October 8, 2001

8 Min Read
Oct. 8, 2001 Issue

Rebekah A. Hall



- NSWMA to Ask Supreme Court To Overturn Flow Control Decision

- ISRI Helps with Scrap Metal Cleanup at WTC Site; Metal Theft Tied to Organized Crime

- OSHA Delays Ergonomics Announcement

- Eight RCRA Brownfields Projects Selected to Expedite Development

- FEMA Assigns Fresh Kills Job to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

- Pennsylvania To Extend Landfill Hours for NYC Trash

- Motorola Creates Methane-Powered Cell Phones

Newsbriefs: Agreement, Alliance, etc.


For continuing news coverage of the waste industry's role in the national tragedy, visit http://www.wasteage.com



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NSWMA to Ask Supreme Court To Overturn Flow Control Decision

Washington, D.C. -- The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) will file a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in November asking the court to overturn a July 2001 federal appeals court flow control decision [United Haulers Association, Inc. v. Oneida-Herkimer Solid Waste Management Authority, 2d Cir. July 27, 2001].

The NSWMA intends to argue that the appeals court decision conflicts with the Supreme Court's 1994 ruling in C&A Carbone, Inc. v. Town of Clarkstown, which found that Clarkstown, N.Y.'s flow control law violated the Commerce Clause of the U.S. Constitution.

In the United Haulers case, the federal appeals court reversed a lower court ruling that the two upstate New York counties' flow control laws violated the Commerce Clause. The appeals court noted that the in the Carbone case, the designated facility was privately owned, whereas in the United Haulers case, a public authority owns the facility.

United Haulers will file a petition with the Supreme Court in late October, and the NSWMA will file a friend-of-the-court, or amicus, brief in support of the petition. Under the Supreme Court's rules, the Court can choose whether it wants to hear the case. Such a decision is expected by Feb. 2002, according to the NSWMA.

ISRI Helps with Scrap Metal Cleanup at WTC Site; Metal Theft Tied to Organized Crime

New York -- The Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is helping New York City officials ensure that all recyclable material removed from the World Trade Center site is recycled through the proper channels, following numerous reports that organized crime families were stealing the metal for profit.

Most of the recyclable material now is being sent to the Fresh Kills landfill in Staten Island, where investigators inspect the material and send it to a contracted scrap processor.

ISRI has asked government officials to provide lists of all companies that have contracts with the city to remove recyclable materials from the site.

Meantime, New York city officials have hired four private investigation firms to monitor work at the site, and the Manhattan district attorney's office is conducting a grand jury probe into organized crime-related truckers who allegedly stole tons of scrap metal and sold it, instead of transporting it to Fresh Kills.

According to an ABCNews.com report, at least five of the trucking companies being used to haul wreckage from the site are on a list of city vendors involved in alleged corruption or have ties to organized crime.

"We don't have any firm information about continuing violations along these lines," New York City investigation commissioner Ed Kuriansky told ABCNews.com, "but we want to ensure it doesn't happen."

OSHA Delays Ergonomics Announcement

Washington, D.C. -- The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has announced that it will temporarily postpone its announcement of a plan of action on ergonomics because of the terrorist attacks in New York City and the Pentagon on Sept. 11.

Labor Secretary Elaine Chao was expected to announce last month whether the department will pursue another ergonomics regulations or a more voluntary approach.

Eight RCRA Brownfields Projects Selected to Expedite Development

Washington, D.C. -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced the selection of eight Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Brownfields-Targeted Site Efforts (TSE) projects.

TSE projects are an outgrowth of the first RCRA Brownfields Prevention Initiative Pilots, which showed that there are many RCRA sites close to being cleaned up and redeveloped.

However, these sites need a boost to get to the next level of cleanup, and TSE projects help by having EPA regional offices provide technical assistance for stakeholder outreach, community involvement and additional sampling, if needed.

The EPA expects to publish the results of these projects by next summer.

FEMA Assigns Fresh Kills Job to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers

New York -- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has assigned a $125 million project to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to oversee management of the Fresh Kills landfill for World Trade Center debris disposal.

