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clean wisconsin


Photo credits

Cover: Cave Point, Door County :: James Jordan/ Inside Covers: Anderson Dock, Ephraim :: Ezra Meyer/Paola Perez-Meyer P5: Wehr Nature Center :: Indy Kethdy/ P7: Lake Mendota, Madison :: Ed Luschei/ P8: P10: Lake Superior :: Amanda Wegner P13: Wind Turbines :: B. Cleary/

A letter from the Executive Director Great things are done by a series of small things brought together. —Van Gogh In 2009, we amassed a collection of significant victories and spent a great deal of time laying the groundwork for our future, buoyed by our passion for and dedication to protecting Wisconsin’s clean water and air and advocating for clean energy.

With bans on phosphorus in residential fertilizers and automatic dishwasher soap, increased requirements for e-waste recycling, bans on mercury in nonessential consumer products, deterring out-of-state waste, and more, our 2009 victories benefit public health and protect the environment from toxic pollutants. After two years of work with legislators and our coalition allies, we helped pass new wind siting laws. Lastly, in conjunction with the Sierra Club, we finalized our settlement with the owners of the Elm Road Generating Station regarding its cooling system, gaining a $96 million settlement fund over 24 years to fund restoration projects for one of Wisconsin’s gems, Lake Michigan.

Behind the scenes, we spent countless hours laying the foundation for our continued work to reduce Wisconsin’s global warming emissions to combat climate change. We spent many hours discussing changes needed for smarter groundwater legislation and mobilized members and partners to stand up against environmentally concerning large-scale dairy operations.

Our members helped make 2009 a successful year, and your continued support will ensure future wins for our state. With your help, Clean Wisconsin built on its 40-year history of environmental victories in 2009. Driven by passion, dedication, commonsense solutions, and tenacity, Clean Wisconsin staff will keep fighting for Wisconsin’s clean air, clean water, and clean energy. Mark Redsten Executive Director


Working for Clean Energy In 2008, Clean Wisconsin, along with Sierra Club, reached a settlement with We Energies, WPPI, and MGE concerning the legality of the cooling system at their Elm Road Generating Station. In 2009, three items in the settlement took shape, signifying victories for Clean Wisconsin and the state's energy landscape. These victories offer both immediate and sustained rewards for the health of Wisconsinites and their pocketbooks. Advice into action The nonprofit Wisconsin Climate Change Action

Initiative, or WCCAI, was formed in July 2009 to focus on providing education, practical advice, and expertise to residents, communities, and businesses on simple, effective steps to reduce their carbon footprint, without affecting comfort or productivity. The settlement agreement provided the initial funding needed to form the nonprofit. Governor Jim Doyle appointed the initial WCCAI Board of Directors, which includes Clean Wisconsin Executive Director Mark Redsten and Board member Margi Kindig.

New biomass plant In September, We Energies and Domtar Corporation, a leading paper company, announced their proposal to construct a $250 million biomass-fueled power plant at Domtar’s Rothschild paper mill. The co-generation power plant will use wood, waste wood, and sawdust, with some originating from Domtar’s Rothschild paper mill, to produce 50 megawatts of electricity and heat for the mill. Clean Wisconsin looks forward to reviewing the application and will continue to work with the utility to make the co-generation facility as clean and sustainable as possible. Dirty coal goes offline In October, air in the Upper Midwest became

cleaner when We Energies took two dirty coal-fired power plants in Presque Isle, Mich. offline as part of the settlement. Shutting down these two units located just over the stateline between Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Northeast Wisconsin will keep 850,000 tons of carbon dioxide (CO2), over 3,600 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2), and 1,276 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOX) from entering our air each year.



