Weekly News Bulletin: Jul. 31-Aug. 6, 2003


Virginia Trash Bill Does Not Surface

A Virginia House subcommittee has refused to consider a bill by Virginia Rep. Jo Ann Davis that would give states the power to curb the flow of trash coming from outside their borders. Over the last decade, the amount of out-of-state trash filling Virginia landfills has more than doubled, to 5.4 million tons last year. When a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee held what is almost surely its only hearing on trash-related legislation for the year, Davis' bill did not make the cut...Read More »



EPA Announces Final Wisconsin River Cleanup Plan

Tons of sediment containing harmful toxins would be dredged from the Fox River and buried in a landfill under a $324 million EPA plan in the second and final phase of a $400 million project for ridding 39 miles of the Fox River of PCBs. Along with dredging, some PCBs would be capped with sand and gravel and the pollutant would be monitored in coming decades. PCBs were released into the river from the 1950s through the 1970s by seven paper mills. Under the plan, more than 7 million cubic yards of polluted silt would be dredged. It would take at least a decade before the work is finished and years after that before fish could be declared PCB-free...Read More »



UCLA Faces Possible Lawsuit Over Cadaver Disposal

The University of California at Los Angeles is facing a potential lawsuit brought by 8,000 people who claim it illegally dumped the corpses of relatives donated to its medical school. The families accuse UCLA of breach of contract, negligence and fraud over the way it disposed of bodies willed to the university's medical school for medical science. They say bodies were stuffed with medical waste, folded and packed into the university's on-site crematorium three to four at a time. The family members also claim the ashes were improperly scraped into a bin, mixed with animal remains and taken to a Los Angeles County landfill for disposal. But UCLA lawyers argue that those who agreed to donate their bodies were never promised a full burial and that a planned burial-at-sea program never took place...Read More »



Copper Company Faces $2.3 Million Fine In South Carolina

Gaston Copper Recycling Corp. has been fined $2.3 million for discharging mercury, lead, copper, cadmium and other substances into a South Carolina waterway. The plant stopped operations in 1995, and environmental cleanup efforts there have included treating more than 11,000 tons of contaminated soil from the 440-acre site and moving it to a landfill. The fine stems from a 1992 lawsuit from Friends of the Earth Inc. and Citizens Local Environmental Action Network Inc. brought under a Clean Water Act provision that lets residents sue when regulators do not act...Read More »



Circuit Court Rules Against Residents In Texas Landfill Case

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has overturned a preliminary injunction imposed against the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality prohibiting the agency from acting on TSP Development's application to build a landfill in Beach City. Last year, residents sued the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality over constitutional violations, claiming there were no rules governing the permitting process for non-hazardous industrial solid waste landfills and therefore no way to formally oppose the process. But in the recent ruling, the appeals court ruled that the dispute is "abstract and hypothetical" because the TCEQ's permitting process has not run its course. Kingwood-based TSP Development applied for a permit in 1996 to construct the landfill in Beach City. The landfill would have a capacity of 23.9 million cubic yards that could handle up to 811,760 tons of industrial waste annually...Read More »



Allied Waste Reports 2Q Numbers

Allied Waste Industries Inc. (NYSE: AW) has posted a 42 percent drop in second-quarter net income. The company reported net income of $30.8 million, or three cents a share, compared with net income of $53.2 million, or 18 cents a share, a year earlier. Revenue increased 1.5% to $1.39 billion from $1.37 billion a year earlier. The latest results included a gain of $3.5 million, or two cents a share, related to interest-rate swap contracts, and a charge of $31.3 million, or 15 cents a share, for deferred financing costs. In the year-earlier period, the company posted a charge of $14.6 million, or seven cents a share, also related to interest-rate swap contracts...Read More »


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