About the Project
The Camden facility is proposing upgrades to the site as a part of our Camden Green Initiative. This includes an Air Quality Control (AQC) system with a $60 million dollar investment. It also entails:
- Installation of a state-of-the-art fabric filter baghouses
- Higher efficiency of acid gas removal with a dry recirculating ash system
- Enhancements to the existing SNCR system for NOx control
The new AQC system will significantly reduce emissions, including particulates, lead, mercury, dioxin and acid gases, which will allow for Covanta to propose lower emission limits.
Also included in the proposal is the ability for the facility to receive and process liquid wastes and the creation of a Covanta Camden Community Benefits Agreement (CCCBA) with Camden residents.
The project is demonstrative of the company's commitment to continuous improvement and reducing emissions in Environmental Justice communities.
Take a look at the video below for more information on the project:
Public Hearing Information
On December 8, 2022, Covanta held a Public Hearing as part of modifying both our Title V Operating Permit and our Solid Waste Facility Permit related to the Camden Green Initiative, as well as renewing our Title V permit:
- Watch the video recording of the hearing
- View the Covanta Camden presentation from the hearing
- Lea la traducción al español de la transcripción de la reunión (Spanish translation of the hearing transcript)
The New Jersey DEP has granted a 30-day extension of the public comment period related to the permit applications (view the extension letter). Comments on the permit modification and renewal applications can now be submitted until February 6, 2023:
- via electronic mail to CamdenPublicComments@covanta.com or
- via United States Postal Service to:
Camden County Energy Recovery Associates, L.P.
600 Morgan Boulevard
Camden, NJ 08104
Attn: Griselle Rivera
What is Covanta Camden?
Covanta Camden is a sustainable waste management facility that serves Camden County and its 32 surrounding municipalites. Every year, it processes roughly 390,000 tons of waste on an annual basis. Waste delivered to Covanta Camden is combusted to create steam to generate renewable electricity through a process called ‘Waste-to-Energy’ (WTE). Using cutting-edge technology, the facility uses waste to generate enough electricity to power roughly 15,000 homes annually and recycles enough metals to build roughly 13,000 cars.
WTE is today widely implemented by some of the most sustainable countries in the world and is considered integral in the fight against climate change because it diverts waste from landfills, which emit the potent greenhouse gas, methane.
To see how the process works watch the video below and learn more about the facility's history and operations here.
What will the new upgrades do?
The new Air Quality Control (AQC) system at Covanta Camden will consist of a circulating dry scrubber and a baghouse for each of the facility's boilers. The scrubbers provide more effective removal of acids from combustion gases, while the state-of-the-art pulse jet baghouses operate like very efficient vacuum cleaners. Each baghouse will deploy 3,600 fabric filter bags designed to remove more than 99.5 percent of particulate matter, and dust monitors for early detection of any broken bags.
Overall, this system will result in significant reductions in emissions, up to 95 percent lower than the current levels which are already well below the federal limits. As a result, Covanta will be able to propose lower emissions limits for the facility.
In addition to the AQC system investment, Covanta is proposing to process liquid waste. Covanta has extensive experience in processing liquid waste and this addition will result in more resources for a robust Community Benefits Agreement without any increase in emissions, odors, noise, truck traffic or increase in permitted waste throughput. It’s the same process that we have used at other plants including in our Indianapolis and Niagara facilities.
Tanker trucks transport liquids waste to the facility, where it is sampled prior to destruction. The non-hazardous liquid is then sprayed directly into the boiler. These non-hazardous liquids are typically at least 95% water and used as process wash waters in the pharmaceutical, food, or other industrial or manufacturing operations.
For example, processing tanks at a latex paint facility may require periodic cleaning and will be rinsed with water to remove the product. This rinse water would be a suitable liquid for processing at our plant. This liquid would be similar to when you rinse your paint brush after painting at your home.
Covanta in the Community
We are proud members of the Camden community. In fact, Covanta Camden team members devote countless hours to important causes that matter to residents. We've volunteered over 400 hours of community service and worked with more than 20 community organizations in the past year alone. This includes clean ups and beautification projects, awarding scholarships to local students, providing food donations and more.
We're very lucky to have great partners in these efforts including Wholesome Riches, Heart of Camden, Camden City School District and many other community leaders. Together with these entities we have been able to hand out turkeys for the holidays, arrange toy collections and participate in the Fall Sustainability Festival.
Learn more about our latest community events here.
Community Benefits Agreement
It is paramount that we continue to be a good neighbor and this is why the project includes the creation of the Covanta Camden Community Benefits Agreement (CCCBA).
This is a long-term contractual commitment with groups representing the people in the neighborhoods of Waterfront South and Morgan Village. Through the agreement, a committee appointed by local representatives will decide what local projects receive funding, providing meaningful involvement and financial resources to our community.
Click to view the signed CCCBA.
News & Resources
- Technical Support Document for the Camden County Energy Recovery Center Air Quality Control System Upgrade Project
- Title V Permit Renewal Application
- Title V Permit Modification Application
- Current Title V Permit
- Solid Waste Facility Permit Modification Application
- Current Solid Waste Facility Permit
- Covanta Camden Project Overview Presentation
- Waste-to-Energy Baghouse Overview Document
- Waste-to-Energy Circulating Dry Scrubber Overview
- U.S. EPA: Monitoring by Control Technique - Fabric Filters