Decision Ignores Spirit and Intent of the Compact
WISCONSIN - Yesterday, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) hastily approved the City of Racine’s request for a diversion of Great Lakes water for a private entity, Foxconn. While the request was pending before the DNR, the CIC, and many regional and Great Lakes state partners, requested that the Regional Body and Compact Council review the proposal because of several flaws including that the use of the water was not for a public purpose, but rather for a private corporation’s use. The CIC feels it is unfortunate that DNR is ignoring not only the spirit, intent and plain language of the Great Lakes Compact, but also the voiced concerns of thousands of Wisconsin citizens. In light of this rushed decision, the CIC is reviewing the DNR’s responses to the public comments which raised significant concerns, as well as looking at the Compact guidance to understand appropriate next steps.
While a diversion was approved, Foxconn still needs to be held accountable for the quality of the water it puts back into the Great Lakes Basin and the CIC will continue to watchdog this issue and keep you informed. In addition, since many of the groups in the CIC focus on other environmental issues, like air quality, which can also impact water quality when particulates rain down into waterbodies and wash off land through stormwater, go to Clean Wisconsin and Midwest Environmental Advocates to learn more about these growing concerns.