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RACINE COUNTY — In a win for Foxconn, a state planning agency has found that Foxconn-related construction and roads should not cause any increased flooding once they are in place. The current plans also reportedly comply with Mount Pleasant codes, with one small exception, according to an evaluation released last week.

Preventing flooding

The Foxconn area sits within Pike River Watershed. On Labor Day 2018, flooding at the future Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park, caused by improperly dug stormwater basins, allowed “sediment-laden discharge” to flow into the Pike River. That error landed Foxconn a $1,159.50 fine from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

But now, the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission, SEWRPC, has found that the proposed Foxconn development will not substantially raise the risk of flooding in the watershed. It will even make flooding less likely in some areas, according to SEWRPC’s evaluation.

According to a Racine County press release, “the proposed stormwater controls for the area, based on existing stormwater ordinances, will widely protect downstream rivers and land from increased flooding.”

Evaluation

SEWRPC used “hydrologic modeling” for its evaluation, which found that the planned stormwater controls are “sufficient to address increased runoff rates and volumes from development of that portion of the Electronics and Information Technology Manufacturing Zone within the Pike River watershed with no significant increase anticipated in downstream flood flows.”

SEWRPC did find one issue, at the upstream end of Waxdale Creek near the northern border of Sturtevant. According to SEWRPC’s report, the Foxconn-related developments could cause peak outflow from a basin to increase by approximately 20 percent.

However, SEWRPC found that “the impact on flood discharge is limited,” meaning that the chance of flooding as a result of this increase is minimal.

“We applaud the work of the Village of Mount Pleasant and Foxconn in developing an effective stormwater control plan that ensures the health of our waterways and protects downstream land,” Racine County Executive Jonathan Delagrave said in a statement. “This report reinforces SEWRPC’s findings from June 2018, when it determined that stormwater control plans also effectively reduced flooding risk in the Des Plaines Watershed.”

“We thank SEWRPC for its diligence in this analysis,” stated Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser. “We will continue to work cooperatively with SEWRPC, the Village of Mount Pleasant and Racine County to address stormwater concerns, remedy stormwater issues that arise, and protect land in Kenosha County and beyond.”

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Adam Rogan (SCHS '14, Drake U. '17) has been covering homelessness, arts & culture and just about everything else for the JT since March 2018. He enjoys mid-afternoon naps, loud music played quietly and social media followers @Could_Be_Rogan

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