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Waste-to-energy facility's DNR permit calls for 60 ft exhaust stacks, violating city code


GREEN BAY, WI (WTAQ) - The waste-to-energy gasification plant approved last March by the Green Bay City Council didn’t apply for a DNR construction permit until 3 months after the city okayed the project.  Meaning the city council never saw what exactly what was being built, or what the emissions, or pollutants would be.  The DNR permit was granted in September of 2011, and was based on emissions and pollutant calculations for three 60 foot high stacks, and four 40 foot high stacks.  Those exhaust pipes, would violate city code and the conditional use permit which only allows 35 foot smoke stacks, or exhaust pipes.  An attorney for the developer, Oneida Energy, a division of Oneida Seven Generations said Tuesday at the city council meeting that OSG intends to build the facility within the zoning requirements required by their conditional use permit.  OSG says they are not commenting on the gasification plant during the city’s review of the permit.  City Attorney Tony Anthony Wachewicz says “as long as they got a permit from the DNR it will not affect the CUP”.  DNR Air Management Engineer Randy Matty says if OSG builds their exhaust pipes at or below the city’s 35 foot limit, they will have to apply to get a modification of their current DNR construction permit.  Higher stacks increase the disbursement of pollutant particles and emissions.  Some of the pollutants known to be hazardous to health, and will be the greenhouse gasses put out by the waste-to-energy facility, include carbon monoxide, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide.  With shorter stacks, that will have an increased negative effect on air quality and increased risk to health.   The city council voted this week to further investigate the facts presented during the run-up to approval last year of the facility, after residents complained that OSG lied and misrepresented facts with regards to emissions and “no smoke stacks”. Residents with the Mather Heights Neighborhood argue the city should either rescind the conditional use permit or make OSG build the facility to city code.