Ensuring Our Water is Safe, Clean and Abundant Wisconsin is blessed with an abundance of lakes, rivers, and streams.Yet, water pollution and overuse continue to be pressing environmental challenges for the state. The sum of our many victories will help significantly improve Wisconsin’s waterways. A major pollutant impacting Wisconsin’s water is phosphorus. When phosphorus gets into lakes, ponds, rivers, streams, and wetlands, it promotes excess plant growth, particularly nuisance aquatic plants and algae. Every bit of phosphorus we can prevent from entering our waters will help make them cleaner and more enjoyable. Clean Wisconsin helped pass two laws in 2009 that restrict phosphorus in consumer products. In April, the governor signed a bill prohibiting the sale and residential application of phosphorus-containing fertilizer to turf. In November, the governor signed a bill into law substantially limiting phosphorus in automatic dish soap. Because water pollution is also tied to agriculture, reducing polluted runoff and unsightly masses of scum and algae on our treasured waterways is a difficult and sustained task. In 2009, Clean Wisconsin began laying the groundwork to increase pressure on the regulation of Confined Animal Feedlot Operations (CAFOs), which are large-scale farms. We successfully lobbied for higher CAFO water permit fees during the state budget process, which will offset enforcement costs. Additionally, with 25 percent of the garbage filling Wisconsin landfills coming from other states, we successfully increased tipping fees, the fee that waste haulers pay to dump their trash here. This creates a disincentive for neighboring states to fill our landfills with their trash.

In 2009, Clean Wisconsin launched an unprecedented water conservation campaign and intervened in Waukesha’s water rate case at the Public Service Commission. Through our participation, Waukesha now has a better rate structure that encourages water conservation by charging more to individuals who use more; water rates are now cheaper for approximately 60 percent of Waukesha’s residents, those who do not overuse water. We also intervened in Janesville’s water rate case, lowering water costs again for 60 percent of residents. We continue to be involved with water rate cases in Madison and Milwaukee, and are watching for other opportunities to improve water rate structures to conserve water and save money.



Protecting Wisconsin from Toxic Mercury


Fishing in Wisconsin is a celebrated tradition passed down from generation to generation and is a great way to experience the state’s beautiful environment. It is also an industry that brings more than $2.3 billion to the state, employing 25,000 individuals. Unfortunately, however, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and Department of Health now list every inland body of water in the state under a fish consumption advisory as a result of mercury pollution. It is estimated that every year 5,000 to 9,000 children born in the state suffer impaired cognitive development and limited memory as a result of mercury exposure.

Mercury pollution comes from an array of sources; successfully lowering the amount of this toxin in our environment requires reducing emissions from coal-fired power plants, properly recycling thermostats, lighting, and electronic waste, and eliminating the unnecessary use of mercury in products.

After a significant victory in 2008 that will cut mercury emissions from coal-fired power plants by 90 percent, Clean Wisconsin continued its work to reduce mercury in 2009 by taking on other sources of this dangerous toxin. We worked with state legislators to enact the Mercury Products Bill, a law that bans the sale of all necessary products that contain mercury. We also successfully advocated for the Electronic Waste Law, which requires electronics producers to offer convenient sites for recycling electronic waste like old computers, cell phones, and printers, products that contain numerous toxic substances, including mercury. With the health of our families at stake, it’s important to limit mercury pollution from all possible sources, and these laws are significant steps toward reaching that goal. As long as our waters remain polluted with mercury and fish remain unsafe to eat, Clean Wisconsin will continue to look for new ways to reduce the amount of mercury entering our water and air.


Great Lakes Victories


Lake Michigan is a magnificent national treasure that faces many threats. Addressing these threats will help ensure that Lake Michigan remains a beautiful resource for generations. In a decision that will help restore and protect the health of Lake Michigan, the Public Service Commission voted in 2009 to approve the terms of a settlement agreement that ended litigation regarding the use of a once-through cooling system at the Elm Road Generating Station. This agreement will fund a 24-year, $96 million initiative for Lake Michigan restoration and protection projects. The approved funding from this settlement agreement will create an important environmental legacy by addressing priority problems such as invasive species, polluted runoff, sewage overflows, and other issues that negatively affect the health of Lake Michigan. Clean Wisconsin serves on the oversight committee charged with determining the best on-the-ground restoration efforts to fund. This committee is comprised of two environmental organizations, including Clean Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, and two utilities.

In 2009, Clean Wisconsin also worked closely with the Healing Our Waters Coalition to build support for full funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, a federal program designed to combat aquatic invasive species, clean up toxic pollution, and restore habitat in the Great Lakes. In Fall 2009, President Obama signed a law providing $475 million for the Initiative. In 2010, Clean Wisconsin will work to ensure that the federal government funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative permanently to support a sustained effort to clean up and protect the Great Lakes.

The Great Lakes have problems, but we have solutions. The funding secured in 2009 puts much-needed projects into action to restore and preserve our cherished Great Lakes.


