Today, Wisconsin Public Service (WPS) and We Energies join the rest of the country in celebrating the golden anniversary of the Clean Water Act. Passed by Congress 50 years ago in 1972, the Clean Water Act established the basic framework for regulating what goes into lakes, rivers, streams, and wetlands with the ultimate goal of protecting the nation’s water resources.
WPS and We Energies strongly believe in building a bright, sustainable future for all. Employees work to advance the objectives of the Clean Water Act on a daily basis.
Under the Clean Water Act, WPS and We Energies power plants operate under wastewater permits. These permits contain pollutant limits, monitoring requirements and reporting schedules to ensure compliance. Every five years, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) must decide whether to reissue the permit after a rigorous reevaluation process and review of the latest science and technology.
In addition, every year, company employees and contractors review state database information for thousands of electric distribution and natural gas lateral pipeline projects to ensure that construction will not negatively impact natural resources, including wetlands and waterways.
Several recent company projects exemplify the companies’ commitment to clean water:
- In December 2021, the Public Service Commission of Wisconsin approved a $90 million project to upgrade the wastewater treatment system at Elm Road Generating Station to meet EPA’s Effluent Limitations and Guidelines (ELG) Rule. Construction is currently underway with a targeted in-service date of December 2023.
- Since 2016, We Energies has collaborated with stakeholders, including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County Parks and the EPA, to address legacy contamination in the Milwaukee Estuary. We Energies played a pivotal role in accessing funding and developing an initial design for a proposed Dredge Material Management Facility.
- In 2019, a farm field near the Paris Generating Station was converted to native prairie and wetlands to eliminate stormwater runoff. This substantially increased biodiversity on the site, promoting the health of pollinators.