Weekly News Bulletin: Sep. 29-Oct. 5, 2009


SPSA Votes to Consider $331 Million Buyout Offer

The Southeastern Public Service Authority's (SPSA) board of directors voted to review a $331 million offer from a New York-based ReEnergy Holdings LLC (Albany, NY) to buy the financially troubled agency. Nevertheless, SPSA is moving forward with an alternate agreement made a week earlier to sell its Portsmouth waste-to-energy plant to Wheelabrator for $150 million. The proposal to buy the entire agency is ReEnergy's third such offer and officials now have 30 days to formally accept or reject the agreement.

Executives with ReEnergy say that their proposal will result in lower waste disposal fees and that it will pay off SPSA's entire $240 million debt, however, its success in doing so relies in part on signing SPSA's eight member municipalities to new 20-year contracts...Read More »



EPA Issues Rule Establishing GHG Reporting System

The US EPA issued a final rule that requires major polluters to collect data and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions on an annual basis for recording in a national registry. EPA said that the program will apply to approximately 10,000 facilities accounting for about 85% of the GHG emissions in the country. These include fossil fuel and industrial GHG suppliers, motor vehicle and engine manufacturers, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year. "A national greenhouse gas registry is a necessary first step and a crucial precursor to both a mandatory and market-based carbon cap and trade regulation of greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change," said Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME), who had introduced legislation in the 110th Congress to authorize a GHG emissions reporting registry. "The European experience with an over-allocation of allowances illustrated the fundamental nature of a registry, and I applaud the EPA for moving expeditiously to establish one here in the United States."...Read More »



Oil Man Touts Pickens Plan at Wastecon

Oil man and clean energy convert T. Boone Pickens spoke before a crowd at Wastecon 2009, imploring attendees to "get off foreign oil from the enemy." Touting his Pickens Plan for energy independence, first publicized in July, he said that millions of jobs could be created by integrating alternative energy sources such as wind, solar and natural gas into the national grid. "Part of that is solid waste," he said. "Every landfill produces gas, which is 50 percent natural gas, methane. So the use of fuels from landfill gas fits right within the Pickens Plan and the emphasis in using natural gas as vehicle fuel." He asked the audience to support several bills in Congress, including the "Natural Gas Act," HR 1835, and SB 1408, or the New Alternative Transportation to Give Americans Solutions Act, which would encourage the use of natural gas as transportation fuel. Switching out diesel-run vehicles such as 18-wheelers for those that run on natural gas could be a "game changer" for the U.S., saying it would cut "your imports of foreign oil from OPEC in half." He said, "I don't want to get out of Saudi oil and onto the Chinese bandwagon that is unacceptable. We've got to do it here, at home, not somewhere else."...Read More »



Equity Firm to Invest $100 Million in Waste Pro USA

Roark Capital Group (Atlanta, GA) said it has invested $100 million with Waste Pro USA Inc. (Longwood, FL). Waste Pro has been growing aggressively throughout the southeastern US and currently provides waste collection, disposal and recycling services to more than 825,000 residential and 32,000 commercial customers throughout the region. The company operates from 35 locations, operates 25 hauling companies, two transfer stations, five recycling facilities and two C&D landfills and has more than 80 exclusive municipal franchise contracts in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama. As part of the deal, Roark Capital Group President Jeffrey J. Keenan has joined the Waste Pro board of directors. Keenan co-founded and was chairman of solid waste management company IESI Corp. from 1996 to 2005, when it was sold to BFI Canada for $1.1 billion...Read More »



Waste Industry Opposes Methane Standards in Climate Bill

In a Sept. 9 letter to key senators, a coalition of companies and associations that includes landfill operators, power companies and carbon offset providers urges scrapping provisions in the House passed climate bill that would establish "performance standards" for methane emissions from landfills, coal mines and natural gas operations. The letter builds upon a previous request last month from many of the same groups seeking a repeal of the provision because it would reduce the supply of offsets and offset revenue opportunities under the climate measure and "impose very high costs on small landfills, many of which are operated by financially stressed municipalities facing severe budget constraints." The letter, to Senate Environment & Public Works Committee Chairwoman Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and ranking member Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK), cites as justification for doing away with the performance standards an expected EPA proposal to limit regulation of stationary sources under the Clean Air Act Prevention of Significant Deterioration program to sources that emit 25,000 tons per year or more...Read More »



EPA Approves Plan to Ship 40,000 Trucks of Superfund Waste

The US EPA approved plans to ship more than 40,000 truckloads of Superfund waste -- soil contaminated by mining in the Silver Valley area of northern Idaho -- to a new landfill near Cataldo, Idaho. The material is metals-laced dirt removed from residential yards in the Kellogg, Idaho, area that was polluted by decades of silver mining in the valley. The Idaho Department of Environmental Quality is leading the project with help from the US EPA. Mathy Stanislaus, Assistant Administrator for the Office of Solid Waste and Emergency Response, visited the Silver Valley in August and assured reporters last week that "There will be an aggressive monitoring program," to spot any leaks from the site...Read More »



Waste Management Unveils New $10 Million LFGTE Project

Waste Management unveiled another landfill gas to energy (LFGTE) project at its Riverbend Landfill in McMinnville, OR. The $10 million 2.5 megawatt project will sell enough electricity to McMinnville Water & Light to power an estimated 2,500 homes and be operational by mid-2010. If the Yamhill County Board of Commissioners approves Riverbend's application to expand, the project could be operational for 30 to 50 years. Waste Management is also developing a similar energy project at its Columbia Ridge Landfill, located in Arlington, OR, which is expected to go on-line later this year. The company owns or operates 111 landfill-gas-to-energy facilities in North America and plans on having more than 160 in operation by 2012...Read More »



RecycleBank Teams with Waste Connections into Colorado

RecycleBank is partnering with Waste Connections of Colorado to bring its successful rewards-based recycling system to 10 Denver suburbs and Colorado Springs. The RecycleBank system boosts recycling rates by encouraging people to recycle by rewarding their efforts with points that can be redeemed for discounts and other rewards at local and national retailers, restaurants and grocers. Waste Connections stands to benefit from greater efficiencies that attend higher recovery rates and throughput at its recovery facilities. RecycleBank now boasts that it services more than one million people across 20 states and counting...Read More »



Alter NRG Outlines Expansion Plan and Global Strategy

Plasma energy company Alter NRG Corp. (Calgary, AB), recently profiled its existing pipeline of projects and outlined its strategy for expansion. Currently, the Company has 16 projects in the engineering stage and over 43 proposed projects being advanced worldwide, particularly in North America, the United Kingdom, the European Union and Southeast Asia. The 16 projects in the engineering stage alone represent potential revenues of $400 million. To help surmount regulatory, financing, and execution challenges typically associated with any large project, the company is allying itself with key customers and fortune 500 companies such as NRG Energy, Air Products, UHDE Shanghai, SMS Infrastructures in India and others. The company is excited by increasing global demand for sustainable energy solutions, especially in the US where pending climate change legislation and DOE programs include waste and biomass credits, grants and incentives for clean energy projects...Read More »



Waste Management to Report Third Quarter on Oct. 29

Waste Management, Inc. said it will announce third quarter financial results before the opening of the market on Thursday, October 29 and host a conference call later that morning at 10 am (Eastern) to discuss them with investors...Read More »


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