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Protecting Waukesha County's Natural Resourses since 1978

Latest News & Comments

Latest News & Comments

Wonder Why The Snow Is Dirty? What the West Waukesha Bypass will bring, along with increased traffic!

Posted on February 7, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Typical Pollutants And Their Sources Found in Runoff from Roads and Highways*


  • Particulates:   Pavement wear, vehicles, the atmosphere and maintenance activities, snow/ice abrasiveness and sediment disturbance
  • Rubber:   Tire wear
  • Asbestos:   Clutch and brake lining wear (No mineral asbestos has been identified in runoff, however, some break-down products of asbestos have been measured)
  • Nitrogen and Phosphorus:   Atmosphere, roadside fertilizer application and sediments
  • Lead:   Leaded gasoline from auto exhaust, tire wear, lubricating oil and grease, bearing wear and atmospheric fallout
  • Zinc:   Tire wear, motor oil and grease
  • Iron:   Auto body rust, steel highway structures such as bridges and guardrails and moving engine parts
  • Copper:   Metal plating, bearing and bushing wear, moving engine parts, brake lining wear, fungicides and insecticides
  • Cadmium:  Tire wear and insecticide application
  • Chromium:   Metal plating, moving engine parts and brake lining wear
  • Nickel:   Diesel fuel and gasoline, lubricating oil, metal plating, bushing wear, brake lining wear and asphalt paving
  • Manganese:   Moving engine parts
  • Cyanide:  Anti-caking compounds used to keep deicing salt granular
  • Sodium and Calcium:   Deicing salts and grease
  • Chloride:  Deicing salts
  • Sulphates:  Roadway beds, fuel and deicing salts
  • Bromide:  Exhaust
  • Petroleum:  Spills, leaks, antifreeze and hydraulic fluids, asphalt surface leachate and blow-by motor lubricants
  • PCBs and Pesticides:  Spraying of highway right-of-ways, atmospheric deposition and PCB catalyst in synthetic tires
  • Pathogenic Bacteria:  Soil litter, bird droppings and trucks hauling livestock/stockyard waste

*Adapted from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Guidance Specifying Management Measurements for Sources of Non Point Pollution in Coastal Waters, Washington, D.C.: Office of Water, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997 and Federal Highway Administration. Sources and Mitigation of Highway Runoff Pollutants, Washington, D.C.: Federal Highway Administration, 1984.

Attend West Wauksha Bypass Vote Tuesday night!

Posted on November 26, 2012 at 8:40 PM

A Reminder! Please attend the Waukesha County Board Meeting on Tuesday night to show your strong opposition to the West Waukesha Bypass Expansion!! There are only a few opportunities left to stop or slow down this project! This might be one of them!

Even if the County Board approves this resolution on the Bypass, we have to be there to let our elected officials know that there are consequences to their actions. We will keep track of the vote and will let all Coalition members know how each Board member voted later in the week.

We hope to see you there!

Date: Tuesday November 27, 2012

Time: 7:00 pm


Waukesha County Courthouse

515 West Moreland Boulevard

Room 350

Stop Polluter Over People Bill

Posted on November 4, 2011 at 10:20 PM

Help defeat the Polluters Over People Bill, which would give companies free reign to pollute in Wisconsin, while taking away public say.  Learn more here.


Because we have an excellent chance of stopping this bill either in committee or in the Senate if it comes to a vote (most likely this week*), we're keeping up constant, targeted pressure on key members of the Senate.


Senator Kedzie, chair of the Senate Committee on Natural Resources and author of the Polluters Over People Bill needs to hear from you.  Please call Senator Kezie at 608-266-2635 and tell him you oppose the Polluters Over People Bill (Special Session Bill 24).  


Hwy 59 Bypass Extension

Posted on July 23, 2011 at 1:43 PM

It's time to cancel this huge $51+ million project. Its a road expansion looking for a reason! All this money for a new 4 lane highway when a few left hand turn lanes would speed traffic along! Sure, improve safety of the existing roads but lets not pretend that we need this new super road. If we truly need a Waukesha bypass lets plan on using Hwy 83 to the west. Its already being expanded to 4 lanes and will be expanded all the way to Hwy 94 someday. Stop this unnecessary waste of $51 million. This money would go a long way toward improving all the potholed and cracked roadways that we currently can't afford to fix all over Waukesha County!  Lets use some common sense and not build this road just because it's been on a map for 40 years.


