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Walker Giving FoxConn Special Dispensation

To pollute. And he's also giving them a $3 billion tip for their troubles in the form of subsidies. Link

Walker, President Donald Trump and House Speaker Paul Ryan have in recent days touted Foxconn's announcement that it will open a new manufacturing plant in Ryan's Southwest Wisconsin congressional district. None of them, however, mentioned that the legislation providing the taxpayer subsidies included blanket waivers from Wisconsin's environmental statutes.

Under those laws, companies are prohibited from discharging materials or otherwise polluting wetlands without a specific permit to do so. Under the bill that Walker has put forward, companies within the new "economics and information technology manufacturing zone" will be allowed to discharge material into non-federal wetlands if it relates to the construction or operation of a manufacturing facility. Walker has called a special session that will discuss his bill tomorrow.

Another section of the bill outlines how existing Wisconsin law requires companies to obtain a permit to disturb or transform nearby waterways. According to the official analysis of the bill by analysts in the Republican-controlled legislature, the new legislation will allow Walker's administration to waive those permitting requirements "if they relate to the construction, access, or operation of a new manufacturing facility" in the zone where Foxconn is planning to build its facility.

A separate section of the bill exempts new energy utilities built inside the Foxconn development zone from facing regulatory oversight by the state's Public Service Commission. Those provisions also exempt regulation of the building and relocation of high-voltage transmission lines, according to state legislative analysts.

By min | August 1, 2017, 12:13 AM | Liberal Outrage