Weekly News Bulletin: Sep. 11-17, 2007


Connecticut Attorney General Calling for More Industry Regulation

Connecticut Attorney General Richard Blumenthal is calling for state regulation of waste pricing as a means to avoid rising costs. He is spearheading an effort to bring the waste industry under the regulatory control of the state Department of Public Utility Control. "This measure is vital to prevent profiteering that will increase costs for homeowners and for business people, raising hugely the cost of living and doing business in the state of Connecticut," Blumenthal said. "We're on the verge of a deluge of rising tipping fees." Most waste in Connecticut ends up in seven waste-to-energy plants owned or overseen by the quasi-public Connecticut Resources Recovery Authority which has contracts with private firms Covanta and Wheelabrator to operate them. Some of those contracts which have been in place for as many as twenty years are due to expire soon...Read More »



Manure on the Mind of Lawmakers and Farmers

The Senate Environment and Public Works Committee is hearing sharply diverging views on whether superfund law should be applied to large concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) that pose a threat to water and air quality. The US EPA estimates that there are 19,000 such operations across the US. A lawsuit by Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson seeks to use the law against Arkansas poultry companies accused of polluting rivers and streams in Oklahoma with phosphorus chicken litter runoff. Bipartisan legislation, introduced in both the House and the Senate earlier this year, would clarify that livestock manure is exempt from the EPA's "Superfund law." Republican Kit Bond of Missouri said the Superfund law was never intended to be applied to agriculture, and the lawsuit by the state of Oklahoma amounted to "litigation gridlock" that will ultimately hurt farmers...Read More »



Covanta to Acquire EnergyAnswers' Operating Business for $61 Million

Waste-to-energy firm Covanta Energy will buy the operating businesses of EnergyAnswers Corp. in an all-cash deal valued at $61 million that includes the assumption of debt. Acquired assets include energy-from-waste facilities in Springfield and Pittsfield, Mass. where 75% of the revenues are contracted. The deal also includes a landfill operation, two transfer stations, a waste transportation and small collections business and a wood and yard waste recycling operation...Read More »



Covanta to Build 600,000 metric tonne-per-year Energy-from-Waste Project in Dublin

Covanta Holding Corp. entered an agreement to develop a 600 thousand metric tonne-per-year Energy-from-Waste project serving the City of Dublin, Ireland and surrounding communities. It represents Covanta's most ambitious entry so far into the EU marketplace. The project will be co-owned by Covanta and DONG Energy Generation A/S under Dublin Waste to Energy Limited. Meanwhile, Energy Answers has applied for fast track planning to build another incinerator in Dublin to compete with Covanta's proposed facility. Its plant would handle 365 thousand tonnes annually and would not require a put-or-pay contract...Read More »



Coke to Invest $60 Million in Giant Recycling Plant

Coca-Cola, as a member of an industry under withering environmental criticism, announced plans to invest $60 million to build a massive recycling plant in Spartanburg, S.C., next year that will process nearly 2 billion 20-ounce bottles annually. Coca-Cola intends to boost its recycling rate from 10 percent currently to 30 percent by 2010. By recycling 100 million pounds of recycled polyethylene terephthalate plastic each year, the company calculates that the plant's operations will prevent 1 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions over the next decade. According to Jeff Seabright, Coca-Cola's vice president for water and environmental stewardship, "We're at the beginning of what is a significant journey." Coke has also invested in recycling facilities in Switzerland, Mexico, Austria and the Philippines...Read More »



Clairvest Group to Net $51.7 Million on IESI $263 Million Purchase of Winter Bros.

As part of BFI Canada's and its subsidiary IESI's previously announced acquisition of Winter Brothers Waste, Toronto-based merchant bank Clairvest Group Inc. said that it will receive $51.7 million for its stake in the $263 million purchase. That represents an amount equal to 3.3 times its initial investment of $15.7 million paid in June 2006. Clairvest could receive even more as a share of $14.2 million to be paid by IESI subject to the performance of certain covenants...Read More »



Casella Waste Systems Swings to First Quarter Profit; Revenues up 8.3%

Casella Waste Systems Inc. (CWST) swung to a fiscal first-quarter profit of $1.74 million ($0.07 per share), from a loss of $53,000 (-$0.04 per share) a year earlier. Results from the most recent period include a benefit of $1.3 million ($0.05 per share) related to the settlement of the Maine Energy Recovery dispute. Revenues rose 8.3% to $152.4 million in the period ended July 31 from $140.8 million last year...Read More »



Federal Judge Dismisses Post-Katrina Landfill Lawsuit

A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit brought by environmental groups charging that a number of New Orleans landfills were improperly allowed to handle debris following hurricanes Katrina and Rita. U.S. District Judge Sarah S. Vance ruled that the plaintiffs lacked sufficient proof that the landfills were polluting surrounding waterways and communities. The suit claimed that Mike McDaniel, the secretary of the Louisiana Department of Environmental Quality, broke federal laws when he issued emergency orders easing some restrictions. The Louisiana Environmental Action Network (LEAN) and the Sierra Club filed the suit...Read More »



NTR plc and Greenstar North America Buys Todd Heller

Infrastructure group NTR through its recycling subsidiary, Greenstar North America, has bought Pennsylvania-based recycling company Todd Heller. Chairman, Tom Roche, said "Today's announcement further confirms our commitment to the sector and we believe will enhance Greenstar North America's objective of taking a leadership position in the US recycling industry." NTR is involved in wind energy through a 51% stake in Airtricity, waste through Greenstar, and green energy via a company called Bioverda. They plan to invest €3 billion over the next three years in those core businesses...Read More »



EPA Expands Procurement Standards to Include Compost from Biosolids and Manure

The US EPA hopes to encourage more composting by expanding RCRA Procurement Guidelines' landscaping products category to include compost from biosolids and manure. Currently, federal, state, and local agencies, and their contractors that use appropriated federal funds must buy products containing recovered materials when they spend more than $10,000 a year on that item. The CPG is meant to harness the purchasing power of the federal government to foster and support markets for recycled-content products...Read More »



Tetra Tech Wins 5-year $38.7 Million EPA OSWER Contract

Consulting and engineering giant Tetra Tech won a $38.7 million five year contract from the US EPA's Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response (OSWER). Tetra Tech will provide scientific, engineering, and management consulting services to support the Superfund Program and other EPA waste management programs including solid waste, emergency management, underground storage tanks, and brownfields programs...Read More »


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