The Oneida Tribe of Indians and the city of Green Bay will meet for a court hearing Wednesday on a dispute over what opponents call a "trash incinerator." Supporters call it a "waste to energy plant."
Whichever term is used the tribe and the city are feuding over a plant that had been approved to be built in Green Bay. A permit was issued, but overturned by the city council last fall.
Now the tribe is suing for $4 million and reinstatement of the permit. Tribal officials with the Oneida Seven Generations Corporation aren't commenting while the issue is in the courts.
But one of the corporation's board members is. Paul Linzmeyer says the pyrolysis facility is relatively new technology, but versions of it have been successfully used in Europe. Pyrolysis plants convert household waste into electricity, "I'm an environmentalist and have been my whole life but I sort of blame the environmental community at this point for sort of cherry picking details and using inappropriate words for what it is we're trying to do. And the fact of the matter is this is a pyrolysis project and there's nothing being burned."
Not so, according to the Sierra Club and a local opposition group called "Incinerator Free Brown County." Its co-chair is John Filcher, "If you stuck your turkey in the oven too long eventually it will be incinerated. And that's really about the same methodology they're using as well. They're sticking things into a giant oven and melting down. Eventually it will be reduced to ash."
Incinerator Free Brown County has a number of objections, including the size and heights of discharge stacks, truck traffic, and exactly what type of waste will be burned, if the tribe prevails and gets the permit reinstated.