For Immediate Release
Mark W. Dell’Orfano - Regenesis Corporation
Threat of Lawsuit by Town of Hopkinton Results in Lay-off of 20 Employees.
February 3, 2006 – Hopkinton, NH – Regenesis Corporation announces the immediate but temporary cessation of activities at the Bio Energy facility. The Bio Energy facility, a focal point for local opposition to the use of wood recycled from the state’s construction and demolition activities to generate electricity, announced in October of 2005 that the facility would instead generate power using only whole-tree wood chips and other permit-exempt recycled wood sources, as early as March 1, 2006.
In December of 2005, the NH Supreme Court ruled that the Town of Hopkinton acted illegally when it issued a cease-and-desist order, halting Regenesis in October 2003 from operating the facility. In addition to throwing-out the Selectmen’s illegal cease-and-desist order, the Court also remanded to the trial court the issue of the legal fees the company incurred defending itself from the Town’s illegal action.
Wednesday, Regenesis received a letter from attorneys representing the Town of Hopkinton, indicating that the Selectmen intend to sue Regenesis and Bio Energy LLC, the facility’s landowner, in U.S. District Court under the Federal Clean Air Act, within 60 days. In its notification to Regenesis, the Town alleges that, for among other reasons, Regenesis has violated the EPA’s two-year reactivation policy because the facility has been out of operation for more than two years.
Regenesis contends that the sole reason the Bio Energy facility was out of operation for more than two years was because of the Town of Hopkinton’s illegally issued 2003 cease-and-desist order. If not for the Selectmen’s illegal actions, the Bio Energy facility would have been in operation in November of 2003. “It is completely disingenuous for the Town of Hopkinton to file this intention to sue under the Clean Air Act since it was the Selectmen’s illegal order that forced the facility to be down longer than two-years in the first place.” said Regenesis spokesman, Mark Dell’Orfano. He went on to say, “In October of 2005, I personally attended a Selectmen’s meeting where the Town endorsed Regenesis’ plan to resume operations using whole-tree and permit exempt wood chips. Based on that endorsement, we hired people; we performed routine maintenance on the facility to prepare it for a March 1 start-up. Now one month prior to start-up, we are forced to pink slip our entire work force. In 2002 the Selectmen endorsed our plan to use wood recycled from C&D activities. They then changed their minds and issued their illegal 2003 cease and desist order. In October 2005 the Selectmen endorsed our plan to use whole-tree and permit-exempt wood fuels. Again, history repeats itself, now as in 2003, the Selectmen have changed their minds by threatening to sue Regenesis in Federal court if the Company continues along its intended path of a March 1 start-up. For that reason and that reason alone, with deepest regrets, we are forced to lay-off our entire workforce and cease operations.”
Regenesis will be making arrangements with the affected workers for the continuation of health care benefits and severance pay. Mr. Dell’Orfano went on to say, “Our employees were excited to work here at a renewable energy facility. They felt as if they were making a difference. In a time of high energy prices and a renewed push to end America’s addiction to fossil fuels, our employees felt as if they were part of a solution for NH, not pollution, as asserted by Hopkinton’s Selectmen, REACH and CFNH.”