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GB committee re-approves trash burning facility permit

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Rendered picture of Oneida Energy's gasification plant at 1230 Hurlbut Road, Green Bay, WI
The remaining opposition to the facility hold signs up as they realize the committee was going to vote to keep the of the permit in place Wednesday night.
Rendered picture of Oneida Energy's gasification plant at 1230 Hurlbut Road, Green Bay, WI

GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The Green Bay Planning Commission voted unanimously Wednesday night to recommend keeping in place a permit for a trash burning facility on the city’s eastside. 

A quasi-public hearing was held and was attended by around 125 people for and against the facility being built by a subsidiary of Oneida Seven Generations Corporation. 

At issue, did OSGC present the council with adequate information to approve a conditional use permit? 

Nearly 900 residents signed a petition asking the city to revoke the facility’s permit claiming OSGC made false statements about no smokestacks, no emissions, and frequently pointed to an artist rendering of a building that contained no exhaust pipes. 

The committee looked at the information presented during the run-up to approval back in February and March of 2011. 

OSGC submitted plans for the facility to the DNR months after the city permit was approved. The proposal called for ten exhaust pipes. However, a majority of them would have violated city code by standing 35 feet tall. Revised plans were later submitted to bring the stacks within city code. 

The Planning Commission heard from about 30 people. A majority of them were against the permit. But that was not enough to convince members they were duped. 

OSGC President Kevin Cornelius was asked by the committee how many stacks there would be.  He only identified two before saying he would have to get back to them on that. The crowd burst out in laughter after his remark. 

Later questioned by WTAQ, Cornelius admitted there would be six stacks, but he insisted on calling them vents. The DNR labels them as exhaust pipes. 

The recommendation now goes to the Green Bay City Council where they will take it up at their next meeting.  The city council originally voted 11-1 in favor of approving the permit in 2011. But they changed their minds when residents brought up the issue earlier this year, voting 9-2 to hold a quasi-public hearing to get down to the facts of what was presented. 

However, that was just before seven new members were elected in April. 

OSGC has threatened legal action if the conditional use permit is rescinded. 

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