Winning with Wind Siting After nearly two years of debate, the state Legislature took an important step to promote clean energy when it enacted wind siting reform in September 2009. Passed with strong bipartisan support, it could not have been done without the help of our members and partners. Wind siting reform was a hard-won fight for Clean Wisconsin. Introduced in the 2006-2008 legislative session, it became bogged down in political squabbles and died on the Assembly floor in the final days of the session in April 2008. Undeterred, Clean Wisconsin came back in 2009 with greater support, a stronger coalition of partners and allies, and a smarter campaign.

Wisconsin’s old permitting system discouraged the construction of smalland medium-sized wind farms, placing the state at a disadvantage in the clean energy economy as businesses chose to take their wind projects to neighboring states. Wind siting reform will replace the over-stringent patchwork of local regulations for permitting wind farms with sensible statewide standards. In 2010, the Public Service Commission assembled an advisory council to provide input for the siting of small- and medium-sized wind farms. The Public Service Commission appointed Clean Wisconsin energy advocate Ryan Schryver to this council.

Producing clean, renewable wind power is essential to reducing our reliance on the dirty fossil fuels that pollute our air and water, contribute to climate change, and cost our state billions on imported fossil fuels. With the passage of wind siting reform, Wisconsinites can look forward to a future of clearer skies, cleaner water, and a stronger economy.



2010: 40 Years of Clean Wisconsin Over the last 40 years, we have achieved great victories for Wisconsin’s environment, protecting our air and water and advocating for clean energy. We will continue to forge ahead in 2010, working with coalition and business partners and building relationships with new allies. We will be taking the issue of global warming on the road, talking with people around the state whose lives and landscapes have been affected by changes in climate. We will be working with the DNR to strengthen phosphorus regulations for farms as well as factories and sewage treatment plants to reduce the water pollution that causes algae blooms and threatens the health of those who enjoy Wisconsin’s waters. We will be working with the Public Service Commission to strengthen Wisconsin’s energy efficiency programs and fight for the retirement of old, dirty coal-fired power units.

In 2010, we are reminded that much like our founders who worked long hours for pennies, we are driven by passion and dedication. We will work hard in 2010 to set the course for better policies for clean air, clean water, and clean energy, so Wisconsin can continue to be enjoyed for generations to come.





Wisconsin Environmental Policy Act


Wisconsin Comprehensive Recycling Law

Kidney Island Lawsuit



Wisconsin Power Plant Siting Law




Wisconsin Mining Reclamation Law


Statewide Energy Efficiency Fund

Nonpoint Pollution Act

Comprehensive Groundwater Protection Act

Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Bill


Wisconsin Acid Rain Law

1984 & ‘86

1991 Creation of the Lower


Wisconsin Riverway & Wetland Water Quality Rules

PHOTO CREDITS Lower Wisconsin River & canoe: Three If By Bike/; Cows in pasture: skinnyde/ All others Clean Wisconsin or stock art.



Sulfide Mining Moratorim Law & State Pesticide Law

Building the Legacy Fund The Clean Wisconsin Legacy Fund provides consistent revenue, ensuring that we will have the funds necessary to take on the biggest threats to Wisconsin’s water and air and continue to push for cleaner energy. An endowment is an organization’s financial cornerstone, and Clean Wisconsin has a remarkable opportunity to build our endowment fund. The Madison Community Foundation has issued a challenge to the environmental community by generously offering $100,000 to be used as matching funds to gifts made to our endowment fund. We need to raise $300,000 to receive the funds. In honor of our 40th anniversary in 2010, Clean Wisconsin cofounder Doug La Follette generously donated $100,000 to our Legacy Fund. We now need your help to raise the remaining $200,000. Making a contribution to an endowment is an act of great generosity and vision. Legacy donors understand the importance of supporting the organization not only during their lifetime, but for generations to come. These visionary individuals are building an extraordinary resource for our continued work. Clean Energy Act; Shut down two dirty coal boilers in Green Bay Fought Crandon Mine threat to Wolf River & Wisconsin’s Mercury Reduction Rules Environmental Decade becomes Clean Wisconsin



