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PNS Daily Newscast - November 16, 2018 


Winter Storm Avery takes lives, puts the brakes on commutes across the Northeast. Also on our Friday rundown: A first-of-its-kind report calls for policies to ease transitions of young people living in foster care. And "got gratitude" this holiday season? It could benefit your health.

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Flood-Weary Illinoisians Concerned Over Impact of WI Foxconn Development

The Illinois Senate passed a resolution asking Wisconsin legislators to consider "serious environmental and public health concerns that may threaten Illinoisans" from the Foxconn development. (Pixabay)
The Illinois Senate passed a resolution asking Wisconsin legislators to consider "serious environmental and public health concerns that may threaten Illinoisans" from the Foxconn development. (Pixabay)
August 21, 2018

GURNEE, Ill. — Lake County residents are pushing to make sure the Foxconn development in Wisconsin's Racine County won't result in additional flooding for downstream residents.

Since the Wisconsin Legislature waived environmental regulations for Foxconn, the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission approved its own engineering study to make sure its watershed improvement projects won't be harmed by runoff from the site. Stormwater Commission Executive Director Michael Warner said the study is needed so they can address potential watershed-wide flood impacts.

"People don't want to have an increased flooding problem due to upstream impacts, so that is the reason we're taking a close look at it,” Warner said. “But we also are aware there are benefits to this, to the project. There is economic benefits."

Last week the Lake County Commission approved $74,000 to fund the study. The Taiwanese electronics manufacturer received strong support from Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker and President Donald Trump to move to Wisconsin with its promise to hire 13,000 workers.

The Foxconn site is in the headwaters of the Des Plaines River, which flows down to several Lake County communities. Warner said mitigation should occur in the same watershed. For example, if the proposed plan is to create two acres of wetlands for every acre the company fills, it should all be in the same region.

"If it's replaced at least at one-to-one in the Des Plaines watershed, we would see that benefit, we being the downstream residents and businesses,” Warner said.

The county's impact analysis consists of a multi-phased review to objectively identify the magnitude of stormwater, floodplain and wetland impacts, and all mitigation methods proposed. Earlier in the year, the county passed resolutions opposing any state decision to reduce or overlook environmental standards.

Trimmel Gomes, Public News Service - IL