Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 29-Sep. 4, 2002


Allentown Hauler Loses Bid To Reclaim City's Garbage Business

Solid Waste Services Inc., the city of Allentown, Pennsylvania's former trash hauler, has lost an appeal challenging the city's decision to award a two-year trash collection and recycling contract to Waste Management of Pennsylvania Inc., whose $12.7 million bid was lower than Solid Waste Services' offer. Earlier this year, Solid Waste Services, doing business as J.P. Mascaro & Sons, asked a Lehigh County judge to grant an injunction stopping the contract from being awarded. Pasquale Mascaro, president of J.P. Mascaro, said he believed the specifications prohibited bidders from using compaction-type vehicles for recyclables, which Waste Management and two other bidders use, giving them a possible unfair bidding advantage. But Commonwealth Court ruled that the city did not have a blanket prohibition against compaction vehicles, as long as they were not used to crush and render valueless collected recyclables...ReadMore »



Michigan DEQ Investigates Gas At Explosive Landfill Site

Michigan Department of Environmental Quality officials say dangerous levels of methane gas have been found in a former Rochester Hills landfill. Officials say there is no evidence that the gas threatens nearby homes, but the discovery was made near where a house exploded two years ago. Methane gas was blamed for the April 21, 2000, explosion that destroyed a home adjacent to the former Six Star landfill. The blast did not cause any injuries. State officials have found levels of methane gas as high as 50 to 70 percent in soil in another nearby landfill owned by the Southeastern Oakland County Resource Recovery Authority. Trash was dumped in the 30-acre landfill from 1958 to 1962. Rochester Hills is currently suing the recovering authority to force construction of a golf course on the vacant land...Read More »



Broward County, Florida Must Pay Back Taxes On Two Incinerators

Broward County, Florida's government will owe $25 million in back taxes on two privately owned incinerators under a settlement reached in a decade-long legal battle between the plants' owners and the county property appraiser. Wheelabrator Technologies and the county had long contended that the waste-to-energy plants should be taxed at only a nominal amount because the state offers tax incentives for pollution control equipment. But a Broward property appraiser disagreed and fought for higher tax payments going back to 1992 when the plants started their operations. The county, not Wheelabrator, will have to pay the tax bill because of an obscure clause written into the agreement to build the plants in the 1980s...Read More »



Waste Management Proposes Transfer Station At Fort Worth Landfill

Waste Management is proposing plans for a transfer station on land in Fort Worth, Texas now occupied by a landfill. The company has applied to the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission to operate the 24,000-square-foot indoor facility, which would have an average daily stream of 3,000 tons and a maximum of 500 trucks daily. The transfer station would be built in the landfill's final year of operation, which will come within four years. Waste from the facility would be hauled to landfills in eastern Tarrant County, Texas. Local residents have opposed the facility, since they charge that Waste Management had pledged to place a park on the site after closure...Read More »



Group Charges That CCAS Remain Present, Harmful In Wood

After tests of several hundred wood decks and play sets, an environmental group says the risks of being exposed to arsenic from treated, pressurized wood is just as great in old, worn structures as with freshly treated lumber. The Environmental Working Group released a report last week indicating that tests conducted by volunteers in 45 states showed that the age of the structures had no effect on arsenic levels found on the surface of the treated wood. Some tests also showed arsenic in soil near or under the structures at levels many times higher than the cleanup standard at a Superfund toxic waste site. Lumber companies have agreed to phase out chromated copper arsenate after December 2003, but the EPA did not believe there was any reason for people to replace the existing CCA-treated wood...Read More »



Asarco Addresses U.S. Cleanup Obligations

Asarco Inc., a U.S. unit of copper miner Grupo Mexico SA (Mexico: GMEXICOB.MX), has sent the U.S. Department of Justice a proposal addressing its environmental clean-up obligations at numerous locations used during more than a century of mining and smelting metals. The company said that the proposal was also a response to the government's legal objection last month to the financially strapped 103-year-old company's plan to sell its shares in Southern Peru Copper Corp. to intermediate parent Americas Mining Group to reduce its own massive debt load. The government objected to the sale because it claimed the sale amount was "significantly below" the stock's fair market value. The Justice Department claims that Asarco owes the United States hundreds of millions of dollars for liabilities in at least 18 states, but Asarco has said it is unable to meet its cleanup obligations...Read More »



Clean Harbors Prepares To Acquire Safety-Kleen Division

Clean Harbors Inc. (NasdaqNM: CLHB) expects to complete its acquisition of Safety-Kleen Corp.'s Chemical Services Division by the end of this week. In June, Safety-Kleen Corp. (SKLNQ) won approval to sell its chemical services unit to Clean Harbors, which is purchasing the division for $46.3 million in cash, plus the assumption of about $265 million in environmental liabilities. Safety-Kleen, based in Columbia, S.C., filed for Chapter 11 protection on June 9, 2000, listing assets of $4.45 billion and liabilities of $3.14 billion...Read More »



DLA Announces Plans For Military PCB Waste Cleanup

The Defense Logistics Agency has published a draft Environmental Assessment concerning the disposal of PCB-tainted items from U.S. military facilities in Japan and Wake Island. The draft EA addresses shipment of approximately seven million pounds of PCB-containing items used by the U.S. military that are currently in storage or will be taken out of service within the next several years. For...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin