Weekly News Bulletin: Dec. 27, 2001-Jan. 2, 2002


Pennsylvania Announces Availability of 'growing Greener' Report

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection has released the second year report of Pennsylvania's "Growing Greener" initiative. Established in December 1999, "Growing Greener" is the largest single investment ever made to clean up Pennsylvania's environment -- $650 million over five years. The report offers a complete discussion of the environmental accomplishments achieved so far, as well as a look into just several of the hundreds of projects being implemented statewide contributing to the success of "Growing Greener." Since its inception, "Growing Greener" has produced significant educational and environmental benefits for Pennsylvania's watersheds. As projects are completed during the next few years, "Growing Greener" will: create or restore 4,261 acres of wetlands; complete 188 miles of stream buffer restoration; build 171 miles of stream improvement structures; reclaim 4,402 acres of abandoned mine lands; restore 370.5 miles of streams from acid mine drainage; and plug 1,241 oil and gas wells...Read More »



Environmental Groups Seek EPA Action on Treated Wood

Contending that the government has failed to act to protect the nation's children from exposure to widely used and highly toxic wood preservatives, many environmental and public health groups have petitioned the EPA to immediately stop the continued use of chromated copper arsenate and pentachlorophenol. The groups say that the EPA has sufficient data on wood preservatives' health and environmental risks and economically viable alternatives to initiate cancellation and suspension proceedings, rather than conduct further reviews. In the petition, the groups cite high cancer risks from exposure to wood surfaces of playground equipment treated with CCA, which contains high levels of arsenic as a major component, and soil that has become contaminated. Earlier this year, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush closed contaminated parks and took steps to curtail future use of arsenic treated wood. There are a number of principal users of chemically treated wood products, including utility companies (treated wood poles), construction companies (treated lumber) and the railroad owners (treated railroad ties). Wood treated with CCA is widely available through retail markets, such as Home Depot and Lowe¹s Home Improvement...Read More »



Court of Appeals Affirms American Ecology Labor Violation Ruling

The United States Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed a previous decision of the National Labor Relations Board finding that American Ecology Inc. had violated provisions of the National Labor Relations Act. The ruling effectively requires the company to reinstate a prior collective bargaining agreement with members of the Paper Allied Industrial Chemical and Energy Workers International Union, AFL-CIO working at its Oak Ridge, Tennessee radioactive materials processing facility. Reinstatement of the prior agreement will require the Company to compensate Union members for back wages and benefits. The company does not intend to appeal the ruling. American Ecology Corporation, through its subsidiaries, provides radioactive, PCB, hazardous and non-hazardous waste services to commercial and government customers throughout the United States, such as nuclear power plants, steel mills, medical and academic institutions and petro-chemical facilities...Read More »



Perma-fix Wins Major Rocky Flats Treatment Contract

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Nasdaq: PESI ) has won a $6.7 million multi- year contract by Kaiser-Hill Company, LLC for the transportation and treatment of aqueous wastes generated at the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site in Golden, Colorado. The contract, which is estimated to be worth approximately $6.7 million, is to start immediately and is projected to continue through 2005. The nuclear industry generates large quantities of radioactive water that must be treated to remove radioactivity. Perma-Fix has developed and installed water treatment technologies at its facilities that can treat not only radioactive water but also radioactive water that is chemically hazardous. Kaiser-Hill Company, LLC, is the management and integration contractor operating the Rocky Flats Environmental Technology Site, which was once a significant portion of the DOE's nuclear weapons production complex. The DOE awarded Kaiser-Hill a first-of-its-kind closure contract in January 2000 to safely complete cleanup and closure of Rocky Flats by December 2006, for a cost of nearly $4 billion. The site mission includes special nuclear material management and shipment, nuclear deactivation and decommissioning, waste management and shipment, environmental cleanup and site closure...Read More »



U.S. Plastic Lumber Sells Clean Earth Inc.

