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Bush urges Wisconsin to reconsider Foxconn deal, asks Illinois agencies to protect against loss of water, flooding

bush 051018SPRINGFIELD – Senator Melinda Bush is urging Wisconsin leaders to consider the serious environmental and public health concerns that may threaten Illinoisans as a result of the planned Foxconn Technology Company plant in Racine.

“The decisions from Wisconsin leaders and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt to allow Foxconn to skirt environmental protections are irresponsible and short-sighted,” said Bush (D-Grayslake). “The environmental impacts don’t stop at the Wisconsin border. Lake County residents will be affected, but because Foxconn is exempt from environmental regulations, we don’t know the full impact.”

As part of the deal passed by the Wisconsin General Assembly, Foxconn can discharge dredged materials or fill wetlands without a permit. Racine County, the Foxconn site and Lake County all sit in the Des Plaines watershed. Flooding in the Des Plaines River watershed and throughout Lake County has caused billions of dollars in damage in recent years, including record flooding last July.

“The fact that Wisconsin leaders are willing to sacrifice the health of humans and the environment for jobs is unacceptable,” Bush said. “Lake County residents deserve better. I hope Wisconsin leaders will put people before profits and reconsider the Foxconn deal.”

SR 1600, which passed out of the Senate Environment Committee today, also asks Illinois agencies to take whatever actions possible to protect against the loss of water, potential flooding and other ecological impacts that might result from the Foxconn deal.

“With this resolution, Illinois commits to protecting people over profits, by not waiving similar environmental regulations for projects coming into our state,” said Colleen Smith, Legislative Director, Illinois Environmental Council.

Sen. Melinda Bush

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31st Senate District

Years served: 2013 - Present

Associated Representatives: Sheri Jesiel; Sam Yingling

Committee assignments: Education; Environment and Conservation; Government Reform (Chairperson); Human Services; Licensed Activities and Pensions; Local Government; Revenue.

Biography: Born March 18, 1956; former member of the Lake County Board, Forest Preserve Board and former Grayslake village trustee; married (Andy) with one adult son (Chris).