Weekly News Bulletin: Jun. 8-14, 2016


Environmentalists and Utilities Defend Preferred Provisions of EPA Coal Ash Rule

In a case now before U.S. Court of Appeals (DC), environmentalists and utilities disagree about the legality of EPA's first-time coal ash disposal regulations under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). In general, environmentalists argue that coal ash should be regulated as a hazardous waste subject to strict subtitle C rules rather than as a non-hazardous waste subject to less stringent subtitle D rules as advocated by industry. New filings in the consolidated litigation case Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), et al., v. EPA reveals industry's argument that EPA's regulation of inactive surface impoundments that no longer receive coal ash is unlawful under RCRA Subtitle D which limits the EPA's regulatory authority to active units still receiving waste for "disposal." Environmentalists counter that the potential for ash leaks, seepage and other releases from inactive sites constitutes "passive migration" of contaminants which can be considered "disposal" under RCRA requiring EPA to step in to prevent adverse impacts on the environment...Read More »



Tunnel Hill Partners Buys City Carting, Expands Network of Rail-Served Facilities

Tunnel Hill Partners (Jericho, NY), building on its network of rail-served waste facilities, has acquired City Carting (Stamford, CT). Tunnel Hill already owns two large rail-served landfills in Ohio to which it feeds wastes from a network of transfer stations and recycling facilities it owns in Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania. City Carting adds to that network three transfer stations in western Connecticut and four more in eastern New York. This not only increases the company's scale of operations but also its efficiency since there are large economies-of-scale with operating large landfills and especially with waste-by-rail, both of which are capital intensive efforts...Read More »



Republic Subsidiary Appeals NLRB Ruling on "Joint Employment"

A subsidiary of Republic Services Inc (Phoenix, AZ) is contesting a ruling by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) that labeled the company a "joint employer" even though the workers in question were hired by a staffing agency. In a closely watched case, the company told a U.S. appeals court this week that the new NLRB standard for "joint employment" is so broad and vague that it makes it impossible for employers to structure their business relationships with contractors. Earlier this month, a three-member panel of the NLRB unanimously found that the company's Browning-Ferris subsidiary violated federal labor law by refusing to negotiate with a union (Teamsters Local 350) representing workers at its recycling facility in Milpitas, CA who had been hired by a staffing agency...Read More »



EPA Revises Environmental Justice Plan After Criticism

The EPA has revised its Environmental Justice agenda (EJ 2020) and is seeking additional public comment on what it calls a "final draft," after environmentalists last year criticized the plan for having little connection to the 1965 Civil Rights Act. EPA's EJ chief, Charles Lee, describes the new version as "a strategy that envisions an EPA that integrates environmental justice into everything we do." EPA's latest draft plan places an emphasis on metrics and selects four "significant national [EJ] challenges," including lead, drinking water, air quality and hazardous waste sites. It says it will attack each in a two-phase approach of acting and then assessing the outcomes. On hazardous waste sites, the draft plan says that EPA seeks to reduce human exposure to their contaminants, emphasizing reducing the impact on EJ communities who are often most vulnerable to these sites...Read More »



Clean Earth, Inc. Buys Alabama Hazardous Waste Facility

Clean Earth, Inc. (Hatboro, PA), which processes contaminated soils, dredged sediments and other industrial and hazardous wastes at 18 facilities in 9 states, has purchased EWS Alabama, Inc. (Glencoe, AL). EWS operates a 65,000 square foot fully permitted hazardous waste facility that serves 250 customers in 11 states. For the year ending April 30 it had revenues of $12 million. Clean Earth is a portfolio company of private equity firm Compass Diversified Holdings (Westport, CT). Compass funded the purchase through a draw on its revolving credit facility...Read More »



Waste Connections Expands Footprint in South Dakota

Waste Connections Inc. (The Woodlands, TX) has purchased the Rapid City, SD hauling operation of Red River Waste Solutions, which is actually based in Dripping Springs, TX. The transaction combines the two largest waste management participants in the South Dakota market. Red River will instead focus and continue to expand in its core markets primarily in the southern U.S., including Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi and Louisiana, as well as Iowa and Texas...Read More »



NRC Approves EnergySolutions' Control of Nuclear Plant Decommissioning

EnergySolutions (Salt Lake City, UT) said it has taken over the operation of the LaCrosse Nuclear Power Plant located in Genoa, WI, following approval from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). EnergySolutions' subsidiary, LaCrosseSolutions, LLC will continue decommissioning the plant, which was shut down in 1987. "We appreciate the NRC's timely review and confidence demonstrated by approval of this license transfer," said Ken Robuck, President of Decommissioning and Disposal for EnergySolutions...Read More »


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