Weekly News Bulletin: Jul. 20-26, 2016


EPA's Final Landfill Methane Rule Sets Stricter Limits

On July 15, the EPA issued final rules to reduce methane emissions from modified and existing landfills by a third of previously acceptable levels. The agency issued separate regulations for new and modified municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, issued under section 111(b) of the Clean Air Act, and existing landfills, issued under air act section 111(d). Both rules strengthen standards for new and existing facilities that were issued by the Clinton administration in 1996...Read More »



Environmentalists and Industry Reject EPA's Defense of Coal Ash Rule

Nobody seems to be happy with EPA's defense of its first-time rule for coal ash disposal. Environmentalists, the power industry and coal ash reuse groups are asking a federal appeals court to reject provisions of the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA) rule that industry claims are too strict but that environmentalists counter are unlawfully permissive. Petitioners in consolidated US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit litigation over the rule, Utility Solid Waste Activities Group (USWAG), et al., v. EPA, filed competing briefs on July 14...Read More »



Maine DEP Approves Permit for Innovative Waste-to-Biofuel Plant

The Maine Department of Environmental Protection (MaineDEP) has approved draft permits for a $69 million first-of-its-kind waste management plant in Hampden, ME that would convert waste from more than 100 central Maine communities into cellulosic biofuel. The permits for the 144,000-square-foot plant have been issued to the Municipal Review Committee (MRC), a group that represents the solid waste interests of 187 central Maine communities, and Fiberight (Catonsville, MD), the company that aims to build the plant. The MRC contends that the plan is the best option for its communities, both financially and environmentally. Opponents say that the untested project may not be technically or fiscally feasible, and that the project violates a state statute...Read More »



Montgomery, AL Rescues Large Recycling Facility Forced to Close Last Year

The City of Montgomery, AL said it will rescue a $35 million recycling facility that had closed last year. The city together with the Solid Waste Disposal Authority of the City of Montgomery will purchase the facility from current owner and former operator, Infinitus Renewable Energy Park (IREP), for a mere $625,000. Consequently, IREP plans to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. IREP originally opened the facility amid great fanfare in April 2014, but announced that it had closed temporarily in October 2015 due to the economic strain of poor pricing in the commodities market. "Although it's been a long road, today marks a significant step toward bringing one of the most technologically advanced recycling facilities in the nation back online," Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange. Following the sale, the city of Montgomery will work to formalize an agreement for another company to take over operations...Read More »



New Recycling Rules in NYC Could Mean Higher Costs for Businesses

An advocacy group says that small businesses are likely to be overcharged under New York City's recently adopted recycling regulations unless the city takes action. The report "Reforming for a Better Deal: How to Align Cost Savings, Sustainability and Stability in NYC's Commercial Waste System," published by the Transform Don't Trash NYC coalition, recommends that the city adopt policies similar to those adopted in other model cities to root out inefficiencies, add billing transparency, and incentivize efficiencies. That includes creating commercial zones, which the de Blasio administration is currently evaluating as part of its OneNYC plan, where private sanitation companies could bid to be the exclusive commercial waste provider. The report points to model cities around the country that have already successfully enacted this policy, including San Francisco, Seattle and Oakland...Read More »



EPA and Chemical Industry in Settlement Talks Over Waste Recovery Rule

EPA and the chemical industry are in settlement talks over litigation challenging an agency rule to reduce air toxics from off-site waste and recovery operations. The lawsuit "American Chemistry Council (ACC) v. EPA" filed in May 2015, sought judicial review of EPA's national emissions standards for hazardous air pollutants (NESHAP) for reducing air toxics from off-site waste and recovery operations. Those include facilities that handle used oil, used solvent or waste, including hazardous waste treatment and storage facilities, chemical plants and refineries. The NESHAP rule removes an emissions limit exemption for periods of startup, shutdown and malfunction, bars emissions releases from pressure relief devices (PRDs), among other things. ACC petitioned EPA to reconsider aspects of the rule. In response, EPA gave notice it would reconsider one portion of the rule with regard to PRDs. As a result, both petitioners and EPA filed a joint motion July 14 asking the court to hold the suitin abeyance to allow settlement negotiations to continue and on July 18 a federal appellate court granted the joint motion to continue to stay the lawsuit...Read More »



Republic Services and Mas Energy Unveil Landfill Gas-to-Energy Plants in Atlanta

Republic Services, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ) and Mas Energy, LLC (Ponte Vedra Beach, FL) have opened three landfill gas-to-energy facilities in the metro Atlanta, GA area. Collectively, the three plants at landfills located in the cities of Buford, Griffin and Winder, will generate 24.1 megawatts of electricity, or enough energy to power 15,665 homes. Other partners in the project include Georgia Power, I Squared Capital, Crowder Construction Company and Nixon Energy. Republic has 69 landfill gas-to-energy projects across the country which taken together generate enough energy to power more than 250,000 homes...Read More »



Fortistar Buys 72 MW Castleton Power Plant in New York

Fortistar (White Plains, NY) signed a deal to buy Castleton Power, LLC, owner of a 72 megawatt (MW) gas-fired combined cycle power plant located in Castleton-on-Hudson, NY. Fortistar already owns and operates two other natural gas combined cycle plants in New York: the 221 MW Lockport Energy Associates plant in Lockport; and the 55 MW North Tonawanda facility in North Tonawanda. "This plant is a strategic investment that enhances our diverse energy generation asset portfolio while building on our existing operations in New York State," said Mark Comora, CEO of Fortistar. Fortistar has developed, invested in and managed a portfolio of successful lower carbon energy initiatives throughout the US and Canada, including cogeneration facilities; compressed natural gas fueling stations; landfill power plants; and biomass facilities...Read More »



Clean Harbors to Report 2Q Results on August 3

Clean Harbors, Inc. (Norwell, MA) plans to report second quarter financial results on Wednesday, August 3 at 9 am (Eastern) and host a conference call at that time...Read More »


Sign up to receive our free Weekly News Bulletin