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GYPSOIL earns Governor's Award for Excellence in Environmental Performance

Published December 29, 2010
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CHICAGO IL - We Energies earned the prestigious 2010 Governor’s Awards for Excellence in Environmental Performance for its agricultural gypsum project, exclusively marketed as GYPSOILTM brand gypsum. The award was sponsored by the Federation of Environmental Technologists (FET) and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.

The Governor’s Award recognizes achievements of Wisconsin businesses and institutions for their leadership in environmental performance based on the following criteria:

  • Reduction of the degree and amount of waste toxicity and emissions, or other environmental performance improvements;
  • Economic performance as measured by profits generated, costs reduced and payback period;
  • Transferability of the process of techniques to similar applications for use by other industries, organizations or institutions;
  • Commitment by the applicant to help other industries organizations or institutions by sharing information and expertise.

GYPSOILTM brand gypsum is calcium sulfate dihydrate, CaSO4 . 2H2O, a byproduct of the state-of-the-art, air emission reduction system that the Milwaukee-based utility company We Energies uses to remove sulfur dioxide (SO2) from flue gases. The resulting co- product is licensed by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection and approved by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources as a soil amendment.

“Teaming up with GYPSOILTM and distributing our gypsum under the GYPSOILTM brand name allows us to focus on our core business of providing safe and reliable power to our customers while GYPSOILTM provides the agronomic expertise and guidance for proper use of gypsum for maximum benefits,” said Bruce Ramme, Vice President - Environmental at We Energies. “To date, nearly 70,000 tons of our gypsum has been distributed to Wisconsin farmers under the GYPSOILTM brand.”

Several environmental benefits resulting from agricultural use of gypsum were recognized as part of the award program. These include:

  • Reduced soil erosion and reduced nutrient loading into lakes and streams from reduced water runoff;
  • Use of local product versus out-of-state mined gypsum;
  • Reduced reliance on landfill due to the beneficial reuse of flue gas byproducts;
  • Greater than 95 percent reduction of sulfur emissions to improve air quality.

“Gypsum is a well established and accepted soil amendment and source of plant nutrients, calcium and sulfur,” said Ramme. “ As a soil amendment, gypsum improves water infiltration loosens tight soils, and decreases runoff and associated soil erosion.”

GYPSOIL's mission is to make a positive impact in our customers’ soil while conserving natural
resources and protecting the environment.

We Energies serves more than 1.1 million electric customers in Wisconsin and Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and more than one million natural gas customers in Wisconsin.

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