Weekly News Bulletin: Nov. 8-14, 2011


Coal Ash Spill Prompts Call For EPA Strict Regulation

On Oct. 31 coal ash from a Wisconsin power plant leaked into Lake Michigan, which together with new data from the EPA indicating the vulnerability of ash impoundments, is prompting environmental groups, including Earthjustice and others, to call for lawmakers to drop their legislative efforts to prevent EPA from regulating coal ash as a hazardous waste. "This is not some 'freak accident,' for a century billions of tons coal ash has been buried, piled and ponded without regulation and without consideration of the consequences," said Earthjustice attorney Lisa Evans. She noted the approach of the three-year anniversary of the massive coal ash spill at a Tennessee Valley Authority power plant which prompted EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson to launch the agency's rulemaking effort. Evans and other environmentalists issued statements in response to a fill project that on Oct. 31 spilled into Lake Michigan from the We Energies Oak Creek Power Plant in Milwaukee County, WI. The company said in a statement that the spilled material was "likely" coal ash that had been used as fill material but that it is "not hazardous material" and "[it] is unlikely there will be any health impacts at all from this event."

The environmental groups refer to new EPA research showing a three-fold increase in the number of ash disposal ponds that could pose hazards to surrounding areas. According to Earthjustice, EPA recently released a new set of data that reveals 181 'significant' hazard coal ash dams in 18 states. "This is more than three times the 60 significant-hazard ponds listed in the original database released in 2009," the group said...Read More »



Waste Management Teams up With Clean Energy Fuels to Manage CNG

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) is contracting with Clean Energy Fuels to maintain and expand its growing network of compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations. Waste Management currently deploys about 1,000 natural gas-powered (CNG and LNG) solid waste collection and recycling trucks throughout North America, and has CNG and LNG fueling stations at 17 of its facilities with more under development. Clean Energy is the largest provider of natural gas fuel for transportation in North America and a global leader in the expanding natural gas vehicle market. It fuels over 23,300 vehicles at 248 locations across the US and Canada with customers in the refuse, transit, trucking, shuttle, taxi, airport and municipal fleet markets...Read More »



Clean Harbors Q3 Beats Expectations, Helped by Acquisitions

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) reported third quarter profit that declined from those of a year ago when it was working to clean up the gulf oil spill. However, the results were better than expected as revenue rose to $556.1 million from $487.7 million having benefited from recent acquisitions, including those of Peak Energy Services and Destiny Resource Services. The company got $42 million for helping clean an oil spill on Montana's Yellowstone River from a ruptured pipeline. That paled, however, with the $124 million it got in last year's third quarter for work on oil spills in the Gulf of Mexico and in Michigan. Third-quarter net income fell to $37.1 million, or 70 cents per share, from $38.8 million, or 73 cents per share, a year earlier. The company raised its forecast of full-year revenue to $1.92 billion to $1.94 billion, up from an earlier forecast of $1.84 billion to $1.88 billion...Read More »



Company to Build $60 Million Waste-to-Energy Plant in Boise, Idaho

Ada County, Idaho signed an agreement with Dynamis Energy, LLC (Eagle, ID) to build an advanced waste-to-energy facility at the county's Hidden Hollow landfill. Dynamis will finance, build and operate the $60 million facility on land to be leased from the county for $1 per year for 20 years. The 54,400-square-foot facility will be capable of processing 250 tons of ordinary municipal solid waste (MSW), tires and other wastes per day. The company will sell the electricity it produces to Idaho Power. Construction is to begin next spring and estimated to be complete and operational in the late spring of 2013...Read More »



Fortistar and Republic Open 6.4 MW Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plant in Virginia

Republic Services (Phoenix, AZ) and Fortistar (New York, NY) jointly announced the opening of a new state-of-the-art 6.4-megawatt landfill gas-to-energy called Richmond Energy LLC, at Republic Services' Old Dominion Sanitary Landfill in Henrico County. The project employs four Caterpillar G3520 reciprocating engine generator sets, each rated at 1.6 megawatts, which with the support of associated landfill gas clean-up and compression equipment, will meet the energy needs of about 4,500 area homes. Old Dominion Electric Cooperative will buy that power under a power purchase agreement, its first with Fortistar. Fortistar now has over 20 projects on Republic Services landfills that are among 60 projects it has in North America...Read More »



