A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 October 4, 1990

500 tpd Ogden Martin incinerator
defeated in Pennsauken, NJ

On October 11, the Camden County Freeholders officially stated that the Ogden Martin incinerator for Pennsauken was dead. The incinerator proposal was first announced in June 1984. In October 1984, the citizen group SIN (Stop Incineration Now) was formed. It took six years of community efforts to defeat this incinerator while the Pennsuaken Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) issued $68 million in bonds and spent $31 million bond dollars trying to build it. The NJ Department of Environmental Protection issued final permits to build the Ogden Martin incinerator in June 1988. Ground breaking ceremonies began in August 1988, and construction was stopped in September 1988 after three towns in Burlington County (downwind of the proposed incinerator) became plaintiffs against the incinerator. The three towns, represented by lawyer Thomas Germine, won a landmark ruling that stated that deNOX scrubbers were state of the art technology which would be required by the federal EPA on all new incinerators, unless the community could clearly explain to EPA why it didn’t need them. This litigation prevented construction and together with the deNOX scrubbers escalated project costs which then required the Pennsauken SWMA to go back to the drawing board for tipping fee approval. Then on April 20, 1990, Gov. Florio announced a 4-month moratorium on the issuance of incinerator permits, until his task force commission studied statewide solid waste issues. In August the NJ Task Force recommended a 60% statewide recycling goal by 1995 and a new policy of regionalism - for counties to band together in incinerator projects. (NJ had proposals for 21 incinerators. Speculation now is that NJ will have four incinerators.) As Camden County had two incinerators on the drawing board, with the second also under construction in the city of Camden, the Task Force recommendations made Camden County look suspect. The cumulative effects of new policies together with the County’s Solid Waste Advisory Council’s (SWAC) plurality decision in February 1990* against any incinerators in Camden County (which the Freeholders rejected, but then accepted a plan for waste reduction, recycling & composting), combined with intensive resident opposition to the incinerator, dealt the fatal blows to the project. $20 million of the $31 million spent on this project went to Ogden Martin for advance orders for incinerator parts. The other $11 million went to engineers, lawyers, accountants, planners, etc. Camden County has stated that it will pay off the incinerator debt and that the Pennsauken SWMA will soon be dissolved. Carolyn Konheim was involved in the beginning of this project as a proponent of the incinerator. The citizen groups that persisted in opposing Ogden Martin’s incinerator were: SIN, Citizens Against Trash to Steam, Allied Citizens Opposing Pollution of Palmyra (from Burlington County), Action to Save the Environment, and a new group called A Solution Against Pollution (ASAP). For more information contact Mark Lohbauer who spearheaded the SIN group, at 609-663-4595.

* As a follow up to the Waste Not #92 report on the Camden’s SWAC: the Ethics Commission ruled that two members of SWAC, John Jacobs, the exec. dir. of the Pennsauken SWMA and John Tarditi, Jr, who works for the insurance company that does business with the Pennsauken SWMA, had a conflict of interest. This ruling negated Jacobs & Tarditi votes for a two incinerator option for Camden County.

WMI’S Chemical Waste Management is fined $3.75 million for violations at its hazardous waste incinerator in Chicago.The Company that runs a controversial hazardous-waste incinerator on the Southeast Side agreed Monday to pay a record $3.75 million in penalties stemming from incidents in which pollution-monitoring equipment was disconnected while the incinerator was burning toxic chemicals. The fine against Chemical Waste Management’s incinerator, at 11700 S. Stony Island Ave., was the largest penalty to result from a non-court case against a single facility in the 20-year history of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the agency said...During a 14-month investigation that ended in May 1989, the EPA found evidence that the incinerator burned toxic polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) while some of the emissions scrubbing equipment was not working. That happened 21 times between January 1986 and March 1988, the EPA said. Also, on 12 occasions, emissions-monitoring equipment had been disconnected while PCBs were being incinerated. The company did not keep proper records during that period, the agency said...In March 1988, the company fired two managers it said were responsible for disconnecting the monitoring equipment...” Chicago Tribune, 9-25-90.


“State Environmental Affairs Secretary John DeVillars has issued his second rejection in the past three months of plans by Browning Ferris Industries to build a 1,500-ton-a-day trash burning plant in East Bridgewater environmentalists disclosed Wednesday...DeVillars rejected a supplemental draft environmental impact report done for the project and said BFI failed to prove the need for the facility. But DeVillars’ decision, which was dated Aug. 31, invites BFI to submit a new report and asks for a resolution of differing projections of a trash disposal capacity shortfall in south-eastern Massachusetts in coming years. Thomas McShane, DeVillars’ chief of staff, said BFI can file another report, but it would have to prove the state’s figures are wrong or ‘revise the proposal until it becomes a totally different project’...In June, DeVillars rejected BFI’s first environmental impact report on the plant, saying the developer hadn’t drawn up sufficiently detailed garbage recycling plans. In his latest decision, DeVillars noted that BFI and project opponents have reached different conclusions about how much of a disposal capacity shortfall will exist after the planned expansion of the operating SEMASS garbage-burning plant in Rochester. DeVillars said the SEMASS expansion is expected to solve nearly three quarters of the capacity shortfall projected by the Department of Environmental Protection. He said the capacity of BFI’s proposed plant would be more than three times the remaining shortfall. ‘It is difficult to see how a facility of the size that has been proposed can be permitted,’ DeVillars said in the decision. DeVillars also ordered BFI to ‘identify some real increases in garbage recycling capacity’ which would meet or ‘preferably exceed’ the state’s recycling goals....Earlier in June, the Dukakis administration unveiled a new solid waste plan calling for recycling 34% of the state’s trash by 1996 and 46% by 2000...” Brockton Enterprise, MA, 9-6-90.

Report on the ENERGY ANSWERS CORP. 1800 TPD Refuse derived fuel incinerator in Rochester, MA. With the discussion of expanding the Energy Answers SEMASS incinerator by 900 tpd in Rochester, this report takes on particular significance. The report was prepared by Lee Ketelsen of Clean Water Action and focuses on the public relations vs. public reality of the Semass facility which went on line in 1989, and the operating problems of the Carver landfill serving the incinerator. The landfill cells, constructed by SEMASS, have ‘state of the art’ double liners and leachate collection systems. An audit commissioned by the landfill owners found ten major deficiencies. This 29 page report titled Energy Answers is the Wrong Answer is available for $5 from Clean Water Action, 186 South Street, Boston, MA 02111. Tel: 617-423-4661.

Report on the proposed 800 tpd COMBUSTION ENGINEERING incinerator for Dakota County, MN. This 70 page “Citizens’ Report” contains an excellent collection of information available on the hazards of, and alternatives to, garbage incineration. Although the report was developed specifically to respond to the draft EIS for a proposed incinerator in the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, it contains key excerpts from scores of scientific and technical reports on the full range of incinerator-related topics, such as: inadequacies of risk assessment; use of waste-generation assumptions to rationalize ‘need’ for incinerator; problems from dioxin and heavy metal emissions; ash impacts; non-burn alternatives to landfilling; and composting. This report is a wonderful reference work, available for $7 from Michael Orange, 1211 Bidwell Street, West St. Paul, MN 55118. Tel: 612-457-8793.

WASTE NOT # 119 A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year, annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Individual $40; Students & Seniors $35; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian Subscriptions $US45. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.