Friday, February 27, 2009

EPA to Decide Who Must Provide Assurances in Cleanups

Feb. 27 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency must begin the process of determining which industries and facilities must provide financial assurances to cleanup potentially hazardous sites.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California in San Francisco denied the EPA´s summary judgment motion to dismiss the plaintiffs´ case, which calls on the EPA to require financial assurances under the Superfund program from companies whose sites are the most environmentally harmful.

Environmental law firm Earthjustice is suing the agency on behalf of the Sierra Club and several other groups. They claim the EPA has shirked its duty to promulgate and implement financial assurance.

Section 108(b) of the federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act required the federal government to identify classes of facilities, owners and operators for which it would first develop financial requirements, based on the highest risk of harm, no later than three years after Dec. 11, 1980.

The federal government has yet to do so. The court ordered the EPA to publish a notice of the classes in the Federal Registry. It will then look into whether the EPA is required to promulgate and implement financial assurance.

"Instead, the court will hold these issues in abeyance pending EPA´s publication of notice of classes as the court believes this will shed light on the merits of the other challenged duties under Section 108(b)," District Court Judge William Alsup said in his decision.

Conversely, the court also granted the U.S. Department of Transportation and its interveners their request for summary judgment. It ruled the plaintiffs failed to establish that they suffered injury traceable to the DOT´s action or inaction, and the department is not responsible for implementing financial assurances.


Source: Waste & Recycling News, Feb. 27th, 2009

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

President Obama Nominates Attorney as EPA Deputy Administrator

Feb. 25 -- President Obama has nominated an attorney and professor of environmental law to be the new deputy administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency.

Jon Cannon, director of the Environmental and Land Use Law Program at the University of Virginia, would serve in the No. 2 spot at the EPA under Lisa Jackson, the new administrator. Cannon worked in numerous positions at the EPA during the Reagan, George H.W. Bush and Clinton administrations. He eventually rose to serve as the EPA´s general counsel, but previously worked on legal issues involving civil enforcement, solid waste and emergency response.

Cannon earned his law degree from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and received a bachelor´s degree from Williams College in Williamstown, Mass.


Source: Waste & Recycling News, Feb. 25, 2009

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

TV Sales vs. DTV Transition

According to industry analysts, the fourth quarter of 2008 saw global TV shipments drop and 2009 may bring the first decline in PC sales since 2001.

Global shipments of televisions dropped 5% in the last quarter of 2008, the first year-over-year decline in over two years, according to market research firm DisplaySearch. Shipments of televisions during the fourth quarter, at 57.7 million, dropped from more than 60 million shipped during the same period in 2007.
Research firm IDC expects the current recession will continue to adversely affect the PC market as well. IDC's Loren Loverde said that the firm's most recent forecast for 2009 — four-percent growth — will likely not be met. "As things sink in, it could easily be in negative territory," said Loverde.

Further news on the ongoing saga of the conversion to over-the-air digital television transmission. Though a sizable backlog still exists for DTV converter box coupons, the National telecommunications Information Administration said it can clear the four-million-strong waiting list in the next two to three weeks. The recently-passed $789 billion federal stimulus package contained monies to restart the DTV box coupons, enabling the NTIA to ramp up sending them out to consumers.

Meanwhile, the much-ballyhooed TV "tsunami" has yet to reach its predicted point break, there are reports of analog TVs hitting the secondary market with increasing regularity. More than 400 of the approximately 1,800 broadcast television stations nationwide already have made the conversion. With that, the Federal Communications Commission has also mandated that at least one of the top four network affiliates — ABC, CBS, NBC or FOX — broadcast in analog in each market until the new June 12th DTV cutoff date.


Source: E-Scrap News, Feb. 20, 2009

Friday, February 20, 2009

Stiumulus Plan Includes $7.22B for EPA Programs

Feb. 20 - The $787 billion economic recovery plan signed by President Obama Feb. 17 includes $7.22 billion for projects and programs administered by the EPA.

The Obama administration estimates the entire package will create 3 million to 4 million jobs with many protecting public health and the environment.

"Through the president´s stimulus package, green initiatives will play a significant role in powering economic recovery," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson said.

The stimulus bill includes funding for the following EPA-administered programs:

-- The Clean Water State Revolving Fund and Drinking Water State Revolving Fund will receive $4 billion to help communities with water quality and wastewater infrastructure needs and $2 billion for drinking water infrastructure needs.

-- The Brownfields program will receive $100 million for competitive grants to evaluate and clean up former industrial and commercial sites

-- Diesel emissions reduction efforts will receive $300 million for grants and loans to help regional, state and local governments, tribal agencies, and non-profit organizations with projects that reduce diesel emissions

-- The Superfund hazardous waste cleanup program gets $600 million

-- The Leaking Underground Storage Tank program gets $200 million for the cleanup of petroleum leaks.

The EPA intends to move designated funds to the states as quickly as possible, according to the agency. All funding will be monitored by the EPA Inspector General´s Office, which will receive $20 million for oversight and review.

The EPA will post announcements of grants on the Web to ensure transparency. The state-by-state distributions for clean water and drinking water state revolving funds will also be available on the Web at


Source: "Waste & Recycling News", Feb. 20th, 2009

Monday, February 16, 2009

PWB Value Makes Small Step Up in January

The gross value of printed wiring board scrap in January 2009 was $3.68 per pound, up 5.6 percent over December 2008 numbers. The PWB value was down 16.7 percent from the same period a year ago.
This data represents the full metallic values of boards over time and are not the recycling values, as those values do not include the costs involved in actually extracting metal from boards, including freight, sampling charges, assay assessments, smelting, refining, process loss, return on investment, and penalties for various elements, including beryllium, bismuth and nickel.

These values are for the estimated intrinsic metal content of recovered PC boards. Some consumers label such material as mid-value. Lower-value scrap includes monitor and television boards. Higher-value scrap includes network and video cards, and motherboards.

The average value of board scrap for all of 2008 was $4.31 per pound, up 16.5 percent from 2007, though the increase can be misleading, as prices collapsed in the second half of 2008.


Source: E-Scrap News, Feb. 13th, 2009

Friday, February 13, 2009

EPA Challenges to Recycle More TVs

Feb. 13 -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is challenging retailers and television makers to collect and recycle more TVs.

The challenge is part of the agency´s Plug-In to eCycling program and will run through August. Manufacturers and retailers can enter their recovery programs and the EPA will evaluate them and recognize the most innovative and effective initiative.

Americans discarded nearly 27 million televisions in 2007 and had an additional 99 million sitting around in places like closets, basements and garages, according to the EPA. More information about the challenge is available at