Weekly News Bulletin: Jun. 7-13, 2011


Landfill Fights EPA Initiative to Aggregate Facilities' Air Permits

A landfill in Ocean County, NJ is fighting a possible precedent setting EPA decision to require the facility to "aggregate," or combine, its Clean Air Act (Title V) operating permit with that of an adjacent gas-to-energy facility that utilizes methane from the landfill. In this case, EPA appears to be using "common control" as a criterion for requiring a combined permit. The companies involved are the Ocean County Landfill Corporation (OCLC) which owns the landfill, and Manchester Renewable Power Corporation (MRPC) which owns the energy facility. Some in the industry worry that EPA's approach is an unlawful extension of a similar policy for the oil and gas sector that requires facilities to combine emissions for permitting to determine whether more stringent "major" pollution source controls apply. The fear is that additional pollution control requirements stemming from this approach might render existing projects no longer economically feasible. There is additional concern that combining permits might also tip some facilities into the category as major sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which could lead to additional pollution control requirements down the road...Read More »



High Court Rejects GE Case against Superfund Law

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to consider General Electric Company's (GE) constitutional challenge to part of the federal Superfund law that gives the EPA power to order companies to clean up hazardous waste sites. The justices let stand a U.S. appeals court ruling that upheld a provision of the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act, known as the Superfund law, which seeks to ensure polluters pay for environmental hazards they created. GE, which has been subject to several cleanup orders, had argued that the law violated companies' constitutional rights to due-process by denying them meaningful opportunity to contest EPA's cleanup orders before the agency issued them. GE also argued that companies have little choice but to comply with a cleanup order because of prohibitively high costs of noncompliance. The U.S. Department of Justice opposed GE's appeal. It said the law provided sufficient procedural safeguards and companies that refuse to comply with an order can get a federal court hearing. The high court refused to hear GE's appeal of the case "General Electric v. Lisa Jackson, administrator, Environmental Protection Agency, No. 10-871" without comment...Read More »



Swisher Hygiene Expands Waste Business into Central Florida

Industry legend H. Wayne Huizenga's latest venture Swisher Hygiene (Charlotte, NC) is buying two more Florida waste companies, expanding its push into the waste business. Swisher announced its $15 million acquisition of two companies: Central Carting Disposal and its sister company CCI Hauling, which collectively serve more than 26,000 customers in the central Florida market. Swisher, which provides commercial cleaning products and services, entered the waste business earlier this year with its $92 million purchase of Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Choice Environmental Services. Glen Miller was CEO of Choice and now leads the waste management practice for Swisher. "The acquisition of Central/CCI provides Swisher Hygiene with another strong platform for the ongoing execution of our growth and expansion strategy throughout Florida," he said...Read More »



Louisiana Official Pleads Guilty to Taking Bribes to Fight Landfill

A former Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries commissioner, Henry Mouton, recently pleaded guilty in federal court to a conspiracy charge for accepting $267,940 in payoffs from the owners of a private landfill company to lobby against a competing landfill. Mouton was indicted Feb. 25 on eight counts of conspiracy, accepting payoffs and lying to federal agents. Prosecutors alleged that he used his official state position to lobby against the reopening of the Old Gentilly Landfill in eastern New Orleans without disclosing that he was accepting money from a rival landfill called River Birch. According to reports in the New Orleans Times-Picayune, River Birch has spent considerable sums in its lobbying efforts to reclose the Old Gentilly Landfill, opened after Hurricane Katrina, to close the Two Rivers Recycling Landfill in Catahoula Parish, and even to temporarily close for the next 25 years the nearby Jefferson Parish Landfill. Its efforts also include providing helicopter tours of the rival landfills for various local and environmental officials. The company's activities have attracted the attention of the FBI which raided its offices in September, prior to the indictment of Mouton. River Birch is owned by Fred Heebe and his stepfather, Jim Ward...Read More »



