ICYMI: Illinois to sue EPA over Foxconn pollution

May 07, 2018

“Illinois stands to gain thousands of jobs from Foxconn without paying a dime and even they are skeptical and raising objections”

MADISON — Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced this week that Illinois intends to sue the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), led by scandal-plagued Donald Trump appointee Scott Pruitt, for exempting Foxconn from key pollution controls that would have protected the air quality for residents of both Wisconsin and Illinois.

“Gov. Scott Walker has failed to act in Wisconsinites’ best interests,” said Martha Laning, chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin. “Illinois stands to gain thousands of jobs from Foxconn without paying a dime and even they are skeptical and raising objections. I’m thankful that the Illinois AG is doing her job by taking a stand to protect air quality on behalf of the citizens of both Wisconsin and Illinois.”

EPA Administrator Pruitt acted against the guidance of the agency’s career staff to exempt Foxconn from federal limitations on smog pollution despite evidence that smog levels in southeastern Wisconsin were already above federal standards. Even higher smog levels could present greater issues for individuals with asthma and those who work or exercise outdoors.

The Foxconn deal was rushed through on the eve of Scott Walker’s tough re-election bid with little public input. Taxpayers will pay $4.5 billion to bring Foxconn here while Foxconn will owe virtually no taxes on its profits thanks to Republican tax legislation. The deal also exempts Foxconn from producing an environmental impact statement, a necessary review to assess how a project will affect the water, air and soil quality. Furthermore, it manipulates the judicial system to ensure that any cases involving Foxconn are heard by Walker’s hand-picked majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

“In order to have healthy communities and families, we need a healthy environment,” added Laning. “The costs Scott Walker has forced Wisconsinites to incur in order to bring Foxconn here are astronomical. His priorities are clearly not with the future of Wisconsin, but with the future of his political career.”