WEAL Action Alert: Contact Governor Walker about Recycling

Posted on April 3, 2011 at 9:33 PM
WEAL ACTION ALERT AB-40/SB-27 Budget & Recycling
WEAL is asking you to contact Governor Walker and your State Legislators tomorrow, Monday, April 4, 2011, regarding AB-40/SB-27, the proposed Budget Bill which eliminates the recycling mandate and ends recycling grants.  The state will continue collecting a $7.00 per ton "recycling fee" for landfilling garbage. However, these funds will no longer be directed to grants for community recycling programs. Under the proposed budget, the money will be going into a new economic development fund.
WEAL does not believe it is fair for communities to pay recycling fees at landfills when the money will not benefit recycling.
Suggested Action:
Please contact Governor Walker and your Legislators tell them you do not support the proposed changes.
Let them know recycling preservers resources, conserves energy, limits dependence on landfills, creates jobs, contributes to economic development and is an effective method for communities to reduce disposal costs.
Contact Governor Walker at: 
(608) 266-1212
To find your Legislators go to:
Charlene Lemoine
Waste Issues Representative
Waukesha County Environmental Action League (WEAL)

When is Enough, Enough?

Posted on March 23, 2011 at 7:04 PM
This is a question that is rarely discussed at hearings when a new road project is being discussed.  When the question is brought up the answer is usually, "the traffic count warrants it".  It's as if when some magic number of cars per day is reached an alarm goes off in some secret room at the DOT.  And so the planning begins...add more lanes, wider lanes, maybe a brand new road through a wetland (path of least resistance, those wetlands), cut down the hills, fill the valleys, remove the trees, and straighten the curves.  It's always the same, but why?  

It seems that "roads" have now become the "be all, do all".  They are not just a means to an end anymore.  They're not just a way to get somewhere they are the somewhere.  Ask yourself, when does it end, two lane highways are turned into four lane highways that are turned into six lane highways.  When does it all stop?  Where in Waukesha County can you go where you don't see a road or a highway or even worse hear one!. 

According to on-line resources Waukesha County has a population of 381,629, and 2917* miles of state, county, city, and town roads.  Let's do the math.  Waukesha County has 7.6 miles of roads per 1000 residents.  That doesn't sound like a lot, but thats a lot!  When is enough enough?

And by the way, those traffic counts I referred to earlier?  They don't tell the whole story. Think of it this way.  Let's say that 10,000 cars a day drive past a specific point.  Does this mean that there are 416 cars per hour (10,000/24 hrs) driving past a certain point?  No, it doesn't.  That's not the way it works.  What it will look like is more like this.  Most cars travel will travel the route during just 2 or 3 hours a day (rush hour).  So the question is?  Is it worth spending $10 million for those two or three hours, what about $30 million or how about $40 million? Let me ask my original question again.  When is enough, enough?

February 15, 2011

Posted on February 17, 2011 at 8:00 PM

If Governor Walker was really looking for a quick win on behalf of the state budget shortfall he'd cancel the state's contribution to the Waukesha Bypass.  With one phone call the Governor could save the State $38 million!  With safety improvements on current roads there would be no need to build this mega-highway.  The fact that this hasn't yet been done brings the Governors true motives into question!  In addition, lets be honest, this "bypass" isn't really a bypass, its an expensive road expansion project.  It might have been a bypass 25 years ago, but today its just a line on an city map!

by Allen Stasiewski, VP WEAL

DNR asks for more details on Waukesha's water diversion application.December 3, 2010

Help Protect The Vernon Marsh Area Friends of the Vernon Marsh Group Brochure Now Available 

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You'll be notified via e-mail when there are important action alerts and when your help is needed.  [email protected] Coyright ©2011