News Release: Lake County Stormwater Management Commission to review the proposed Foxconn Development

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August 13, 2018

Lake County Stormwater Management Commission to review the proposed Foxconn Development

The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission (SMC) has entered into a contract with Christopher B. Burke Engineering, Ltd. to review the proposed Foxconn development and related adjacent improvements due to concerns of adverse impacts on flooding and water quality along the Des Plaines River in Lake County.

The Taiwan-owned company, which is a major supplier to Apple Inc. for its iPhones, is constructing a large manufacturing facility in Mount Pleasant in Racine County. The State of Wisconsin passed legislation waiving environmental regulations for Foxconn and approved various incentives.

The Foxconn site is in the headwaters of the Des Plaines River Watershed, which is immediately upstream of Lake County and encompasses a major source of surface water.

In July 2017, intense rainfall in the Des Plaines River watershed created catastrophic and record-breaking flood heights in the region. To address watershed-wide flood impacts, it is essential that proper flood mitigation methods for Foxconn and the surrounding area are planned, designed and enforced. 

"The economic development and potential job opportunities would have a positive impact on this region, but we want to make sure our residents are not adversely affected," said Craig Taylor, SMC Chairman and District 19 Lake County Board Member. "Environmental impacts of the development process should be proactively and adequately addressed. Lake County has made a large investment in flood mitigation activities, and we want to ensure those efforts are supported watershed-wide.”

The impact analysis consists of a multi-phased review to objectively identify the magnitude of stormwater, floodplain and wetland impacts, and mitigation methods proposed. Once the scope has been completed, results will be reported and recommendations made. 

SMC has been working toward improving water quality, reducing flood damages, and restoring and enhancing the natural drainage system in Lake County since it was founded in 1990. SMC Executive Director Mike Warner said, "Over the last 27 years, we've worked with hundreds of developers to help resolve flooding problems throughout Lake County. Notable examples when our engineering staff has provided technical review and design recommendations are: to the Illinois State Toll Highway Authority on wetland mitigation at the Wisconsin-Illinois state line, Exelon Corporation on flood mitigation for a power distribution substation, and most recently, we worked closely with Woodman's Markets of Janesville, Wisconsin on drainage improvements and wetland mitigation for their Lake County based development.”  

The Lake County Stormwater Management Commission and Lake County Board both approved unanimous resolutions in June to oppose State of Wisconsin decisions to reduce environmental standards that apply to Foxconn and adjacent development in southeastern Wisconsin counties. The Board’s action includes any upstream development located in southeast Wisconsin that flows into Lake County Watersheds.

For more information, visit the SMC website.


Jennie Vana
Chief Communications Officer
Email Address:
Phone Number: 847-377-2154