Need to Know

Green Bay, Wis., Settles Lawsuit with Oneida Tribe Over Waste-to-Energy Plant

The city will pay Oneida Seven Generations $2.5 million.

The city of Green Bay, Wis., will pay $2.5 million to settle a lawsuit with the Oneida Tribe of Native Americans regarding a waste-to-energy plant that was never constructed.

The Green Bay City Council issued a permit to Oneida Seven Generations, a company affiliated with the tribe, to construct a plant in 2011. However, the city subsequently revoked the permit, claiming that Oneida Seven Generations had misrepresented the plant’s pollution potential.

The company sued the city in 2012, and the Wisconsin Supreme Court declared in 2015 that the city didn’t have the power to revoke the permit. This $2.5 million settlement is the result of a subsequent lawsuit filed by the company in order to recoup some of the funds it invested and then lost in the plant’s construction.

Green Bay Press Gazette has more information:

Although the company won the case, it argued it could no longer build the plant because grants that were needed to make the project financially feasible were no longer available.

Oneida Seven Generations then filed a separate federal lawsuit in December 2016 seeking to recoup $5.2 million it had invested in the plant and an additional $16 million that would have been generated from the facility.

U.S. District Court Judge William Griesbach ruled against the company in June, finding that although the state Supreme Court determined the city acted improperly, the city's actions only delayed the project and did not directly cause the tribe to abandon it.

Read the full story here.

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