Sunday, March 10, 2019

Walker water policies earn Michigan, Illinois rebukes

While Walker tweets about his vacations - - from Florida to Arizona spring training - - we're seeing just how deep is the environmental mess he left behind.

I had catalogued last year evidence of Wisconsin's status as an environmental outlier- - 
[3/12/18 update - - Wisconsin's slippery history with current and projected Great Lakes diversions - - plural - - boost the state's outlier reputation.]
- - and just in the last few days, residents and officials in two of the other six Great Lakes states want Wisconsin to be a better water steward and neighbor:

* Water conservationists in Michigan have filed a legal brief with a Wisconsin administrative law judge that contests the DNR's decision last year to grant Racine a diversion of Lake Michigan water which will enable Foxconn to produce specialized, flat-screen electronics.
This week, FLOW President and Legal Advisor Jim Olson filed an amicus brief in a challenge to a State of Wisconsin permit authorizing a diversion of 7 million gallons a day (mgd) of Lake Michigan water to support the Foxconn Corporation’s proposed manufacturing facility. As discussed below, the proposed diversion raises troubling legal questions and could endanger the Great Lakes.
More briefs have been filed; I will post links to them when I have them, and the opposition has been building, as I noted last spring
A group of civic and environmental groups in two states want the WI DNR to defend before a judge its decision to send millions of gallons of Lake Michigan water daily outside of the Great Lakes basin principally for the Foxconn project in Mount Pleasant, Racine County.
Suggestions that the diversion was in conflict with a governing, US-Canada agreement, or Compact, were aired at the DNR's sole hearing in March, after which I wrote: 
I'm impressed with the strong, informed turnout and statements at the Foxconn diversion hearing reported Wednesday. 
"I’m worried that by fudging compact provisions and by allowing clear definitions to slide, it really does set a harmful precedent," said Jodi Habush Sinykin, with Midwest Environmental Advocates.
Midwest Environmental Advocates is the public interest law firm representing the groups challenging the DNR's diversion approval.
* Lake County, IL is documenting negative environmental impacts from Foxconn project construction and the more-brown-than-green green light Wisconsin under Walker gave the project, the Chicago Tribune is reporting.
Wetlands being filled in, silt spilling into Des Plaines River due to Foxconn development, Lake County study finds


Anonymous said...

How much Lake Michigan water will the Foxcon (non-plant) actually use?

James Rowen said...

Of the requested 7 million gallons daily for the plant, about 3 million gallons will be consumed in production, the rest treated and piped back to the lake, plans show.