Foxconn a Gamble Without an Environmental Impact Statement

August 2017 special session approved Act 58 designating a “Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zone” (eitmz) [1]. Foxconn will construct it’s facility within this designated zone [2]. The Foxconn project has not been required to conduct an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) [3].

  • Foxconn is a big project: its campus covers 751 acres, total building footprints of 11.7 million square feet, and additional square footage TBD for parking [4]
  • Concerns regarding the environmental impacts air, water, and wetlands [5]
  • In compliance with WEPA smaller projects have required an EIS prior to breaking ground [6]

Lawmakers have undertaken the project without insight into the full costs associated. Projects of this size certainly seem to warrant due consideration and the collection of all available data. Without this information we are unable to (a) ensure that the benefits outweigh the costs and (b) that costs are borne by the appropriate parties. We all of course must make decisions in the face of uncertainty however the larger the undertaking – the greater the risks – the more important it is to seek to minimize that uncertainty. At this point it appears that the Foxconn project is a gamble we are crossing our fingers and hoping pays off.

[1] http://docs.legis.wisconsin.gov/2017/related/acts/58

[2] https://dnr.wi.gov/Business/Foxconn.html

[3] https://wisconnvalley.wi.gov/Documents/environfaq.pdf

[4] https://www.biztimes.com/2017/industries/real-estate/foxconn-campus-plans-include-3-facilities-topping-1-5-million-square-feet/

[5] https://www.jsonline.com/story/news/local/wisconsin/2017/08/21/foxconn-deal-raises-wide-array-environmental-questions/575898001/

[6] https://dnr.wi.gov/topic/EIA/archiveDate.html

[Additional] http://midwestadvocates.org/issues-actions/actions/foxconn/

 

 

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