WaterBriefs: ITC moves forward with activated carbon investigation

Also in this report: Look on bright side on Earth Day; Severn Trent honors Fla. community; B&V plans rain garden; Mich. takes over Blue Water Isles wetlands; Mich. takes over Blue Isles wetlands; Calif. DWR awarded $70M in energy dispute; Seprotech snags $1M order for Army ROWPUs; Siemens to invest $7.2M in New Kensington plant; Water institute, American Airlines grab Texas environmental awards; Rwanda president visits AWWA offices; GigaBeam sells WiFi links to San Francisco PUC...

In other news below:
-- The Public Policy: Have a Sunny Earth Day!
-- Aqua America prepares for National Drinking Water Week
-- Severn Trent picks Fla. development district for environmental award
-- Black & Veatch launches first corporate rain garden in Kansas City
-- Flowserve offers 'Experience in Motion' at ACHEMA 2006
-- Spiroflow exhibits at Powder & Bulk show
-- Alfa Laval receives record order for heat exchangers for LNG plant
-- Michigan takes ownership of Blue Water Isles wetland from Waste Management
-- Calif. DWR awarded over $70 million in dispute with Sempra Energy
-- Seprotech awarded $1 million order to refurbish Army water treatment plants
-- Siemens to invest $7.2 million in New Kensington, PA, plant expansion
-- TCEQ announces 2006 winners of Texas Environmental Excellence Award
-- Rwandan President visits AWWA, Water For People, AwwaRF offices
-- GigaBeam sells two additional WiFi links for San Francisco PUC

ITC moves forward with activated carbon investigation
WASHINGTON, DC, April 21, 2006 -- An antidumping duty investigation into imports of steam activated carbon from the People's Republic of China (PRC) will go forward following today's preliminary determination by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC) that there's a reasonable indication of injury to the domestic industry as a result of imports allegedly sold in the U.S. at less than fair value.

"We are pleased with the Commission's preliminary determination," said David A. Hartquist, lead counsel to the petitioners. "Clearly, the growing volume of low-priced imports of activated carbon from the PRC, entering at prices that are the lowest in the market and that consistently and substantially undersell domestic producers, are causing injury."

The case, filed in March by two U.S. producers of steam activated carbon, requests the imposition of antidumping duties ranging from 132% to 731%. Antidumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value in the United States.

Following today's vote, the U.S. Department of Commerce will move forward with its investigation into the degree of dumping engaged in by specific Chinese producers. The preliminary determinations by the department currently are due no later than Aug. 15.

The steam activated carbon subject to the petition is defined as a black carbon material obtained by "activating" various materials containing high levels of carbon (including but not limited to coal and coconut shells), by subjecting them to steam and heat to create a vast internal pore structure in the carbon material. The resulting pores trap contaminants in liquids or gases, a process called adsorption. Typical uses of steam activated carbon include removing objectionable tastes and odors from drinking water; reducing organic compounds in waste water; removing color and impurities from foods and chemicals; and removing mercury and dioxins from flue gas emissions.

The petitioners are Norit Americas Inc., Marshall, TX, and Calgon Carbon Corp., Pittsburgh, PA.

David A. Hartquist is a senior partner at the Washington, DC, office of Kelley Drye Collier Shannon where he heads the international trade practice area.

Among other recent headlines:

The Public Policy: Have a Sunny Earth Day!
Commentary by G. Tracy Mehan, III
WASHINGTON, DC, April 21, 2006 (The American Spectator) -- Environmental politics and its coverage in the media focus on the negative, the controversial and the adversarial. That's the way it is. I gave up trying to change that reality a long time ago. There are, of course, many policy issues subject to intense disagreement due to disputes over underlying science, policy, law, and economic tradeoffs inevitable in these matters. Certainly, climate change is the biggest controversy implicating every conceivable aspect of the environment and economy. Being of sunny disposition and gregarious temperament, I always take advantage of the annual Earth Day rites to focus on progress Americans are making in conservation and environmental protection. The most under-reported, positive story, since the last Earth Day, was release of the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) report which concluded the U.S. improved its environmental performance, i.e., reduced pollution, in the last eight years even as GDP increased 30% and population expanded by 10%. The report, based on over 700 interviews and a peer review by representatives of Australia, Japan, Norway and the United Kingdom, commended the U.S. for "decoupling" environmental pressures from economic growth. One might quibble that prosperity enables environmental cleanup, but it's surely correct U.S. industry is becoming more efficient and, therefore, less polluting. The OECD also notes progress in several areas. Air emissions declined. Drinking water standards were strengthened. National conservation lands were expanded. And market-based solutions have been pioneered...

