Weekly News Bulletin: Jul. 19-25, 2012


Veolia Sells its US Waste Business to Highstar Capital for $1.9 Bil.

Veolia Environnement has struck a deal to sell its US waste business to a unit of Highstar Capital for $1.91 billion.

Highstar, the infrastructure-focused private equity firm once affiliated with American International Group Inc. (AIG) is a great fit. It has been a player in the waste management space for many years and owns large regional companies, Interstate Waste Services (Basking Ridge, NJ), and Advanced Disposal (Jacksonville, FL). It plans to combine the operations of all three into one company operating as Advanced Disposal Services. The new entity will have annual revenues of about $1.4 billion, making it the largest privately owned waste company in the US. Its 5,450 employees will operate a fleet of over 3,000 trucks, 47 landfills, and 92 transfer stations across 20 states...Read More »



Covanta Q2 Holds Steady amid Lower Energy and Metals Prices

Covanta Holding Corp. reported second quarter results that were essentially flat from the prior year's results as lower energy and recycled metals prices weighed down results. Reported net income was $18 million or $0.14 per share, compared to $18 million or $0.13 per share last year. Revenue dropped slightly to $410 million, from $411 million last year. The company still expects 2012 adjusted earnings per share in the range of $0.55-$0.65 and is optimistic about the future effects of recent accomplishments including the renewal contracts with the City of Tulsa and Stanislaus County, CA, new metals recovery systems in Fairfax VA and Boston MA, and the expansion of its Honolulu facility.

Anthony Orlando, Covanta's President and CEO stated, "Excellent operating performance drove another solid financial quarter and it gives us confidence to reaffirm our full year guidance, which calls for continued earnings growth despite declines in energy and recycled metal markets."...Read More »



Supreme Court Ruling Says Juries Must Set Criminal Penalties in Environmental Cases

The US Supreme Court has ruled in case that is likely to make it harder for the EPA to enforce higher penalties against companies believed to have violated pollution control and other environmental laws. The court ruled 6-3 in the case, Southern Union Company v. USA, that juries, not judges, must set limits for criminal penalties in cases brought under the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA). The justices agreed with the company that a prior court precedent requiring prosecutors to obtain jury rulings when seeking enhanced sentencing should also apply to criminal penalties.

"The Sixth Amendment reserves to juries the determination of any fact, other than the fact of a prior conviction, that increases a criminal defendant's maximum potential sentence," the majority said in its ruling. "We have applied this principle in numerous cases where the sentence was imprisonment or death. The question here is whether the same rule applies to sentences of criminal fines. We hold that it does."...Read More »



California Bill Requires Utilities to Buy Renewable Biomass and Biogas Power

California legislators are advancing a bill (SB 1122) that will require the state's three major electric investor-owned utilities to purchase 250 megawatts of electricity from small renewable biomass and biogas projects, a measure that expands an existing feed-in tariff program in the state. The bill is opposed by the utilities, which argue it is a misguided "carve-out" for biogas that will unfairly raise electricity prices on their ratepayers. The state is implementing the measure as part of a rulemaking to carry out its 33% renewable portfolio standard (RPS), which was signed into law last year. The tariff, required by the 2009 law SB 32, is considered a major step toward achieving Gov. Jerry Brown's (D) goal of installing 12,000 megawatts of distributed renewable energy generation by the end of 2020. Renewable energy mandates are a cornerstone of the state's strategy to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions to 1990 levels by 2020...Read More »



Waste Management's Steve Preston to Leave; James Fish New CFO

Waste Management, Inc. (Houston, TX) said Steven Preston, who became principal financial officer at the company when it acquired Oakleaf Global Holdings last year, will resign to pursue chief executive officer opportunities. Preston, who had been CEO of Oakleaf prior to the merger, was more recently given the title EVP of Finance, Recycling and Energy Services. In that role he was spearheading the company's objective to provide comprehensive environmental solutions to customers as a one-stop shop for all of their environmental needs.

James Fish, currently senior vice president of Waste Management's Eastern Group division, will take over as the new chief financial officer. His appointment takes effect after the reporting of second quarter results. Fish joined Waste Management in 2001 as director of financial planning and analysis and was promoted to vice president of price management two years later...Read More »



Veolia's Taylor County Landfill Becomes Georgia's Largest Gas-to-Energy Project

Veolia ES Solid Waste and partners Energy Development, Ltd. and Green Power EMC have expanded a landfill gas-to-energy plant at Veolia's Taylor County Landfill in Mauk, Georgia that essentially doubles its power output from 4 to 8 megawatts. That makes it currently the largest such facility in Georgia. Green Power EMC has agreed to buy the power for 15 years...Read More »



Advanced Disposal Building 67-Truck CNG Station in Atlanta

Advanced Disposal Services Inc. (Jacksonville, FL) has begun constructing a $2 million compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling facility in Atlanta, GA. "This is the first of many locations that we will transition to CNG. CNG-powered engines burn cleaner than traditional diesel engines typically used by our industry," said chairman & CEO Charlie Appleby. The Atlanta location will fuel a fleet of 67 CNG trucks serving the metro Atlanta area, including Gwinnett County and the City of Roswell...Read More »



Progressive Waste to Report Second Quarter Results on July 25

Progressive Waste Solutions Ltd. (Toronto, ON) plans to report second quarter financial results on Wednesday, July 25 prior to the opening of the markets. The company will host a conference call later that morning at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »


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