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Oneida Seven Files Suit Over Gas Plant Rejection

Brian Miller

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Oneida Seven Files Suit Over Gas Plant Rejection

CREATED Nov. 14, 2012

ONEIDA, WI – The Oneida Seven Generations Corporation has filed a lawsuit against the City of Green Bay after the city council's vote to rescind the company's conditional use permit to build a waste to energy plant in the city.

In a statement released Thursday morning, the company said the objective of the legal action is to "Effectively reverse the council's action as a demonstrably 'arbitrary and unreasonable' act."

The City Council revoked the plant's permit back in October, after neighbors had environmental concerns. They claimed Oneida Seven Generations Corporation were misleading about the use of smokestacks when they presented the project to city leaders.

Mayor Schmitt had asked the council to continue researching and possibly reach a majority agreement in favor of the plant in the future.

Negotiations between Oneida Seven Generations and the city have been going on since the council rejected the permit last month, but those talks could not prevent Onedia Seven Generations from taking this fight to court.     

Public protests urged the common council to rescind the permit it granted last year to build a trash to energy plant. 

Oneida Seven Generations filed two lawsuits, one demanding the city restore the permit and the other asking a judge to review the council's decision. Oneida Tribe of Wisconsin Edward Delgado says the council did not do its homework on the project.

"The only chance we have to get this done is through either litigation or getting the city to reconsider what we feel to be an arbitrary and unreasonable decision," Delgado said.

Mayor Jim Schmitt supports the project, but refused to veto the council's decision. The city attorney is working on a response.

City Council President Tom DeWane voted to revoke the permit and insists Oneida Seven Generations mislead the council about the project.

“They didn't tell us the proper process that was going to happen and when it did come out the public said hey, we don't want this in Green Bay, we don't want to be the guinea pig and I think we did the right thing,” DeWane said.

Seven Generations insists its gasification plant is safe while opponents disagree. Now the only hope for a plant to be built at that site is for the city to re-instate the permit, or let a judge decide the plant's fate.