Environment/Energy

Successes for the Wisconsin River and Vermont

Last week, the Lower Wisconsin State Riverway Board voted 6 to 2 against a frac sand mine proposed next to the Wisconsin River, near the Iowa border.

Those who spoke at the Board's meeting were overwhelmingly opposed to the mine, as were the Board members themselves.

"The members felt that visual intrusions from potential dust and lighting would cause the activity to become visible from the river," explained the Board's director.

In other good environmental news, Entergy announced it would close its Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor at the end of 2014.  The nuclear company said the reactor was "no longer financially viable."

Wisconsin's Kewaunee nuclear reactor was shut down in May, also due to economic factors.

Stop G-Tac's Bulk Sampling Permit!

On June 17, along with a Pre-Application Notice, Gogebic Taconite applied for a permit to do bulk sampling, a 'mini-mining' process of taking thousands of tons of rock as a sample to characterize the iron deposit before the main G-Tac mine is begun.

Toxic tar sands oil threaten WI waters, Great Lakes

"Proposals for a massive expansion of tar sands crude oil shipments on and around the Great Lakes do not make sense," writes WNPJ member Eric Hansen in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

The Canadian company Enbridge is trying to "quietly network thousands of miles of pipelines -- a system that would lock in both Wisconsin and our region as a major transportation corridor to ship tar sands crude oil overseas to the world market for decades to come."  At risk are "Lakes Superior and Michigan as well as the Bois Brule, Namekagon, Chippewa, Wisconsin, Fox and Rock rivers."

"Profit and jobs would go to Canada. Crude oil would go overseas. Toxic risk would stay here, sprinkled throughout our region in the crude oil spills, air quality and public health impacts," adds Hansen.

On July 14, the Oil and Water Don't Mix rally (featuring 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben) in Michigan will call attention to the dangers of tar sands oil to the upper Midwest.  There will be a bus leaving from Green Bay -- click here for details.

Contaminated Badger soil will be removed

Thanks to decades of informed advocacy by Citizens for Safe Water Around Badger (CSWAB) and others, the WI Department of Natural Resources is supporting the most thorough clean-up option for contaminated soil at the former Badger Army Ammunition Plant near Baraboo.

"Keeping in mind the future use of the site as the Sauk Prairie Recreation Area, this cleanup is protective of human health for even the most sensitive populations," a DNR official told the Wisconsin State Journal.

The DNR will hold a public open house on June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Ruth Culver Library, 540 Water St., Prairie du Sac.  "We are taking the extra step of holding this open house because of the widespread interest and the long history of public involvement in the Badger cleanup effort," explained the DNR's regional director.

Visit the Harvest Camp!

In 2013, the Lac Courte Orielles Tribe set up the Harvest and Education Learning Project (HELP) Camp near the site of Gogebic Taconite's proposed open-pit iron mine, on Iron County Forest land.

Wisconsin mining law reforms benefit polluters

"After the passage of Act 1 [the Bad River Watershed Destruction Act], one of the last protections for ecologically critical watersheds in gold and base metal exploration areas in Oneida, Taylor and Marathon counties is the Mining Moratorium Law," write Al Gedicks of WNPJ member group Wisconsin Resources Protection Council (and former WNPJ Board member) and Dave Blouin of the Sierra Club in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Yet mining companies have said their top priority is repealing Wisconsin's mining moratorium - also called the "prove it first" law.

"That the North American mining industry cannot meet the Moratorium Law is a problem of its own making and purely reflects the fact that mining metallic sulfide ores remains proven to be unsafe," add Gedicks and Blouin.  "Our clean air and drinking water and the critical habitats and healthy environment we all depend on are threatened by the mining industry's so-called reforms."

Conservation Congress passes resolutions against mining law

A resolution to repeal the Iron Mining Bill (SB/AB 1) submitted by WNPJ members and allies at the April 8 Conservation Congress passed by wide margins in all four counties in which it was introduced. The total vote was 49-6 in Clark County, 221-67 in Dane County, 32-6 in LaCrosse County, and 158 to 79 in Milwaukee County. Total 460 yes, 158 no. The vote tallies are especially significant considering the resolution did not come to the floor for discussion until the end of the formal agenda, around 11:00 p.m. in Dane County.

Why are we rebuilding H-bombs?

"Without a public uproar, U.S. could spend more than $600 billion on nuclear weapons over the next 10 years," warns John LaForge of WNPJ member group Nukewatch, in a Counterpunch article

"For 2014, the President plans a nuclear weapons spending increase over the current level of $7.227 billion. Where’s the money to come from? Taking a page from the Reagan/Thatcher play book, Obama plans to get it from the nuclear non-proliferation budget."

Syndicate content