MENDOTA, Calif., July 17 Covanta Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Covanta Holding Corporation (NYSE: CVA) and a world leader in the development and operation of large scale Energy-from-Waste and other renewable energy projects, today announced its Covanta Mendota biomass facility has earned "STAR" status in the California Department of Industrial Relations, Division of Occupational Safety and Health Voluntary Protection Program (Cal/VPP).
VPP "STAR" status is the highest honor given to worksites with comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems. In awarding this elite status, Cal/OSHA gives strong consideration to the level of employee involvement in on-site health and safety program development and to long-term management commitment and support. STAR recipients have also achieved injury and illness rates at or below the state average of their respective industries.
"Covanta Mendota's operational excellence and vigilance in regards to workplace health and safety has led to this prestigious designation of VPP 'STAR' by Cal/OSHA. We applaud them for their accomplishment and thank them for their extraordinary efforts," said Seth Myones, President of Covanta Americas. "Mendota's health and safety performance exemplifies Covanta's long-standing commitment to our employees' well-being and to the continued improvement of health and safety programs."
Covanta Mendota is the first of Covanta's eight biomass facilities to receive the VPP "STAR" and one of 29 Covanta facilities that have achieved the prestigious designation on a state or federal level. The Mendota biomass facility, along with Covanta's Stanislaus Resource Recovery Facility in Crows Landing, CA are two of only 70 facilities to earn this distinction in California.
"The Cal/VPP team recognized the excellent level of teamwork and cooperation existing at Covanta Mendota between local management, hourly employees and corporate staff to continuously improve workplace safety," said Iraj Pourmehraban, Cal/OSHA Area Manager. "The total case incident three-year rate average at 80% below industry average is a testament to the effectiveness of proactive safety & health programs at the site. The plant not only generates power -- it also generates very effective safety and health programs. I congratulate Covanta Mendota employees for the outstanding work they have done to achieve Cal/VPP Star status."
Covanta Mendota processes more than 600 tons of biomass waste materials each day, generating up to 25 megawatt hours of clean, renewable electricity or enough to meet the needs of 25,000 homes. Unlike traditional methods of power generation that rely on exhaustible fossil fuels, biomass energy is generated by utilizing wood and agricultural fuel from a variety of local, renewable sources. Biomass facilities like Covanta Mendota reduce the practice of "open-field burning" of agricultural waste, a major air quality challenge for the San Joaquin Valley. Additionally, the collection and use of wood waste at biomass facilities contributes to the removal of burnable material left on forest floors, thereby reducing the potential for wildfires. The United States Forest Service notes that the "advantages of biomass is that it produces electricity 24/7 while not adding any additional CO(2) into the atmosphere. The development of wood energy is needed to ensure our energy security."
Covanta Energy is a subsidiary of Covanta Holding Corporation, an internationally recognized owner and operator of large-scale Energy-from-Waste and renewable energy projects, including eight biomass facilities, and a recipient of the Energy Innovator Award from the U.S. Department of Energy's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. Covanta's 38 Energy-from-Waste facilities provide communities with an environmentally sound solution to their solid waste disposal needs by using that municipal solid waste to generate clean, renewable energy. Annually, Covanta's modern Energy-from-Waste facilities safely and securely convert approximately 17 million tons of waste into more than 8 million megawatt hours of clean renewable electricity and create 10 billion pounds of steam that are sold to a variety of industries. For more information, visit www.covantaholding.com.
SOURCE Covanta Energy