Progressive Waste Acquires SDT Waste and Debris

Progressive Waste Solutions (Toronto, ON), formerly known as IESI-BFC, has acquired SDT Waste and Debris Services of Chalmette, LA. SDT, whose flamboyant owner and founder is Sidney Torres who has been featured on television's "Trash Men," has gained fame for winning the contract to collect waste from the French Quarter and downtown sections of New Orleans, where it uses perfume to cleanse the streets of remnants of countless nights of debauchery. The SDT contracts will not be affected by the acquisition nor will SDT change its name, according to a press release. Tom Martyn, a New Orleans-based district manager for IESI, which is Progressive's U.S. subsidiary, will oversee SDT. In addition to New Orleans, SDT's 250 employees provide waste collection services in 24 cities and parishes in Louisiana including the town of Independence; and in the parishes of East Feliciana, Iberia, St. Charles, St. Bernard and Tangipahoa. "My decision to join forces with IESI, a part of Progressive Waste Solutions, was an easy one," Torres said in a press release. "Over the last five years, they have been our strongest competitor in the state of Louisiana, and they value their employees and deliver the highest quality of service, just as SDT does. I have every confidence that our customers will never notice the difference."...Read More »



SEC Settles Insider Trading Case with Former Waste Management Executive

Nearly twelve years after the alleged activity took place, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) settled its civil action against former Waste Management Chief Accounting Officer Bruce E. Snyder. The SEC's complaint, which was filed in 2003, alleged that Snyder, among other things, prepared, reviewed, and signed a materially false or misleading Form 10-Q that Waste Management, Inc. filed with the Commission for the first quarter of its fiscal year ended December 31, 1999. Snyder, without admitting or denying the allegations in the complaint, consented to an order permanently enjoining him from aiding and abetting future securities violations.

At the same time it filed its 2003 complaint against Snyder, the SEC settled a case against other Waste Management officers Rodney R. Proto and Earl E. DeFrates which accused them of insider trading and making false statements about company financial performance. Proto, who had been President and COO, and DeFrates, who had been CFO, had each sold company stock in May and June of 1999 before the public was made aware that the previous first quarter's financial results contained millions in non-recurring revenue. Proto agreed to pay a $3.7 million penalty. DeFrates agreed to pay $482 thousand. Both were barred from serving as an officer or director of a public company for a period of five years...Read More »



Veolia Enters New Market with Purchase in Panama City, FL

Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc. (Milwaukee, WI) is entering a new market with its recent purchase of Parker Sanitation Inc. based in Panama City, FL. The deal includes all vehicles, containers and hauling equipment that serve both residential and commercial customers in Panama City as well as surrounding areas in Bay County. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. "The acquisition of Parker Sanitation allows us to expand our operations and break into the Panama City market," said Jim Long, President and CEO of Veolia ES Solid Waste, Inc. "We will look to improve service through implementation of our route optimization to efficiently serve the community." Veolia ES Solid Waste operates in 12 states, the Bahamas and Canada with a network of 72 collection operations and 29 landfills...Read More »



US Justice Department Indicts New Jersey Company for Illegal Dumping

The U.S. Justice Department (DOJ) said the owner of a New Jersey waste-management company and three associates were arrested last week on federal charges for allegedly dumping thousands of tons of asbestos contaminated debris at an upstate New York farm containing wetlands. The defendants, Julius DeSimone, Donald Torriero, Cross Nicastro II and Dominick Mazza were accused of participating in a scheme to illegally dump 30,000 tons of asbestos-contaminated, pulverized construction and demonstration debris that had been processed at New Jersey waste-management facilities operated by Mazza & Sons and Eagle Recycling. They transported the debris to Nicastro's farm in Frankfort, NY, much of which contained federally regulated wetlands, the department said. The men were named in a seven-count indictment charging them with conspiracy to defraud the U.S., violating the Clean Water Act and Superfund laws and committing wire fraud, having fabricated a state permit that included a forged signature of a state official and later trying to conceal the scheme by destroying secretive documents...Read More »



New York Gives Money to Renewable Projects to Meet RPS

A landfill in upstate New York will receive money for its landfill gas-to-energy system from a state fund set up to encourage renewable energy projects and to help utilities meet a 30 percent renewable portfolio goal by 2015. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority announced that the Development Authority of the North Country (DANC) landfill in Rodman, NY is one of 17 projects that will receive payments under the program which will pay an average rate of $22.01 per megawatt hour of production. The DANC facility employs three 1.6-megawatt turbines to produce 4.8 megawatts of electricity that is sold on the grid. NYSERDA and the Public Service Commission awarded $191 million to four wind projects, seven landfill gas-to-electricity projects and two anaerobic digester projects. Money for the projects comes from a surcharge on customers' electricity bills...Read More »



