A publication of Work On Waste USA, Inc., 82 Judson, Canton, NY 13617 315-379-9200 Dec. 1993 to Jan. 1994

A Review, by State, of Operating Municipal Solid Waste Incinerators.
# 14: Fort Dix, NEW JERSEY to Albany, NEW YORK

The 14th of our 24-part series continues our review of waste-to-energy MSW incinerators, including references to Waste Not issues. Vendor/Operator from GAA’s 1993 edition. Type: M=Mass Burn; R=RDF. Tons-Per-Day is incinerator design capacity. APC = Air Pollution Controls: 1-ESP. 2-Baghouse. 3-Dry Scrubber. 4-NOx Control. 5-Wet Scrubber.


LOCATION O = OPERATOR Type APC On-Line 1988 1991 1993

NJ - Fort Dix67 V: Clear Air/Am. Bridge M 2,5 1986 80 80 80

O: North American Res.Rec.

Gloucester Co.68 V/O: WHEELABRATOR M 2,3 1990 - 575 575

Newark69 V/O: American Ref-Fuel M 1,3 1990 - 2277 2277

Warren Co.70 V/O: OGDEN MARTIN M 2,3 1988 400 400 400

NY - Albany71 V: N.A.; O: NY State R 1981 600 600 600

67. Fort Dix, New Jersey. GAA reported in its 1993 edition: “First U.S. waste-to-energy facility that collects & treats fly ash separately from bottom ash. Fly ash disposed of as hazardous waste at GSX Pineland Landfill (North Carolina). Memtek water treatment system; removes mercury from scrubber wastewater.” Ref GAA 1993, p 420*. WN: This incinerator was shut down in April 1988 because of high mercury levels found in the sludge from the military’s sewage treatment center. “A contractor...applied the sludge as a fertilizer on several Burlington County farms. The sample taken from August to October [1987] contained 200 parts per million of mercury, 20 times the concentration that is permitted to be applied to farmland...DEP officials believe the likely culprit is the military base’s trash-to-steam plant...Each day, the plant discharges 1,500 gallons of lime solution -along with the pollutants -into the sewers...” Watertown Daily Times, NY, April 30, 1988, p 3. See WN# 5.

68. West Deptford Township, Gloucester County, New Jersey. “First utility waste-to-energy plant in the United States.” Ref GAA 1993, p 418*. On Nov 26, 1991, “Wheelabrator was fined $110,000 for more than 30 violations at its incinerator. Most involved carbon monoxide violations or oxygen violations. Plant manager Dave Beavens blames most of the violations at the plant during a brief blackout and minor equipment malfunction...” Star Ledger, Nov 17, 1991. See also WN # 175.

69. Newark, Essex County, New Jersey. Camp, Dresser & McKee prepared the Environmental Impact Assessment for this incinerator located in Newark’s “Ironbound” community. The incinerator is located next to Otillio Landfill, a state superfund site, and within a few blocks of the Diamond Shamrock plant (a dioxin Superfund site) that produced Agent Orange from 1962 to 1971. American Ref-Fuel’s incinerator was fined by the State for a total of $462,600 within the first year of operation for releasing high amounts of mercury, sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide. On Dec 22, 1993, the Ironbound Committee Against Toxic Waste (ICATW) and the Natural Resources Defence Council “announced plans to bring a lawsuit against American Ref-Fuel, operator of Essex County incinerator, over the emissions violations cited since it opened three years ago...The notice filed by the environmentalists lists some 250 violations of emission limits for pollutants such as nitrogen oxide, carbon monoxide and mercury...Bill Sullivan of the Rutgers Environmental Law Clinic” will represent the plaintiffs, who contend that Essex County “has no plans to meet the 60 percent recycling goal established by the state....”---The Star-Ledger, Dec 23, 1993, p OE 29, Environmental groups suing Essex Incinerator over air emissions. The Sunday Star Ledger of Dec 5, 1993, reported on a $12,695,000 judgement against Essex County for breaking its contract with Eastern Waste Inc. of the Buffalo, NY-area. Eastern got the county contract, without competitive bidding, to haul the incinerator ash to its landfills in western NY. “Shortly after the $320 million [incinerator] was opened in November 1990, it was found Essex County did not generate enough garbage on its own to operate the incinerator at maximum potential.” Because of the shortfall a deal was cut with Bergen County to deliver 250,000 tons a year of waste to the incinerator “and Essex would use Bergen county’s trash hauler instead of Eastern.” Bergen County entered into a 5-year contract with Chambers Development at $63 a ton to rail-haul the county’s waste to Chambers’ Charles City County Landfill in Virginia. “In contrast, Essex County’s contract with Eastern called for removing ash starting at $88 a ton [with] rising increments over the 7-year life of the contract...”--Essex to appeal ruling on waste haul contract, Section 1, p 61. In December 1993 the Ironbound Committee Against Toxic Waste successfully defeated a tire incinerator proposed for their area. The tire burner, for up to 5 million tires annually, was proposed by the Italian firm Energeco. For more information contact Arnold Cohen, Ironbound Committee, 95 Fleming Ave, Newark, NJ 07105, Tel: 201-589-4668. See also #s: 3,127,136,175,191,208.

