Weekly News Bulletin: Oct. 11-17, 2011


Recology Buys Seattle Hauler for $66 Million

Recology (San Francisco, CA), formerly known as Norcal Waste Systems, is buying Seattle, WA-based waste company CleanScapes in a deal estimated to be worth $66 million. CleanScapes has about 280 employees and earned revenue of $47.3 million in 2010. However, the deal is still subject to regulatory approval of the Federal Trade Commission. "We don't have the resources of Recology," said CleanScapes CEO Chris Martin. "We don't have the compost or transfer facilities. This will allow us to leverage their expertise and stronger balance sheet." Recology, which is owned by its 2,200 employees, has been steadily expanding northward. Last year it signed a $38 million, 7-year waste contract with Portland, Oregon's Metro waste system. In July, the City of San Francisco, CA approved a 10-year contract worth $112 million to ship its waste by rail to Recology's Wheatland Landfill in nearby Yuba County...Read More »



States Want to Use New Coal Ash Data to Fight Strict Waste Rules

State waste officials are gearing up to fight environmentalists' claims that the states are inadequately controlling coal ash waste. They hope to use EPA's "imminent" release of a data notice on coal ash to prove the viability of their own regulatory and enforcement programs and argue against defining coal ash as hazardous subject to direct regulation under EPA. In July, EPA sent for White House Office of Management & Budget review a notice of data availability (NODA) that will seek comment on new data related to the agency's controversial proposal for regulating coal combustion residuals from power plants.

The agency in July 2010 proposed to either regulate coal ash as hazardous waste under subtitle C of the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act, or under less stringent solid waste rules under subtitle D. Industry fears that a hazardous waste rule would impose a "stigma" on coal ash and lead to a reduction in the beneficial reuse of the material in cement, gypsum and other products. States favor a subtitle D rulemaking that would allow them to continue taking the lead on regulating the disposal of coal waste...Read More »



SWANA Has Suggestions for EPA Waste Characterization Study

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), has submitted comments to EPA regarding its biannual waste characterization study. The EPA has been seeking comment on the report partly in response to industry and others who are pushing the agency to offer a more complete picture of the nation's solid waste stream to support activities ranging from product design to facility permitting.

SWANA says it would like to see the report expanded to include additional materials such as construction and demolition debris (C&D), yard waste, electronics and food waste. These items are increasingly entering the MSW waste stream and represent both a burden and an opportunity. It is likely that the absence of C&D and certain industrial wastes from EPA's report is one reason for the discrepancies between real-world measurements and EPA's data. SWANA would like to see the agency do more to reconcile its estimates for national waste generation and disposal quantities with data obtained from outside sources, including some of the state regulatory agencies...Read More »



Environmental Groups Ask EPA to Remove Exemption for Wastewater Treatment Units

Some major activists are asking EPA to repeal its "temporary" 31-year-old exemption for wastewater treatment units (WTUs) from having to abide by hazardous waste rules. Their petition to EPA is not new. Beginning 13 years ago in 1998, environmental groups, including the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), petitioned EPA to repeal the "temporary" exemption under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) that the agency promulgated in 1980. In the original petition, environmentalists argued that EPA promulgated the exemption "without providing notice or opportunity for public comment, and without demonstrating -- or even suggesting -- that there was any factual basis to believe human health and the environment could be adequately protected without meaningful RCRA controls." WTUs can "pose significant risks" and "retention of the exemption violates the statutory mandate of [RCRA] to protect humanhealth and the environment," the petition says.

The petition says that WTUs "are tanks managing wastewaters subsequently discharged either to Publicly Owned Treatment Works (POTWS, more commonly called municipal sewage plants) or surface waters. When discharged, the wastewaters are subject to Clean Water Act requirements, but the tanks themselves are not regulated under that statute" and therefore, "leaks from the tanks to groundwater, and air releases from the tanks are," for the most part, unregulated...Read More »



Waste Pro Buys Mississippi Waste Company

Waste Pro USA, Inc. (Longwood, FL) has bought Mississippi Industrial Waste Disposal, Inc. (MIWD), the largest privately owned commercial solid waste company in Mississippi. MIWD is based in Columbus, MS and has been in business since 1971. It provides commercial and industrial waste collection, recycling, demolition, and disposal services in seven counties in Mississippi and Alabama. Waste Pro will assume all current contracts, including service at Columbus Air Force Base. "Our growth in Mississippi is very intentional; provide great equipment and superior service to grow organically and by acquisition" stated John J. Jennings, President and CEO of Waste Pro...Read More »



Veolia Names New CEO to Industrial Services

Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp. (Chicago, IL) has appointed Darryl Schimeck as president and CEO of Veolia ES Industrial Services, Inc., effective October 3. Schimeck was previously president of Atlantic Plant Services, Inc. and United Anco Services, Inc., both members of The Brock Group family of industrial services companies, a role he held since 2008. Before that he was president and CEO of K2 Industrial Services, Inc.

