Weekly News Bulletin: Dec. 23-29, 2008


Fate of SPSA to be Decided by its Board

Last week, officials with the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA), a coalition of eight large municipalities in southeastern Virginia, announced that they were considering selling assets if not liquidating the entire enterprise in order to pay off more than $240 million in debt. The differing arrangements of the member municipalities, all of which have a seat on the board, is likely to complicate any agreement on the issue. For example, in deals that were struck when the authority was formed, the fees for the city of Virginia Beach have been capped while Suffolk pays no fees in return for hosting the regional landfill. Except for these two, the others pay $104 per ton of waste handled by the agency. That figure could rise to $135 per ton in the near future making it one of the most expensive systems in the country. A partial sale of assets could be the answer. Some speculate that selling the waste-to-energy plant in Portsmouth could help retire as much as $40 million in SPSA debt...Read More »



Superior Court Judge Blocks County Plan to Delegate Waste Program

A Superior Court judge in Gwinnett County, GA blocked implementation of the county's new waste disposal program. Under their plan, the county delegated its waste disposal program to a nonprofit corp. called Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Services. Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful in turn awarded contracts representing 180 thousand households collectively to Advanced Disposal and Waste Pro USA, Inc., both Florida based companies. Last week however, Judge Michael C. Clark ruled that the plan violates state law by delegating government functions, including mandated recycling to a private entity. Clark granted the injunction sought by Southern Sanitation and Sanitation Solutions, two haulers who said the new program would drive them out of business. Jane Langley, a spokeswoman for Gwinnett Clean and Beautiful Services, said the organization was still studying the ruling and considering legal alternatives...Read More »



European Environment Agency Releases Report on GHG Emissions Progress

European Environment Agency (EEA) has released its latest report documenting progress by European countries towards making reductions in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and in meeting targets set by the Kyoto Protocol. The report entitled "Greenhouse gas emission trends and projections in Europe 2008," examines past emissions made between 1990 and 2006 and revises projected future emissions based on more recent data. According to the report, European countries account for 10.5% of global GHG emissions and that 80% of these are energy related. While reductions have been achieved, significantly more will need to be done in order to meet targets committed to under the Kyoto agreement. Per capita GHG emissions vary widely among the various countries which average 10.4 tonnes CO2 equivalent per capita. Overall this average has decreased from 1990 to 2006, but not as much for the EU-12 countries whose emissions have climbed in recent years...Read More »



Environmental Industry Associations Elects Slate of New Directors

The Environmental Industry Associations (EIA) along with its subsidiary organizations has elected a slate of new directors. Gordon Shaw, president of Marathon Equipment (Vernon, AL), has been elected chairman of the Board of Trustees, while Charles Appleby, chairman and CEO of Jacksonville, Fla.-based Advanced Disposal Services, has been reelected treasurer. Jim Perry, president and CEO of Waste Industries USA (Raleigh, NC) has been reelected chairman of the board for the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA), while Donald Williamson, president of West Central Sanitation (Willmar, MN), was elected to serve as vice chairman. Bill Wilkerson, VP of sales and marketing at Marathon Equipment, and Robert Meechi, president of Perkins Manufacturing Co. (Romeoville, IL) will serve as chairman and vice chairman of the Waste Equipment Technology Association (WASTEC) respectively...Read More »



Denton, TX 1.6 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Project Operational

A new landfill-gas-to-energy (LFGTE) project at the Denton, TX municipal landfill is now operational and will produce enough energy to power 1,600 homes. It was developed by Denton Power LLC, a subsidiary of DTE Biomass Energy, and now sells electricity to Denton Municipal Electric. "As a locally owned municipal electric utility, it is important for DME to look for innovative projects that can provide renewable energy to our customers while still providing consistently low rates," said Phil Williams, DME general manager. DTE Biomass now has 25 landfill gas-to-energy projects in the US. The Denton landfill also developed an anaerobic bioreactor in May of 2006 which is likely to boost gas production there...Read More »



Covanta Completes Acquisition of Two Biomass Facilities in Maine

Covanta Holding Corp. said it completed its previously announced acquisition of two biomass energy facilities in Maine. Covanta acquired the two nearly identical facilities, located in West Enfield and Jonesboro Maine, for approximately $52 million, exclusive of working capital, from co-owners Ridgewood Maine, L.L.C. and Indeck Energy Services, Inc. The deal adds 49 gross megawatts to Covanta's renewable energy portfolio which now includes eight biomass facilities. "These two biomass facilities ... expand our presence in New England where increasing demand and regulatory incentives have created a strong market for renewable electricity," said Anthony Orlando, President and CEO of Covanta...Read More »



Casella Waste Names New CFO

Casella Waste Systems has appointed John Quinn Chief Financial Officer. In that role he will be responsible for leading all financial operations and functions within the company. He replaces Richard Norris who recently retired but is consulting through Jan. 5 until Quinn takes over. Quinn hails from Allied Waste Industries (now Republic Services), where he most recently served as senior vice president of finance...Read More »



Pacific Gas and Electric Adds Manure Power to Portfolio

Pacific Gas and Electric Co. said that it just started buying a form of natural gas derived from decomposing cow manure. The plant's owner, Microgy, plans to build several similar plants in California and will supply PG&E with enough gas for 50,000 homes. PG&E has signed contracts with several cow-gas plants in recent years. The plants trap gas given off by decomposing manure, strip it of impurities and feed it into natural gas pipelines to be used as fuel...Read More »


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