70. Warren County, New Jersey. Not enough waste to burn because of recycling programs. The county is considering litigation against Somerset County for not providing enough trash. A much-opposed proposal to use ash in a road-paving experiment was defeated when the County Freeholders passed resolutions against ash in road-paving material in their county. Unfortunately, the State is still pursuing it. This incinerator was formerly owned and operated by Blount and in May 1991 Ogden Martin bought it. On November 26, 1991, the NJ Dept.of Environment & Energy levied fines of $106,600 against Ogden Martin for 14 violations which included: high levels of sulfur dioxide & carbon monoxide; bypassing pollution controls; operating below minimum-temperature requirements; allowing burner ash to escape into the environment; and by-passing the baghouse. GAA 1993* lists Metcalf & Eddy/Blount Engineers as the incinerator designer. Also see WOW’s 39 minute video # 27, Warren County’s Incinerator: The Wrong Model for New Jersey, produced in 1991 by Video-Active Productions, Rt. 2, Box 322, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-386-8797. For more information contact Madelyn Hofman at 201-252-0797. See also WN#s 18,23,38,46,68,118,128,191, 208.


See Notes in Waste Not #269

71. Albany, New York. This is the only state owned incinerator (known as the ANSWERS plant) in the U.S. It is located in a heavily populated minority neighborhood and has been described by the Commissioner of the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation, Thomas Jorling, as “abysmal.” NY State gave $6.642 million out of the 1972 State Environmental Quality Bond Act to subsidize the state-operated plant. According to a report published by INFORM: The Albany incinerator emits the highest levels of dioxin and furans out of 7 incinerators they had data on - 188 times the state-of-the-art standard on dioxin of 0.10 nanograms per dry normal cubic meter. Albany measured 18.8ng/dry normal cubic meter. Of 7 incinerators, the Albany plant had the highest furnace temperature, 2,500 degrees F, and the highest dioxin emissions. Of 9 incinerators the Albany incinerator had the highest lead emissions. Ref: Burning Garbage in the U.S.: Practice vs. State of the Art, published in 1991 by INFORM, 381 Park Avenue South, NY, NY 10016.

Jan 10, 1994: Excessive black soot blanketed the neighborhood when the plant burned oil.

Jan 13, 1994: Another “soot” release when the plant burned “wet” garbage.

The incinerator is designed to burn oil, natural gas or garbage - with garbage the preferred ‘fuel.’ According to a Jan 11, 1994, New York State Department of Health “Fact Sheet”: The plant “malfunctioned while burning oil. As a result, a heavy soot was released for about one-half hour [residents say it was longer] until the plant was switched over to natural gas. The soot that was released consists of carbon, some unburned oil and compounds formed by incomplete burning of hydrocarbon fuel oil, known by the chemical name of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) and aledhydes...” According to the Times Union, Jan 11, 1994: “The dirty black particles from the state-run incinerator looked like pieces of burned paper that fell from the sky early Monday night, giving snow the appearance of black mud and filling the sky with an acrid odor...[First Ward Alderwoman Carol Wallace] described it as ‘great chunks falling out of the sky...it was just a thick haze. It was starting to burn my throat’...” ANSWERS fallout a blizzard of blackness. Because of heavy snow fall, the oily black soot was undeniably visible, “Covering the snow in a portion of the city mostly east of Madison Avenue was a layer of oily black soot, covering everything from the Executive Mansion lawn to the vast bowl of Lincoln Park. Five miles away in Glenmont, residents reported it on lawns and porches...But officials insisted the episode, while dramatic, did not pose a significant health threat and that steps were immediately taken to prevent a recurrence.”--Times Union, Jan 12, 1994, Critics demand feds close ANSWERS burner. Yet on Thursday, January 13, 1994, another “soot” release occured in the incinerator-neighborhood, which the NY State Office of General Services (who operates the plant) said was caused when they burned a load of wet trash “resulting in excessive particulate release.” In an unprecedented response, the State Department of Transportation is removing the snow from streets and sidewalks for approx. 100-square city blocks, working 24-hours a day for an expected 3-4 days, and taking the soot covered snow to a lined landfill! The State is also offering up to $250 a person for dry cleaning expenses or property damage. Judy Enck of the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) wrote to US EPA Region 2 Acting Director on Jan 11, 1993. Some excerpts of that letter: “This is not the first time there has been serious particulate problems with the facility. Residents of the Arbor Hill neighborhood regularly contact my office to express concern about black soot building up on their homes and cars...At this point, we have completely given up on the State Health Dept. or the State Dept. of Environmental Conservation. They have abdicated their responsibilities to protect the public health...They have a conflict of interest...we request that the U.S. EPA conduct an immediate investigation of the plant and take the necessary steps to shut down this air pollution menace...” For more information on the Albany incinerator contact Judy Enck, NYPIRG, 146 Washington Ave, Albany, NY 12210-2270, Tel: 518-436-0876; Fax: 518-432-6178. See also Waste Not # 191.

1993-1994 Resource Recovery Yearbook, Directory & Guide, by Eileen Berenyi, Ph.D. and Robert N. Gould, 718 pages, published by Governmental Advisory Associates, Inc. (a private research/consulting group), 177 E. 87th Street, NY, NY 10128.

WASTE NOT # 264. A publication of Work on Waste USA, published 48 times a year. Annual rates are: Groups & Non-Profits $50; Students & Seniors $35; Individual $40; Consultants & For-Profits $125; Canadian $US50; Overseas $65. Editors: Ellen & Paul Connett, 82 Judson Street, Canton, NY 13617. Tel: 315-379-9200. Fax: 315-379-0448.