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For Immediate Release: 3/25/2009
Air Pollution Control Retrofit At County’s Resource Recovery Facility Reduces Nitrogen Oxide Emissions up to 500 Tons a Year;
Improvements reflect Leggett’s commitment to improving air quality

In support of County Executive Isiah Leggett’s public commitment to use state-of-the-art technologies to improve air pollution control at the County’s Resource Recovery Facility (RRF) in Dickerson, the Division of Solid Waste Services (DSWS) of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has announced completion of a retrofitting project that has reduced nitrogen oxide (NOx) to about half of the amount designated by regulatory standards.

Previously, the RRF recorded concentrations of about 170 parts per million (ppm), compared to the federal and state daily average limit of 180 ppm. With the newly installed technology, DSWS expects daily average concentrations of NOx to be not more than 110 ppm and 90 ppm on an annual basis.

The recently completed upgrade at the RRF incorporates a new technology called LN™ (for “Low NOx”) that was developed by Covanta Energy, Inc. for the retrofit of existing energy-from-waste facilities. Montgomery County is the first to install LNTM technology at a publicly-owned waste-to-energy facility.

“In my 2007 State of the County address,” Leggett said, “I announced that we would commit to using state-of-the-art technologies to take certain steps that would result in cleaner air for our families to breathe and less impact on surrounding communities. I am pleased to have delivered on that promise.”

Covanta has provided monetary guarantees that NOx concentrations will not exceed 90 ppm on an annual average basis. This will yield a reduction of approximately 400-500 tons per year for the benefit of the region’s air quality and public health.

“This project makes a substantial contribution toward attainment of the national air quality standard for ozone in our region, and the magnitude of this contribution is unusual for what a local government can do to that end,” said Bob Hoyt, DEP director.

The second step in the air pollution control improvement promised by Executive Leggett is elimination of storage and use of anhydrous ammonia at the RRF. Replacement of that material with non-hazardous aqueous ammonia is scheduled to be completed this fall.

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Media contact: Bonnie Ayers, 240-777-6507
Program details: Bill Davidson, DSWS, 240-777-6409

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Release ID: 09-138

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