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#34 - BFI And Waste Management, Inc., Are Now Subject Of 11 Grand Jury, 19-Jul-1987

The Los Angeles County district attorney in mid-June charged Waste
Management, Inc., and two other garbage firms with conspiracy to
restrict competition (to fix garbage prices), in what prosecutors
called the "largest criminal antitrust case in California history."
Waste Management is the biggest waste hauling company in the U.S.; they
operate 102 municipal solid waste landfills and sixteen hazardous waste
landfills in 37 states.

According to the WALL STREET JOURNAL June 10, 1987, the companies are
charged with illegally operating a cartel, "dividing up customers among
themselves, eliminating true competition, and raising prices to
artificially high levels." If convicted, the firms could lose the right
to do business in California, and could be fined up to $1 million each.
(The JOURNAL did not report whether the firms earned more than $1
million each by their alleged illegal activities.) Five individuals
charged with conspiracy in the same case, including two employees of
Waste Management, each face up to three years in jail and fines of up
to $100,000.

Two weeks later the Los Angeles County district attorney's office filed
civil charges against the same companies and the same individuals,
stemming from the same activities. According to the WALL STREET JOURNAL
July 2, 1987, the district attorney's office said the civil suit was
filed because they will seek an injunction to prohibit the companies
and individuals from repeating the violations in the future.

* * *

Meanwhile the WALL STREET JOURNAL June 2 reported that in Chicago
"Federal investigators are conducting a massive inquiry into price-
fixing, bid-rigging, and other criminal antitrust activities in the
booming waste disposal industry." Federal officials said 11 grand
juries are investigating criminal activities within the waste hauling
industry from Florida to California.

According to the JOURNAL, "Sources close to the investigation" said
that Waste Management, Inc., is being investigated in six states and
Browning-Ferris Industries (BFI) is being investigated in five states.
BFI is the second-largest waste hauler in the U.S.

Justice Department officials said grand juries are looking into illegal
waste disposal practices in Birmingham, AL; Orlando and Fort
Lauderdale, FL; Memphis, TN; Harrisburg and Pittsburgh, PA; Trenton,
NJ; Phoenix, AZ; Cleveland, OH; Los Angeles, CA; and at an undisclosed
11th locale.

Both Waste Management and BFI have been convicted of price-fixing and
bid-rigging in the past. In 1984, the two firms were convicted of such
charges by a federal jury in Georgia. Late in 1986, two senior
officials of Waste Management's south Florida subsidiary, United
Sanitation Services, were convicted of antitrust charges. Waste
Management, Inc., wasn't charged in the Florida case, but the JOURNAL
cites sources "close to the investigation" saying that the company is
now being investigated as a result of the conviction of the two
executives.

In a pre-sentencing memorandum for one of the convicted officials,
federal prosecutors called the former head of Waste Management's south
Florida subsidiary the "chief architect" of a conspiracy to control
waste hauling in the region. The memorandum said the scheme was
"financially devastating" and cost South Florida customers "millions of
dollars annually."

--Peter Montague

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LITTLE-KNOWN PUBLICATION GIVES FREE ACCESS TO MANY EPA REPORTS

No matter what you think of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), you're going to like its Center for Environmental Research
Information in Cincinnati, OH. Every three or four months, they publish
ORD PUBLICATIONS ANNOUNCEMENT; ORD stands for Office of Research and
Development. This 30-page booklet lists recent publications giving
results of EPA-funded research. The listed publications are free for
the asking: just check off the ones you want, send the form back to
Cincinnati and wait a few weeks. (The publications are free as long as
the supply lasts, so send your order quickly.) To get on the free
mailing list to receive ORD PUBLICATIONS ANNOUNCEMENTS, write to EPA,
ORD Publications, P.O. Box 12505, Cincinnati, OH 45212.

The listed publications are often technical in nature, but sprinkled
throughout the list you'll find useful titles such as: ASSESSMENT FOR
FUTURE ENVIRONMENTAL PROBLEMS--OCEAN DUMPING (EPA/600/S6-84/001); A
PROFILE OF EXISTING HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATION FACILITIES AND
MANUFACTURERS IN THE UNITED STATES (EPA/600/S2-84/052); PERFORMANCE
EVALUATION OF FULL-SCALE HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS (EPA/600/S2-
84/181); LINER MATERIALS EXPOSED TO HAZARDOUS AND TOXIC WASTES
(EPA/600/S2-84/169); EVALUATION OF PROCESSED MUNICIPAL WASTES IN
LANDFILL CELLS (EPA/600/S2-84/172); ASSESSMENT OF HAZARDOUS WASTE
SURFACE IMPOUNDMENT TECHNOLOGY: CASE STUDIES AND PERSPECTIVES OF
EXPERTS (EPA/600/S2-84/173); STATE OF THE ART OF AQUIFER RESTORATION
(EPA/600/S2-84/182); TEST METHODS FOR DETERMINING THE CHEMICAL WASTE
COMPATIBILITY OF SYNTHETIC LINERS (EPA/600/S2-85/030); SETTLEMENT AND
COVER SUBSIDENCE OF HAZARDOUS WASTE LANDFILLS (EPA/600/S2-85/034);
EVALUATION OF AIR EMISSIONS FROM HAZARDOUS WASTE TREATMENT, STORAGE AND
DISPOSAL FACILITIES (EPA/600/S285/057); RESISTANCE OF FLEXIBLE MEMBRANE
LINERS TO CHEMICALS AND WASTES (EPA/600/S2-85/127); UNDERGROUND TANK
LEAK DETECTION METHODS: A STATE-OF-THE-ART REVIEW (EPA/600/S2-86/001);
PRACTICAL GUIDE: TRIAL BURNS FOR HAZARDOUS WASTE INCINERATORS
(EPA/600/S286/050); TECHNICAL RESOURCE DOCUMENT: TREATMENT TECHNOLOGIES
FOR DIOXIN CONTAINING WASTES (EPA/600/S2-86/096); CHARACTERIZATION OF
STACK EMISSIONS FROM MUNICIPAL REFUSE-TO-ENERGY SYSTEMS (EPA/600/S3-
86/055); and on and on.

The titles are not presented in any apparent order, so you will find
yourself reading many titles about subjects you do not understand.
Persist. Buried in this gray list of big words, you will find a few
sparkling jewels in every issue of ORD PUBLICATIONS ANNOUNCEMENTS. The
ones we've listed here appeared in the March, 1987 issue; write ORD
today or phone (513) 569-7562.

--Peter Montague

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Descriptor terms: studies; epa; information services; epa office of
research and development; wmi; bfi; waste hauling industry;