U.S. Plastic Lumber Corp. of Boca Raton, Fla. has unanimously approved a signed Purchase Agreement to sell Clean Earth Inc., its environmental services and recycling division, to New CEI, Inc., a corporation recently formed by Founders Equity, an investment group headquartered in New York. The purchase price includes $45 million in cash, the retention of $5.5 million in debt in CEI, and other considerations. The purchase price is subject to adjustment primarily based upon the amount of working capital and debt assumed at closing. The closing of this transaction will be subject to government approval, approval by the shareholders of USPL, consent from certain lenders, and other conditions. The transaction is expected to close by the end of February...Read More »



Georgia Companies Sponsor Statewide Tree Chipping Program

Georgia Power, The Home Depot, Keep Georgia Beautiful and others are joining in the 11th annual "Bring One for the Chipper" program in Georgia on January 5, 2002. The sponsors will provide more than 350 convenient collection sites across the state. By recycling the trees, Georgians comply with the 1996 yard-waste ban in landfills, acquire free mulch for landscaping and help build fish habitats in Georgia's lakes. Since 1991, "Bring One for the Chipper," has collected more than 2.5 million trees and provided one million tree seedlings to participants. Last year, more than 280,000 trees were recycled. The program produces tangible environmental benefits while helping local governments comply with the state regulations that prohibit the disposal of yard trimmings in municipal landfills...Read More »



IT Group Considers Bankruptcy Filing

The IT Group Inc., an environmental engineering firm helping federal agencies and businesses respond to anthrax-contaminated letters, is considering bankruptcy protection or the sale of assets due to an acute cash shortage. The company, which laid off more than 400 workers in December, announced recently that recent discussions with lenders did not produce a deal to restructure its finances. As a result, the IT Group is exploring "the sale of all or a portion of the company's assets" or a Chapter 11 filing, the company said in a statement. In laying off workers Dec. 13, the company said it was considering more job cuts and facility closings and needed to address a cash shortage. The 75-year-old company is best known for its hazardous waste removal. IT Group and its subcontractors were involved in anthrax emergency support services this fall, including work performed at mail processing facilities in Trenton, N.J, and a post office and the Hart Senate Office Building in Washington. IT Group reported $699 million worth of debt at the end of the third quarter -- a 73 percent debt to equity ratio. That debt resulted from numerous acquisitions financed in the last four years. The IT Group has more than 80 facilities in the United States and more than a dozen around the world. Before the layoffs, the company had employed about 8,000 workers...Read More »



Tribal Council Seeks Doe Removal of Nuclear Waste

The Prairie Island (Minn.) Tribal Council has urged U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham to act quickly to remove nuclear waste from a storage site 600 yards from the Prairie Island Indian Community. The Prairie Island Indian Community is located 600 yards from Xcel Energy's Prairie Island nuclear power plant and nuclear waste storage site. No community in the nation lives as close to nuclear waste as Prairie Island. Adding to the tribes concern, in an event of an accident, there is only one permanent evacuation route off the reservation, and it is subject to flooding and often blocked by train activity. The council is urging the federal government to approve a permanent storage facility at Yucca Mountain, located 90 miles northwest of Las Vegas. The Prairie Island Indian Community is a federally recognized Indian Nation, located 50 minutes southeast of the Minneapolis/St. Paul along the Mississippi River...Read More »



Startech Environmental, Vitech Form New Joint Development Project in South Carolina

Startech Environmental Corp. (Nasdaq: STHK), a leader in plasma waste remediation and recycling technology, and ViTech Enterprises, Inc., a private North Carolina corporation, have signed a definitive agreement to pursue a joint development project to commercialize a ten ton per day Plasma Converter-based remediation site to process and irreversibly destroy pharmaceutical products. The new site will be located in Chesterfield, South Carolina. The collaboration brings together Startech's proprietary material processing technology and engineering support with ViTech's management experience in the processing and disposal of certain pharmaceutical products. Startech will own 25% of Vitech and will have representation on the Board of Directors. In return, ViTech will receive a price reduction on the first Plasma Converter purchased, engineering and support services, and exclusive processing rights for selected pharmaceutical applications...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin