, , , , , , ,

Evers: DNR Will Review Foxconn Air, Water Permits

Gov. Tony Evers Says Review Is Needed To See Whether Changes Are Necessary

Tony Evers
Gov. Tony Evers greets members of the Assembly and Senate after giving his first State of the State address in Madison, Wisconsin, at the state Capitol building on Jan. 22, 2019. Emily Hamer/Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers said Tuesday he had directed the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources to review the air and water permits granted to Foxconn.

“Yes, I know they will be doing that,” Evers told reporters Tuesday. “I don’t think they’ve started that process, but clearly, that’s one area that the people of Wisconsin are concerned about is air quality.”

Evers’ comments follow a tumultuous week of news surrounding the technology giant that began with a report claiming Foxconn was backing away from its plans to build televisions in Wisconsin and ended with the company publicly committing to build a so-called “Gen 6” fabrication facility.

Stay informed on the latest news

Sign up for WPR’s email newsletter.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Evers said he had told Foxconn during one of his first meetings with the company he might direct the state to review its air and water permits for the Mount Pleasant plant. Evers said the company was comfortable with those plans.

“They are not concerned,” Evers said. “We need to do a very thorough overview of what that proposal was and how it was responded to before we can make any decisions, whether we’re worried about it. But I think Foxconn believes that they’ve done what was asked of them.”

Asked about Evers’ remarks, Foxconn Technology Group issued a statement saying it would protect Wisconsin’s quality of life and environment as it moved ahead with its Racine County plant.

“Foxconn is fully committed to being a responsible corporate citizen and complying with all relevant federal, state, and local rules and regulations that apply to our operations,” the statement read. “Foxconn believes that protecting the environment is a fundamental responsibility as a sustainable business and a global industry leader.”

Environmentalists have already filed a lawsuit in an effort to block the DNR’s approval of a plan to let Foxconn divert water to its manufacturing plant.