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Long Island’s First Waste-to-Energy Facility Breaks Ground

BROOKHAVEN, NY — American Organic Energy (AOE), a sister company of Long Island Compost, recently broke ground on a new anaerobic digester in the hamlet of Yaphank, Town of Brookhaven in New York’s Suffolk County, marking the start of construction on the first-of-its-kind facility on Long Island.

The digester will convert up to 210,000 tons of food waste and fats, oils, and grease, plus 10,000 tons of grass clippings that would have otherwise ended up in landfills into renewable energy, adding to the diversity of energy alternatives, like offshore wind, already growing in the region.

When complete, the digester will convert these waste streams to clean energy, clean water to be used for plant processes, and solid-based fertilizer. The facility is expected to produce 2.0 MW of electricity and approximately 1.9 million diesel gallons-equivalent of compressed natural gas. It also hopes to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by approximately 40,000 tons annually — equal to removing more than 8,000 cars from the road.

It will also cut back on the number of diesel trucks hauling Long Island’s waste to other states, thereby removing trucks from busy roadways. Construction of the anaerobic digester will address climate change issues by meeting New York State’s and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) aggressive clean energy and greenhouse gas reduction requirements.

“As Long Island looks to create a resilient and sustainable future, VHB will continue to partner with our clients and the municipalities in the region to seek solutions that support the region’s smart growth, especially in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and introducing new sources of renewable energy,” said Kevin Walsh, Chief Engineer. “This new facility is a great example of private and public investment in the future of Long Island’s green economy.”

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Working as an extension of the AOE team, VHB partnered with the Town of Brookhaven, Suffolk County, the New York Department of Energy Conservation (NYSDEC), and the communities surrounding Yaphank to help navigate the various regulatory and permitting requirements. VHB also managed the air quality analysis performed by a subconsultant, completed the permit documentation for the Odor and Dust Control Plan, and prepared the Groundwater Monitoring Plan in accordance with NYSDEC requirements.

In addition, VHB completed New York State Environmental Quality Review Act documentation, including a traffic impact study, as well as preliminary and final site plans and a Stormwater Pollution Prevention Plan. These components helped advance site plan approval with the Town of Brookhaven and getting the facility on track for construction.

VHB's team is focused on partnering with communities to create a more sustainable, resilient future by introducing renewable energy developments that will help address climate change and withstand disruption.

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