environment

LOOZRBOY / FLICKR

The Wisconsin Supreme Court ruled Thursday that Canada-based Enbridge Energy doesn't need to carry additional insurance for a pipeline project in Dane County, despite the local government's insistence that it do so in case of an accidental spill.

Dane County officials made a $25 million environmental liability policy a requirement for Enbridge's permit for a project to triple the flow of crude oil from its Line 61 pipeline to 1.2 million barrels per day. The pipeline runs from northern Wisconsin to Illinois.

Nick / Flickr

Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul recently announced that he will defend an EPA decision to exempt parts of the Milwaukee area from stricter air quality regulations. Kaul will be siding with the Trump administration and former Gov. Scott Walker in defending the exemption, which contends that much of the area’s air pollution is caused by Illinois and Indiana.

The largest habitat for life on Earth is the deep ocean. It's home to everything from jellyfish to giant bluefin tuna. But the deep ocean is being invaded by tiny pieces of plastic — plastic that people thought was mostly floating at the surface, and in amounts they never imagined.

Johanna Madjedi / Flickr

Most of us see birds every day — it might be a pigeon shuffling down the sidewalk or a robin hopping past the yard — but few of us take much notice of them. A new book is hoping to change that and make bird-watching a bit more accessible.

Chuck Quirmbach

Wisconsin scientists are working on new ways to protect drinking and surface water from pollutants. They’re also investigating better methods of cleaning water that's already contaminated. But researchers say success may cost taxpayers more money.

Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Secretary Preston Cole has been promising to place a higher priority on good science when crafting policy. For example, he hopes better research will lead to cleaner drinking water. 

alexandrink1966 / stock.adobe.com

Quality is perhaps the most important part of any water distribution system. Water utilities process every drop that makes it into our plumbing, which takes a lot of time and energy. One way to keep from overburdening the system is by reducing our consumption — what we know as "water conservation."

Bill Graffin works for the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, which works in wastewater treatment and conservation efforts in the Milwaukee area. Here are some helpful tips from Graffin on how you can conserve water at home.

Image courtesy Mike Paddock

Parts of the Midwest are still reeling from spring flooding caused by a winter's-worth of snow melting in a very short period of time. The floods have caused hundreds of millions of dollars in property damage, even in places with plans for such occurrences. 

Are Plastic Bag Bans Garbage?

Apr 9, 2019

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Updated at 6:41 a.m. ET Sunday

It's the worst flooding parts of the Midwest have seen in decades, where several states are battling the aftermath of a powerful "bomb cyclone" which swept through the region, bringing blizzard conditions, hurricane-like winds, snow and heavy rain.

At least two people have died in connection to the flooding.

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Screenshot/YouTube/Fond du Lac Police Department

Gov. Tony Evers has declared a state of emergency across Wisconsin, as heavy rain and melting snow flood roads, fields and communities. Evers issued the declaration as an executive order Friday afternoon. It directs all state agencies to assist with response and recovery. It also authorizes Major General Donald Dunbar to activate Wisconsin National Guard units as he deems necessary.

winter-wisconsin-rime-hoarfrost-weather-photo
John Perrin

The Wisconsin winter got off to a seemingly slow start, but it sure picked up in January and February. While the snow and cold can make getting places harder, John Perrin knows winter can also be beautiful.

Perrin, who lives in Milwaukee, was driving southeast on the Menomonee River Parkway the morning of Feb. 19, when he saw a sight he knew he had to capture.

Updated 4:30 p.m.

Whether it's a deadly cold snap or a hole under an Antarctic glacier or a terrifying new report, there seem to be constant reminders now of the dangers that climate change poses to humanity.

Mitch Teich

This fall, the national supermarket chain Kroger and its Wisconsin outlets (Pick-n-Save and Metro Market) announced plans to phase out single-use plastic bags in their stores by 2025. It’s the latest in a movement to reduce the flow of single-use plastic items to landfills in this country.

Other chains, including Starbucks, are eliminating plastic straws, and some cities and other municipalities have passed more widespread bans. But perhaps none is as strong as New Zealand, which will end the use of single-use plastic bags and implements in 2019.

The Arctic has experienced the "most unprecedented transition in history" in terms of warming temperatures and melting ice, and those changes may be the cause of extreme weather around the globe, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's 2018 Arctic Report Card.

Tim Fraley

The Environmental Protection Agency laid out a proposed rule Tuesday that it says ends confusion about waterways that fall under federal clean water protection. But critics say the measure would strip streams and wetlands of needed protections.

Debate over how deep U.S. water regulations should wade isn't new. The most recent clash came when the Obama administration spearheaded something called the Waters of the United States.

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