Monday, March 26, 2018

Multiple, complex Foxconn air permits to get joint DNR p.m. hearing

Walker and his GOP-led Legislature have greenlit the looming arrival of bulldozers to flatten wetlands, habitat, lake beds and streams without permits on the Foxconn site.

The company says it wants to break ground there in 60 days, even though the project's Lake Michigan water sourcing and waste water discharge could face problematic obstacles.

Regardless, add to bulldozer battalions the steamroller and battering ram, as Walker's DNR aims to further speed along project approval 
Smoke stacks from a factory.
by scheduling hearings on all four of the company's complex and consequential air pollution permits on one day.

After a 6:00 p.m. information session, comments begin at 7:00 in the evening Tuesday, April 3rd, at SC Johnson iMET Center, 2320 Renaissance Boulevard, Sturtevant, WI.

That's not a hearing. It's a pro forma farce.

And if Foxconn wants to know why there's resistance to its project, it should look no farther than this rigged DNR process which blows off genuine public input.

I've been plowing through the permit documentation posted through links on the DNR's Foxconn project web page

Trust me - - if you don't have five years of work experience in a major law firm, specialized government agency and an advanced degree in industrial chemistry - - to grasp paragraphs aplenty like this:
NR 423.037 –  Industrial Cleaning Operations –  Part 2 The proposed facility will be located in Racine County. As this facility will be considered part of a larger project whose emissions are not clearly defined at this time, the permittee has chosen to assume that maximum theoretical emissions of VOCs from the total facility will exceed 3 tons on a 12-consecutive month rolling basis from the facility with all control equipment inoperative. The permittee has indicated that the cleaning solvent will have a maximum VOC content of less than 0.05kilograms per liter (0.25 pounds per gallon). Under s. NR 423.037(3), Wis. Adm. Code, Table 1(a)2.a., the facility may not cause, allow or permit the use of a solvent or solvent solution for industrial cleaning operations on or after May 1, 2010, 2013 unless the VOC content of the solvent or solvent solution for product cleaning during manufacturing process for electrical apparatus components and electronic components is less than or equal to 0.10 kilograms per liter (0.83 pounds per gallon). The permittee is also subject to the requirements under s. NR 423.037(4)&(5), Wis. Adm. Code. The permittee will be required to keep records of the name and identification of each cleaning material and the associated solvent cleaning activity and the VOCcontent, based upon Method 24 in 40 CFR part 60, Appendix A.
- - the only thing you'll read in the documentation with ease are its public health assurances, commitments to best practices, and the like.

Though an independent analysis of the permits was headlined "Foxconn could increase Racine County's emissions by six percent, and said, in part:
The four facilities, to be built in phases over the next several years, could combine to emit 229 tons per year of nitrogen oxides, 240 tons of carbon monoxide, 52 tons of particulate matter, 4 tons of sulfur dioxide and 275 tons of volatile organic compounds.
There’s only one facility in the state – the Verso Corp. Wisconsin Rapids paper mill – that emits at or above the levels Foxconn is proposing across all five pollutants. 
We saw this tactic of checking off a public input requirement by jamming and overwhelming the lay public through time-limited, truncated 'hearings' on complicated and significant public health issues when the DNR recently held on a single day five hearings for manure-producing, groundwater-contaminating major dairy herd operations known as CAFOs. 

We know that Walker and the GOP-dominated Legislature sacrificed any pretense of objectivity on Foxconn months ago.

And Paul Ryan's more recent and predictable ducking the issue of property seizures for the project reinforces his image as a scripted, career and cowardly politician.

These things we know about that stripe of career, corporate-obeisant politician, and expect from them nothing else.

But DNR managers, political appointees they may be, need to be called out for repeatedly by scheduling so-called public meetings which pretend to address health and safety concerns but principally serve polluters while short-changing the people.

Stop the farce.

Return honesty to the process.

Serve the public.

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