Weekly News Bulletin: Jun. 27-Jul. 3, 2002


Bush Administration Cuts Back on Superfund Cleanups

Cleanup projects at toxic waste sites in 18 states are being severely curtailed or halted under a Bush administration plan to reduce spending for the nation's Superfund program, according to an Environmental Protection Agency report. The Bush administration wants to shift funding for the 33 cleanup projects to the government's general fund, meaning taxpayers would pay. But such a shift requires congressional approval and will slow down the work or halt it entirely in some cases. The Superfund projects singled out for cutbacks are among the country's most polluted sites. They include several old mines in Montana, a wood preservative plant in Louisiana, chemical plants in Florida and a New Jersey plant that once made the herbicide Agent Orange, the report said. Since 1995, the fund has dwindled from a high of $3.6 billion to a projected $28 million at the end of next year...Read More »



New Tax Will Increase Cost of Pennsylvania Dumping

Starting later next week, the cost of trash disposal to Pennsylvanians will increase by $56 million a year. A new tipping tax will increase by $4 per ton, bringing total taxes on a ton of trash disposed at a Pennsylvania landfill to $7.25. The Pennsylvania Waste Industries Association noted that the $4 increase will cost the state's residents and businesses an estimated $56 million, based on approximately 14 million tons generated. The first $50 million in revenue from the $4 tax hike will go to the Environmental Stewardship Fund. The rest will go into the General Fund. In fiscal year 2003-2004 and after, all of the revenue is to go into the Environmental Stewardship Fund. Authorization for the $4 tax increase extends until 2012...Read More »



New York Halts Glass, Plastics Recycling Efforts

New Yorkers are being asked to stop separating out glass bottles and milk cartons from regular trash, the first significant rollback of a recycling program in the nation. Starting Monday, sanitation workers began collecting only paper and metal for recycling. Glass and plastics, which previously were recycled, were to be mixed in with ordinary trash. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the change will save the deficit-ridden city $40 million in the coming fiscal year. Recycling of plastics is being suspended for one year and recycling of glass is being suspended for two years while the city reconsiders ways to make its inefficient, labor-intensive recycling program more cost-effective...Read More »



Republic Hires Ernst & Young As Accountant

Republic Services, Inc. (NYSE: RSG) has selected Ernst & Young LLP as its independent public accountant, effective immediately. Republic Services' Board of Directors, based upon the recommendation of the Audit and Nominating Committee, made the selection. Republic has notified the Securities and Exchange Commission of the change through the required filing of a Form 8-K...Read More »



Casella Reports Fourth Quarter, 2002 Results

Casella Waste Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CWST) has reported financial results for the fourth quarter and its 2002 fiscal year. For the quarter ended April 30, 2002, the company reported earnings before EBITDA of $21.1 million; pro forma revenues for the quarter were $97.0 million. For the fiscal year, the reports were $92.0 and $419.9, respectively. The company also generated $33.0 million of free cash flow for fiscal year 2002, and had an outstanding total debt level of $288.8 million...Read More »



EPA Approves Doe Run's Plans For Lead Shipping

The Environmental Protection Agency has approved Doe Run Co.'s plan to ship lead to its smelter in Herculaneum, Mo. in ways that reduce contamination in the community. The transportation plan is part of Doe Run's $12 million, government-ordered cleanup in Herculaneum, home to the nation's largest lead smelter. Doe Run's cleanup efforts include daily street cleaning, replacing soil in yards and along shipping routes and cleaning home interiors. In its shipping plan, Doe Run agreed to build a wash facility for trucks entering or leaving the smelter. It also coded routes throughout the smelter grounds based on contamination risk, and will manage traffic through high-risk areas. About 45 percent of children living near the smelter had high levels of lead in their blood, state tests last year showed. The community of about 2,800 people is 30 miles south of St. Louis...Read More »



Wandering Ash Finally Dumped In Pennsylvania

Shunned by ports and dumps around the hemisphere for 16 years, a wandering load of 2,500 tons of incinerator ash has begun at a rural Pennsylvania landfill. The ash had languished on a barge in Florida the past two years until Pennsylvania agreed to take it back. In 1985, the ash totaled about 14,800 tons when it was generated in Philadelphia. The city's landfill had run out of space. The next year, a city subcontractor found space in the Bahamas and a cargo ship called the Khian Sea set sail. But the Bahamian government refused to let the ship dock, and for a year the ship sailed the Caribbean searching for a willing dump. The ship was turned away by the Bahamas, Bermuda, the Dominican Republic, Honduras, Guinea-Bissau and the Netherlands Antilles. Some of the ash was dumped in Haiti and later reclaimed; the rest was dumped in the ocean...Read More »


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