Foxconn Development & Water Diversion
Foxconn is a Taiwan-based, electronics manufacturing company, who received the support of the State of Wisconsin to build a $10 billion, 22 million-square-foot liquid crystal display plant in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. Foxconn is the largest development project in Wisconsin and the largest incentive package in the United States. The package includes $3-5 billion in state tax credits and authority for Foxconn to bypass required environmental impact assessments.
The project is located on the border of the Great Lakes Basin and requires the Racine Water Utility to extend water into the straddling community of Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin. Foxconn is expected to request 7 million gallons of Great Lakes water per day. Given the manufacturing of LCDs requires heavy metals such as mercury, cadmium, zinc, and copper, the Foxconn waste stream is expected to contain heavy metals and chemicals, requiring pre-treatment by Racine Wastewater Utility standards. Foxconn is required to perform routine water quality monitoring to ensure the water returned to the Great Lakes Basin meets drinking water standards.
The proposed water diversion has triggered a review by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to determine if the application is in accordance with the Great Lakes Compact.
Cities Initiative Position
The Cities Initiative is committed to transparency and accountability when it comes to water diversions and water use in the Great Lakes Basin to ensure our water resources are available for future generations. The Cities Initiative supports economic growth in the Great Lakes Basin and welcome companies who work with municipalities to proactively build communities that benefit business, residents, and the environment.
In the case of Foxconn, the Cities Initiative is concerned about the withdrawals and return flows associated with the Racine diversion application and has specific concerns regarding upholding the integrity of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Water Resources Compact, maintaining water quality, and ensuring environmental compliance. The Cities Initiative will continue to monitor the situation to ensure our region’s water resources are being used in accordance with the Clean Water Act and the Great Lakes Compact.
March 7th, 2018 – Oral Comments
The Cities Initiative provided oral comments at the March 7th public hearing in Sturtevant, WI. To read the full comments, click below.
March 21st, 2018 – Written Comments
The Cities Initiative also submitted written comments to the Wisconsin DNR on the Foxconn Development & City of Racine’s Water Diversion Application. To read, click below.