha County. I 'd complained to SEWRPC for scheduling the VISIONing workshops with little notice or publicity, resulting in a poorly attended Waukesha County public workshop at WCTC in October. The Nov. 19 date was just finalized.
This is important. Please try to come.
If you're planning to attend, please RSVP to:
262-542-7929 (h) | 262-894-8443 (c)
to see more about VISION 2050 visit: www.Vision2050sewis.org
Your participation at the front end is critical to get your innovative and common sense ideas "on the map" to create healthy, prosperous lives and protect our communities, natural resources, and our pocketbooks!
Laurie Longtine, Waukesha County Environmental Action League (WEAL)
PO Box 1532 | Brookfield WI 53008 | 262-542-7929 (h) | 262-894-8443 (c)
P.S. One good thing about the process is that you get to select your favorite places (not just in Waukesha County). I urge you all to select Pebble Creek and Vernon Marsh, in addition to any others that come to your mind. Try not to choose a favorite parking lot or freeway--ha, ha!!
|Posted by webmaster on October 20, 2013 at 8:05 PM|
WEAL is proud to host:
Dr. David Garman
Founding Dean, School of Freshwater Sciences UW-Milwaukee
November 14, 7 PM
Retzer Nature Center Planetarium
S14W28167 Madison St., Waukesha
Cities and towns the world over are running out of water. Some are in arid, developing nations. Others are in developed nations that see large quantities of rainfall. And yet the way in which communities manage their water resources largely determines long-term fate.
In his presentation, Dr. David E.J. Garman, dean of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee School of Freshwater Sciences and past president of the International Water Association, will present a series of case studies surveying policy, management and operational strategies that have been implemented to manage water in cities facing shortages around the world. Some of these have been good – and some have exacerbated their problems.
There is no right or wrong. But successful management strategies will be shown to share key factors regarding governance, leadership and administrative processes. And in the end, public acceptance and attitudes to water as a precious resource are critical in formulating positive changes to water use.
WEAL cordially invites you to attend this presentation which is free of charge.
|Posted by sue reimund on October 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM|
Recommendations for End-of-Life Management of Hard-to-Recycle Plastic Film
• Hard-to-recycle plastic film: flexible polymer film with resin identification codes #2 (high density polyethylene), #4 (low density polyethylene), #5 (polypropylene), #6 (polystyrene), and #7 (other resins) that is not easily recycled because it is: contaminated, has coloring or printing, has difficult to recycle structural qualities (multi-layered, thinness, mixed polymers), is generated in limited volume, or the process of recycling it could harm brand integrity.
Facilitate highest use of hard-to-recycle plastic film waste by developing Wisconsin’s energy recovery sector including production of fuel pellets and plastic-to-oil conversion technology through the following processes:
1) Facilitate DNR air and waste permit application processes.
• Establish a DNR-single-point-of-contact (SPOC) for air and waste permits. The SPOC could be a sector or material specialist, and could be located anywhere the state. The SPOC would assist businesses in the permit application process, so that applicants clearly understand what information is needed and the steps in the permit process, and assist in reconciling inconsistencies among various programs and permit applications.
• Develop and make accessible application templates for different applications.
• Explore classification and definitions of biomass and industrial boilers by DNR and EPA and seek consistency with interpretations in other states.
• Define the appropriate exemption level or range of likely emissions for comparable industry fuels and processes.
2) Provide communication and spread awareness to general public.
3) Build market network and infrastructure.
• Develop a clearinghouse or bulletin board system to connect generators, processors, suppliers and transporters of non-recyclable/hard-to-recycle plastic film.
Submitted Via Email September 26, 2013
Film/Bag Workgroup Members:
Waukesha County Environmental Action League (WEAL) members appreciate this opportunity to offer comments on the proposed Recommendation for End-of-Life Management of Hard-to-Recycle Plastic Film.
WEAL understands Hard-to-Recycle Plastic Film (HTRPF) presents challenges. However, WEAL believes many obstacles with HTPRF can be addressed through Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) initiatives, an emphasis on research and a genuine motivation to reduce the use of materials that are not recyclable, reusable or compostable.
WEAL has serious concerns with the proposed HTRPF recommendations because they focus on developing an energy sector, simplifying permits and suggests establishing a one-sided PR campaign to “spread awareness” supporting various types of combustion.
