ACTION ALERT: CALL YOUR LEGISLATORS NOW

badriverkids

Bad River girls. Photo: Rebecca Kemble

UPDATE: The Water Privatization Bills (AB 554 and SB 432) have moved out of committee and will be headed for a full vote in the Assembly and the Senate. Contact your Senator and Representative and tell them to vote NO! NO MORE FLINTS!

Find your elected officials Wi Legislature  http://maps.legis.wisconsin.gov/

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With our hearts in Flint, the world is watching the nightmare of privatized water and corrupt politicians in Michigan. Over 200 of children have been permanently damaged by lead poisoning due in large part to the privatization of the water systems. Now children in other major cities in Michigan are also testing high for blood-lead poisoning.

Now, today, a bill is rapidly moving through the Wisconsin legislature that would make it nearly impossible for We the People to stop the privatization of our water.

Assembly Bill 554 which will create the same privatization of Wisconsin water supplies that led to the Flint disaster, has passed the State Assembly and is in the Senate Workforce Development Committee. That committee is made up of 3 Republicans and 2 Democrats, and is poised to pass their version of this legislation, Senate Bill 432.

Some backstory: in 2009, the City of Milwaukee was exploring the possibility of privatizing its municipal water. Here is a contemporary Milwaukee Journal-Sentinal article about it, and a later story from Food and Water Watch after the idea was scuttled. Basically, local residents rose up against the proposal and fought it; the Milwaukee Common Council stopped its study of the proposal.

The current legislation would make it nearly impossible to do what the citizens of Milwaukee did in 2009. Rather than being able to stop privatization while it is still an “idea,” citizens would need to collect signatures and put a referendum on the ballot to stop the process in-progress: time-consuming, expensive, and subject to the special interest money bound up in today’s elections.

According to an aide at the office of Rep. Tyler August(R-Lake Geneva), the proposal’s lead author, another aspect of the bill will allow private entities to “buy into” county-owned water supplies, thereby gaining control over area water. For example, a corporate farm could purchase water rights from the county and gain control over how the local water is used.

Please pass this on to as many people as you can and tell them to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee and express their opposition to SB432.

Tell them NO MORE FLINTS!

Rep. Tyler August (608) 266-1190 Rep.August@legis.wisconsin.gov, sponsor
Senator Roger Roth (Chair) (608) 266-0718 Sen.Roth@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Richard Gudex (Vice Chair) (608) 266-5300 Sen.Gudex@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Duey Stroebel (608) 266-7513 Sen.Stroebel@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Chris Larson (608) 266-7505 Sen.Larson@legis.wisconsin.gov
Senator Julie Lassa (608) 266-3123 Sen.Lassa@legis.wisconsin.gov

Our very lives depend on it.

nomoreflints

Overpass Light Brigade Photo: Lisa Moline

This weekend the Overpass Light Brigade did a photo shoot to raise awareness about the proposed legislation and asked the public to contact the members of the Workforce Development Committee to inform them of citizen opposition to the bill.

Adapted from badscience original article here.

Deadline Sept 30 to weigh in on CAFO planned for Lake Superior

On February 13, 2015, the Department of Natural Resources received a final Wisconsin Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (WPDES) permit application for Badgerwood, LLC, a proposed Concentrated Animal Feeding Operation (CAFO) in Bayfield County. WPDES permits are water quality protection permits designed to ensure proper storage and handling of manure from larger-scale livestock operations. The WPDES permit program does not have authority to address odor, noise, traffic or other issues not related to water quality.

The operation would house approximately 7,500 sows, 18,750 pigs, and 100 boars. This is equal to 6,162 animal units. Structures at the site would include three barns with concrete manure storage structures located under each barn, to provide more than 180 days of liquid manure storage. Manure would be removed from storage and land applied according to an approved nutrient management plan.

Based on review of the WPDES permit application, the department has determined that theapplication was incomplete and requested additional information [DNR FTP] on March 17, 2015. Aspects of the proposal may change when the application is complete.