Industry Supports STB Rules for Rail Waste Transfer Facilities

A group of industry trade associations, various state agencies and others recently submitted comments to the US Surface Transportation Board (STB) in support of rules that would require anyone building a transfer station on railroad property to first prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) to be shared with relevant local municipal and state regulatory authorities. The rules, intended to implement the provisions of the Clean Railroads Act of 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-432, 122 State. 4848 ["CRA"]), are meant to involve local entities earlier in the permitting process and to discourage would be "sham operators" whose sole purpose in locating on rail property is to circumvent state and local waste regulations. Shannon Crawford, the Manager of Government Affairs for the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) said, "It's important that the solid waste industry remains involved in the implementation of the CRA to ensure rail based facilities are properly regulated."...Read More »



Landfill Gas to Power Raytheon Plants in Texas

Defense systems giant Raytheon announced plans to power five of its North Texas facilities with electricity from a landfill gas-to-energy plant in McKinney, TX. Raytheon contracted with Noble Americas Energy Solutions LLC to buy the power in the form of Green-e-certified renewable energy credits. The power in turn, is coming from Montauk Energy which owns the energy plant which is located at the McKinney Landfill owned by the North Texas Municipal Water District. The 2.4 megawatts of power is expected to meet 20 percent of Raytheon's north Texas energy needs. "We're the first Raytheon facility in the U.S. to initiate a program like this and one of 25 companies in Texas that is using a natural waste byproduct to power its commercial electricity needs," said Mike Allgeier, a regional site executive with Raytheon in North Texas. "This project is our largest sustainability initiative in Texas to date," he said. "Since it will have such a favorable impact on the environment, it's not only a major step forward for our company, but for the North Texas community as a whole."...Read More »



Laidlaw Energy to Buy California Biomass Plant

Laidlaw Energy Group said it executed a final purchase agreement to acquire a 14 MW biomass-energy power plant located in Susanville, CA. The sellers of the plant are Renegy, Inc., an entity controlled by Robert M. Worsley, founder of SkyMall, Inc., and Nature Energies, Inc., a subsidiary of Hanalei Renewables, a French renewable energy company. Both companies will become equity holders in Laidlaw Energy and will be issued a new class of preferred shares. Laidlaw plans to invest about $20 million to upgrade the plant over the next 12 months after which it expects to earn annual revenues from the project of between $8 million and $9 million. Meanwhile, a 20 to 30 year power purchase agreement is currently being negotiated. Terms of the purchase were not disclosed...Read More »



Perma-Fix Licenses Technology to Produce Medical Isotopes

Perma-Fix Environmental Services (Atlanta, GA) said it signed an exclusive agreement with Battelle to license technology from the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in Richland, WA (PNNL) for use with Perma-Fix's proprietary process to produce Molybdenum-99. Molybdenum-99 is employed to make Technetium 99m (Tc-99m), a medical isotope used to image internal organs. Dr. Louis F. Centofanti, Chairman and CEO, said, "We are very excited to unveil this breakthrough technology. There are a number of important benefits to our new process. First, we believe this technology has the potential to alleviate the worldwide shortages of Tc-99m, due to its use of readily-available, natural Molybdenum, rather than highly enriched uranium. Additionally, we believe that this technology can be easily deployed around the world using standard research and commercial reactors, thereby eliminating the need for more special purpose reactors. We expect this process will be much better for the environment since waste generated during the production process is more readily treated and disposed. Until now, there were no viable treatment or disposal options for the waste generated from production of these isotopes. Moreover, our process is far less expensive and does not require the use of government-subsidized, weapons-grade materials. As a result, we expect our process will alleviate major concerns about nuclear proliferation, which have plagued the industry."...Read More »



Waste Management to Announce 2Q Results on July 28

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) plans to release second quarter financial results before the market opens on Thursday, July 28. The company will host a conference call that morning at 10 am (EDT) to discuss those results...Read More »



Waste Management Unveils Smart Compactor

Waste Management (Houston, TX) said that it has developed a product called the SmartEnergy Compactor that uses a solar panel to operate the controls of a compacting dumpster. The dumpster can also be remotely monitored to avoid unnecessary servicing. The technology behind the electronic control system originated at Big Belly Solar, which makes public trash and recycling bins equipped with solar panels that power a motor to compact the trash. Waste Management invested in Big Belly Solar in 2009. Waste Management said the solar panel system saves money on hauling and is a visible way for dumpster users to use renewable energy...Read More »


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