WEAL submits the following comments and alternative recommendations for consideration:
Developing a Wisconsin Energy Recovery Sector
WEAL does not agree with developing a Wisconsin energy recovery sector. Various forms of combustion the Workgroups is recommending will require large capital investments, contribute to fine, or ultra-fine particulates in the air, destroy resources, require landfilling for toxic ash or char and, for industrial boilers, perpetuate the burning of coal.
Additionally, HTRPF will not be the only feedstock for the types of combustion the Workgroup is recommending.
P.O. Box 1532 Brookfield, WI 53008 (262)-253-2185
The DNR should be given statutory authorization to request all Wisconsin generators of HTRPF to provide data on how much film is being generated as well as the composition for each type of film (the DNR can develop a method to assure proprietary information be kept confidential)
Establishing a database for HTRPF will provide a mechanism for industrial generators across the state to work with manufactures to find alternatives. If various types of film are impossible to recycle or reuse, grants can be established to fund research.
Wisconsin has some of the most respected research institutions in the nation, and WEAL believes if HTRPF is determined to be a priority material, alternatives will be found.
Facilitate DNR Air and Waste Permit Application Processes
Air and Waste permitting may have some commonalities, however, each permitting sector has unique oversight and responsibilities. WEAL believes any restructuring regarding the permitting process should be more fully explored.
WEAL also questions how a Single-Point-of-Contact (SPOC) application process will be exclusive for HTRPF and requests information on how this will be achieved.
WEAL does not agree with the inclusion of biomass in a recommendation for HTRPF and questions what is meant by --- “exemptions planned for ‘likely’ emissions.”
Provide Communication and Spread Awareness to General Public
Although the HTRPF workgroup has taken a great deal of latitude with many of the proposed recommendations, the inclusion of “spreading awareness” to the general public on combustion, gasification, pyrolysis and anaerobic digestion is disturbing and goes far beyond the scope of HTRPF.
WEAL agrees, greater public awareness is needed for various forms of combustion such as mass burn incinerators, refuse derived fuel (RDF) incinerators, fuel pellets being burned at power plants, industrial boilers and cement kilns, gasification and pyrolysis staged incinerators, and anaerobic digestion. However, the “spreading awareness” the Film/Bag Workgroup is proposing is one-sided and neglects to acknowledge failed gasification and pyrolysis projects, high costs for constructing all types of incinerators, federal and state subsidies, numerous environmental issues associated with burning and projects that have contributed to debt defaults, and in the case of Harrisburg, PA, a large city filing for bankruptcy. (1)
Examples of “Spreading Awareness” Air Pollution Loophole Challenge
A number of environmental groups are opposing an EPA loophole that is now allowing fuel pellets to be burned in various types of industrial boilers and cement kilns without public notification, Earthjustice has filed a lawsuit. (2)
Oneida Seven Generations Corp. (OSCG) Pyrolysis Staged Incinerator – Green Bay WEAL presented public comments at every step of the permitting process and questioned many of OSGC’s assertions. When the Green Bay City Council learned OSGC misrepresented a number of details, including assurances there would be no emission stacks or any emissions, the Council revoked the permit and this decision was upheld by Brown County Circuit Court.
In addition to verbal assurances an artist’s rendering of the proposed project was widely distributed. The rendering didn’t depict any emission stacks; however, the permit application submitted to the DNR showed ten emission stacks with three being 60 feet in height. (3)
*** The OSGC project received federal loans, grants and funding from WEDEC.***
Alliance Federated Energy (AFE)
WEAL was particularly interested in AFE’s “Project Apollo” a $225 million, 1200 tons per day (tpd) plasma arc gasification, staged incinerator proposed for Milwaukee County. (4)
WEAL members attended two “spreading awareness” presentations, one at Carroll University in Waukesha, and the other at UW in Madison. During both presentations AFE stated Project Apollo served as the company’s flagship project. We also heard there would be no emissions and gasifying waste was the “ultimate in recycling.”
During the UW presentation AFE presented a map showing Current Projects around the world. Current Project information was also available on the AFE website. The projects included Project Magellan (Jamaica), Project Heartland (Illinois), Project Coral Bay (Mauritius), Project Good Hope (Johannesburg, South Africa), Project North Sea (United Kingdom) and others.
