Action: Diversion of Great Lakes Water for Foxconn Challenged

On Friday afternoon, Midwest Environmental Advocates filed a legal action under the Great Lakes Compact to challenge the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources’ approval of the City of Racine’s request to divert 7 million gallons per day (MGD) of Great Lakes water outside the Great Lakes Basin.  

As set forth in the legal petition filed Friday afternoon, Wisconsin DNR disregarded and unreasonably interpreted a core Compact requirement that all water transferred out of the Great Lakes Basin must be used for public water supply purposes, clearly defined as “serving a group of largely residential customers.” As stated in the petition, the greatest majority of the 7 MGD of water requested for transfer out of basin will be used to supply Lake Michigan water to one single private industrial customer, Foxconn, in the amount of 5.8 MGD, with the remaining 1.2 MGD used to supply water to industrial and commercial facilities surrounding the Foxconn facilities. Of significance, the petition states that Racine’s diversion application identified no amount of transferred water (0 gallons) that would be used to supply residential customers in the out-of-basin portion of Mt. Pleasant subject to the diversion request.

The petitioners represented by MEA in this case are: Milwaukee Riverkeeper, League of Women Voters of Wisconsin, River Alliance of Wisconsin, and Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy.  The petitioners have consistently advocated for the strongest protections possible for the waters of the Great Lakes, in keeping with the spirit and the letter of the Compact.

A press conference will be held on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at 1:30 pm at the Jetty off of Discovery World, 500 N. Harbor Drive, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Read the full press release here and find more information about Foxconn here.