Appeals Court Rules Green Bay Improperly Revoked OSGC's Waste to Energy Plant Permit


OSGC Hurlbut Location

By Nate Wisneski - Kalihwisaks (nwisnes@oneidanation.org)
 TwitterBird@Nwisneski_kali

A state appeals court has ruled the City of Green Bay improperly revoked Oneida Seven Generations Corporation’s (OSGC) conditional use permit (CUP) for a waste to energy facility at 1230 Hurlbut Street on the city’s northwest side.

The ruling stated “we conclude the city acted arbitrarily and without substantial evidence of misrepresentation when it revoked the CUP.”

The plant received the CUP from the city in March of 2011. After growing disapproval, the city rescinded the permit in October of 2012.

The waste to energy facility is designed to take municipal waste that would otherwise be placed into a landfill, sort it, and put nonhazardous, non-recyclable materials through a gasification process. It was to generate power, which would have been sold to Wisconsin Public Service.

OSGC sued the city in November of 2012 after the permit was revoked and in January of 2013 Brown County Circuit Court Judge Marc Hammer ruled that OSGC misrepresented plans for their waste to energy facility when obtaining the CUP from the city. OSGC filed their appeal two months later.

The ruling outlined how the project was initially well received by the city.

“The city’s initial Plan Commission and Common Council meetings were noticed public meetings. It does not appear there was any significant opposition to Seven Generations’ proposal. Public opposition grew during the state and federal environmental review process. Having failed to persuade those agencies, project opponents turned their attention back to the Common Council, which they successfully persuaded to revoke the CUP on misrepresentation grounds. The city did so despite the Plan Commission’s specific finding that there were no misrepresentations and without ever identifying the allegedly false statements,” said the court.

“In sum, the scant statements the city cites as support for its revocation action do not constitute substantial evidence of misrepresentation. Even if we were to overlook the city’s failure to justify its decision prior to commencement of the certiorari action, the city’s decision cannot stand,” the ruling concluded.

The Oneida Tribe released the following statement this afternoon:

   The Oneida Tribe is pleased with the decision from the State Appeals Court that ruled Green Bay’s City Council improperly revoked Oneida Seven Generation Corporation’s (OSGC) conditional use permit for the waste-to-energy facility.

The Court’s decision upholds OSGC’s assurance to the Tribe the corporation properly followed the City’s permit process. At the time the conditional use permit was revoked, OSGC assured the Oneida Tribe that it followed the permitting processes outlined by all local, state and federal agencies.

To protect the legal process of other litigation, the Tribe cannot comment further on the ruling.