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Contact information
For more information on the diversion application process, contact:
Adam Freihoefer

City of Racine water diversion application

The DNR received a straddling community diversion application from the city of Racine on January 26, 2018. On April 25, 2018, the DNR approved the city's request to divert up to an annual average of 7 million gallons of water a day to the village of Mount Pleasant in the Mississippi River Basin. The diversion area includes part of the area identified by Racine County as the future site of the Foxconn facility.


Date Title
April 24, 2018 Letter from Michigan OGL to DNR [PDF]
May 1, 2018 Letter from Pennsylvania DEP to DNR [PDF]
May 16, 2018 Letter to Regional Body from DNR [PDF]
May 24, 2018 Letter from Pennsylvania DEP to DNR [PDF]

Diversion approval challenge

On May 25, 2018, a group of petitioners challenged the DNR's approval of the city of Racine's application by submitting a petition for a contested case hearing. On June 13, 2018, the DNR granted the petitioner's request for a hearing. On June 7, 2019, a Wisconsin Administrative Law Judge upheld the DNR's approval of the city of Racine's diversion.

Public comments and DNR response

The department held a six-week comment period on the application and received approximately 830 public comments. The department summarized and responded to comments.

Public Hearing Public Comment Period
The department held a public hearing on March 7, 2018, in Sturtevant. Information and recordings from the hearing are available below. The department accepted public comments on the Racine diversion application until March 21, 2018. The public comment period is now closed.

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Department determination

The department has determined the application for a "straddling community" [exit DNR] meets the following requirements in the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (Compact) and Wisconsin's implementing statutes and rules:

  • Racine Water Utility is a public water supply system and the water diverted will be used for public water supply purposes in the village of Mount Pleasant;
  • water diverted will be returned to Lake Michigan, less an amount of consumptive use; and
  • all water returned to Lake Michigan basin by the city of Racine's Wastewater Treatment Plant will meet applicable permit requirements and prevent the introduction of invasive species.

In addition, the proposal does not result in a new or increased withdrawal of Lake Michigan water by the city of Racine and proposed consumptive use (2.7 million gallons per day) is less than 5 million gallons per day.

The city of Racine will be required to annually report volumes of the water diversion, return and consumptive use, as well as conservation and efficiency plan progress to the department.

Application information

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 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 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.

Application and supplemental information requested during the review process are provided below.

Review process

DNR receives diversion application from the city of Racine, issues public notice and posts materials to website.
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. (We are here)
Last revised: Wednesday December 18 2019