Protestors brave cold to bring attention to concerns about Covanta in Conshohocken

Approximately 40 people braved the cold on Saturday, January 8th, and held a protest outside the gate of Covanta’s facility in Conshohocken (Plymouth Township). According to a press release from Earth Quaker Action Team, the purpose of the protest was to “highlight the role of big money in perpetuating pollution and dangerous greenhouse gases, like those emitted by the facility.”

The plant burns trash to generate energy. The Borough of Conshohocken, Borough of West Conshohocken, and Plymouth Township, along with many others utilize the facility.

In addition to targeting the facility’s owner, the protest also highlighted Vanguard’s investments in Covanta and industries the group believes are greenhouse emitters.

The protestors from Earth Quaker Action Team were joined by residents of the neighborhood adjacent to the facility. As has reported over the past few years a series of malfunctions has raised concerns about the impact of the facility on the local environment and quality of life. This has included reports of a toxic smell and loud noises. Loca children had signs that read “Covanta stinks! Literally!” and “My little lungs deserve better!” Local resident Jessica Ram was quoted as stating, “This is the epitome of big business vs. the people.”

One of the speakers was Mike Ewall, executive director of the Energy Justice Network, who has been involved in the fight against this and other incinerators in the region for three decades. “These incinerators contribute to Philadelphia’s status as the #1 large city for getting cancer and our metro area as one of the top 10 asthma capitals in the nation,” Ewall stressed. “The Covanta Plymouth incinerator has been malfunctioning routinely for three years now…we should conserve our state’s plentiful landfill space with waste reduction, reuse, recycling and composting measures instead of turning trash into ash and air pollution.”

The group plans to hold similar events at similar facilities in the region. Find details here.

Photo: EQAT