During 2012, the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) reduced the amount of carbon it is emitting into the atmosphere by more than 1.3 percent over 2011 levels, bringing ACUA’s total reduction from year 2000 baseline numbers to 8.2 percent. Carbon emissions, which are produced in the burning of fossil fuels, are a strong component of greenhouse gases (GHG).
The ACUA began tracking its carbon emission levels in 2006 when it became the first New Jersey entity to join the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX). At the time, the CCX was the world’s first and North America’s only legally binding, voluntary greenhouse gas emission registry, reduction, and trading system. Through its membership in CCX, ACUA committed to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 6 percent per year by 2010. Although the Authority no longer participates in the CCX, it continues to track its carbon emissions.
“This reduction is significant because since the year 2006 when ACUA began to track its emissions, the Authority has expanded its service area and its operations,” said ACUA President Rick Dovey. “Even though we continue to grow and take on new business, we try to do so in a way that minimizes our carbon footprint through renewable energy initiatives and alternative fuel vehicles, including transitioning our fleet to compressed natural gas (CNG), and using biodiesel fuel. This reduction is also significant because the same initiatives that are reducing our emissions are also saving ACUA money. By using CNG alone, ACUA has saved $334,000,” Dovey added.
Other renewable energy initiatives the ACUA has implemented, in addition to CNG, have also reduced GHG emissions. For example, Authority staff and technicians have made improvements at ACUA’s Wastewater Treatment Facility operating procedures, increasing efficiency and significantly reducing GHG emissions. The ACUA also captures methane, a potent greenhouse gas generated at its landfill, and uses it to power its facilities.
The Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) is a public agency that provides environmental and waste management services to the people of Atlantic County and southern New Jersey. The ACUA operates both wastewater and solid waste management systems. The wastewater facility is located in Atlantic City, NJ and the solid waste/recycling facility is located in Egg Harbor Township, NJ. The ACUA strives to enhance the quality of life for those who live, work and visit the Atlantic County, NJ area. The ACUA has aggressively incorporated renewable energy and alternative fuel vehicles into its daily operations.
1 ACUA’s carbon footprint calculation does not include electricity consumption data, or production from the Authority’s Wind, Solar, and Landfill Gas to Energy projects.