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Subscribe to receive updates about the Great Lakes Compact and the proposed Racine diversion.

Contact information
For more information on the diversion application process, contact:
Adam Freihoefer
608-267-7638

City of Racine water diversion application

The DNR received a straddling community diversion application [PDF] from the city of Racine on January 26, 2018, and has begun reviewing the application. The city of Racine requests to divert up to an annual average of 7 million gallons of water a day in the straddling community, the village of Mount Pleasant. The diversion area includes part of the area identified by Racine County as the future site of the Foxconn facility.

Public hearing and public comments

Department review of the Racine straddling community diversion application will include a public hearing, a public comment period and a determination by the DNR whether or not the application meets the Great Lakes Compact requirements for a straddling community exception to the ban on diversions. The DNR will strive to conclude its review within 90 days of receipt of an application. See the review process on this page for specifics.

Public Hearing Public Comment Period
Date & Time Location
Wed., March 7, 2018
Presentation: 6:00 p.m.
Public hearing: 6:30 p.m.
Sturtevant
SC Johnson iMET Center
2320 Renaissance Blvd
Sturtevant WI 53177

Persons wishing to comment on the diversion application should do so by close of business on March 21, 2018.

Email comments to:
DNRRacineDiversionComments@wisconsin.gov

Hard copy comments can be sent to:
DNR Drinking Water and Groundwater Program DG/5
Attn: Adam Freihoefer
PO Box 7921
Madison WI 53707-7921

Application information

The city of Racine provides water to all or parts of the following Wisconsin communities: the city of Racine and the villages of Sturtevant, Mount Pleasant, Elmwood Park, North Bay, Wind Point and Caledonia within the Great Lakes basin. The city's wastewater treatment plant discharges to Lake Michigan.

The city has applied to the department for approval to divert up to an annual average of 7 million gallons of water a day to areas of the village of Mount Pleasant in the Mississippi River Basin. The diversion area includes part of the area that Racine County identified as the future site of the Foxconn facility. The application identifies that all wastewater, less an allowance for consumptive use, will be returned to the Lake Michigan basin via the Racine wastewater treatment plant.

The city's application indicates that the Racine Water Utility currently has approved capacity to supply the proposed diversion amount and would not need a new or increased withdrawal to meet the projected diversion demand. The city withdrew an annual average of 16.9 million gallons of water per day in 2016.

The application identifies a consumptive use of up to 2.7 million gallons per day associated with the diversion. Consumptive use is water that is not returned because it is either incorporated into a product or lost through evaporation. The consumptive use is primarily associated with the projected Foxconn water use needs. The application identifies that most of the Foxconn consumptive use may occur in the Lake Michigan Basin, but has been included in the application for flexibility in facility design.

Review process

The review process for the city of Racine's diversion request includes the following steps.

  1. DNR issues public notice of Racine diversion application, public hearing and public comment period.
  2. DNR holds a public hearing to receive public comment on the application.
  3. DNR reviews application and the public comments.
  4. DNR determines if the application meets the requirements of the Great Lakes Compact, and if so, issue an approval.
  5. Racine's proposed diversion will not result in a new or increased withdrawal of Great Lakes water and will not result in a new or increased consumptive use of 5 million gallons a day of water or greater, therefore no regional review by the Great Lakes states and provinces is required and the Great Lakes Compact exception standard does not apply to the application review.
DNR receives diversion application from the city of Racine, issues public notice and posts materials to website. (We are here)
DNR holds public hearing and 30-day comment period on the city of Racine's application.
DNR reviews application for compliance with Great Lakes Compact criteria and Wisconsin statutes. DNR considers public comments in review.
DNR issues a response to comments and issues a final decision on the diversion application.

Review criteria

The requirements for a straddling community diversion application are identified in s. 281.346 (4)(c), Wis. Stats. To be approved for a straddling community diversion application, Racine must demonstrate the following:

  • that Racine Water Utility is a public water supply system and the water diverted will be used for public water supply purposes;
  • all water will be returned to the Lake Michigan Basin less an allowance for consumptive use; and
  • no water from outside the basin will be returned to the Lake Michigan basin, unless the water is combined in a wastewater treatment plant, the water will be treated to meet applicable permit requirements and prevent the introduction of invasive species and the proposal maximizes the return of Lake Michigan water and minimizes the return of Mississippi River Basin water.

The application must also identify:

  • whether the proposal will result in a new or increased withdrawal of Lake Michigan water; and
  • the new or increased consumptive use associated with the diversion.

Racine as applicant

Wisconsin law, s. 281.346 (4)(b), Wis. Stats., requires that an applicant for a diversion be a public water supply system that would divert the water. The city of Racine is the appropriate applicant to apply for a straddling community diversion application on behalf of the village of Mount Pleasant because the Racine Water Utility is the public water supply system that would divert the water. The straddling community, the village of Mount Pleasant, does not own and operate a public water supply system and thus is not eligible to apply for a straddling community diversion approval.

Last revised: Tuesday February 20 2018