Weekly News Bulletin: May 2-8, 2002


EPA Enforcement Chief Comes Under Fire

The Bush administration's choice for the chief of environmental enforcement for the EPA came under attack at a recent Senate hearing for not having enough job experience. Some Democrats have said John Suarez was unqualified to serve as head of the EPA's enforcement office because he has no experience in environmental law. Suarez spent three years as Commissioner for New Jersey's Division of Gambling Enforcement, and before that served seven years as an assistant U.S. attorney in New Jersey where he focused on white-collar crimes such as mail fraud. Suarez has said he would endorse voluntary compliance programs, a move that some environmentalists have greeted with disdain...Read More »



EPA Will Pay To Clean World Trade Center Area Apartments

The federal government will pay to clean the apartments of Manhattan residents worried about lingering debris from the World Trade Center collapse. Environmental groups and downtown residents have for months expressed concerns that residents could be inhaling asbestos fibers in the dust from the twin towers. City and federal health and environmental agencies cleaned dust from streets and public spaces after Sept. 11 but have insisted that building interiors remained the responsibility of landlords and residents. Some federal testing has detected asbestos fibers at levels requiring professional cleaning in up to 35 percent of samples of trade center dust, while other tests conducted for the city have found such levels in as few as 6 percent of samples...Read More »



Cell Phones Becoming Major Trash Problem

Within three years, Americans will discard about 130 million cellular telephones a year, and that means 65,000 tons of trash, including toxic metals and other health hazards, according to a study by the environmental research organization Inform. The study by Inform said that on average a cellular telephone is kept only 18 months and in many cases discarded with the household garbage. By 2005, there will be at least 200 million cell phones in use across the country and another 500 million older phones may be stockpiled, waiting to be thrown away, the report estimates. Cell phones, along with other "wireless waste" from increasingly popular pagers, pocket PCs and music players, pose special problems at landfills or when they're burned in municipal waste incinerators because they have toxic chemicals in batteries and other components, said the report...Read More »



Waste Management Reports Earnings

Waste Management Inc. has reported that first-quarter earnings rose 11 percent but missed Wall Street expectations. Waste Management reported net income was $138 million, or 22 cents per share, compared to $124 million, or 20 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding charges related to new accounting rules that have companies write off their books money lost on past merger and acquisition deals, Waste Management said it earned $155 million, or 25 cents per share. Analysts surveyed by Thomson Financial/First Call had expected 26 cents per share...Read More »



Chemical Incinerator Accused Of Cutting Corners

Managers at the nation's only chemical weapons incinerator in Tooele, Utah encouraged workers to cut corners so a deadly nerve agent stockpile could be destroyed before the Winter Olympics in nearby Salt Lake City, a plant employee says. Brenda Mugleston, who has worked for eight years at the Tooele Chemical Agent Disposal Facility, told The Associated Press workers were promised a $750 bonus for meeting the deadline. She said they felt pressure from managers to increase productivity and they sometimes mishandled weapons. Mugleston said she feared workers and the public were being endangered and told managers but nothing was done. Tooele, located 40 miles west of Salt Lake City, is home to the Pentagon's incinerator, created to destroy 13,616 tons of the chemical weapons stockpile...Read More »



Startech Signs Distribution Agreement With Eiko

Startech Environmental Corp. (Nasdaq: STHK) has signed a distributor agreement with Eiko Systems Corporation for the sale of Startech products and services in Japan. Startech and Eiko have set significant sales requirements, and will focus initial efforts in the areas of incinerator ash, medical waste, PCBs, and other industrial waste categories. Eiko officials said the positive response it has received to its new Plasma Converter installation in Kumamoto Prefecture has demonstrated the potential and need for Startech's products and services in Japan...Read More »



Waste Holdings Acquires Two Companies

Waste Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq: WWIN), has acquired American Disposal, LLC and the commercial customer accounts of Hudgins Disposal, Inc. American Disposal, LLC, which operates in the Memphis, Tennessee market, provides hauling services to the construction industry with annualized revenues of approximately $300,000. The company also acquired the commercial business of Hudgins Disposal, Inc. in Nashville, Tennessee, with annualized revenues of approximately $350,000...Read More »



EPA Announces Major Brownfields Grants

EPA Administrator Christie Whitman has announced $21.5 million in brownfields grants to clean up and revitalize blighted communities in 17 states under EPA's Brownfields Revolving Loan Fund program. To date, the EPA has awarded 143 grants to 39 states and the District of Columbia totaling almost $91 million. For every dollar of federal money spent on brownfields cleanup activities, cities and states produce or leverage $2.48 in private investment. The EPA's brownfields program has leveraged over $4 billion in public and private investments that have turned abandoned industrial properties into economic centers, recreational areas and open spaces...Read More »


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