Not one of the projects has been constructed and the Current Projects tab on the AFE website has been replaced with a box asking viewers of the site to check back for the latest project information. (5)
AFE’s flagship Project Apollo was discussed during a few meetings with the DNR; however, a permit application was never submitted. Anyone attending one of the many “spreading awareness” presentations would have thought Project Apollo was being
constructed and other projects all over the world were in the construction stage or were operational.
There are serious consequences with recommending spreading awareness because much of the information is not accurate, and in many cases, it is more fantasy than reality.
WEAL suggests the Film/Bag workgroup recommendations for HTRPF not be submitted to the Council on Recycling. As proposed, the recommendations streamline permitting, create a “Wisconsin Energy Sector” and support a biased “Spread Awareness” PR campaign.
Additionally, research to find viable alternatives for HTRPF shouldn’t be highlighted as an afterthought. Research should be the primary focus. It is also disappointing not to have Extended Responsibility (EPR) mentioned anywhere within the proposed recommendations.
Since the HTRPF workgroup is specifically recommending various forms of combustion there is a responsibility to “spread awareness” and share some of the Workgroup’s research.
WEAL asks the HTRPF Workgroup to provide information on successfully operating full scale commercial facilities for each combustion classification.
WEAL requests the following:
1. Names and locations of full scale commercial Pyrolysis and Gasification staged incinerators operating in the USA. (Please include cost for facility, types of feedstock, tons per day (tpd) how many tons are HTRPF, cost per ton for disposal and the amount of energy needed for operation and the amount of excess energy going to the grid).
2. Please provide the same information as requested in #1 for Pyrolysis and Gasification staged incinerators operating around the world.
3. Names and locations for Anaerobic Digesters using only HTRPF for feedstock.
4. Names and locations of industrial boilers using densified fuel pellets (Please provide pellet composition information, the ratio of pellets to coal, how many tpd of pellets are being burned and the average cost per ton for pellets).
WEAL is confident with research and an emphasis on working with manufacturers, alternatives that do not include burning will ultimately be recommended. Clearly, three meetings is not enough time to establish a HTRPF long-term strategy and to set policy.
Thank you for the opportunity to present comments, submit alternative recommendations and share information.
Waste Issues Representative
Waukesha County Environmental Action League (WEAL) www.weal.org
(1) “Harrisburg Files for Bankruptcy on Over Due Incinerator Debt” Bloomberg News- 10/12/11 - http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2011-10-12/pennsylvania-capital¬harrisburg-files-for-bankruptcy-over-incinerator-debt.html
(2) Air Pollution Loophole Challenge
(3) “OSCG Plant Ruling Upheld by Judge; Appeal Likely” Kalihwisaks - The Official Newspaper of the Oneida Tribe – 1/10/13 http://www.oneidanation.org/uploadedFiles/January%2010,%202013.pdf
(4) Project will Turn Milwaukee Trash Into Energy” Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – 2/2/10 - http://www.jsonline.com/business/83410837.html
(5) Alliance Federated Energy website - http://www.afeservices.com/
WEAL is an all-volunteer, nonprofit environmental advocacy group established in 1978. WEAL was an early supporter of Wisconsin’s Recycling Law (Act 335), has backed numerous initiatives to reduce waste through expanded recycling, composting, extended producer responsibility (EPR) and is an ongoing supporter for Pay-As-You¬Throw (PAYT) residential trash collection. WEAL is also an advocate for pursuing a Zero Waste strategy that does not include burning or burying resources.
|Posted by webmaster on September 18, 2013 at 11:05 PM|
Here's what might be your last chance to "Get into the Marsh" before the cold weather arrives. Don't miss this year's hike! Please join us!
Event: Hike the Vernon Marsh
Date: Saturday, September 28, 2012
Time: 8:30 am to 10:30 am
Place: Meet at the DNR parking lot on the south side of Cty. Hwy I, 1.3 miles east of Hwy 83.
Fee: There is no charge for this event and members of the public are welcome.
Weather: Rain or Shine
Degree of Difficulty: Mild to Moderate. Hiking over natural terrain with short rests.
