James Rowen
Op Ed

Judge Extends Deadline on Foxconn Case

Company’s proposed diversion of Lake Michigan water is illegal, environmental groups charge.

By - Nov 28th, 2018 12:02 pm
Design for Foxconn's campus. Photo from the WEDC.

Design for Foxconn’s campus. Photo from the WEDC.

Site preparation for the Foxconn project has work orders and schedules, but the company still faces legal proceedings over its bid for a Lake Michigan water supply, which have a separate ebb and flow.

A Wisconsin administrative law judge had established a schedule for the filing of briefs in one of those pending matters – – a case brought by multiple petitioners opposing the DNR’s approval of a diversion from Lake Michigan to supply millions of gallons of water daily for Foxconn manufacturing at its Village of Mount Pleasant site.

“This legal challenge is essential, as Wisconsin’s approval of the Lake Michigan water diversion requested by Racine tests the integrity of the Great Lakes Compact by ignoring a key requirement of the historic agreement entered into by the eight Great Lakes states and enacted into federal law,” said Midwest Environmental Advocates attorney, Jodi Habush Sinykin.

Additional parties have now intervened in support of the diversion, so the judge on November 14th issued an amended order extending deadlines for the filing pf briefs – – written arguments, as it were.

The extension is not particularly lengthy, but it illustrates the fluidity of complex and unresolved land, air, water and legal issues facing the company and government regulators while site preparation for the state’s most heavily-subsidized private-sector project continues unabated.

A project which out-going Wisconsin Governor and lead Foxconn booster was touting on his official Twitter account as recently as Monday with a link to this photo essay and story and this Tweet:

So here is the heart of the judge’s order stretching out the schedule for the filing of briefs for and against the diversion:

  1. The Village and County filed a Motion to Intervene via U.S. Mail on October 11, 2018.The parties did not object to the Village and County becoming parties to this action, and the Administrative Law Judge granted their admission as parties.
  2. The Petitioners advised they will provide additional facts.
  3. The parties agreed that this action can proceed through summary judgment briefing.
  4. The Petitioners requested an extension to submit their reply brief due to the addition of four more parties to this action. The Administrative Law Judge granted this extension, and the parties agreed upon an amended scheduling order.
  5. The Department agreed to publish the amended scheduling order on the DNR website so interested Amicus parties are aware of the new deadline to file their briefs.


Based upon the representations of the parties, the following schedule has been amended as follows:

  1. In this order, whenever the term “filed” is used, it shall be understood that this means received by mail, facsimile, or email by the Division and all other parties listed above.
  2. Any party wishing to participate as an amicus shall file a motion to the Administrative Law Judge by November 15, 2018, requesting leave to file an amicus brief.
    1. Petitioners shall file their Summary Judgment Motion Brief by December 17, 2018.
    2. The Department and all other parties shall file their Response Brief by January 31, 2019.
    3. Petitioners shall file their Reply Brief by March 4, 2019.
    4. Any Amici allowed to file a brief shall file their brief by March 4, 2019.
    5. The parties reserve the right to request permission from the Administrative Law Judge to file a sur-reply to any Amicus brief that raises an issue not previously addressed in a brief submitted by the Department or Petitioners. Any request will be filed, with a copy of the sur-reply, by March 22, 2019.
Categories: Environment, Op-Ed

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