Weekly News Bulletin: May 19-25, 2009


Strong Opposition to EPA's 'Hybrid' Coal Waste Regulations

States, industry and activists are all skeptical of the EPA's idea of regulating coal combustion waste (CCW) under a novel "hybrid" approach that would treat the waste as hazardous or solid waste depending on certain conditions, arguing that such rules would be legally dubious, difficult to implement and hard to enforce. Earthjustice and the Environmental Integrity Project (EIP) point to their recently released report showing increased cancer risk from CCW disposal as justification for regulating it as a hazardous substance. The industry argues that regulating CCW as hazardous or under a hybrid scheme would discourage beneficial reuse...Read More »



Rumpke Expands into Northeast Ohio with Big Purchase from Republic

Rumpke Consolidated Companies Inc. announced its purchase of a large landfill and transfer station in north central Ohio. It represents the Cincinnati-based company's largest acquisition in its 77 years in business and is expected to increase revenues by 8 percent. The company reported revenue of $375 million in 2008, ranking as the 14th largest waste company in the US. The deal comes as a result of the recent 2008 merger between Republic Services Inc. and Allied Waste Industries. In an antitrust review of the merger, the Department of Justice required the new company to sell some assets to preserve competition in the markets it serves. While financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, the purchase covers the 300-acre Noble Road Landfill near Mansfield, the Harvard Road Transfer Station near Cleveland and involves 30,000 residential and 3,000 commercial customers in Medina, Wayne, Richland, Morrow, Ashland, Huron, Knox and Lorain counties. The company also acquired 60 vehicles and said that it wants to keep most of Republic Services' employees at the operations...Read More »



South Carolina Drops Ban on New Landfills

South Carolina's efforts to impose a moratorium on new and so-called "mega-landfills" was dealt a defeat this week after failing to win approval from a mere three-member House agriculture subcommittee of lawmakers. The defeat could reopen the doors for new landfills and out-of-state waste allowed into the state. Conservationists were quick to criticize the legislature for being in the pocket of industry and said the state will likely see more 100-foot high landfills. Waste companies stand by their efforts to protect the environment. The moratorium was set to take effect next month...Read More »



Senate Approves First Three Obama EPA Assistant Administrators

The Senate approved three key nominees to head EPA's enforcement, waste, and international affairs office. In a May 12 vote the Senate confirmed the nominations of Mathy Stanislaus to be assistant administrator for Solid Waste & Emergency Response, Cynthia Giles to be assistant administrator for Enforcement & Compliance Assurance, and Michelle DePass to be assistant administrator for International Affairs. The nominations encountered little resistance after winning the support of Senate Environment & Public Works Committee ranking member Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK). However, Inhofe joined fellow GOP committee member Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY) in placing a hold on EPA air nominee Regina McCarthy, arguing that she has not eased their concerns about possible climate regulations under the Clean Air Act...Read More »



Stericycle to Acquire Privately-Held Rival MedServe, Inc.

Stericycle Inc. announced its agreement to buy medical waste handling company MedServe Inc. for $185 million in cash. Houston-based MedServe is majority-owned by Avista Capital Partners, Chrysalis Ventures and Murphree Venture Partners. Lake Forest, IL-based Stericycle is a provider of regulated waste and return management services, with operations in the US and overseas. The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory reviews...Read More »



EnergySolutions Wins Court Battle to Import Foreign Radioactive Waste

EnergySolutions Inc. won a legal battle to import low-level radioactive waste from Italy, after a federal court ruling last week. The decision by U.S. District Judge Ted Stewart in Salt Lake City validated the Salt Lake City-based company's argument that its efforts to import waste to Utah fall outside the regulatory purview of the Northwest Compact, a regional coalition of states that oversees low-level radioactive-waste management. Attorneys for EnergySolutions successfully argued that the compact's authority only extends to waste generated within the compact boundaries of its member states and that it was not the intent of Congress to grant any overreaching authority beyond that. The Utah Attorney General's Office is not ruling out an appeal especially since Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr., has indicated his opposition to the issue...Read More »



SPSA Approves New Bailout Plan; Averts Disaster

This week SPSA's board of directors approved a bailout plan that will keep the troubled waste management agency afloat until it can sell its waste-to-energy plant in Portsmouth later this year. The board, consisting of one voting member from each community served by SPSA in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Franklin, Isle of Wight County and Southampton County, adopted the rescue plan after months of behind-the-scenes debate and negotiation over the fate of the stressed regional authority, which owes more than $240 million and faces budget deficits. The package includes a $26 million loan from Virginia Beach, a $17.2 line of credit from Wachovia Bank and $72 million in refinanced bonds from the Virginia Resources Authority, a state lending agency to which it owes more than $129 million. The tipping fee that SPSA charges six of its member communities will stay at $170 per ton, which it raised last month and is now the highest in the country...Read More »



Covanta Revises Earnings Outlook as it Offers $400 Million 5-year Notes

Owing to new accounting rules, Covanta Holding Corp., is selling $400 million in 5-year cash-convertible notes. As a result, the company cut its 2009 earnings forecast 10 cents a share to 65 cents to 80 cents a share. The new accounting rules require the company to recognize more non-cash interest expense. The company still expects Operating Cash Flow for the year in the range of $325 million to $375 million along with adjusted EBITDA in the range of $500 million to $540 million. Covanta said proceeds from the offering, which will be private, could be used for items including plant construction in Dublin along with potential investments or acquisitions...Read More »



Oakleaf Forms Zero Waste-to-Landfill Team

Oakleaf, a leading provider of brokered waste and recycling services, announced the formation of a "Zero Waste to Landfill" team. Led by Stephen Caruso, Senior Vice President of Vendor Relations and Procurement at OAKLEAF, the Zero Waste Team will work with individual businesses to create a solution that is right for their company and their industry. OAKLEAF recognizes that all waste stream solutions must be operationally and economically feasible for businesses, and the Zero Waste Team will design and roll out programs over existing and emerging infrastructure with a goal of zero waste to landfill...Read More »



First Quarter Profits Off 40% for Industrial Services of America

Industrial Services of America Inc. said that its first-quarter profits fell 40% from a year ago. The Louisville-based company, which buys, processes and markets recyclable metals and provides waste management services and equipment to businesses, said it earned $654,063, or $0.18 per share, in the quarter, down from nearly $1.1 million, or $0.30 a share, from last year. Revenue fell to $24.2 million, from $26.1 million in the first quarter of 2008. "In light of domestic and international conditions in the end market for recyclable commodities, this is a strong performance," Brian Donaghy, ISA's president and chief operating officer, said in a news release. CEO Harry Kletter added, "We continue to remain focused on expanding capacity at our existing operations. These are the times where proactive creativity can really deliver results. We are positioning ISA for continued years of growth."...Read More »



Avalon Holdings Sees Expanded First Quarter Loss

Avalon Holdings Corp. said that first quarter net operating revenues decreased to $8.8 million compared with $10.4 million in the first quarter of 2008. The company recorded a net loss of $.4 million in the first quarter of 2009 or $.11 per share compared with a net loss of $.1 million or $.02 per share for the first quarter of 2008. Most of the losses stem from the company's golf course operations and investments. The company's waste management and brokerage businesses earned $3.6 million last year before taxes...Read More »


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