Aqua America prepares for National Drinking Water Week -- BRYN MAWR, PA, April 21, 2006 -- Earth Day is tomorrow and the first week of May is National Drinking Water Week , so it's an ideal time for stories that celebrate the drink so many of us take for granted on a daily basis. Aqua America Inc., the nation's largest U.S.-based, publicly-traded water company, wants to show Americans just how valuable and important water really is. Here are a few ideas you may find interesting, educational and even entertaining...

Severn Trent Services selects Fla. development district for Environmental Leadership Alliance Award -- Riverwood Community Development District in Port Charlotte, Fla., demonstrates that economic benefit and environmental compliance can be achieved simultaneously -- FORT WASHINGTON, PA, April 21, 2006 -- The Riverwood Community Development District in Port Charlotte, FL, has been chosen to receive the Severn Trent Services Environmental Leadership Alliance Award. The award recognizes the positive environmental and economic benefits Riverwood has achieved by working closely with Severn Trent Services in the management of the district. In 2003, Severn Trent brought its wastewater operating experience to Riverwood, a 1,265 acre, master planned, mixed-use community located in northwest Charlotte County, to address compliance and permit concerns by the Florida Department of Environmental Protection. Its partnership with Severn Trent to integrate the management of the district and its infrastructure represents the foundation upon which the ELA Award was established...

Black & Veatch breaks ground with first corporate rain garden in Kansas City -- KANSAS CITY, MO, April 21, 2006 -- Kansas City's Mayor Kay Barnes attended a groundbreaking ceremony today for the first corporate rain garden affiliated with the city's "10,000 Rain Gardens" initiative. The ceremony took place at the 8400 Ward Parkway office of B&V Water, the water business of Black & Veatch. She commended Black & Veatch for its civic leadership in planting the first corporate rain garden and developing a wide-ranging employee-participation program to help tackle important environmental challenges like water quality and stormwater management. Future plans include a green roof garden on top of the parking lot structure and two additional rain gardens planted elsewhere on the site. Continuous enhancements are planned for the rain gardens and green roof garden during the next decade...

Flowserve offers 'Experience in Motion' at ACHEMA 2006 -- IRVING, TX, April 21, 2006 -- Flowserve's world-class products and services for fluid motion and control will be on display at ACHEMA 2006, May 15-19 in Frankfurt, Germany. Visitors to the two Flowserve booths will see the very latest in pump, seal, valve, automation and steam solution technology. Both new and current customers can also learn about Flowserve's LifeCycle Advantage™ program in two display areas. Our high-efficiency solutions help chemical process facilities around the world meet the most stringent environmental standards, save energy and reduce maintenance costs and downtime...
Also see:
-- "ACHEMA 2006, the 'Greatest show on Earth'" (ProcessingTalk)
-- "ACHEMA 2006: World forum for the process industry"
-- "SAP to showcase products, services at ACHEMA 2006"

Spiroflow exhibits at Powder & Bulk show -- FORT MILL, SC, April 21, 2006 -- Spiroflow Systems, the U.S. unit of the UK's Spiroflow Ltd., will showcase powder handling equipment at the International Powder & Bulk Solids Expo in Rosemont, IL, May 9-11. Among the equipment to be showcased includes the Rhinoveyor flexible screw conveyor, bulk bag discharger and Aero mechanical conveyor...

Alfa Laval receives record order for heat exchangers for LNG plant -- STOCKHOLM, Sweden, April 21, 2006 -- Alfa Laval, a world leader in heat transfer, centrifugal separation and fluid handling, has received an order for the supply of plate heat exchangers for a liquid natural gas (LNG) plant in the Middle East. The plate heat exchangers will be used for central cooling, using seawater to cool the liquid natural gas facility. The total order value is about SEK 240 million {US$31.89 million]. Delivery will begin in 2007 and be completed in 2008. The largest LNG reserves are located in the Middle East and Russia while the largest demands are found in North America, Europe and Asia. Demand is expected to increase fivefold between 2000 and 2030...

