Oneida Seven Generations Corporation Dispute Going To Wisconsin Supreme Court

Opponents of a proposed Green Bay waste-to-energy facility are cheering the city’s decision to appeal a permit revocation fight to the state Supreme Court.

Some observers believe the outcome of the court battle with an Oneida Tribe of Indians company will impact developments of similar facilities elsewhere in Wisconsin.

“It is a big deal,” said Charlene Lemoine, an environmental activist in suburban Milwaukee.

Green Bay city officials are defending their decision to revoke a permit for a gasification plant based on the contention that developer Oneida Seven Generations Corp. misrepresented the facility’s potential environmental hazards. …

Oneida tribal members opposed to the gasification development later voted to dissolve Oneida Seven Generations. Although it operated somewhat independently, the company was created and owned by the tribe.

Leah Dodge, a tribal member and leading critic of Oneida Seven Generations, said tribal leaders are sending “mixed messages” about the company’s status and about any plans for reviving the gasification project if a court ruling allows it.

Dodge said she applauds the city’s appeal, and she hopes the case provides a forum for exposing both the conduct of Oneida Seven Generations and questions about gasification plants in general.

“It’s an opportunity to put the incinerator industry on trial,” she said. …

Lemoine, a leader of the Waukesha County Environmental Action League, said Green Bay city officials have a strong case, and she is pleased to see them keeping up the fight.

Noting that similar waste-to-energy projects are being discussed elsewhere, Lemoine said the Green Bay case could set an important precedent.

“This will send a clear message,” she said. “You cannot go before a community and misrepresent the facts of what you’re proposing.”

[PDF version of GBPG article]


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