The firm of Phillips and Jordon Inc. (P&J) has been assigned to expedite recovery operations and will manage contractors working the landfill site. P&J also will manager inventory equipment to determine requirements; work with the New York City police department, the Department of Sanitation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI); and establish measures to protect workers and evidence.

The company was awarded the contract through a competitive bid process. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will oversee the mission until the Corps' New York District has a team ready to assume the duties. FEMA will fund the project until the evidence search mode has ceased. The project is expected to last 9 months.

Pennsylvania To Extend Landfill Hours for NYC Trash Harrisburg, Pa. -- The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced it will extend emergency procedures to handle New York City trash, which is expected to arrive at state landfills and incinerators.

Emergency trash-handling procedures, which include keeping facilities open to accept waste outside of their normal operating hours, were put in place on Sept. 21 and were expected to expire on Sept. 30. But at the request of New York state environmental officials, the state has agreed to extend the deadline to Oct. 15 to handle the debris from the World Trade Center attacks.

The extension is due in part to increased security inspections, which has delayed many trash trucks from arriving at their disposal destinations.

Motorola Creates Methane-Powered Cell Phones Motorola has announced that by 2010, wireless phones, personal digital assistants (PDAs) and laptops could run on methane gas-powered batteries, replacing the nickel cadmium batteries that power most electronic devices today.

Motorola researchers announced Tuesday that they have demonstrated that a methane gas-powered fuel cell can provide enough power between chargings for one month of wireless phone calls.

Inside the fuel cell, methane is stored in a ballpoint pen ink holder-sized area. A chemical reaction releases oxygen, heat and electricity. The electricity then powers the phone directly or charges another battery that then can power the phone.

Methane gas, which comes from renewable resources such as decomposing garbage at landfills, can be compressed from a gas into a liquid to create a fuel source.

Motorola has not yet determined a wide-scale sale date for the batteries. But most analysts agree that preparing the fuel cells for mass production could take anywhere from two to four years.

NEWSBRIEFS: Agreement, Alliance, etc.


- The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., has entered into an agreement with the Compost Advisory Council of the Recycling Coalition of Texas, Austin, Texas, to develop a training course and certification exam for composting program managers.


- Atlanta-based CAPS Logistics and E3 Corp. have joined to resell CAPS’ transportation and supply chain management (SCM) products as a component to E3’s demand planning, forecasting and inventory management solutions.


- McLeskey Enterprises Inc., Ridgefield, Wash., celebrated its 25th anniversary in Aug. 2001. The company owns Cascade Container-Fab Co. and Cascon Transportation Equipment, manufacturers and distributors of material handling and solid waste handling equipment.


November 28-29, 2001

Business Energy Solutions Expo Orlando, Fla. Contact: The Association of Energy Engineers (AEE). Fax: (770) 381-9865. Website: http://www.aeecenter.org/bese.

November 30, 2001

Take It Back! Global Packaging Mandates: How to Design for Environment and Save Money

Las Vegas. Contact: Michele Raymond, Raymond Communications. Phone: (301) 345-4237. Fax: (301) 345-4768. E-mail: [email protected]. Website: www.raymond.com/conference/index.html.

December 3-6, 2001

14th International Conference on Site Remediation and Environmental Management

Orlando, Fla. Contact: Paul Reneau, Gas Technology Institute (GTI), 1700 South Mount Prospect Road, Des Plaines, Ill. 60018-1804. Phone: (847) 768-0780. Fax: (847) 768-0501. mailto:[email protected].

December 4-7, 2001

17th Annual Pollutec International Exhibition of Environment Equipment, Technologies and Service for Industry

Paris-Nord Villepinte, France. Contact: Emmanuelle Cade, International Trade Exhibitions in France Inc., 1611 North Kent Street, Suite 903, Arlington, Va. 22209. Phone toll-free: (888) 522-5001. Fax: (703) 522-5005. mailto:[email protected]. Website: http://www.pollutec.com.

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