valley power plant 3Coalition Calls on EPA to Enforce Clean Water Act at Power Plant

Yesterday, the Cleaner Valley Coalition, of which Milwaukee Riverkeeper is a member, called on the EPA to take stronger steps to clean up pollution at the We Energies Menomonee Valley coal-fired power plant.

Two members of the Coalition - the Sierra Club and its attorneys, Midwest Environmental Advocates (MEA), filed a Notice of Intent to Sue the EPA for failing to comply with its duty to ensure that a new water pollution permit is issued for the plant.

The Valley power plant has been operating with an expired water permit since 1987; the expired permit fails to include standards necessary to protect fish and aquatic life and recreation in the Menomonee River. As detailed in a report from the Sierra Club, it is estimated that billions of fish and other aquatic organisms are killed each year by water-intake systems on outdated power plants, including coal-fired power plants like the one in the Valley. Water-intake systems suck in water to cool the power plant, then spew hot water back out into local waterways.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (WDNR) has been working to revise the permit for years (the Valley's permit is the longest expired water permit in the country). Milwaukee Riverkeeper and the Cleaner Valley Coalition believe the delay has been way too long.

If the WDNR does not issue a permit in the next few months to address the threat to our waters, then EPA should take immediate action. The EPA has 60 days to respond to the NOI. If it does not respond, or fails to take necessary action during this period, Sierra Club and MEA can proceed to file a lawsuit in United States District Court.

To read the full press release and article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel click here.

Help our River - Oppose the Mequon Subdivision!

P3050027On Tuesday March 13th, the Mequon Common Council will take up the issue of altering an open space easement for the development of a 19-lot subdivision on Freistadt Road along the the Milwaukee River.

The open space easement is listed in the titles of property in the Deer Trail Estates subdivision. The property owners are adamant that the entire 42-acre site is to remain open and undeveloped, except as a golf course, according to the agreement between the city and the original developer.

Milwaukee Riverkeeper contends that there are strong reasons to oppose the building of housing on the site. Among others, keeping the site open and undeveloped is critical to the protection of water quality and the prevention of flooding in the area.  We also believe it will set a terribly bad precedent in Mequon.

We are urging Mequon residents to come out to Mequon City Hall (11333 N Cedarburg Rd). on Tuesday, March 13th at 7:30pm

To check out the article about this issue in MequonNOW click here.

Monitors of the Year: the "Jim's"Jim&Jim

We are ecstatic to report that Milwaukee Riverkeeper volunteers, Jim Gennrich and Jim Engstrom (the "Jim's"), were chosen by the WDNR as 2012 Water Quality Monitors of the Year!

The Jim's are an extremely dedicated team of volunteers who have been monitoring 5 different sites in the Milwaukee River Basin since 2008. In addition, they volunteer for every other opportunity we throw at them, from our road salt and phosphorus monitoring projects to our fish impediment survey work. On top of all that, Jim Gennrich even runs his own Spring River cleanup site in Thiensville, which brings out over 150 volunteers!

We thank them for their amazing work in helping protect and restore our local rivers.

North_Ave_East30HOLY TRASH!

Have you looked around some of our river parkways lately?  There's trash everywhere!  Now, imagine how dirty they'll be 2 months from now.

Help turn those piles of trash into beautiful art (like the picture on the left) on Saturday, April 21st from 9am - Noon.

We'll hook you up with gloves and bags at over 50 sites, we just need your arms!  Register today.


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