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Foxconn: Wisconsin DNR has approved air permit

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources has approved air permits needed for Foxconn Technology Group’s planned manufacturing plant in Racine County.

The Taiwanese manufacturer was seeking six air-pollution-control permits in total for its $10 billion factory in Mount Pleasant. Four of those were approved on Tuesday and two were approved previously.

“It should be noted that the process used to review and ultimately issue these permits is the same process we use for any applicant,” DNR Spokesman Jim Dick said in an email. “Foxconn is held to the same environmental standards as anyone else.”

Dick said Foxconn’s plant would produce, at most, 0.07 percent of the nitrogen oxides and 0.1 percent of the volatile organic compounds emitted within the three-state Chicago metro area.

The DNR approved four Foxconn permits Tuesday:

  • A permit for the company’s liquid crystal module, or LCM, assembly plant
  • Another for Foxconn’s energy plant, which provides heating, cooling and process steam to a fabrication plant and houses back-up generators
  • A permit for the company’s nitrogen-generation plant, which is an air-separation unit that produces gaseos liquid nitrogen, liquid argon and both gaseous and liquid oxygen.
  • A permit for Foxconn’s fabrication plant, which will manufacture thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays. Other operations there include: a purified-water plant, wastewater-treatment plant, and areas for liquid-chemical receiving and gas receiving, storage and dispensing.

Foxconn released its first bid package for the project in early March, and is expected to break ground on the project this spring. Building the factory could require the labor of as many as 10,000 workers.

The approval follows a public hearing held in early April in Sturtevant to discuss the factory’s likely environmental effects. That hearing drew little opposition to the company’s plans. Foxconn, in its news release, praised local support for the project and said it would adhere to federal, state and local environmental regulations.

“In line with this commitment, we will use the best-available control technology to limit air emissions from the plant and to minimize any potential negative impacts of our facilities on air quality,” the company said in its release. “Based on our analyses and the information provided to the WDNR, our campus will not have a material adverse impact on air quality, including ozone concentrations, in Racine County or anywhere else in the upper midwest.”

About Nate Beck, nbeck@dailyreporter.com

Nate Beck is The Daily Reporter's construction staff writer. He can be reached at (414) 225-1814 (office) or 414-388-5635 (mobile).

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