Exxon Mobil Corp., in one of the largest hazardous waste case settlements ever negotiated, will pay $11.2 million for illegally polluting New York waters with benzene. The corporation will be barred under law from trying to argue anywhere in the United States that hazardous waste laws should not be applied to a single release or spill, according to Justice Department and Environmental Protection Agency officials. The settlement amount includes $8.2 million in civil penalties and $3 million for buying and restoring land in New York City on the Arthur Kill waterway between Staten Island and New Jersey. The government filed suit against Mobil Oil Corp. in 1996 for allegedly mismanaging benzene-contaminated waste at its petroleum products storage and distribution terminal on the Arthur Kill waterway in Staten Island. Benzene, a known human carcinogen, became a regulated hazardous waste in 1990. Under the settlement, the corporation admitted liability for discharging hazardous waste between 1991 and 1993 into two large artificial ponds without a permit and legally required environmental protection, government officials said...Read More »
Pitney Bowes Inc. (NYSE: PBI) has been selected by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency¹s WasteWise Program as a Partner of the Year. This is the fourth consecutive year that Pitney Bowes has been recognized by the EPA and the first year the company was named a "Partner of the Year." The WasteWise Program was launched by the EPA in 1994 as a voluntary partnership program to help businesses and institutions find practical methods to reduce municipal solid waste, increase recycling, and encourage the buying and manufacturing of products with recycled content. Since initiating the WasteWise program in 1997, the company now boasts a 75 percent rate of recycling. It now encompasses 24 participating facilities across five divisions. In 2000, six of the company¹s facilities began a program to recycle Styrofoam products used in food service. This process resulted in a 40 percent reduction of total trash volume at those facilities, and a cost savings of nearly $115,000 in plastics recycling alone...Read More »
Sub-Surface Waste Management, Inc., a subsidiary of U.S. Microbics, Inc. (OTC Bulletin Board: BUGS), has commenced final contract negotiations in Denmark to provide its in-situ remediation technology to clean-up MTBE and petroleum hydrocarbons at a site impacting both soils and groundwater. This first contract has a potential value exceeding $750,000. The work would be performed through SSWM exclusive European Union Agent, Nyhuus Bioremediation SARL of Nice, France who is licensed to contract work in Denmark. MTBE comprises a threat to groundwater because low concentrations of the substance are considered toxic and cause odor and taste problems, thereby rendering contaminated groundwater unfit to drink. SSWM solutions for the cleanup of MTBE include microbial based MTBEctomy and site-specific custom engineering services...Read More »
The federal EPA is extending by one year the deadline for incinerators, cement kilns and lightweight aggregate kilns that burn hazardous waste to comply with new hazardous air pollution regulations. The new compliance date, Sept. 30, 2003, arises from the EPA¹s discovery that many facilities stopped their efforts to come into compliance with the rule earlier this summer, when the D.C. Circuit Court issued an opinion vacating the rule¹s hazardous waste combustor maximum achievable control technology emission standards, rendering the rule¹s status uncertain. "Given the uncertainty created by the opinion as to what standards will ultimately be in place and when sources will have to comply, it is appropriate to delay the compliance date. Quite simply, sources are (legitimately) unwilling to make the substantial commitments in time, effort and capital to comply with standards when they no longer know what those standards will be," EPA officials noted...
Industrial Services of America, Inc. (NASDAQ: IDSA), a waste management consulting and recycling services company, has completed an information technology initiative expected to increase its waste management services processing capacity. The first phase, a newly completed call center and Internet sales platform, is the centerpiece of a renovated 10,000-square-foot corporate facility that houses ISA subsidiary Computerized Waste Systems. During 2000, the company serviced more than 4,200 locations in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Among the company¹s waste management clients are leading retailers Home Depot and Office Depot. The second phase of the project adds a waste equipment leasing and sales showroom for ISA subsidiary Waste Equipment Sales and Service Company. A third phase of ISA¹s expansion will allow the company¹s technical services unit to offer Internet hosting and other information technology services to businesses in the region...Read More »
A new formulation called "Hydrogen Release Compound," or HRC, from Regenesis Bioremediation Products of San Clemente, Calif., is achieving extremely fast and economical remediation of groundwater pollution associated with dry cleaning operations, according to company reports. HRC is a proprietary in-situ bioremediation treatment that works by accelerating the natural attenuation of chlorinated solvents and their breakdown products in soil. When injected into contaminated aquifers, contact with water causes HRC to slowly release lactic acid. Naturally-occurring anaerobic microbes metabolize the lactic acid to produce hydrogen, which is used by other microbes to break down the chlorinated solvents. HRC is quiet, unobtrusive, and economical, usually costing 50 to 80 percent less than conventional, operation-intensive alternatives such as pump-and-treat, soil vapor extraction, and air sparging...Read More »
The federal EPA has asked science advisers to help determine whether it should use industry data gathered from human tests to help set limits on pesticide levels in food and water. EPA officials recently said they have been considering human testing in three or four cases. The EPA wants the National Academy of Sciences "to help address the scientific and ethical questions related to whether to accept, consider or rely on research involving deliberate exposure of human subjects to toxicants," said EPA Assistant Administrator Stephen Johnson in a letter to the academy. Physicians and environmentalists have criticized the practice, saying it would encourage pesticide makers to conduct more human tests in order to win approval of their products. The government normally uses the results of animal testing and multiplies exposure levels by 10 to establish levels considered safe for humans. Manufacturers have said human tests give more accurate results...Read More »
Calling on state officials to give Minnesota's long-term solid waste plans "a 21st Century tune-up," Minnesota government officials, business representatives, and recycling professionals have urged a state "blue ribbon" panel examining the future of waste management to go beyond recycling to "Zero Waste ... or darn close." Minnesota¹s Solid Waste Advisory Committee is holding hearings to continue shaping the state¹s long-term solid waste management plans, and Minnesota¹s Grass Roots Recycling Network is seeking to encourage the state to consider Zero Waste possibilities. GRRN is a North American network of waste reduction professionals and activists and is a leading proponent of Zero Waste strategies. GRRN¹s recently released Zero Waste Briefing Kit provides decision-makers with the information, tools, and case studies to make Zero Waste planning a reality. GRRN¹s Briefing Kit details how current public policy and corporate practice act asbarriers to Zero Waste, as well as the ways businesses and communities are transforming a liability (waste) into a community asset (resources)...Read More »