TAPPING LAKE MICHIGAN: WAUKESHA WATER WON’T FLOW UNTIL 2020-’21 – After securing a major approval for its plan to tap Lake Michigan, Waukesha now faces at least a year of state permitting work before it can start an estimated $207 million public works project. Waukesha, after more than 10 years of work, has secured Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Council approval to use Lake Michigan as its source of drinking water. Under Tuesday’s vote from the council, Waukesha could draw an average of 8.2 million gallons per day from Lake Michigan. The city must build water mains east to connect with Oak Creek’s water utility system. A second pipe must be built between Waukesha’s wastewater treatment plan and the Root River, where cleaned water will be deposited for return to Lake Michigan. That new system won’t be up and running until 2020 or 2021, said Waukesha Water Utility general manager Dan Duchniak. He said the city will soon begin the process of hiring engineering firms to lead the planning and permitting process. “It is going to take about 12 to 18 months for permitting and design, and then it will take about three years for construction,” he said. http://www.bizjournals.com/milwaukee/news/2016/06/22/tapping-lake-michigan-waukesha-water-wont-flow.html
DNR BOARD ASKS WHY DNR HASN’T FIXED WATER POLLUTION FLAWS – Wisconsin’s pollution regulators on Wednesday defended their efforts to keep toxic pollutants out of lakes, streams and drinking water as their policy board grilled them for more than an hour about a state audit that detailed deficiencies in enforcing the laws on private industry, sewage treatment plants and animal feedlots. Some Natural Resources Board members praised the Department of Natural Resources for making progress under difficult circumstances while others questioned why the agency hasn’t yet figured out how to keep staff levels up by promptly hiring replacements for retirees in critical jobs. DNR Secretary Cathy Stepp said money and state work rules complicate things, but a yearlong internal study may help by identifying less important employee positions that can be shifted to environmental protection. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/board-asks-why-dnr-hasn-t-fixed-water-pollution-flaws/article_8d8e2962-9f43-5507-b274-5c73929b6de9.html
SUPERIOR’S PRICY WATER MAY BECOME MORE COSTLY – The price of taking a shower in Superior, already about the most expensive in the state, would cost even more under a proposed 7.8 percent rate increase to the state’s only major, privately owned drinking water system filed Tuesday. Comparatively high rates paid by customers of Superior Water Light and Power Co. came to light this year after lawmakers proposed a law to make it easier for private companies to buy public water utilities. The proposed statute passed the state Assembly and a state Senate committee in January in a party line vote with majority Republicans prevailing, but the bill died after members of the public complained to legislators. Allete Inc., which owns the water system serving Superior, said in a statement that it filed an application for rate increases on Tuesday with the state Public Service Commission to cover costs of water main replacement. http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/environment/superior-s-pricy-water-may-become-more-costly/article_6a839f43-dc93-5c0e-ade9-d14f94203d18.html
DANE COUNTY LOOKS TO AWARD COMMUNITIES $1.4 MILLION IN GRANTS FOR CLEAN WATER PROJECTS – Dane County is again accepting applications from local municipalities for its “Urban Water Quality Grant Program” to assist with projects aimed at cleaning up urban runoff pollution in area waters, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi announced today. The grants are available to help local communities construct storm water management facilities. These basins capture trash and phosphorus-laden debris such as yard or pet waste from urban areas that would otherwise wash directly into area lakes and streams during heavy rains or snow melt. $1.4 million is available through the grant program this year. Since starting the grant program in 2005, Dane County has helped fund 53 projects totaling over $10 million. These partnerships have stopped the flow of over a half million pounds of garbage and pollutants, including over 2,000 pounds of phosphorus. Phosphorus is the main culprit causing algae growth in area lakes. Every pound of phosphorus removed from the county’s watershed prevents 500 pounds of algae from growing. http://www.thewheelerreport.com/wheeler_docs/files/0627danecty.pdf
PRESIDENT OBAMA’S PROPOSED BUDGET WOULD SUPPORT DEA TAKE BACK INITIATIVE – The White House has released the estimated funding each state would receive if the President’s budget proposal is adopted. Among other things, the budget supports the DEA Take Back Initiative. The President’s Budget builds on current Administration strategies to prevent drug use, pursue targeted drug enforcement activities, improve prescribing practices for pain medication, increase access to treatment, work to reduce overdose deaths, and support the millions of Americans in recovery. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/06/14/white-house-releases-estimated-state-opioid-treatment-funding-levels
HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY– On behalf of the WRWA Board and Staff we’d like to wish everyone a Happy 4th of July weekend. Whatever you do to celebrate our nation’s independence, please make sure you keep safety in mind. The WI Department of Military Affairs issued these 4th of July facts;
- According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 200 people go to the emergency room every day with fireworks-related injuries in the weeks surrounding the July 4th holiday.
- Most injuries are burns to hands, fingers, head, legs and arms.
- One-third of the injuries are to children under the age of 15 years old.
- Sparklers are the number one cause of burns around the July 4th holiday.
For a list of actions you can take to improve safety this weekend, go to- http://readywisconsin.wi.gov/news/2016/4th_July_Press_Release2016.pdf
QUOTE – “It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.” – M. Grundler
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