and Burney Mountain earn Cal/VPP STAR designation
Covanta Energy, a wholly-owned subsidiary
of Covanta Holding Corporation and a developer and operator of
large scale energy from waste and other renewable energy projects,
announced its Covanta Burney Mountain Power and Covanta Mt. Lassen
Power biomass facilities have earned STAR status in California’s
Voluntary Protection Program (Cal/VPP) administered by the California
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (Cal/OSHA).
STAR designation is the highest honor given to worksites with
comprehensive, successful safety and health management systems.
Sites such as Burney Mountain and Mt. Lassen are committed to
the highest levels of employee protection, going above and beyond
the requirements of state and federal standards. Participants
develop and implement systems to effectively identify, evaluate,
prevent and control occupational hazards with an ultimate objective
of preventing injuries and illnesses.
In awarding this elite status, Cal/OSHA gives strong consideration
to the level of employee engagement and ongoing involvement in
on site health and safety program development combined with long
term commitment and support from management. STAR recipients
routinely incur injury and illness rates that are at or below
the state average for their specific industry.
Burney Mountain and Mt. Lassen are the 30th and 31st Covanta
Energy facilities, respectively, to have achieved the prestigious
VPP STAR designation. The facilities join three other Covanta
Cal/VPP STAR sites in California, making them five of only 78
other worksites to have received this award.
Mt. Lassen and Burney Mountain combined generate up to 22 megawatts
of clean, renewable energy from processing biomass waste materials,
enough to power up to 20,000 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 energy facilities
reduce greenhouse gases by replacing fossil fuel generated energy
and preventing the release of greenhouses gases from organic
waste that would otherwise decompose in the open.
Additionally, the collection and use of wood waste for use at
biomass facilities like Mt. Lassen and Burney improves the health
of American forests by removing combustible material left on
forest floors, reducing the potential for wildfires. The United
States Forest Service notes that the “advantage of biomass is
that it produces electricity 24/7 while not adding any additional
CO2 into the atmosphere. The development of wood energy is needed
to ensure our energy security.”