The following is an excerpt from DAVID SIROTA AND JAY CASSANO | July 31, 2017 | ibtimes.com |
Apple supplier Foxconn has in recent years been accused of poisoning waterways near its facilities in China. Now Republican Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin is not only proposing to give the company a $3 billion taxpayer subsidy, his administration has also quietly slipped language into a bill that would exempt the Taiwanese conglomerate from state environmental protection laws.
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.
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