Environment

 

Environment

SEWRPC has addressed environmental issues since its inception in the early 1960s. One of the earliest SEWRPC reports provided an overview of the natural resource base of the Region and suggested future programs designed to prepare recommendations for the conservation, management, and wise use of the regional resource base. A companion report provided an overview of the utility facilities in the region, recognizing that at least some utility facilities are closely linked to the surface and groundwater resources, and, accordingly, could significantly impact the overall quality of the regional environment. From the very beginning, SEWRPC selected the watershed as the basic planning unit for its environmental related work. A series of comprehensive watershed plans were developed that addressed interrelated issues in each major watershed, focusing on water quality and floodland management issues. Those plans provided the basis later for regional sanitary sewerage and water quality management plans as well as ongoing efforts attendant to stormwater and floodland management. SEWRPC also has been engaged in air quality management planning in partnership with the Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation. Most recently, SEWRPC undertook the preparation of a regional water supply plan.

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Recent Publications

Check out our most recent environmental publications related to the protection and enhancement of the natural resources within Southeastern Wisconsin. These publications fall within a number of program areas that include water quality, water supply, watershed, floodland, and stormwater management planning.

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Regional Water Quality Management Plan

Since the enactment of the Federal Clean Water Amendments in 1972, SEWRPC has been engaged in carrying out its duties and responsibilities as the water quality management planning agency for the seven county region. These duties and responsibilities flow from a gubernatorial designation made in 1975 and continue to this day.

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A Chloride Impact Study for the Southeastern Wisconsin Region

The Commission staff has prepared a preliminary draft Prospectus for a comprehensive study of the environmental impacts of chloride on the surface water and groundwater resources of the Region.

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Regional Water Supply Plan

SEWRPC has prepared and adopted a regional water supply plan which is focused primarily on identifying appropriate sources of water supply to meet anticipated water demands by 2035 facing the many utilities in the Region. The plan addresses issues relative to groundwater depletion and contamination and the regulatory ramifications of the subcontinental divide that diagonally bisects the region, separating the Lake Michigan drainage basin from the Mississippi River drainage basin.

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Floodplain and Stormwater Management

SEWRPC maintains a continuing program to address stormwater and floodplain management issues throughout the watersheds of the Region. This includes not only defining the extent of natural floodplains along the lakes and streams of the region, addressing ways in which to resolve flooding problems, and making recommendations to avoid creating new flooding problems, but extends also to urban and rural stormwater management issues and the integration of non-point source water pollution abatement measures in stormwater management systems.

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Lake and Stream Management

SEWRPC works on a continuing basis with lake management districts and other agencies in preparing detailed lake management plans of various types. In addition, SEWRPC works with local governments and the Wisconsin Departments of Natural Resources and Transportation to provide guidance and assistance in addressing localized stream management issues.

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Legacy Watershed Plans

Over the 40-year period of 1963 through 2003, SEWRPC completed watershed studies for most of the major watersheds in southeastern Wisconsin. The watershed plans are comprehensive in nature, addressing land use, park and open space, water quality, and stormwater and floodland management issues for watersheds ranging in size from the 25 sq.mi. Kinnickinnic River watershed to the 942 sq.mi. Fox River watershed

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Land and Water Resource Management Planning

SEWRPC provides assistance to counties in the preparation and updating of land and water resource management plans.

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Air Quality Management

Historically, SEWRPC worked with the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources in comprehensively addressing air management issues and problems throughout the Region. In recent years, SEWRPC work efforts attendant to air quality have focused more narrowly on insuring that SEWRPC-recommended transportation plans “conform” to the assumptions underlying and the recommendations contained within the State’s implementation plan for the attainment of air quality standards.

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Restoration Plan for Oak Creek Watershed

The Commission staff is preparing a restoration plan for the 28-square mile Oak Creek watershed, which is located entirely within Milwaukee County and includes portions of the Cities of Cudahy, Franklin, Greenfield, Milwaukee, Oak Creek, and South Milwaukee.

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Jackson Creek Watershed Protection Plan

Commission staff are in the process of finalizing a water quality protection plan for the Jackson Creek watershed in Walworth County..

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Pewaukee Lake Watershed Protection Plan

The watershed protection plan for the Pewaukee Lake will provide a framework to enable communities in the area to work together with a common goal—to protect and improve the land and water resources of the Pewaukee Lake watershed.

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Pewaukee River Watershed Protection Plan

The watershed protection plan for the Pewaukee River will provide a framework to enable communi­ties in the area to work together with a common goal—to protect and improve the land and water resources of the Pewaukee River watershed.

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Root River Watershed Restoration Plan

In response to a request from Racine County, the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District, the Southeastern Wisconsin Watersheds Trust, Inc., and the Root-Pike Watershed Initiative Network, SEWRPC is preparing a restoration plan for the Root River watershed. This plan will build from the 2007 SEWRPC regional water quality management plan update for the greater Milwaukee watersheds providing specific, targeted recommendations to address, water quality, recreational use and access, habitat conditions, and flooding within the watershed.

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Climate Change

Climate is a major factor influencing certain technical aspects of SEWRPC environmental planning work. Climate change, therefore, is a topic of significance to SEWRPC and one which is closely followed. Presently, SEWRPC is collaborating with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and others in addressing the effects of climate change upon southeastern Wisconsin.

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Brownfields

SEWRPC collaborates with other agencies in cooperatively addressing problems associated with brownfield sites.

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Precipitation Frequency

United States National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Atlas 14, Precipitation-Frequency Atlas of the United States, Volume 8, Version 2.0: Midwestern States (Colorado, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Wisconsin) was published in 2013. That Atlas presents the most-current precipitation depth-duration-frequency information for the State of Wisconsin and the seven-county Southeastern Wisconsin Region.

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Links and Document Downloads

There are many documents that relate to environmental issues, including SEWRPC documents and material from other agencies and organizations.

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Contact Us

 

Michael Hahn, P.E., P.H.
Executive Director
262-953-3243
mhahn@sewrpc.org

 

Laura Kletti Herrick, P.E., CFM
Chief Environmental Engineer
262-953-3224
lherrick@sewrpc.org

 

 

Committees

 

Advisory Committee on Regional Water Quality Management Plan Update for the Greater Milwaukee Watersheds

Regional Water Supply Planning Advisory Committee

Des Plaines River Watershed Committee

Environmental Justice Task Force

 

 

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Contact Us

Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission

 

W239 N1812 Rockwood Drive
P.O. Box 1607
Waukesha, WI 53187-1607

 

Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

 

Phone: (262) 547-6721
Fax: (262) 547-1103
E-mail: sewrpc@sewrpc.org

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