Details: This DNR led, Friends of Vernon Marsh sponsored hike, will show off the Vernon Marsh in all its September splendor. Our focus this year will be the History and Habitat Management of the Amron Munitions Site, Vernon Wildlife Area. We are fortunate to have two very knowledgeable guides from the DNR this year, Chuck Gatling and Dianne Robinson.
If you've ever wondered about this unique site within the Vernon Marsh, here is your opportunity to learn more.
RSVP Required: call Allen Stasiewski at 414-507-8358. Spots are limited!
Please dress appropriately for the conditions the morning of the hike, and please bring water to carry, especially if its warm. Sun screen and insect repellent is recommended. Wear good hiking shoes.
|Posted by webmaster on August 23, 2013 at 11:25 PM|
We need to hear from you! On September 12th 2013, the Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass will conduct an informal Bypass Planning and Listening Session. Our goal will be to begin to identify the next phases of our Bypass Opposition effort. Bypass Planners might be quiet right now, but you can bet their not standing still. We need to keep the pressure on from all directions! And, we have to get creative too! That's why we need your ideas.
Please try to attend, even if it's for just a few minutes. Come talk with Steering Team members. Mark it on your calendar! We'll have signs at the meetings for you to take home if you miss our Flash Rally this Thursday, you can order T-Shirts, share your ideas, and listen to others!
Bypass Opposition Planning and Listening Session
Thursday September 12th, 2013
7:00 pm until 8:00 pm
Citizen's Bank of Mukwonago; Waukesha Office
2109 Corporate Drive
P.O. Box 439
Waukesha, WI 53187-0439
Hope to see you there!
Questions? Call Allen at 414-507-8358
|Posted by webmaster on August 20, 2013 at 11:30 PM|
Join us, for another "No Bypass" Flash Rally on Thursday at 6:00 pm until 7:00 pm on the corner of Kame Terrace and Merrill Hills Road. We're also be taking orders for T-Shirts! Visit weal.org to order on-line.
We'll have our No Build, Improve" petition available for those who haven't signed it yet, sign up coalition members and collect e-mails, and most importantly, distribute "No Bypass" Yard Signs. Members of our Coalition Steering team will be available to answer any questions you might have as well. Our Yard Sign awareness raising effort will continue this fall!
Please pass this e-mail on to your friends and neighbors!
"No Bypass" Sign Rally
Thursday August 22th, 2013
6:00 pm until 7:00 pm
Kame Terrace and Merrill Hills Road
(Park on Kame Terrace if driving)
Join us, pick up a yard sign - choose to be an active part of this fight!
Questions? Call Allen at 414-507-8358
Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass
|Posted by webmaster on July 31, 2013 at 6:50 PM|
WEAL's Summer Highway Cleanup
Saturday August 10th at 9:00 am to 11:00 am
Rain or Shine
Hwy N, between Hwy 59 and Hwy ZZ
Wear old clothes, work gloves, and comfortable shoes
Directions: Take Hwy 59 SW from Waukesha through Eagle to Hwy N, then turn right.
Meet at the parking area in the middle of our segment, across from the "Scuppernong Prairie State Natural Area" sign.
|Posted by webmaster on July 12, 2013 at 6:45 PM|
We wanted to share some breaking
bypass news! This was in the Freeman yesterday. I'm sorry I wasn't
able to get to my computer until this morning. The project hasn't been
shut down, but this is a huge announcement. It gives us more time,
costs will be higher, and it appears the project is receiving more
scrutiny that planners had envisioned. We feel strongly that our
efforts have brought
attention to all the problems with the Bypass, and decision makers are noticing.
Now, we can't sit back. We have to double our efforts to keep the pressure on.
You will see more "Take Action Alerts". We will hold more rallys! We will write more letters. We will attend all the hearings. We won't stop until this project is defeated!
So, for now! Congratulations on our small win. Every conversation, every letter, every e-mail, every letter and "sound off" in the paper has paid off!
Its such a pleasure working with you all on this effort! Fighting a highway like this isn't easy, but we're doing it and making a difference!
Thank you for all your individual and combined efforts!
Allen Stasiewski and Steering Team
Coalition Opposed to the West Waukesha Bypass
West Bypass likely on hold for this year
Federal officials still reviewing plans for project