Covanta 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.”