Week Ahead: ‘Garbage Juice,’ Snow Leopards, EPA Modeling Debated


“Garbage juice” in North Carolina, the snow leopard’s role in addressing climate change, and an EPA panel’s scrutiny of regulation models are among the topics at energy and environment events during the week of Aug. 28.

North Carolina lawmakers are scheduled to vote Monday on overriding Gov. Roy Cooper’s (D) veto of a bill (H.B. 576) that would allow the state’s landfill operators to spray leachate and wastewater into the air to help manage solid waste. The technique is known as “aerosolization,” but opponents have termed it “garbage juice spraying.”

In his veto message, Cooper said he opposed the bill because it would limit the future use of more environmentally protective technologies. Despite the earlier blessing from state lawmakers, the owner of most of North Carolina’s landfills—Phoenix-based Republic Services Inc.—is now backing away from aerosolization.

Republic Services “concluded that the technique is not a viable alternative for our liquids management in North Carolina,” the company said in a statement to Bloomberg BNA. The company said it didn’t plan to use the method in the future and was “committed to working with regulators on future ideas and opportunities that might further enhance the management of an evolving waste stream.”

Another company, Charah LLC, which operates a landfill near Moncure, N.C., told state regulators that it wants to withdraw its request for an aerosolization permit, according to a news report. Andrew Ballard will cover.

In Other News

World Water Week: Stockholm’s annual conference addressing global water issues, organized by the Stockholm International Water Institute, runs Sunday through Friday. Thousands of attendees from more than 100 countries will listen to panel discussions on topics such as irrigating forests with wastewater and using hydropower to address climate change.

One of Monday’s panels will address how snow leopards are bringing together 12 countries in Asia’s Third Pole region to deal with water and climate security. The animals are considered to show potential resiliency against the direct impacts of climate change in the near term: They are able to tolerate a range of temperatures and require minimal fresh water. But scientists are concerned about the snow leopards’ longer term future as climate change accelerates.

Hurricane Harvey: Bloomberg BNA staff will monitor the hurricane’s impact on the Gulf Coast region’s oil and gas sector and other energy and environmental effects.

Regulation modeling: The Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board meets Tuesday and Wednesday in Arlington, Va. Among the topics is a review of a draft board report on economywide modeling of environmental regulations’ costs and benefits. Peter Wilcoxen, a Brookings Institution nonresident senior fellow in economic studies and co-director of the Brookings Climate and Energy Economics Project, chairs the committee on the topic and will make a presentation. Sylvia Carignan will watch.

Perry to Ukraine: Energy Secretary Rick Perry on Monday will lead a U.S. delegation to Kyiv, Ukraine. The group will meet with President Petro Poroshenko as well as other Ukrainian officials to discuss energy partnerships. The department, along with Xcoal Energy & Resources, announced Aug. 21 the first shipment of Pennsylvania thermal coal to Ukraine.

Conowingo Dam: The Maryland Environmental Service is expected Thursday to issue a detailed request for proposal for a demonstration project to determine the costs of dredging the Conowingo Dam. The project also will seek to identify markets for reuse of dredged material. Recent research shows that the hydroelectric dam, located on the Susquehanna River in northern Maryland, has been filling with sediment faster than expected. Leslie A. Pappas will cover.

Infrastructure investment: The Atlantic Council will hold a Monday forum in Chapel Hill, N.C., on the Trump administration’s infrastructure proposal featuring Rep. David Price (D-N.C.).

EPA webinars: The EPA will hold a Tuesday webinar on reducing plastic products’ pollution and a Thursday webinar on suspect screening of chemicals in consumer products.

—With assistance from Andrew Ballard.