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Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility Receives Excellence Award from US EPA; Use of Specific Technology Reduces Emissions by Half

For Immediate Release: Wednesday, April 2, 2014

County Executive Ike Leggett has announced that the Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) in Dickerson will receive the prestigious 2014 EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) Clean Air Technology Award for upgrading its emission control system to an LN™ (Low NOx) system that lowers emissions of nitrogen oxides.

The nitrogen oxides contribute to the formation of ozone in the lower atmosphere and smog. Combustion processes like the ones in car engines, at power plants and the Resource Recovery Facility, for example, produce nitrogen oxides. However, the new and improved LN™ technology results in a better combustion process which minimizes formation of nitrogen oxides.

EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Awards Program, established at the recommendation of the Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, recognizes outstanding innovative efforts to help make progress in achieving cleaner air. The winning entries must reduce pollutant emissions, demonstrate innovation, offer sustainable outcomes and provide a model for others to follow.

The improved emission control system at the RRF was developed by Covanta Energy, Inc. to retrofit existing waste-to-energy facilities. Leggett has worked to improve the region’s air quality by implementing this voluntary air pollution control upgrade, which was installed in March 2009. The RRF was the first publicly-owned waste-to-energy facility in the country to use the LN™ design.

“I am especially proud that our Resource Recovery Facility has been honored for recognizing the potential of new environmental technology such as the LN™ system and taking steps to upgrade our operation,” Leggett said. “Congratulations to all involved.”

“The Montgomery County Resource Recovery Facility is one of the innovative projects from this year’s Clean Air Excellence Award winners recognized for protecting air quality in communities across the country,” said Janet McCabe, EPA acting assistant administrator for the Office of Air and Radiation. “These winners are educating our communities, inspiring organizations to take action and developing cutting-edge programs that will cut harmful pollution, improve public health, and make our cities and towns more sustainable.”

The LN™ technology has proven its ability to reduce emissions of nitrogen oxides by approximately 50 percent, or 400-500 tons-per-year, from pre-installation levels. This is equal to the removal of roughly 50,000 passenger cars from the road -- a significant achievement for both the local environment and regional air quality.

The Resource Recovery Facility is owned by the Northeast Maryland Waste Disposal Authority and is operated for the exclusive benefit of Montgomery County by system designer Covanta Montgomery, Inc.

The award will be presented at EPA’s Clean Air Excellence Awards Ceremony to be held April 2 in Arlington, VA.

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Solid Waste Services Contact: Eileen Kao, 240-777-6406
Media Contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507

Release ID: 14-134
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