Thursday, September 19, 2019

SEWRPC whitewashes Foxconn environmental impacts, and other matters

Granted that I was not at this Racine County presentation, but from this media report - - 
Many unknowns about Foxconn's environmental impact
BURLINGTON — When it comes to the environmental impact of Foxconn’s development in Mount Pleasant, there are more questions than answers right now, according to a regional planning group. 
- - it looks like the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, as I said 11 years ago, is scared of its own shadow and pretty much glossed over a few things, including:

* The significant wetland-filling already underway.

* The substantial loss of prime Racine County farmland at the project site, like this acreage planted with cabbage in 2017. Was this what the agency's master land use plan envisioned?

* Or recently-weakened clean air standards in the Foxconn zone.

* And the project's already-documented downstream surface water contamination, not entirely surprising given Racine County's flooding history and SEWPC's previous documentation of same.

* Transit funding deficits which the Foxconn reality is likely to worsen - - a matter already raised by SEWRPC itself. But were they raised at the meeting as the fast-tracked and troubled I-94 expansion for Foxconn with its human costs, air and water quality consequences rolls on without companion transit enhancements?

* And why no mention of the words 'climate change,' only this work-around: 

...forecasting stormwater management is tricky because of unpredictable factors, including rainfall and weather patterns, that could affect past models.
Looks like a missed opportunity, and an example of why younger citizens are turning to direct action Friday to change the conversation and policy-makers to get engaged. 
Running out of time
Wisconsin’s youth are leading activism against climate change
Yes, I know SEWRPC is principally an advisory agency, but its financing to operate in the seven-county SE region comes entirely from taxpayers, so there's he agency could at least put some teeth into its public presentations.

Also - - SEWPC has the authority to allocate certain federal transportation funds, and, of course, went out of its way to recommend the entire regional freeway rebuild and expansion plan without either designated financing identified in advance or for dedicated transit components.

I'll be glad to publish the presentation should SEWRPC post it, or any response to this blog item which I will also add to my comprehensive Foxconn achive.


Allen Bishop said...

What are we paying for? Koch, Vos and Gunderson do it for free and property taxpayers foot that bill too.

Seems like we pay twice for different wrong advice.

Man MKE said...

And let's not forget that SEWRPC while a "regional" organization greatly gunder-values representation from its most populous city, Milwaukee. Burbs rule!