Michigan takes ownership of Blue Water Isles wetland from Waste Management -- LANSING, MI, April 21, 2006 -- Today, local officials and outdoor enthusiasts celebrated the ceremonial handing over of a Lake St. Clair costal wetland known as the Blue Water Isles to the State of Michigan. Waste Management Inc. purchased the 455-acre Blue Water Isles parcel as part of a wetland mitigation project, and transferred ownership to the state of Michigan to expand the St. John's Marsh to the eastern shore of Lake St. Clair in Clay Township. Today's ceremony brought together wildlife enthusiasts, state and local officials and Waste Management officials to celebrate the transfer, which was actually approved by the Michigan Natural Resources Commission earlier in the year. Ecologists and environmental stewards have long recognized the value of the Blue Water Isles as a unique part of Michigan's Great Lakes coastal wetlands. The ecology of Blue Water Isles is essentially a part of St. John's Marsh, and will now be preserved and protected from development...
Also see: "PPL Corp. donates Susquehanna River islands for preservation, public use"

Calif. DWR awarded over $70 million in dispute with Sempra Energy -- Arbitration panel rules Sempra Energy acted in bad faith and in breach of multiple aspects of its long-term energy contract with DWR -- SACRAMENTO, CA, April 21, 2006 -- The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) has been awarded more than $70 million in damages from Sempra Generation by an independent arbitration panel. DWR expects the monetary amount awarded to increase significantly. Sempra must pay the state $37.6 million plus interest for breaches of its energy delivery planning obligations and for overcharges to electricity ratepayers. The ruling precludes overcharges in the future and significantly restricts Sempra's ability to claim unlimited operating flexibility. This will result in tremendous operational benefits and multi- million dollar savings for ratepayers over the remaining five years of the contract. In addition, the ruling allows DWR to update its damages, adding from eight to 12 or more months worth of additional overcharges, plus 10 percent interest. The department is in the process of calculating those additional damage amounts, but the total cash payment Sempra will owe DWR will likely exceed $70 million...

Seprotech awarded $1 million order to refurbish Army water treatment plants -- OTTAWA, Canada, April 20, 2006 -- Seprotech Systems Inc., a leading Canadian water and wastewater treatment systems manufacturer, is pleased to announce that the government of Canada has granted Seprotech a contract for the repair and overhaul of the Army drinking water systems known as the Reverse Osmosis Water Purification Unit (ROWPU). This work is being called up under a standing offer arrangement with the Government of Canada. The ROWPU is a water treatment system used by Canadian forces to supply drinking water to personnel as well as to civilian populations. The system is approximately seven meters long and is designed to produce potable water from heavily contaminated water sources...
Also see: "Seprotech Board appoints new CEO"

Siemens to invest $7.2 million in New Kensington, PA, plant expansion -- NEW KENSINGTON, PA, April 19, 2006 -- Siemens Energy & Automation Inc. (SE&A) today announced at a groundbreaking ceremony that it is investing $7.2 million to expand its New Kensington, PA, manufacturing facility. The plant expansion site, formerly known as Robicon, was acquired by SE&A in July 2005. Siemens plans to create 145 new full-time positions upon completion of the expansion for a total of 480 positions in New Kensington. The 30,000-square-foot facility is expected to be completed in March 2007. By expanding and redesigning the facility, Siemens will develop a more efficient and productive manufacturing plant. The new facility will support SE&A's growing large drives business, specifically the Robicon Perfect Harmony brand. The enhanced plant will be dedicated to developing, assembling and testing large variable frequency drives that are used in oil and gas, power generation, and municipal wastewater applications. In addition to the new facility, SE&A will maintain its current New Kensington plant facility and offices along with its technical product development center in nearby Plum Borough, PA...
Also see:
-- "Water and energy for the desert states"
-- "Siemens plans to acquire Controlotron"