ReEnergy Buys Five Biomass Power Plants for $93 Million

Renewable energy developer ReEnergy Holdings LLC (Albany, NY) is buying a portfolio of five biomass power plants from Quebec-based Boralex Inc. for $93 million. The facilities include a 40-megawatt (MW) facility in Ashland, Maine; a 36-MW facility in Fort Fairfield, Maine; a 40-MW plant in Livermore Falls, Maine; a 50-MW facility in Stratton, Maine; and a 20-MW facility in Chateaugay, NY, all of which are designed to consume woody biomass. "This acquisition is a significant step in our strategy to build an integrated solid fuel renewable energy facilities company in the U.S.," said Larry Richardson, ReEnergy CEO. The transaction expands ReEnergy's power portfolio to 240 MW and increases its employees to 260 operating out of four states. The sale is expected to close by the end of the year.

Boralex executives said during a conference call that they plan to redeploy the funds relatively quickly, investing in ready-to-build wind, solar and hydro projects in Canada and Europe...Read More »



E-Waste Processor Buys Large Texas Facility

Electronics recycling company Image Microsystems (Austin, TX) has acquired a new 100,000-square-foot processing facility in Kyle, Texas that is expected to enhance the company's asset recovery, recycling and MicroStrate sign substrate manufacturing capabilities. Having recently won a contract from its home city to provide them with road signs made from recycled e-waste plastics, the company is looking to quickly expand its facilities, with the Kyle plant being the first of five planned processing facilities. The company plans to eventually invest more than $30 million in facilities in California, Florida, Michigan and Pennsylvania in addition to the Kyle plant...Read More »



EnergySolutions Q3 Loss Narrows on Improved Commercial Sector

EnergySolutions, Inc. (Salt Lake City, UT) reported a lower third quarter loss on improving business in its commercial division which outweighed lower revenue from government contracts. Company CEO Val Christensen said the company was also getting smarter about managing its projects. He noted that EnergySolutions is teaming with Toshiba to bid on cleanup work associated with the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The Japanese government is expected to take over the cleanup by the end of the year. EnergySolutions posted a net loss of $3.8 million, or 4 cents per share, compared with a loss of $5.7 million, or 6 cents per share, a year ago. Excluding one-time charges and associated income tax expenses, the company would have earned $412,000, or flat earnings per share, compared with a loss of $565,000, or 1 cent per share last year. Third quarter revenue increased slightly to $421 million from $417.7 million a year ago. International operations revenue rose 15 percent to $257.5 million. That outweighed lower government transportation service activity, fewer government cleanup project contracts, and decreased funding from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act...Read More »



Perma-Fix Reports Record Third Quarter on Higher End Waste Streams

Perma-Fix Environmental Services, Inc. (Atlanta, GA) reported a 43 percent jump in third quarter revenue which it attributed to increased treatment of higher activity and more complex waste streams. "The second half of 2011 is proving to be one of the strongest periods in our history and we believe this demonstrates that our strategy is working," said company Chairman and CEO Dr. Louis F. Centofanti. Revenue for the quarter increased to $32.8 million from $22.9 million in the same period last year. Net income rose to $6.0 million or $0.11 per share compared to a net loss of $1.1 million or $(0.02) per share, for the same period in 2010. Net income for the third quarter of 2011 included a gain on the sale of its Fort Lauderdale facility for about $1.8 million, partially offset by a loss from discontinued operations of $187,000...Read More »



EQ Opens Environmental Service Center in Las Vegas

EQ - The Environmental Quality Company (Wayne, MI) announced the opening of a new environmental services center in Las Vegas, Nevada, its twenty-seventh recycling, treatment, disposal and service facility among others throughout the US. The EQ Las Vegas facility will offer a broad array of services including hazardous and non-hazardous waste transportation and disposal; industrial cleaning and maintenance; site remediation and project management; lab packing and small quantity chemical management services...Read More »


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