As president and CEO of Veolia ES Industrial Services, Schimeck will be responsible for managing the overall operations of the largest industrial cleaning services company in North America...Read More »



Republic Subsidiary Settles $30 Million Lawsuit

The operators of a hazardous waste site in Livingston, LA have settled a decades-long suit for $29.5 million. According to an article in The Advocate newspaper, the class action lawsuit involves about a thousand people all living within six miles of the CECOS waste site from 1977 to 1990 who complained about odors and dangerous vapors migrating from the site. The suit was filed in 1987 and given class action status in 2009. Ownership of CECOS has moved through a chain of companies including Browning-Ferris Industries to Allied Waste Industries which is now part of Republic Services. In the settlement, CECOS is not admitting wrongdoing, rather is settling to avoid further expensive litigation, according to CECOS attorney Brad Myers...Read More »



House Passes Bill to Limit EPA Regulation of Boilers and Kilns

As expected, the House passed the first of two bills favored by Republicans that would indefinitely delay boiler emissions rules, including EPA's maximum achievable control technology (MACT) standards for industrial boilers and related rules effecting units burning biomass. The first bill, (H.R. 2681) which delays compliance with EPA's final air toxics rule for cement plants, passed by a 262-161 vote along party lines. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA), said in statement that the bill's passage was a common-sense action to delay "EPA regulations that stand in the way of investment and growth." He said the legislation would make it easier for cement companies, already struggling because of reduced demand, "to succeed and create jobs again."...Read More »



Enerkem Breaks Ground on Edmonton Waste-to-Biofuels Plant

Enerkem (Montreal, QC) has broken ground on its full-scale waste-to-biofuels facility in Edmonton, AB. Enerkem employs a gasifier to convert mixed wastes and residues into a pure synthesis gas (or syngas) that can then be converted into chemicals or biofuels using chemical catalysts. Last month the company signed an offtake agreement with Methanex Corp. which has agreed to buy methanol produced by the Edmonton plant. The Edmonton facility is one of two plants that will produce 10 million gallons of biofuel per year; a second similar facility is being developed in Pontotoc, MS where the company expects to break ground later this year. Enerkem operates a 1.3 million gallon-per-year demonstration facility in Westbury, QC. In June the company closed a C$59 million round of financing in which Valero Energy Corp. joined existing investors Waste Management, Rho Ventures, Braemar Energy Ventures and Cycle Capital which also participated.

Valero Energy currently has investments in 10 ethanol plants throughout the Midwest. "With Valero joining Waste Management as a strategic investor, Enerkem becomes one of the very few renewable products companies that is aligned with industry leaders from both upstream and downstream parts of the business," said Vincent Chornet, president and chief executive officer of Enerkem...Read More »



EPA Launches Combustion Portal Website

The EPA in collaboration with the National Center for Manufacturing Sciences has launched what it calls a "combustion portal," which is a website dedicated to disseminating federal and state regulatory information for boilers, incinerators and other combustion units in one place. The site gives regulated entities access to potential air, water and waste regulatory impacts affecting their combustion activities, including New Source Performance Standards, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, indirect and direct water discharges, and Spill Prevention, Control and Counter Measures. It provides combustion calculators to help estimate emissions and rule requirements and provides links to information on pollution reduction methods...Read More »



Groundbreaking of $275 Million Biomass Plant in Berlin, NH

Ground has been broken on a new $275 million, 75-megawatt biomass plant in Berlin, NH that is expected to begin generating power in 2013. The Burgess BioPower facility acquired that name after Cate Street Capital bought the project formerly known as the Berlin Station for $272.5 million from its developer Laidlaw Energy. Babcock & Wilcox Company (Charlotte, NC) has been awarded a contract worth more than $186 million to engineer and construct the facility. The project initially encountered a number of barriers, including local opposition and petitions for intervention in its power purchase agreement (PPA) process. Earlier this year, a reorganization of the years-long project prompted a change of the name from Laidlaw Berlin BioPower LLC to Berlin Station. Cate Street won endorsement for the project from New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch who urged the Public Utilities Commission (PUC) to accept the PPAs agreed upon by Public Service New Hampshire (PSNH) and five of the six independent biomass power plants...Read More »



AbitibiBowater Changes Name (Again)

AbitibiBowater (Montreal, QC), maker of papers, pulp and wood products, is changing its name (again) to Resolute Forest Products "to better reflect the fundamental characteristics of the Company we are today," according to company president and CEO Richard Garneau. The company has been steadily reforming itself since it emerged from bankruptcy court protection late last year. The choice of the name came from among 1,400 employee submissions. The new name will become effective November 7; however, the old name will also remain in effect until shareholders formally approve the change, as required by law.

AbitibiBowater produces a wide range of newsprint, commercial printing and packaging papers, market pulp and wood products, serving customers in more than 70 countries. The company owns or operates 18 pulp and paper facilities and 24 wood products facilities located in the US, Canada and South Korea. It is also among the world's largest recyclers of old newspapers and magazines...Read More »



Waste Connections to Report Third Quarter on Oct. 18

Waste Connections, Inc. (Folsom, CA) plans to report third quarter financial results after the close of the stock market on October 18 and host a conference call the following day at 8:30 a.m. (EDT) to discuss them with investors...Read More »


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