Foxconn’s Electricity Needs Draw Concerns From Potential Neighbors

PSC Hearing On Proposed Power Line Lightly-Attended, But Fears Are Firm

More construction equipment has arrived at the Foxconn site in the Village of Mount Pleasant. 
More construction equipment has arrived at the Foxconn site in the Village of Mount Pleasant. Chuck Quirmbach/WPR

Some potential neighbors of a power line that would bring electricity to the Foxconn Technology Group factory in Racine County are raising concerns.

A Public Service Commission hearing Thursday in Sturtevant looked at an application by American Transmission Company to construct and operate a 1.2-mile transmission line and electrical substation for Foxconn’s planned flat screen manufacturing complex in the Village of Mount Pleasant.

A married couple who lives next to the preferred route for the line testified at the hearing. Margaret Haag said she and her husband Dennis worry about electromagnetic fields. She rejected comparisons to the power line radiation just being like that from a microwave oven or vacuum.

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“These items mentioned are operated in my house occasionally, not 24/7 as the transmission lines would be. Thus the EMF would be consistent,” Haag told the hearing.

Besides health concerns for her family, and bees the couple keeps, Haag said she also worries about interference with household and vehicle electronics and the possibility of being shocked when using metal equipment.

American Transmission Company

ATC spokeswoman Alyssa Braatz said the company would help the neighbors. “We have experts at ATC who can definitely work with individuals to come out and do an assessment and help them understand what opportunities they have to minimize any potential risk at all,” Braatz told WPR.

The PSC could rule on the Foxconn case by next month.

Editor’s note: American Transmission Company is a corporate underwriter of Wisconsin Public Radio.