Air Emissions

In the event of an air emissions release that is of health concern, there are steps that you can take to minimize your exposure. These can include moving inside or limiting your activities outside, closing open windows, and avoiding opening and closing exterior doors. You may choose to turn off your home’s fresh air intake system (e.g. air conditioning or heat) as well. If you are outside during an uncontrolled air emission event, try to stay upwind of the source of the air emissions. 

The links below provide general information on air quality and environmental odors:

As a reminder, you can stay informed about severe weather and other important events in Montgomery County by signing up for emergency information alerts via the county’s ReadyMontco notification system.

Covanta Plymouth Township

The Covanta facility in Plymouth Township is an actively operating waste to energy facility in Montgomery County. Air emissions from this facility are regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PA DEP). Some residents have raised health concerns related to uncontrolled air emissions and odors from this facility when the Covanta Plymouth plant loses power (black-plant events). In response, the Montgomery County Office of Public Health (MCOPH), Pennsylvania Department of Health (DOH), Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), and federal Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) are collaborating to keep residents informed. Below are links to the most recent updates on this facility:

Placing a Complaint

Residents who wish to report unusual air emissions releases can call the following phone numbers:

  • Covanta Plymouth Township Hotline: (610) 569-9372
  • PA Department of Environmental Protection: (484) 250-5990
  • Montgomery County Office of Public Health: (610) 278-5117 during normal hours, (610) 275-1222 after hours