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EPA wants stricter rules which could impact Foxconn

NOW: EPA wants stricter rules which could impact Foxconn

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RACINE COUNTY (CBS 58) -- Environmental regulations in Racine County could come under review following the release of documents from the Environmental Protection Agency.

That could have a major impact on operations for the future Foxconn facility.

Newly released emails to the Sierra Club and Clean Wisconsin reveal scientists at the EPA objected to decisions on matters related to environmental regulations in southeastern Wisconsin.

The emails show that last year, the EPA then led by Scott Pruitt left parts of southeastern Wisconsin out of a list that would have required businesses like Foxconn to face stricter regulations.

Those decisions were being made as former Governor Scott Walker was seeking reelection and was touting the potential job creation that Foxconn would bring.

Clean Wisconsin filed a lawsuit in federal court to have the EPA reverse its decision but Walker says pollution in southeastern Wisconsin was worse in years past and doesn't see it being an issue with Foxconn's development.

"I think if you look at comparables to the way things were years ago when there was a high volume of manufacturing jobs in Racine County and southeastern Wisconsin, this is still going to be a much better situation on water, on air quality, and others," said Scott Walker.

"If southeastern Wisconsin air monitors are exceeding that number those health standards for smog then they need to do something to clean up. It doesn't really matter what was happening 15 years ago. Yes, the air was probably dirtier 15 years ago but it still has a long way to go," said Kathryn Nekola, General Counsel, Clean Wisconsin.

Foxconn and Governor Evers Office did not return CBS 58's request for comment. 

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