Victory in the Valley:
After years of pressure, We Energies announced in August 2012 that it would convert the coal-burning Valley Power Plant to cleaner-burning natural gas. Located in the heart of downtown Milwaukee, the Valley Power Plant is one of the oldest and dirtiest coal plants in the state. It is a significant source of toxic mercury pollution as well as soot and smog. In March of 2011, Clean Wisconsin and Sierra Club filed a petition with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, contending that the Valley Power Plant's air permit violated the Clean Air Act. At the same time, Clean Wisconsin worked with the Cleaner Valley Coalition, which includes health, environmental, civil rights, faith and community organizations, to pressure We Energies to clean up the plant.
Wind Siting Rule Saved:
Early in 2011, a legislative committee voted to suspend Wisconsin’s uniform, statewide standards for siting wind energy systems, driving several wind companies out of Wisconsin. Over the next year, Clean Wisconsin joined other clean energy advocates and businesses in a major effort to educate legislators and the public about the importance of the wind siting rule. This effort culminated in a victory in 2012 when the rule was reinstated. This rule will help lead our state develop more safe, renewable wind energy farms rather than continuing to rely on dirty, out-of-state fossil fuels.
Dangerous Mining Legislation Defeated:
In part of an intense push to mine Northern Wisconsin's Penokee hills, legislators from the majority party introduced a dangerous mining bill in 2011 that would have rolled back environmental protections, limited the voice of the public in the mine permit process, and eliminated accountability for mining companies. Clean Wisconsin worked closely alongside Northern Wisconsin residents, our members and allies to heighten awareness of the dangerous provisions in this bill. Our tireless work in the Capitol and in the media helped secure a victory when the Senate rejected the bill by one vote in early 2012.
State Recycling Program Saved:
During the intense 2011 budget battle, Gov. Scott Walker proposed entirely cutting funding for the state's recycling program and eliminating the requirement that counties and municipalities provide residents access to local recycling programs. Clean Wisconsin and its members quickly went to work creating strong public pressure to save the state's recycling program. In the end, the Legislature restored 60% of the funding, which will still result in cuts, but keeps Wisconsin’s recycling tradition alive.
Innovative Phosphorus Rule Package Passed:
September marked the passage of a precedent-setting phosphorus pollution rules package
that enables farmers and municipalities — the two biggest phosphorus polluters — to work together to implement strategies that reduce phosphorus entering our waterways. These three rules are some of the most innovative in the nation and set limits on the amount of phosphorus in our waters, create a timeline for clean-up, and require farmers to limit pollution running off their fields.
Mercury Ban in Non-Essential Products:
In October Governor Doyle signed a bill to ban the sale of non-essential products that contain toxic mercury. Clean Wisconsin led efforts to create this ban on mercury in household and industrial products including toys, games, jewelry, shoes, switches, cosmetics and perfumes, which pollute our air and water with over 6600 pounds of mercury annually. The state currently lists all Wisconsin waterways under a fish consumption advisory due to mercury contamination. This new ban will help end the flow of products into the market that contain mercury.
Electronic Waste Bill Passes:
E-waste is a growing source of toxic pollution in Wisconsin and throughout the region. Clean Wisconsin lobbied for the new e-waste legislation that requires manufacturers to offer convenient recycling options for old electronic equipment, such as televisions and computers. This important law will lead to increased recycling and a decrease in dangerous toxins like lead, mercury, and cadmium polluting our environment.
Federal Funds Gained for Great Lakes Restoration:
As part of our work with the Healing Our Waters coalition, Clean Wisconsin worked extensively to bolster federal funding for Great Lakes restoration. Clean Wisconsin and our partner groups gained a significant victory with the passage of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which will provide $475 million to restore and protect the Great Lakes Basin.
Wind Siting Reform:
After nearly two years of debate, the state Legislature took an important step to protect Wisconsin's environment, promote clean energy and reduce global warming pollution when it passed wind siting reform in September. Clean Wisconsin played a vital role in promoting this measure that replaces the over-stringent and burdensome patchwork of local regulations for permitting wind farms with sensible statewide standards. This reform will help our state improve environmental quality, become more energy independent, and create thousands of jobs in the clean energy economy.
