Weekly News Bulletin: Mar. 25-31, 2008


Lawsuit Targets EPA Over Lack of Superfund Financial Assurance Rules

Environmentalists have recently filed a lawsuit to force the EPA issue Superfund financial assurance rules as required but never promulgated by the agency in the 22 years since it was supposed to have been done. Earthjustice on behalf of the Sierra Club and other groups filed their suit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. According to the brief, the bankruptcies of companies like Asarco, the century-old mining giant estimated to be liable for more than $1 billion in environmental cleanup, along with the expiration of the Superfund taxes on industry, underscore the need for the financial assurances as a means of ensuring cleanup costs are not shifted onto citizens...Read More »



Developer to Build $45 Million Solar Energy Farm in Rhode Island

New York-based Allco Renewable Energy plans to develop a $45 million solar energy project atop a former hazardous waste site near Coventry, RI. It promises to be the largest solar energy farm east of the Mississippi River. Coventry has agreed to give Allco a 50-year lease and the company has agreed to make payments $200,000 a year or 4% of electricity sales to the town. Allco will also look into whether wind turbines could be placed at the site. In November they proposed to build a major wind farm off the coast of Rhode Island...Read More »



Consumer Electronics Assoc. Opposed to Hill E-Waste Concept Paper

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) opposes an approach to federal e-waste legislation that puts the burden squarely upon manufacturers and brand owners. The concept paper, drafted by Hill staffers is meant as a precursor to "consensus-based" federal legislation. CEA urges an "alternative model," with manufacturers, retailers, consumers and local, state and federal government sharing responsibility. It views the proposal as unbalanced and unfair finding the collection and recycling goals to be arbitrary. Instead CEA suggests that performance requirements be tied to consumer access to recycling. "Whether consumers choose to recycle or not is up to them," the CEA said. "The industry can only make recycling opportunities available and convenient." The CEA also demands federal preemption of all state laws, including those already in effect, without which will raise costs for manufacturers and confuse consumers...Read More »



Sen. Dingell Concerned About CAFO Reporting Exemption

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman John Dingell (D-MI) is concerned about the US EPA's controversial proposal to exempt concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) from federal reporting requirements, particularly with regard to requirements under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning & Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). He could use the oversight capacity of the committee force EPA to comply with the law. Industry officials are reiterating long-standing arguments that CERCLA and EPCRA were intended to address industrial operations, not agricultural operations...Read More »



Electronic Recyclers International Launches 1-800-Recycling

John Shegerian, CEO of Electronic Recyclers International, announced the launch of 1-800-Recycling as a new resource to connect people with responsible recycling solutions. The resource is currently available in California and Massachusetts and will be expanded to cover the entire nation later this year. Shegerian's record alone is evidence the concept will succeed. He originally bought the failing Computer Recyclers of America in 2002, changed its name, and has turned it into one of the leading e-waste recycling firms in the US. In 2005, he sold a company he co-founded called Financialaid.com for more than $25 million. He also owns Addicted.com, which has also been very successful...Read More »



Gas to Energy from Vermont's Second Largest Landfill

PPL Renewable Energy of Allentown, PA will develop and operate a landfill gas to energy plant at Vermont's second largest landfill in Moretown. The landfill is owned and operated by North East Waste Services which is now part of Highstar Holding Corp. By fall, methane from the landfill will power diesel generators to generate electricity that will be sold to Green Mountain Power. PPL currently has landfill three gas-to-energy projects in Pennsylvania including with the Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority of Lebanon, PA (3.2 MW), the Frey Farm Landfill in Lancaster, PA (3.2 MW), the Northern Tier Landfill in Burlington, PA (800 kW), and two projects in New Jersey including the Pennsauken Renewable Energy Park (2.8 MW), and the Cumberland County Improvement Authority Landfill (4.8 MW)...Read More »



Covanta's H-POWER Celebrates Eleven Millionth Ton

Covanta Honolulu celebrated its eleven millionth ton of waste converted to energy at to company's H-Power plant over the last eighteen years. That translates into having burned 611 thousand tons of municipal solid waste per year or 1,675 tons per day to generate up to 57 megawatts of energy. It is yeoman's duty serving the needs of more than 850,000 residents and more than six million visitors to the island each year. In the process, the plant has saved hundreds of acres of landfill space and more than 10 million barrels of imported oil...Read More »



CleanTech Biofuels Ready to Commercialize Waste-to-Ethanol Project

Alternative fuels development firm CleanTech Biofuels and engineering firm Merrick & Company are ready to begin operating the first phase of their municipal solid waste-to-ethanol project. CleanTech and Merrick have developed a comprehensive project management plan that will allow CleanTech to move towards the development of commercial municipal solid waste-to-ethanol plants utilizing the company's technologies. Alan Propp, senior technical specialist of Merrick, said "We are very excited to begin evaluating and demonstrating this technology. It has the potential to revolutionize the way American communities deal with their municipal solid waste, while simultaneously producing clean-burning, renewable fuels."...Read More »



Startech Environmental will Partner to Create Carbonless Power System

Wilton, Conn.-based Startech Environmental Corp., which makes plasma conversion systems that can turn solid waste into hydrogen gas and other benign byproducts, will partner with Algona, Iowa-based Hydrogen Engine Center Inc., which makes hydrogen powered combustion engines, to market a new waste-to-energy system that combines both technologies. Michael Schiltz, HEC vice president of engine development, said the systems could be used by landfills, for example, to convert garbage into fuel that the landfill can use in engines to generate electricity for its operation or to run engines in its heavy equipment. Stephen Landa, vice president of sales for Startech, said the idea of using hydrogen for vehicles and stationary carbonless power is one of the reasons for the alliance...Read More »


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