In Memoriam: John Waffenschmidt, Covanta, Leader On Environmental Justice Issues

John G. Waffenschmidt, 63, Vice President of Environmental Science and Community Affairs for Covanta passed away on December 5 at this home in Blauvelt, NY.

Waffenschmidt’s leadership on environmental justice issues and his long-time association with the Chester Environmental Partnership in Chester, Delaware County and the Delaware County Energy-From-Waste Facility there allowed Covanta and the community to develop one of the first corporate environmental justice policies in the United States in 2011.

In 2016 he was honored by the Partnership for his efforts in this area.

"I want to thank John for his support of CEP. With his leadership, we have been able to improve the lives of Chester residents and further the environmental justice movement on a national level," stated CEP Founder and Chairman Reverend Dr. Horace W. Strand. "I applaud Covanta as one of the first companies in the United States to establish an environmental justice policy for its work within the community. This is a national example of what working together can do."

Covanta's Community Outreach and Environmental Justice Policy was prepared in response to the need to ensure all communities, especially communities which are disadvantaged, have a fair and just opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in matters impacting their local environment.

The policy provides a tangible commitment by Covanta to engage fully with the communities in which it has, or will have, facilities to reduce discharges and minimize emissions, and to do this in a manner which ensures meaningful involvement by those communities.

"I'm deeply honored to receive this recognition from the Chester Environmental Partnership; I have been enriched by being a member of the CEP," said Waffenschmidt in 2016. "The question of how to integrate industrial facilities into communities in a positive way is in part answered by the process developed by the Chester Environmental Partnership under Dr. Strand's leadership. That format, which allows direct communication between companies and citizens, ensures that all parties are knowledgeable of each other's needs."

In addition to his work at Covanta, Waffenschmidt served on DEP’s Environmental Justice Advisory Board.

Waffenschmidt worked with the Board and the Chester Environmental Partnership to enact state legislation to promote the safe recovery and destruction of unused and excess prescription drugs in Act 123 of 2016.

He was also a member of the National Stewardship Action Council Board, and the Product Stewardship Institute Advisory Council.

The Waffenschmidt family requested memorial donations in his memory go to the Chester Environmental Partnership.

Click Here to read his full obituary.

[Posted: Dec. 14, 2018]


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