Weekly News Bulletin: Apr. 4-10, 2002


Latin American Countries Work to Negotiate Waste Recycling

A number of Latin American countries have moved to ban imports of hazardous wastes under the Basel Ban Amendments, but this is causing some intra-market distortions, according to "Recycling & Solid Waste in Latin America, 2002 Update" published this month by Raymond Communications, Inc. For example, the report indicates that when companies set out to comply with Brazil's rechargeable battery takeback law, they found they could not export the material to Argentina for recycling at an authorized Ni-Cd battery recycler because of these import bans. Thus, the batteries must be shipped to France. Several Latin American countries are actively pursuing new recycling policies that could impact exports of packaged goods, according to the new report...Read More »



Covanta Announces Financial Restructuring Plans

Covanta Energy Corporation (NYSE: COV) has announced a financial restructuring plan arising from its review of possible alternatives. In the first step of that plan, the company has filed a voluntary petition for Chapter 11 reorganization with the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York. The company's core energy and water facilities will continue to operate in the normal course of business and will be unaffected by the filing. The company has also entered into a Letter of Intent with the investment firm of Kohlberg, Kravis, Roberts & Co. for a $225 million equity investment, under which a KKR affiliate would acquire the company upon emergence from Chapter 11. Covanta also announced a strategic restructuring program to focus on the U.S. energy and water market, dispose of non-core assets and reduce overhead costs...Read More »



Waste Connections Makes Six Acquisitions

Waste Connections, Inc. (NASDAQ:WCNX) has closed or signed definitive agreements for six new acquisitions, with total annualized revenues of approximately $33 million. The largest of the new acquisitions was Ocoee Environmental, a group of companies representing a large, vertically integrated operation in Eastern Tennessee and Northwestern Georgia. The company also acquired a large related tuck-in serving the Ocoee markets. Included in the Ocoee transaction were two MSW landfills and three transfer stations. The other acquisitions include a series of tuck-in acquisitions in Tennessee, Kansas, Colorado and Oklahoma...Read More »



Florida Residents Blame Landfill For Babies' Deaths

Babies are dying in a Broward County, Florida neighborhood, and some residents blame the nearby Wingate Landfill. Fifty-six families in the area had babies die in 2001. From 1954 to 1978, trash was burned and buried at Wingate, but state and city studies have showed no link between the landfill and health problems. A new study proposed by local neighborhood groups would pay for autopsies on stillborns and infants who die after birth and live in that area...Read More »



Nevada Anticipates Fight on Nuclear Waste Landfill

Nevada's congressional delegation and its governor expect an uphill fight in Congress to keep thousands of tons of nuclear waste from being shipped into their state for disposal. Their strategy is to convince enough lawmakers that it's too risky to allow thousands of shipments of nuclear waste to travel by highway and rail across their states. A majority of nuclear reactors are located in the eastern half of the country. Nevada Gov. Kenny Guinn, a Republican, formally rejected construction of the Yucca facility in papers filed with Congress this past Monday, leaving the next step to the House and Senate. President Bush in February directed that the Nevada site be built, but under the law Nevada has a right to veto that decision. Congress, in turn, can override Nevada's objection...Read More »



General Electric Offers PCB Cleanup Plan

General Electric Co. met this Monday's deadline to file a "good faith offer" with the federal government on the cleanup of tons of toxic PCBs from the Hudson River, avoiding a potentially huge fine. Had GE missed the deadline, the company could have been hit with fines up to three times the cleanup's estimated $500 million price tag and forfeited the opportunity to help craft the cleanup proposal with the Environmental Protection Agency. GE dumped 1.3 million pounds of PCBs into the river from its plants in Fort Edward and Hudson Falls, N.Y., about 40 miles north of Albany, before the federal government banned the substance in 1977. The EPA in February ordered the dredging of a 40-mile stretch of the river, capping a decades-long struggle over the cleanup. The company had argued the river ecosystem has improved over time and argued dredging could stir up toxins, spreading the problem...Read More »



Judge Extends Restraining Order on EPA Ombudsman

A federal judge has extended a temporary restraining order prohibiting the Bush administration from moving the office of the Environmental Protection Agency's hazardous waste ombudsman. U.S. District Judge Richard W. Roberts said he planned to issue a ruling in the ombudsman's case by the end of this week, when his temporary order is now slated to end. He lengthened the order by five business days and asked the Justice Department to provide him with...Read More »



Judge Adds $7M to $45M BASF Judgment

A judge has added $7 million to a $45 million judgment against BASF Corp. relating to the New Jersey company's marketing and pricing for Poast and Poast Plus herbicides from 1992-96. The jury's initial award of $15 million in compensatory damages to farmers nationwide was tripled under provisions of the New Jersey consumer fraud statute. The additional $7 million will go to pay lawyers' fees, taxes and other court costs. BASF has said it will appeal the judgment. In the class action, farmers claimed BASF engaged in fraud by marketing the same herbicide as two different products, selling one at a premium price and leading farmers to believe the less expensive product was not registered with the EPA for use on certain crops...Read More »


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