State News: Foxconn Deal, Human Waste Contaminants Found in Wisconsin Water Study

New WEDC CEO Says State Committed To Foxconn Deal

The new head of Wisconsin’s flagship economic development agency says the state will do everything it can to make sure its contract with Foxconn is successful.

Democratic Gov. Tony Evers named Missy Hughes to lead the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) earlier this year. She’s been the agency’s CEO and secretary since Oct. 1.

Speaking at a Wispolitics forum in Madison Thursday, Hughes said she was hopeful that the Foxconn deal would be a success for Wisconsin.

“It has to be a good deal, right?,” Hughes said. “We’re in. We’re doing it.”

While Evers frequently criticized the Foxconn deal reached by former Republican Gov. Scott Walker as a candidate, he has gradually tempered those critiques since taking office.

Hughes said that transition in state government, coupled with new leadership at Foxconn, required both the state and the company to reset.

“That conversation has had to kind of restart in the last 10 months,” Hughes said.

Wisconsin’s Foxconn deal could pay the company roughly $3 billion if it hits key hiring and building benchmarks. When all state and local incentives are included, the number is closer to $4.5 billion.

Southwest Wisconsin Water Study Finds Human Waste is the Problem

New data from a groundwater study in southwestern Wisconsin shows septic systems are contributing to water quality problems for rural residents.

The Southwestern Wisconsin Groundwater and Geology study started in 2018 and has tested hundreds of private wells in Grant, Iowa and Lafayette counties.

The study’s first phase tested wells for bacteria or nitrates, a compound linked to a variety of health problems. The first round found 42 percent of wells exceeded health standards, while a second round found 27 percent were contaminated.

Now in phase two of the study, the latest round of water samples were collected in August from 34 wells that were found to be contaminated in phase one.

Researchers found fecal contamination in 25 of the selected wells and analyzed the microbes to determine the source of the waste.

Fourteen wells had microbes indicating the presence of human fecal matter, with two wells also testing positive for microbes from cattle or other ruminant feces. A total of seven wells had ruminant microbes, with one also testing positive for microbes from pig feces.

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