WAIV­ING RULES FOR FOX­CONN PLANT CRIT­I­CIZED

The Denver Post - - BUSINESS -

WIS.» Wis­con­sin con­ser­va­tion­ists MADI­SON, warned Mon­day that Gov. Scott Walker’s plan to ex­empt a mas­sive Fox­conn elec­tronic plant from key en­vi­ron­men­tal reg­u­la­tions would leave the pub­lic in the dark about the plant’s im­pact, jeop­ar­dize wet­lands and set an alarm­ing prece­dent.

Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump an­nounced last week that Wis­con­sin had won a high-stakes in­ter­state bat­tle for the $10 bil­lion plant. Plans call for build­ing a 20 mil­lion-square-foot plant on a 1.56-square-mile cam­pus some­where in south­east­ern Wis­con­sin. The com­pany hasn’t se­lected an ex­act lo­ca­tion but is eye­ing sites in Racine and Kenosha coun­ties.

Spurred by Fox­conn’s prom­ise to cre­ate as many as 13,000 jobs, Walker’s of­fice re­leased a bill Fri­day that would hand the com­pany $3 bil­lion worth of in­cen­tives. The bill in­cludes pro­vi­sions that would lift the re­quire­ment that state agen­cies pre­pare en­vi­ron­men­tal im­pact state­ments on plant con­struc­tion and op­er­a­tions.

The mea­sure also would ex­empt Fox­conn from ob­tain­ing state per­mits for a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing fill­ing wet­lands, build­ing on lake or river beds, chang­ing the course of streams, build­ing ar­ti­fi­cial wa­ter bodies that con­nect to ex­ist­ing wa­ter­ways and mod­i­fy­ing shore­lines.

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