So there's probably no doubt you've heard about the proposed Special Session Bills (SB 24 & AB 24) in the Wisconsin Legislature that aim to "reform" protections for navigable waters. Originally thought to only open the doors to mining companies, the bills actually have turned out to be an all out assault on our state's water policy.
Here are just a couple portions this scary bill proposes:
A downtown development site overlooking the Milwaukee River has undergone an environmental cleanup, and is being transformed into green space.
The city-owned lot, at 1027 N. Edison St., had its cleanup funded by a $200,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Also, the Milwaukee RiverWalk District is spending around $25,000 to landscape the 20,000-square-foot lot, and create a path through the green space that connects the RiverWalk to the nearby Highland Ave. pedestrian bridge, said Dan Casanova, of the Department of City Development.
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee scientists sorting through the bacterial soup in Milwaukee's harbor found "chronic pollution" of the waterway with human sewage, the researchers say in a new report.
Fecal bacteria from people, not cattle or other animals, was detected in each water sample collected from the surface of the harbor both in dry weather and on rainy days, said Sandra McLellan, senior scientist and associate professor with the School of Freshwater Sciences at the Great Lakes WATER Institute on the harbor.
The Milwaukee Metropoliton Sewage District will be holding Public Meetings to get citizen input on the following dates & times:
Monday, October 10th, 8:30 a.m.
District Headquarters, 260 W. Seeboth, Milwaukee -and- Monday, October 24th, 8:30 a.m.
District Headquarters, 260 W. Seeboth, Milwaukee
The purpose of the hearings is to review the District’s 2012 Proposed Operations & Maintenance and Capital Budgets and to receive comments from residents and taxpayers. A summary of the budgets as proposed is attached below in a PDF.
The District’s 2012 Proposed Combined Operations & Maintenance and Capital Budgets will be available for viewing between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday at the District.
The 2012 Proposed Budgets will be available electronically at the District’s website, www.mmsd.com, beginning September 5th. Upon reasonable notice, efforts will be made to accommodate the needs of disabled individuals through sign language interpreters or other auxiliary aids.
For additional information to request these services, contact the Commission Secretary, Office of the Commission at 225-2108, (FAX) 272-5227 or write to Office of the Commission, 260 W. Seeboth Street, Milwaukee, Wisconsin 53204-1446.
Milwaukee Riverkeeper unfortunately reports that the Fish Passage planned to bypass Grafton's Bridge St. Dam on the Milwaukee River is officially not going to happen.
The Grafton Village Board unanimously rejected a DNR permit that required a trap-and-sort portion aimed at stopping invasive species and disease-carrying fish from traveling upstream of the dam. The restriction, which was not part of original plans for the passage, would have prevented all fish except lake sturgeon from moving through the passage.
Leaking private laterals "is a hidden problem," according to Milwaukee Ald. Jim Bohl. "People don't see it." The alderman, a co-chairman of the city's Flooding Study Task Force, is right - most of the time. But area residents certainly became aware of the results of leaking laterals in July 2010, when a deluge of storms flooded streets and basements and spurred creation of Bohl's task force.
Although the problem is hidden, it's serious and it's widespread. To fix it, and mitigate the effects of intense storms, will require a concerted effort by local governments, private residents and the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District.