Report | Wisconsin Environment Research & Policy Center

Wasting Our Waterways

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), toxic discharges from industrial facilities are responsible for polluting more than 17,000 miles of rivers and about 210,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide. To curb this massive release of toxic chemicals into our nation’s water, we must step up Clean Water Act protections for our waterways and require polluters to reduce their use of toxic chemicals.

Report | Wisconsin Environment

Skating on Thin Ice

Every four years, the world’s finest winter athletes gather for the top competition on snow and ice. But even as we celebrate competition and athleticism, global warming is undermining the climate conditions that make the Winter Olympics possible.

Nine of the hottest years ever recorded on Earth have happened since 2000.i Winter average temperatures across the contiguous United States have warmed more than 2 degrees Fahrenheit since 1970.ii The primary cause of this warming is human use of fossil fuels and we need to act now to prevent the worst from happening.

Report | Wisconsin Environment Research & Policy Center

The Power to Pollute

Factory farms are polluting Wisconsin’s treasured waterways. Runoff laced with pollution from animal manure contaminates the state’s lakes and rivers, and the number of factory farms in the state is rapidly increasing. The agencies charged with keeping Wisconsin’s water clean have issued more and more water permits to industrial farming operations every year, even though livestock operations have already polluted thousands of acres of lakes and hundreds of miles of rivers. The state’s failure to protect our waterways from factory farming is the result of years of lobbying by powerful corporate agribusiness interests.[1] Since 2007, corporate agribusiness interests have spent $427,000 on campaign contributions and $4.4 million on lobbying to get their way in Madison.

To protect Wisconsin’s precious lakes and rivers, state officials must stand up to pressure from factory farming lobbyists, refuse to permit new factory farms, and
ensure that existing ones follow the law. Pollution from factory farms is a growing threat to Wisconsin’s treasured lakes and rivers. Stormwater runoff from fields and livestock operations carries pollutants from manure into Wisconsin’s lakes and rivers. This can harm wildlife and public health – creating algal blooms that kill fish, destroy wildlife habitat, and contaminate drinking water.

Report | Wisconsin Environment Research & Policy Center

America's Dirtiest Power Plants

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