Covanta Environmental Solutions, based in New Jersey, has taken part in a public meeting on February 22, 2017, to discuss its application to build a waste transfer station in New Castle, Pennsylvania. The company submitted the application for the facility on July 20, 2016. Following the initial submission, the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP), present at the public meeting, requested and received additional information from Covanta on the proposed project.
According to the PA DEP, the site being considered by Covanta has an existing structure and concrete surrounding it. Because of that, no earth disturbance is expected to occur.
The function of the proposed facility is to be a temporary storage site for non-hazardous waste that is destined for alternate disposal facilities. Material could be stored for more than 10 days to allow for containers to become full prior to shipment. Waste approved for energy recovery or incineration will be consolidated into larger bulk containers prior to final shipment to a disposal facility.
The permit Covanta is seeking would establish limits on what materials can be accepted for storage prior to shipments to its destination. The permit would create monitoring and reporting requirements. Additional provisions ensure that the transfer of waste does not cause undue harm to the environment or to public health and safety.
If approved in its present form Covanta would operate the transportation seven days per week and would have a limit of being able to handled 76 tons of waste per day, roughly 20,000 tons of material handled per year.
The location where Covanta is seeking to occupy had formerly housed several environmental services firms, including Vortex Industries, which operated an oil filter recycling facility at the site until the middle of 2015. Advanced Waste Services then used the facility for wastewater treatment and container processing.
A second location originated as Castle Environmental Inc. in the 1990s and now operates as a residual waste processing facility.
Covanta Environmental Solutions purchased both facilities in 2016.
Following the public meeting, the PA DEP will start the application review process by evaluating the harms/benefits analysis submitted by Covanta. After careful review, the PA DEP says it will either determine that the benefits outweigh the harms, and DEP permitting staff will proceed with a technical review of the application, or the department will determine that the benefits do not outweigh the harms, in which case the application will be denied.
If the permit is issued, Covanta will continue site preparation and may begin accepting waste by late summer or early autumn.