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Oneida Tribe files lawsuit against the city of Green Bay over rescinded permit

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Rendered picture of Oneida Energy's gasification plant at 1230 Hurlbut Road, Green Bay, WI
Rendered picture of Oneida Energy's gasification plant at 1230 Hurlbut Road, Green Bay, WI

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) -The Oneidas are speaking out Wednesday. 

Oneida Seven Generations Corporation says it has filed a lawsuit in response to the recent Green Bay City Council action to rescind a conditional-use permit the council granted last year, allowing the tribe to build a waste-to-energy facility on the city's west side.  

Oneida Tribe Chairman Ed Delgado says the legal step is an effort to reverse the city council decision.

"The studies have all shown this is clean technology," says Delgado. "The only chance we can get this done is through litigation or to reconsider."

Delgado indicated that tribal officials and officials with the city have met over the past two weeks, but no resolution was achieved.

The city council voted 7-5 on October 16th to rescind that permit on the basis that the OSGC made false statements in the run-up to the initial approval of the permit back in May 2011.

Mayor Jim Schmitt had the option to veto the council's actions, but a week later decided not to use his veto power, citing refusal to get, "in the way" of the consensus of council members.

Delgado on Wednesday touted the approval from the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and federal EPA as evidence the $20 million gasification plant is not a public health risk. He added that city leaders, "failed to do their homework."

Two legal documents filed with the Brown County Circuit Court are the Complaint for Certiorari Review and the Complaint for Writ of Mandamus. A source tells WTAQ that the Writ of Mandamus is an option for the OSGC to seek damages from the city if the permit is not reinstated. That source indicates they could seek up to $5 million.

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