Delta Thermo Energy (DTE) Inc. has plans for a $49 million construction project to build a plant in Allentown that will convert waste and sludge to electricity. The facility would be capable of processing up to 120 tons of solid waste, 47 tons of sewage per day, and the site would be erected next the wastewater treatment plant along Little Lehigh Creek.
The energy company presented their case to the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), stating that their technology is much cleaner and safer than a normal landfill, in an attempt to get the permits needed to start construction.
The DEP also heard arguments against the plant from locals who feel that the technology is unproven, unsafe, and not environmentally friendly. The opponents of the plant characterize the site as an incinerator, which DTE denies. They also feel that Delta has never operated a plant of this size and magnitude. Delta operates a smaller plant in Egg Harbor, NJ, but is waiting for approval in over 40 cities, to operate plants the same size as the one proposed for Allentown.
Not all the participants at the hearing were against Delta Thermo; local union leaders lauded not only the safe technology, but also the fact the company wants to use resident workers in most of the construction of the plant.