Wind Siting Reform Law

2004, 2008, 2009

2003 2002 Polluted

Runoff Reduction Rules



Governor Signs Great Lakes Compact


State & Federal Passage of Great Lakes Compact


Elm Road Settlement secures $96 million for Lake Michigan restoration

Phosphorus Reduction Laws; E-Waste Recycling Law



Proposed Alliant Coal Plant Defeated


Supporters Foundation and Family Foundation Supporters

1Sky Margaret A. Cargill Foundation Carolyn Foundation Common Future Fund of RSF Social Finance Donation in Memory of Jack Chadbourn Emily H. Earley Fund Energy Foundation Ferriday Family Fund Fresh Energy/RE-AMP Strategic Media Fund Garfield Foundation Jewish Community Foundation of the Milwaukee Jewish Federation Eileen and Howard Dubner Philanthropic Fund Bill and Idy Goodman Family Fund

Joyce Foundation Kresge Foundation Madison Community Foundation Cowgill Family Fund Mazess Passthrough Fund

Charles Stewart Mott Foundation Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin Dale Druckrey Spend-Down Fund

Oberweiler Foundation Rockefeller Family Fund State Environmental Leadership Program Wege Foundation/National Wildlife Federation


Business Sponsors ($500 and up) Bank of New Glarus Sustainable Engineering Group Whole Foods Market

Pro Bono Services

Axley Brynelson, LLP Cullen, Weston, Pines and Bach, LLP Geek World Integrated Energy Services Public Interest Law Foundation SneathGroup

Other Support

Community Shares of Greater Milwaukee Community Shares of Wisconsin

Volunteers & Interns Stephen Bazan Carmen Chinchilla Jackie Csedo Clemence Darriet Maia Donohue Audra Felix Rich Hankison Megan Hastings Meghan Jones Shaina Kilcoyne Russel Novkov Mary Ostafi Genevieve Rosay Abram Shandeling Karen Stevenson

1Sky Support 1Sky Intern Membership Support 1Sky Intern 1Sky Support Legal Intern Legal Intern Writing Support 1Sky Support Energy Program Intern 1Sky Support 1Sky Support Water Program Support New Media Intern Membership & Global Warming Support Caitlin Sticco Development Support Carly Swatek 1Sky Intern Matthew Weingarten Science Intern David Wilkerson Legal Intern


Membership 2009 Revenue: $1,737,589 71.4% Grants 14.8% Member Contributions 0.5% Investment Income 13.3% Other

2009 Expenses: $1,734,522 82.5% Program 7.8% Fundraising 9.7% Management

we help protect the special

places that make Wisconsin a wonderful place to live, work, and play by advocating for clean air clean water and clean energy

special thanks to our members your continued support makes this possible thank you 17

Board & Staff Staff Mark Redsten

Executive Director

Brian Kelly

Associate Director

Amber Meyer Smith Program Director

Keith Reopelle Senior Policy Director Katie Nekola Energy Program Director Melissa Malott Water Program Director

Peter Taglia

Staff Scientist

Ryan Schryver

Grassroots Organizer

Ezra Meyer

Water Resources Specialist

Sam Weis

Media Specialist

Amanda Wegner Media Specialist

Elizabeth Wheeler

RE-AMP Coordinator

Elizabeth Edelstein

RE-AMP Coordinator Assistant

Sarah Shanahan

Global Warming Program Assistant

Katy Walter

1Sky Coordinator

Becky Bains

Membership & Development Manager

Allie Theuerkauf

Development Assistant

Roger Sneath

Chief Financial Officer

Mary Coughlan

Accounting Manager

David Vitse

Office Administrator


Board of Directors Officers

Carl Sinderbrand (Madison) Chair

Margi Kindig (Madison) Vice Chair

Gof Thomson (New Glarus) Treasurer

Gary Goyke (Madison) Secretary


Sue Durst (Verona) Shari Eggleson (Washburn) Kate Gordon (Washington, D.C.) Paul Linzmeyer (Green Bay) Pam McGillivray (Madison) Lucia Petrie (Milwaukee) David Wandel (Madison) Guy Wolf (Stoddard)


Clean Wisconsin

122 State Street, Suite 200 Madison, WI 53703 Phone: 608-251-7020

Printed on 100-percent recycled paper using vegetable-based ink Š Clean Wisconsin, May 2010

2009 Clean Wisconsin Annual Report  

A review of Clean Wisconsin's work and victories in 2009.