Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Foxconn's environmental downsides of growing concern in IL

This blog has repeatedly posted information about Foxconn's exemptions from routine WI policies that protect the environment, especially important, absorbent wetlands as the company begins moving the earth for its massive complex.

In located in a flood-prone area where some people down river are getting nervous and vocal about it.

Now an Illinois state legislator says residents there are concerned that Foxconn construction on nearly 3,000 acres, minus some wetlands, could lead to flooding, and has introduced a resolution in her legislature urging Wisconsin to rethink the exemptions it has awarded to Foxconn:
Of considerable local concern is that part of the deal passed by the Wisconsin General Assembly allows Foxconn to fill wetlands without a permit, a reversal of longstanding multi-jurisdictional efforts to utilize wetlands located within the Des Plaines River watershed as a major tool to reduce river flooding.
Racine County, the Foxconn site and Lake County all sit in the Des Plaines watershed, Bush said, and flooding in the Des Plaines River watershed and throughout Lake County has caused billions of dollars in damage in recent years, including record flooding in July.
Walker has shown little interest in climate change which experts say can lead to stronger storm events, of which Wisconsin has its share in the last couple of years.

The Illinois legislative resolution is third recent sign that the Foxconn project's potential environmental permissions and implications for clean air and water do not sit well with elected officials in Illinois; that state's attorney general, Lisa Madigan, has said she plans to sue the US EPA over its recent rollback at Gov. Walker's request of clean air standards in SE Wisconsin - - an action which will make it easier for Foxconn to legally pump put almost 800 tons of air pollutants annually.

Madison also filed comments with the WI DNR in March raising concerns over a request to divert Lake Michigan water for the Foxconn project.

The DNR has approved the diversion request, though a more detailed review of the diversion application would be required if five of the eight Great Lakes states other than Wisconsin requested it.

Here is a link to a complete archive of Foxconn-related posts.

Walker has made light of IL AG Madigan's clean air lawsuit and no doubt will make hay with it on the campaign trail where anything stamped "Illinois" can play well with Wisconsin audiences.

But with federal judges, neutral parties, or friends of the courts making public health and safety claims - - maybe not so much.

No comments: