By Charlene Lemoine
A Milwaukee Journal Sentinel article entitled “Green energy plan raises red flags in City of Adams” describes a multifaceted agreement between the City of Adams (population 2,000) and a company called Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions (GEITS) that includes gasification incinerator.(1) (2)
Over the past several years, proposals for gasification, pyrolysis and plasma arc incinerators have been pitched by startup companies across the US looking to acquire federal and state subsidies. To date, not one gasification project utilizing municipal solid waste as feedstock has been constructed.
The Adams/GEITS agreement encompasses a number of projects which include, a gasification incinerator, floating solar panels, vertical wind turbines, a manufacturing facility, the GEITS world headquarters, upgrades to the wastewater treatment plant, and a hotel and education center.
Although many city leaders have embraced GEITS, including the Mayor who is also working as the Public Policy and Government Relations Manager for GEITS, a growing number of residents are asking questions and raising concerns. Some believe the proposed projects will create jobs, increase tourism and brand Adams a “renewable energy destination” others see the agreement as a significant financial risk.
Opponents asked an attorney to review the agreement and the analysis revealed numerous conditions the City of Adams would have to meet. The gasification component requires the City to furnish all feedstock and tipping fees to GEITS for 25 years. (3) Adams will also be required to supply approximately 48,000 tons a year and essentially become a waste broker to locate and secure garbage contracts for an unproven gasification incinerator.
Additionally, design and operational details for the gasification project have been vague. In response to questions a GEITS opinion column in the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune states: “Our Bio-Energy plant design, while state-of-the-art, in [sic] not without precedent as there are 87 other facilities in the country doing the same thing.”(4)
The truth is, not one of the 87, decades old, incinerators GEITS refers to utilize any form of gasification.
GEITS isn’t the first company to propose a gasification project in Wisconsin. The Oneida Seven Generations Corporation (OSGC) pyrolysis incinerator originally planned for Hobart, then Ashwaubenon, and finally Green Bay received permits and millions in grants and loans from various federal and state agencies including the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. Because of a number of misrepresentations regarding emissions and the lack of emission release stacks in plans submitted to Green Bay, the conditional use permit was revoked. This decision was upheld in the Brown County Circuit Court, and on 12/15/13 the Oneida Tribal Council voted to dissolve OSGC. Additionally, the 87 incinerators GEITS defined as “doing the same thing” they were proposing for Adams, was another claim OSGC made to justify the pyrolysis incinerator project in Green Bay.
In 2010, Alliance Federated Energy (AFE) announced plans to build Project Apollo, a $225 million, 1200 tons a day, plasma arc gasification incinerator in Milwaukee County. The proposal never went beyond presentations and media attention.
WEAL is networking with the opposition in Adams and will continue to monitor the GEITS gasification proposal. WEAL submitted opposing comments at every level of the permitting process for the OSGC Green Bay pyrolysis incinerator and will submit opposing comments if the GEITS proposal proceeds to the permitting stage in Adams.
(1) Green energy plan raises red flags in City of Adams – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – 1/18/2014
(2) Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions (GEITS)
(3) Analysis of Obligations of City in Contract between City of Adams and GEITS Corp.
(4) GEITS: We're working together with city of Adams to solve problems – Wisconsin Rapids Tribune – 1/28/2014
For more information, here is the complete list of links to articles:
History of Adams/GEITS
Global Environmental Infrastructure Technology Solutions (GEITS)
Agreement paves way for new plant, jobs in Adams County – Juneau County Star Times – 4/23/13
Adams County conservation officer joins Australian technology company – Juneau County Star Times 7/02/13
Adams Mayor Takes Position at GEITS - WRJC.com - 12/04/13
Green energy plan raises red flags in City of Adams – Milwaukee Journal Sentinel – 1/18/2014
Adams city leaders stand by decision to support planned manufacturing plant – Wisconsin Rapids Tribune – 1/24/14
GEITS: We're working together with city of Adams to solve problems – Wisconsin Rapids Tribune – 1/28/2014
Adams to redo development agreement with GEITS – Central Wisconsin Business – 2/06/2014