New Controls on Phosphorus Will Protect Rivers and Lakes:
Years of work educating policy makers about the need to control phosphorus pollution in our waterways paid off when the legislature passed new state-wide restrictions on the use of lawn fertilizers and automatic dishwasher detergents that contain phosphorus. These new restrictions will help reduce pollution in our rivers and lakes and will help prevent smelly, unsightly algae blooms and fish kills.
Rejection of Alliant Energy's Proposed Coal Plant
Until this victory, a coal plant proposal had never been defeated in Wisconsin – but thousands of Wisconsinites joined together to beat the odds and stop this dirty coal plant. This victory represents a historic step in our fight to prevent global warming pollution and our effort to promote clean, renewable energy.
State and Federal Passage of the Great Lakes Compact
Clean Wisconsin’s vision, expertise and resources helped lead a coalition of state conservation groups, agencies, and other organizations to make the Great Lakes Compact a reality. The Compact ensures Great Lakes waters will not be sold to the highest bidder, but instead will be protected for future generations to enjoy.
Mercury Reduction Rule
More than ten years of work by Clean Wisconsin staff and members to clean up mercury emissions from coal-burning power plants came to fruition in the form of new regulations requiring 90% reduction of mercury emissions from the largest coal plants in Wisconsin. This rule will help keep toxic mercury out of our lakes, rivers and streams, protect the health of our families, and help preserve Wisconsin's strong fishing tradition.
Settlement in the Elm Road Generating Station Case
After three years of litigation regarding the once-through cooling system at the Elm Road Generating Station, Clean Wisconsin reached a settlement agreement with the owners of the plant that will provide $100 million for Lake Michigan restoration and require utilities to take significant steps to address global warming.
Polluted Runoff Reduction Rules for Factory Farms (CAFOs)
Clean Wisconsin helped pass rules banning Winter Manure Spreading in early 2007. These rules help our state take an important step in the right direction toward stopping the most harmful manure runoff events.
Reduced Wisconsin's Air Pollution and Contributions to Global Warming
Clean Wisconsin filed a lawsuit for Clean Air Act violations and reached a settlement with Wisconsin Public Service that required the utility to shut down its two oldest and dirtiest boilers at its Pulliam coal plant in Green Bay and invest half a million dollars on energy efficiency projects in Brown County.
Wisconsin Clean Energy Act & Governor's Efficiency Executive Order
Clean Wisconsin helped lead the way on this historic bill. This act makes a major commitment to clean energy resources, and takes an important step toward getting a handle on rising electric and heating bills. The efficiency investments resulting from this bill save businesses and homeowners more than two hundred million dollars a year.
Introduction of Governor's Conserve Wisconsin Agenda
Clean Wisconsin continues to work with the Governor's office, agency staff and legislative leaders to enact this broad environmental initiative, including issues that directly impact clean water, clean air and clean energy – the issues Clean Wisconsin and its members are most concerned about.
Statewide Mercury Reduction Rules
Clean Wisconsin's work helped Wisconsin become the first state in the Midwest to require utilities to cut mercury pollution from coal-fired power plants improving the health of citizens as well as the health of our lakes, rivers and streams.
Fought and defeated the Crandon mine threat to the Wolf River
Polluted Runoff Reduction Rules
Statewide Energy Efficiency Fund
State Pesticide Law (ATCP 29)
Sulfide Mining Moratorium Law
Kidney Island Lawsuit
Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Bill
Petitioned for energy efficiency upgrade of building codes
Established rules creating point source discharge limits for phosphorous
Wisconsin's Nonpoint Pollution Act
Wetland Water Quality Rules
Creation of Lower Wisconsin Riverway
Wisconsin Comprehensive Recycling Law
EPA and DNR standards on water quality, effluent limits, and antidegradation
Wisconsin Acid Rain Law
Comprehensive Groundwater Protection Act
Wisconsin Mining Reclamation Law
Wisconsin Power Plant Siting Law
Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act (WEPA)