EIS process

The department decided, pursuant to s. NR 150.20(4)(b), Wis. Adm. Code, to use the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process as the best approach to achieve WEPA compliance for the proposed Badgerwood swine operation. This allows citizens to have input.

Go here for more information on how to give input into the EIS deadline September 30, 2015:
http://dnr.wi.gov/topic/AgBusiness/CAFO/Badgerwood.html

Visit Farms not Factories for a comprehensive analysis of Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations.

Thank you for standing united in defense of the water.

ACTION ALERT: Sean Duffy Attacking Wisconsin’s Water

October 27, 2014

Rep. Sean Duffy and his Tea Party extremists are trying to take away our protection.

Rep. Sean Duffy and his Tea Party extremists are trying to take away our protection.

Rep. Sean Duffy (WI-R-7) is in a hotly contested race with Kelly Westlund of Ashland for the Congressional seat representing District 7, which includes the Penokee Hill and Bad River watershed. Duffy recently co-sponsored two bills that passed in the House that take aim at the Treaty Rights of the Lake Superior Chippewa, as well as all of the waters of Wisconsin.

The bills—HR 5078 and HR 4854—are co-sponsored by Tea Party Republicans and Southern Democrats in mining states and are based on a corporate manifesto written by the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), an organization funded in part by David and Charles Koch. They are designed to severely limit the EPA and Army Corps of Engineers from implementing the Clean Power Plan.

The bills passed the House in September and are part of ALEC’s “model legislation” based on the Tea Party ideology found in “U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Assault on State Sovereignty.” Portraying the power of the EPA as dangerous federal overreach, the manifesto aims to protect mining interests across the country from being held accountable for their impact on the environment.

READ THE FULL STORY HERE

We need people power before the election to help educate the state on the truth. We need people writing Letters to the Editor to your local papers, sharing this information with your family and friends, and forwarding the link to people who might be undecided about who to vote for.

The truth is if Walker, Duffy and Ryan get re-elected, they will continue to bring the Koch Brothers and the influence of all their corporate money has here in Wisconsin. If Walker, Duffy, Jamey Francis, Dane Deustch and their Tea Party friends prevail, they will dismantle any protections we have from mining.

Remember how we were told over and over, “If the mine would pollute, the EPA won’t allow it.” This is the same lie they told us in January 2011 about not wanting to change the Wisconsin State mining laws. GTac knew when they told us that that the new bill was already in progress.

Find your local newspaper here. Write a letter. Support Kelly Westlund. And then get out the vote and let’s elect people not paid for by the Koch Brothers: Kelly for Congress, Beth Meyers for Assembly, Susan Happ for Attorney General and Mary Burke for governor on November 4, 2014. If you live outside of District 7, find out who in your district supports We the People and clean water.

Help others learn the truth and get out the vote on November 4th.

Your very life may depend on it.

tylerforks

One of many undocumented streams and waterfalls of the Bad River watershed. Photo: Maureen Matusewic

Northern Wisconsin and Russia Stand United in Defense of the Water

RussiamapLake Superior to Baikal: Bayfield High School Students Trek to the World’s Other Largest Lake!
Presentation on October 22 at 6:30 PM
Sigurd Olson Environmental Institute at Northland College, Ashland.
Free and open to the public.

This summer, a group of Bayfield High School students traveled to Siberia, Russia, to learn about the people and cultures of Lake Baikal. Their mission—to explore a similar yet highly different culture—was guided by the water. Because they grew up on the shores of Lake Superior, the world’s largest freshwater lake by surface area, it made sense to target Russia and Lake Baikal—the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume. They stayed with host families and had an opportunity to learn how the water influences their mutual cultures.

Their journey exceeded their expectations and they are anxious to share their experiences with the community.

peacetotemsVisit their website to read about how the children of Superior and the children of Siberia came together united in defense of the water.

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