Weekly News Bulletin: Jan. 20-26, 2009


House Stimulus Plan Would Fund DOD Energy, Cleanup Projects

House lawmakers are poised to mark up major economic stimulus legislation that includes several hundred million dollars to go toward DOD research in renewable energy for weapons systems as well as similar amounts for cleanup of closed military bases in order to boost redevelopment, according to a copy of the proposal unveiled by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). The proposal, dubbed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Bill of 2009, would also provide EPA with more than $9 billion for its water, waste cleanup, and diesel retrofit programs, and includes significant funding for cleanup and other environmental programs at other agencies. The proposal includes $550 billion in investments, with significant increases for clean energy and low-emissions transit and congestion programs, including $2.4 billion for carbon capture demonstration projects...Read More »



Waste Industries USA Names New CEO

Waste Industries USA (Raleigh, NC) announced that Ven Poole will succeed Jim Perry as the firm's new CEO. Poole previously was the vice president of corporate development. Perry will succeed Lonnie Poole Jr. as chairman of the company's board of directors. Harry Habets, vice president of operations and chief operating officer (COO), will become president and COO. "The changes outlined above are part of an orderly succession plan that was contemplated as part of the company's recent decision to once again become a private company," Perry said in a press release. "I am very confident that under the leadership of Ven and Harry Waste Industries will continue its tradition of growth and service, not only to our customers, but to our industry." In May, Waste Industries took itself private in a management buyout led by Perry and the Poole family who partnered with Macquarie Infrastructure Partners and Goldman Sachs in a deal valued at $544 million. The company remains family oriented since its founding in 1970 by Lonnie Poole...Read More »



Horry County, SC Weighs Flow Control Measure

Horry County, SC is the newest of a handful of municipalities said to be considering a flow control ordinance law aimed at retaining an estimated $3.5 million in waste revenues lost to private haulers who hauled waste out of county rather than to Horry County's own landfill. The fees are needed to help pay for recycling programs that are struggling in the wake of falling commodity prices. Opponents of the measure argue that it would create a government sponsored monopoly of the local waste business with no public benefit. The door to flow control was reopened by the Supreme Court in April, 2007 when it ruled on United Haulers Association v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority in upstate New York. There, the Court made the distinction between its earlier 1994 Carbone ruling by allowing municipalities that own their waste operations to dictate the destiny of waste generated within their jurisdictions. In that case, the Court decided that any burden on local commerce was outweighed by public benefit and that through their elected representatives, citizens had could remedy that burden...Read More »



Republic Scales Back Ambitious Expansion for Apex Landfill in Ohio

Republic Services, which is asking the Ohio EPA for permission to expand its Apex Environmental landfill in Steubenville, OH, recently revised its request downward to appease concerns of nearby residents. The new request seeks to increase daily tonnage from 5,250 to 7,500 rather than 10,000 tons per day and no longer seeks to increase the height of the landfill by 75 feet. Republic has also pledged to deploy odor control measures including a landfill gas collection and control system aimed at capturing migratory gas that may contribute to any odors. Ohio EPA is currently reviewing the technical aspects of Apex's newly submitted application...Read More »



Valhi Wins License from Texas to Accept Low-Level Radioactive Waste at its Site

Waste Control Specialists LLC (WCS) announced that it won a license from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) allowing for disposal of Class A, B and C low-level radioactive waste (LLRW) at its facility in Andrews County, TX. The license allows WCS to operate a Texas Compact (comprised of Texas and Vermont) LLRW disposal facility and a federal LLRW disposal facility. Construction of the LLRW portion is expected to begin in the second quarter of 2009 and be operational a year later. WCS is a subsidiary of Valhi which is engaged in the titanium dioxide pigments and various component products.

The announcement drew a retort from competitor EnergySolutions which said that the "action by the TCEQ granting a conditional license to WCS does not mean that the facility can dispose of waste in the foreseeable future. In fact, WCS must satisfy numerous conditions imposed by the commission before it can dispose of either commercial or federal waste."...Read More »



EnergySolutions Clarifies Misconceptions on Waste Imports

EnergySolutions was forced to defend itself against misleading news accounts and two Congressmen's reintroduction of legislation to ban waste imports from foreign countries. Among the clarifications were that the company intended to import 20,000 tons not 20 million tons of low-level waste and only that which meets the acceptance criteria of the company's Bear Creek or Clive facilities. And contrary to the congressmen's testimony, those sites are not fortified with "a big fence and lots of dogs;" rather they are highly regulated safe operations that are open for tours to anyone who wishes to inspect them. The company also rejected comparisons with a recent spill at a TVA site in Tennessee as an attempt by the Congressmen to play on public fears...Read More »



Waste Management of Seattle Begins $7.5M CNG Fueling Station

Waste Management has broken ground on a new $7.5 million compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling station that will serve its operations in Seattle. The company which already operates a dozen CNG powered vehicles there recently signed a contract with McNeilus to take delivery of 106 more by the time it begins a new collection contract with the city on March 30. The fueling station will be completed not a moment too soon in April. The company expects all 180 collection vehicles in its Seattle-based fleet to run on CNG within five years...Read More »



Linn County, IA Seeks Court Order to Stop Shutdown of Landfill Gas System

A showdown has emerged between the Linn County, Iowa solid waste agency and the company that owns and operates a landfill gas system at the county's Cedar Rapids landfill. The agency is seeking a court order to prevent the operator EnviroGas of Chicago from shutting down its system which collects gas for sale to a local manufacturer and its parent company Interstate Power & Light. At issue is a request by EnviroGas for clarification of its ownership of the gas in order to assure its manufacturing client which needs to invest about $1 million to replace a flood-damaged boiler that burned landfill gas. In turn, the agency is seeking new language giving EnviroGas more responsibility for compliance with environmental regulations that have taken effect since the gas system was installed...Read More »



Gov. Schwarzenegger Wants Federal Help Meeting Renewable Energy Goals

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (the Governator) is calling on the federal government to help the state achieve ambitious renewable energy goals. "California has set the most aggressive targets in the nation for renewable energy-33 percent by the year 2020-but we won't be able to meet that goal without the federal government's commitment to partner with us to clear red tape for renewable projects," Governor Schwarzenegger said. The governor was responding to Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne's recent order authorizing the Bureau of Land Management to establish coordination offices, including one in California, which will expedite the permitting of wind, solar, biomass and geothermal projects, along with needed electrical transmission facilities...Read More »



N-Viro Fuel Technology Receives Alternative Energy Status from EPA

N-Viro International Corp. announced that its renewable biofuel technology has satisfied guidelines set forth by the US EPA to qualify as an alternative energy source that may be utilized in commercial power generation. That qualifies it for certain economic incentives granted for alternative energy technologies. The technology employs an alkaline/heat process to produce a fuel product from such wastes as municipal biosolids and other organic wastes like manure and pulp and paper sludge, and satisfies all requirements of the EPA 40 CFR part 503 regulations allowing it to be blended with coal for energy production or land applied for agricultural use...Read More »



Bill Gates' Cascade Investment Boosts Stake in Republic

Bill Gates' investment vehicle Cascade Investment LLC continues to increase its stake in Republic Services to 10.6% from 9.6% previously. He now beneficially holds about 39.98 million shares of the company. From Dec. 29 through Monday, Cascade purchased about 3.76 million common shares for roughly $94.2 million, according to filings with the SEC. Gates previously reported holding about 36.22 million Republic shares in mid-December...Read More »


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