WUWM environment

Susan Bence

Just like Milwaukee, thousands of lead service lines deliver water from the main into Wauwatosa households. Wauwatosa's public works director David Simpson estimates nearly 10,000 of its 15,000 customers have lead pipes feeding water into their homes.

Simpson says Wauwatosa recently changed its policy surrounding pipes that break. “If we have a break on the city-owned lateral, we’ll go in and replace the entire city-owned side.” Before that, he says, city crews simply repaired the break.

Susan Bence

Update:

The EPA awarded the Redevelopment Authority of the City of Milwaukee a $3 million grant to help restore the Grand Trunk wetland in the city's Harbor District.

"Milwaukee's landscape has changed significantly over the past 200 years, and the wetland marshes that dominated the center of the City have all but vanished," Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett said in a news release Tuesday. "This restoration work will reestablish a small portion of that wetland."

Curt Czarnecki

It’s hard to get away from discussions about lead in Milwaukee this days. Meet two people who understand the issues but have lingering concerns.

Carol Hayes – Riverwest Resident

Like many people, Carol Hayes’ awareness of the risks associated with lead in water date back the crisis in Flint, Michigan.

She was quite sure her duplex, built in 1924, had lead service lines, but had trouble sorting out how best to filter her water and that of her upstairs tenants.

Susan Bence

Longtime Milwaukee Health Department employee Lisa Lien, who coordinated the city’s struggling childhood lead program, has been suspended.

Just hours before that news broke Monday, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett held a press event on the topic of lead but didn't say a word about Lien.

She worked in various capacities at the health department for 26 years; nine years ago assuming leadership of its Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Program.

Susan Bence

Rice typically is grown in hot, humid areas. Yet, a Marquette University researcher has successfully cultivated a small crop on the edge of Milwaukee.

The rice harvest happened on a sun-drenched, but cold morning late last October in Ozaukee County. The one-acre paddy is located on a former family farm that is managed by the Mequon Nature Preserve.

Pai Lor was among a cluster of people helping with the harvest. She grew rice with her family during the first 35 years of her life in her native Laos.

Susan Bence

A month ago, winds blew dust off a huge pile of coal, stored outside of the We Energies' Oak Creek Power Plant onto homes and cars of families just north of the operation. The episode seems to have galvanized broader concerns among neighbors about the health impacts of the coal-burning plant.

Over 160 people attending a listening session with We Energies executives filled an Oak Creek Library meeting room to capacity Wednesday evening.

About four weeks ago so many people crowded the SC Johnson iMet Center in Sturtevant, they had to be shuttled in from a nearby movie theater parking lot.

The topic of that hearing was the City of Racine’s request to divert Lake Michigan water so that Foxconn can pump up to 7 million gallons a day to feed its water-intensive manufacturing system.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

The group Freshwater For Life Action Coalition formed out of concern about Milwaukee’s lead in water problem. FLAC spokesperson Robert Miranda requested records from January 2015 through 2017 of meetings Mayor Barrett held with the Milwaukee Health Department. He wanted to determine how frequently the mayor was updated on the health department’s progress in informing the public.

Susan Bence

Milwaukee has a lead problem. Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers isn't waiting for city leaders to come up with a comprehensive plan, instead it is holding workshops to inform families how to better protect themselves.

Their second Lead-Safe Home Workshop will take place this Wednesday, March 21 from 6 to 8 pm at the Wisconsin Black Historical Society, just off 27th Street on Center.

Susan Bence

Along the shore of Lake Michigan, a coal-burning power plant occupies more than 1,000 acres of land in Oak Creek. Joe Dubanewicz, who lives nearby, has been wondering about the plant, so he reached out to WUWM's Beats Me with his concerns.

“I am wondering if the coal ash ponds are leaching into the groundwater. Who tests the groundwater and are there any monitoring stations for coal dust?” he asks.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Virginia Tech researcher Dr. Yanna Lambrinidou served as advisor to Michigan's Flint Water Interagency Coordinating Committee and before that lent her expertise to the  Washington, D.C. lead in water crisis.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

While advocates of bringing Foxconn to Mount Pleasant stood behind delivering Lake Michigan water to the plant, people in the crowd at the public hearing Wednesday remained unconvinced.

In order to get water to Foxconn, the Racine Water Utility hopes to pipe Lake Michigan water from the Great Lakes basin across Racine County, into the Mississippi River basin that eventually drains into the Gulf of Mexico.

Insitute for Sustainable Communities

The Institute for Sustainable Communities (ISC) came to life in Vermont nearly 30 years ago with a mission to collaborate with community-based organizations in order to nurture sustainable development.

“For the first 17 years all of the work we did was in places like the former Soviet Union, former Yugoslavia, where I worked previously for ISC, Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland, places like that,” says Steve Nicholas, vice president of ISC programs in the United States.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

The Taiwanese-owned LCD manufacturing facility will require loads of water for its production process. The Racine Water Utility wants to extend service to provide that water.

Foxconn's massive campus will be located where I-94 and Highway 11 intersect in Mount Pleasant.

Susan Bence / Milwaukee Public Radio

Update: Wednesday, the Wisconsin Natural Resources Board approved giving a parcel of Kohler Andre State Park to Kohler's proposed golf course in exchange for more than nine acres adjacent to the park.

The board voted unanimously to approve the proposal.

Original Post, February 27, 2018:

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