IESI-BFC Ltd. (Toronto, ON) is expanding its presence in the St. Louis, MO market with a $159 million acquisition of the waste management assets of Fred Weber Inc. (Maryland Heights, MO). Among those assets is the largest municipal solid waste landfill in the State of Missouri, it comes with 80 years of remaining capacity and no limit on daily volume, a transfer station in Valley Park, MO, a commercial and roll-off collection business serving the St. Louis market, and a third party agreement with Ameren Corp. for the sale of landfill gas beginning in 2012. Some of the new waste volume will likely go to IESI's 800 ton per day Timber Ridge Landfill just south of St. Louis. Keith Carrigan, vice chairman and chief executive of IESI-BFC, said the purchase of Fred Weber's "vertically integrated urban market assets aligns perfectly with our stringent acquisition strategy and business model."...Read More »
Following stiff opposition from Industry, the EPA will, beginning next year, require some power plants to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from biomass separately from fossil fuel GHGs, reversing on its plan to make separate reporting voluntary. Industry has argued that biomass GHGs are carbon neutral because plants consume carbon dioxide as they grow, activists argue burning more biomass only exacerbates climate change. The EPA published its final rule on Dec. 17 to amend and clarify portions of the agency's 2009 mandatory GHG registry rule that includes the new requirement that power plants report biogenic GHG emissions separately from other emissions. EPA says the new GHG data to be reported under the rule is intended to inform the broader policy debate about the climate impact of biomass.
EPA cautions that the required distinction in accounting does not indicate how the agency will regulate biogenic emissions. It says its decision "is founded solely on the principle that having data available at a more disaggregated level for a reporting program like this one improves transparency and better enables us and other stakeholders to use the data to evaluate future potential policy options, without prejudging what those policies might be. This decision is not based on any conclusions about 'carbon neutrality."...Read More »
California's Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery (CalRecycle) has granted a petition from Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) to allow the use of "captive insurance" as a way to comply with the agency's controversial landfill "financial assurance" rules. Those rules aim to ensure that landfill operators have the necessary capital to fund long-term maintenance activities to prevent environmental threats posed by closed landfills. Currently, about half of the state's landfills require post-closure maintenance. The industry and Waste Management, in particular, have argued that "Captive insurance," which refers to the use of an in-house, company owned and operated insurance entity rather than contracting with outside insurance carriers, allows them to more efficiently control its protection options and save money. CalRecycle said it is granting the WMI petition "to the extent that we will commence a review of the specified section [of rules] based upon information provided in the petition." The petition, filed in October, argues that captive insurance is a key financial assurance mechanism that is allowed under federal law. EPA has recognized the widespread use of captive insurance as an allowable mechanism for closure, post-closure, and corrective assurance at landfills...Read More »
New York Gov. David Paterson signed a new law that requires manufacturers of rechargeable batteries to finance and operate recycling programs for their products. The law requires manufacturers to submit their recycling programs to the state by mid-March 2011 and to begin operating the programs by mid-June 2011. Retailers that sell rechargeable batteries will be required accept used batteries and post signs to inform consumers. Last May, Patterson signed the Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act that requires manufactures of electronic gadgets such as computers, monitors, televisions, cell phones and printers, to establish and fund recycling programs for these materials based on the market share of their products sold in the state. It also bans their disposal in landfills and is to be fully phased in by 2015. New York was the 23rd state to pass an e-waste law...Read More »
Plasco Energy Group Inc. (Ottawa, ON) said it has completed operational and environmental testing at its Trail Road plasma gasification waste-to-energy plant in Ottawa, ON. The facility, which has been in operation since January 2007, has the ability to turn as much as 400 tons of waste per day into more than 20 megawatts of energy, enough to power 7,200 homes. The completion of testing means Plasco will now need to apply for a new operating certificate, under Ontario Ministry of the Environment's Waste Management Projects Regulation, which will allow it to operate the plant permanently...Read More »
Waste-to-fuel technology company Rentech, Inc. (Los Angeles, CA) announced that General Wesley K. Clark has joined its Board of Directors. General Clark served a distinguished career in the U.S. Army where he rose to the rank of four-star general and held the position of NATO Supreme Allied Commander and Commander in Chief of the U.S.-European Command. Since leaving the military, the former presidential candidate has remained highly influential as CEO of Wesley K. Clark & Associates, a strategic consulting firm he founded in March 2003 and as Chairman of investment bank Rodman & Renshaw. In recent years, Clark has focused on the energy business and serving as a board member of numerous domestic and international energy companies, including Bankers Petroleum Ltd., a Canadian-based oil and gas exploration and production company and Juhl Energy, Inc., a wind energy provider. He also serves as Chairman of Clean Terra, a firm he co-founded that is dedicated to financing, developing and managing scalable clean energy/fuel projects and implementing smart Clean Technology public policy. He is a member of the Clinton Global Initiative's Energy & Climate Change Advisory Board and ACORE's Advisory Board...Read More »