Weekly News Bulletin: Jul. 18-24, 2006


Pyrrhic Victory for Michigan - Canadian Waste Haulers Will Have to Pay

U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Senator Carl Levin (D-MI) are claiming victory over Canadian waste imports. In a move that amounts to a tariff and is reminiscent of states that employ police powers to restrict out-of-state imports, their legislation directs U.S. Customs and Border Patrol to charge fees of approximately $420 per trash truck to Canadian companies dumping waste in Michigan. The Senate unanimously approved the measure as part of the fiscal year 2007 Homeland Security appropriations bill. At least seven Michigan landfills receive trash from Canada. Those host communities stand to lose millions of dollars in host fees when the imports eventually cease...Read More »



North Carolina Senate Votes to Block Landfills

The North Carolina State Senate unanimously approved an 18-month moratorium on new landfill development, including four proposed projects that when combined would have nearly doubled the state's landfill capacity. Ostensibly, the time-out is to help cool heads over potential out-of-state waste imports and to allow closer analysis of the state's needs. It is likely that the state will be sued by developers who have already invested heavily in the projects, particularly those where community agreements are already in place...Read More »



Sen. Jeffords Introduces Legislation To Boost Recycling Tax Credits

Senator Jim Jeffords (I-Vt.) and Senator Tom Carper (D-De.) have formally introduced the Recycling Investment Saves Energy (RISE) Act of 2006, a bill intended to promote advances in recycling rates and technologies through various tax incentives. Among the incentives is a 15 percent tax credit or a 50 percent depreciation deduction for the purchase of recycling machinery, and allow recycling facilities to be eligible for tax-exempt bond financing. The legislation is supported by a broad coalition of industry, governmental, and environmental organizations...Read More »



Flow Control Redux - Pennsylvania County Loses Waste Hauler Lawsuit

In the latest flow-control case, a federal judge ruled in favor of a private waste hauler, Lebanon Farms Disposal, against the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority (GLRA). Under an ordinance adopted in 1990, municipal and construction waste from Lebanon County must be taken to the refuse authority, with a fine of $2,000 for taking waste elsewhere without the authority's approval. It was later amended in 2000 to allow for export provided that the hauler reports the tonnage and pays an $8.18 per ton fee to GLRA. Judge Yvette Kane of the U.S. Middle District ruled that those sections of the ordinance are unconstitutional and in violation of the federal commerce clause...Read More »



DEQ Says New Orleans Landfill Should Remain Open

The Louisiana DEQ recommends that a contentious landfill reopened to accomodate Hurricane Katrina cleanup efforts should remain open. The agency issued a statement saying that the Chef Menteur landfill, which has been criticized by environmentalists, "poses no threat to public health" and "is needed to clean up New Orleans in an environmentally sound and timely manner." This position is in direct conflict with New Orleans' mayor Ray Nagin who intends to close the landfill next month. The landfill's opponents had forced the Mayor's hand by filing a lawsuit in state court claiming that he lacked the authority to exclude the City Council from land-use decisions, even under a state of emergency...Read More »



Ada County Hosts Idaho's First Landfill Methane-to-Energy Project

Ada County recently became host to Idaho's first landfill methane project. The county's Hidden Hollow Landfill has begun recapturing its landfill gases, rather than flaring them off, to generate electricity and revenues in the process. The county partnered with Georgia-based G2 Energy which will operate two generators at the landfill and pay the county for each unit of gas that it extracts, a figure that is expected to be $250,000 annually. G2 will in turn, sell the electricity to Idaho Power. G2 will also give the landfill 40 percent, about $70,000, of annual tax credits the company receives for the project. The project should produce enough energy to power 2,400 homes annually...Read More »



DEP Will Consider Waste Management's Pottstown Landfill Closure Plan

The Pennsylvania DEP will begin reviewing Waste Management's modified closure plans for the company's Pottstown landfill. The 276 acre landfill, located in West Pottsgrove Township, Montgomery County, stopped accepting waste in October 2005 after 32 years of operation. Daily waste acceptance was 5,000 tons per day at one point but closer to 1,000 tons per day in recent years...Read More »



California Governor Unveils Bioenergy Action Plan

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger introduced a Bioenergy Action Plan, which he hopes will encourage the development of alternative energy fuel and generation while reducing the state's dependency on imported fossil fuels. The Governor views the state as a largely untapped goldmine of biomass resources found in its extensive agriculture, forestry and urban wastes. Biofuels, such as ethanol, can be developed from a variety of sources including specially grown crops, or from agricultural, animal, and municipal solid wastes. According to the executive order, California will produce a minimum of 20% of its own biofuels by 2010 and 40% by 2020...Read More »



SWANA Awards Professional Achievement Award of 2006 to John F. Boss

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), represented by its International Board Executive Committee, has selected John F. Boss to receive its 2006 Professional Achievement Award. Boss, who has 40 years of professional engineering experience, has served as a technical advisor, project director and senior consultant on a wide variety of solid waste management assignments and has served as a regional solid waste program manager. The award will be presented at WASTECON 2006 in Charlotte, N.C...Read More »



OSHA honors Covanta's Bristol WTE Facility with 'STAR' Designation for Outstanding Safety Practices

Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE: CVA) is pleased that the Federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has designated its Bristol, Connecticut Waste-to-Energy plant a "VPP STAR" facility for having demonstrated outstanding health and safety practices. It is an honor held by less than 0.02% of the more than 7 million US workplaces and comes following participation in the agency's rigorous Voluntary Protection Program (VPP)...Read More »


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