URGENT: Please fill out our survey on whether you support Covanta’s plan to burn liquid industrial waste in South Camden.
To get involved, please fill out our volunteer interest form, call us at 856-209-0443 or email us. You can also follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram
THE NEW THREAT: In April 2022, Covanta proposed a new way to monetize their unprofitable incinerator. Now Covanta wants to burn liquid industrial waste. See their presentation about it. They are dangling money in front of community groups in the form of a Community Benefits Agreement that include their installing the missing pollution controls as part of the agreement, even though Covanta committed to installing these, regardless. In July 2020, Covanta answered our question about whether they are committed to install the missing baghouse filters even if they do not get the microgrid deal. Covanta responded, in writing, that…
“Installation of the baghouse is not contingent upon the microgrid project moving forward. Covanta is committed to installing the baghouse at our Camden facility. In our recent sustainability report, we committed to the implementation of five (5) projects by 2023 to further reduce emissions in Environmental Justice communities. The Camden baghouse project is one of those five projects.“
Camden for Clean Air formed in May 2020 to stop plans to keep the Covanta Camden trash incinerator alive by having it serve as the power source for a proposed microgrid. Covanta’s trash incinerator in the City of Camden, NJ is the largest air polluter in the city, and in all of Camden County, responsible for half of the industrial air pollution in the county. See the factsheet on Covanta Camden’s emissions for details, and our page on Covanta’s pollution for more on the health and environmental impacts.
The proposed microgrid would keep the power going for the Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) sewage treatment plant in Camden so that it stays operating in case the power goes out, avoiding sewage backups. We support that idea, but did not like that powering it with the trash incinerator would enable Covanta to roughly triple their electricity sales revenue, making the aging plant more economically viable, and likely to stay operating for more years than it normally would.
VICTORY! After nine months of our applying pressure, it was announced in early March 2021 that the microgrid would not be powered by the trash incinerator, but by solar, digester gas, and batteries! See our microgrid page for more.