TCEQ announces 2006 winners of Texas Environmental Excellence Award -- Award is highest environmental achievement in state of Texas -- AUSTIN, TX, April 19, 2006 -- The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality today announced the 2006 winners of the 14th annual Texas Environmental Excellence Awards. Commemorating Earth Day, the awards are given to 10 innovative projects across the state that demonstrate positive effects on air, water and land resources. Among this year's award recipients are a computer-recycling project that removes 2,200 tons of computer equipment from the waste stream annually; a statewide paper recycling program that helps fund nonprofit organizations; and a clean air campaign by the state's leading association of automotive technicians. The Texas Water Resources Institute won in the agriculture category for reducing phosphorus from dairy wastewater runoff into the Bosque River. American Airlines won in the large business/technical category for expanding an RO system to recycle wastewater at its Fort Worth airport maintenance facility. And the Brazos River Authority won in the government category for watershed protection efforts...
Also see:
-- "TCEQ announces second meeting of Caddo Lake stakeholders: Strategies to protect lake to be discussed"
-- "Public meeting for Copano Bay Water Quality Restoration Project: Developing a total maximum daily load for bacteria"
-- "TCEQ approves fines totaling $424,995: Penalties levied against 70 entities today"
-- "TCEQ targets illegal construction over Edwards Aquifer"

Rwandan President visits AWWA, Water For People, AwwaRF to address water infrastructure, public health -- DENVER, April 18, 2006 -- Rwandan President Paul Kagame and officials from the American Water Works Association met April 13 in Denver to explore means of addressing the country's severe drinking water crisis, which has worsened since the 1994 genocide that claimed nearly 1 million Rwandans. Speaking to AWWA staff, Water For People officials, members of the AWWA Research Foundation and other dignitaries, President Kagame said reconciliation, rehabilitation of infrastructure, and social and economic development have become his country's top priorities since the harrowing atrocities of 1994. The vast majority of Rwanda's population of 8 million does not have access to safe drinking water. Water For People also invited Rwanda's participation in its John H. Ware Jr. International Water and Sanitation Fellowship Program, which brings water professionals from developing countries to the United States to expand their understanding of water treatment technologies and systems...
Also see:
-- "AWWA Helps Utilities Build Support for Infrastructure Investment"
-- "'World's Water Event' Offers Broad International Focus: AWWA International Buyers Program just one of many draws for global attendees"
-- "EPA Head Addresses Infrastructure with Water Leaders"

GigaBeam sells two additional WiFi links for San Francisco Public Utilities Commission -- HERNDON, VA, April 17, 2006 -- GigaBeam Corp. announced April 12 it has sold two additional GigaBeam WiFiber™ wireless fiber links to XTECH Inc., GigaBeam's reseller, for the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SF PUC). These links are intended to be used in conjunction with the WiFiber links already installed as part of the SF PUC's growing city wide WiFiber backhaul network to facilitate City and PUC applications. Hans Loffeld, IT Director of the SF PUC, said, "These additional GigaBeam links will augment the existing WiFiber links. Their primary purpose is to provide backhaul for a WiMax or meshed WiFi network which enables streaming video surveillance of the PUC's Water Works pumping stations and valves. This further deployment will allow us to take advantage of the throughput capacity and cost effective bandwidth of the WiFiber links for additional applications, including GIS mapping, VoIP and general backhaul of data"...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: "WaterBriefs: WERF project tackles larger stormwater pollutants" -- Also in this report (April 20, 2006): CWP releases watershed benchmarking tool; Emerson expands Bristol ControlWave remote automation technology; WIKA's receives thermometer patent; Univ. of Waterloo, Lombardo Associates form Nutrient Removal Technologies Inc.; Onset Computer Corp. appoints president; Aquatech lands Mideast contracts; Aspen Aerogels appoints execs in Houston, Paris, Alberta; Orival Inc. hires VP of business development; Walter Industries to close Mueller Water Products' Milton, Ontario facility; Public review of the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement released; GL&V pulls in nearly $30M in mining, pulp & paper contracts; Over $232M in infrastructure investment planned for Alberta; American States Water gets ratemaking decision; Watts Water picks FullTilt's enterprise management solution; Entex receives grant from NCBC for wastewater treatment research...

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