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​​Covanta Delaware Valley

Site Background

Located in the City of Chester, Delaware County, Covanta Delaware Valley, L.P. (Covanta), Delaware Valley Resource Recovery facility (DVRRF) is a permitted waste-to-energy facility.

Current Air Quality Permit Application Under Review:


The Environmental Quality Board (Board) amends Chapters 121 and 129 (relating to general provisions; and standards for sources). This final-form rulemaking (also known as Reasonable Available Control Technology, RACT III) amends Chapter 129 to establish additional presumptive reasonably available control technology (RACT) requirements and RACT emission limitations for certain major stationary sources of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions in existence on or before August 3, 2018, to address the Federal requirements for the 2015 8-hour ozone National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act (CAA) (42 U.S.C.A. §§ 7401—7671q). This final-form rulemaking, or RACT III, establishes §§ 129.111—129.115 (relating to additional RACT requirements for major sources of NOx and VOCs for the 2015 ozone NAAQS) to meet CAA requirements for the control of ground-level ozone. Emissions of NOx and VOCs are precursors for ground-level ozone formation. Ground-level ozone, a public health and welfare hazard, is not emitted directly to the atmosphere from air contamination sources, but forms from the photochemical reaction between emissions of VOCs and NOx in the presence of sunlight.

RACT III major source rulemaking was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin and became effective on November 12, 2022. The requirements of 25 Pa. Code §§ 129.111—129.115 apply to the owners and operators of all facilities in Pennsylvania that emit or have a potential to emit greater than 100 TPY of NOx and/or 50 TPY of VOCs.

25 Pa. Code Section 129.112(n) establishes that the owner or operator of a major NOx emitting facility or a major VOC emitting facility subject to § 129.111 that includes an air contamination source subject to one or more of subsections (b)—(k) that cannot meet the applicable presumptive RACT requirement or RACT emission limitation without installation of an air cleaning device may submit a petition to the Department or appropriate approved local air pollution control agency, in writing or electronically, requesting an alternative compliance schedule in accordance with paragraphs (1) and (2).

Purpose of the Application

In accordance with 25 Pa. Code Section 129.112(n), the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) received a Plan Approval application from Covanta located at 10 Highland Avenue, City of Chester, Delaware County on December 20, 2022. The scope of this Plan Approval is to install an aqueous ammonia SNCR control device on each of the waste rotary combustors [a total of six (6) aqueous ammonia SNCR control devices for Source IDs 101 through 106], in order to meet the presumptive RACT III NOx emission limitation as defined in 25 Pa. Code § 129.112(f), “The owner and operator of a municipal waste combustor subject to § 129.111 shall comply with the presumptive RACT emission limitation of 110 ppmvd NOx @ 7% oxygen.”

Public Participation

The DEP held a virtual public information meeting about RACT III and the Covanta Delaware Valley Plan Approval to meet the RACT III emission limit. This meeting was held to provide an opportunity for the community to ask our Air Quality Program Team questions and get answers.

Virtual Public Meetingwas held on - May 2, 2023 6:00pm – 7:30pm

Covanta Community Flyer (PDF)

Comment Period

A notice of intent to issue the plan approval will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on April 15th, 2023. This is the beginning of the public comment period. The public comment period ends May 27, 2023 (10 days after the public hearing). The submission of written comments, suggestions, objections, or other information regarding the proposed Plan Approval may be made in writing to Ms. Janine Tulloch-Reid, P.E., Environmental Engineer Manager, Facilities Permitting Section, Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, Southeast Regional Office, 2 East Main Street, Norristown, PA 19401, or electronically at Each submission must contain the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) submitting the comments, identification of the proposed Plan Approval and condition number(s), and a concise statement regarding the relevancy of the information or objections to issuance of the proposed Plan Approval.

Public Hearing

A public hearing was held on May 17, 2023, from 6:30 P.M. to 8:30 P.M., at the Chester City Hall (Chester City Municipal Building), 1 E 4th St, Chester, PA 19013.

Related Documents:

Final Issuance

On December 27, 2023 the Air Quality permit was issued.

A notice of final action was published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on January 13, 2024.

Solid Waste Management Minor Permit Modification

On March 28, 2023, Covanta Delaware Valley, LP submitted a Solid Waste Minor Permit Modification Application so that the existing Waste permit # 400593 will properly reflect the installation of the Selective Non-Catalytic Reduction air pollution control device required for DVRRF to comply with 25 Pa. Code, Chapter 129 (Additional RACT Requirements for Major Sources of NOx and VOCs for the 2015 Ozone NAAQS, or RACT Ill) at its Delaware Valley Resource Recovery Facility (DVRRF), an existing municipal waste resource recovery facility located at 10 Highland Avenue, Chester, PA 19013 in the City of Chester, Delaware County.

Covanta Delaware Valley Minor Modification Application (PDF)

Covanta Delaware Valley Minor Permit modification was issued on 12/27/23.


Storage Tank Site-Specific Installation Permit Application

On March 24, 2023, Covanta Delaware Valley, LP submitted a Storage Tank Site-Specific Installation Permit Application for the installation of a 35,000-gallon aboveground storage tank storing aqueous ammonia. This permit application evaluates the site in consideration for public health and safety, protection of water supply sources, water quality, air quality, flooding, topography, soil conditions, and hydrogeology.

SSIP Application Package

SSIP Permit Covanta

Title V Operating Permit Renewal

Public Participation

Comments for this application were received from the public from August 21, 2021 to October 4, 2021. Now that the comment period has closed, DEP will review all comments, whether submitted in writing or verbally at the virtual hearing held on Sep 22, 2021. When completed, a comment response document will be created and posted to this page.

September 22, 2021 Public Hearing Transcript (PDF)

Written Comments Received (PDF)

Related Documents

DEP Issued Permit

Title V Operating Permit Renewal

On March 10, 2023, DEP issued Title V Operating Permit Renewal TVOP 23-00014:

The renewal is issued to a waste-to-energy plant, which incinerates residual waste and municipal waste, and generates 90 net megawatts of electricity per hour. The renewal incorporates all applicable requirements including the Pennsylvania’s Reasonably Available Control Technology, the State Plan for Large Municipal Waste Combustors approved by the USEPA as well as monitoring, record-keeping, reporting, and work practice requirements. The renewal does not authorize any increase in air emissions of regulated pollutants above the previously approved levels. This action will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on March 25, 2023, which will begin the 30-day appeal period pursuant to 25 Pa. Code Section 127.431(c).

General Plan Approval/Operating Permit

On March 17, 2023, General Plan Approval/Operating Permit GP9-23-0014, was issued for the installation and operation of eleven (11) units of temporary emergency generator set diesel engines. Covanta was requested by PECO Energy to cease power transmission from April 14 through April 30, 2023, to allow PECO to perform necessary upgrades to the PECO transformer system. Covanta will operate in “Island Mode” (that is, using the electricity they generate at the site) - without power supply to/from the PECO grid, during this period. The emergency engines are needed for the continuity of operations during the time of outage, and should only operate the emergency engines if they cannot operate in “Island Mode”. As these emergency engines are temporary, the General Plan Approval/Operating Permit will expire on December 31, 2023. This action will be published in the Pennsylvania Bulletin on April 1, 2023, pursuant to 25 Pa. Code Section 127.611.