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ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS AS A COST-EFFECTIVE ALTERNATIVE TO PRIVATIZATION

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Abstract:

The Camden County Municipal Utilities Authority (CCMUA) operates an 80 million gallon per day (MGD) pure oxygen activated sludge sewage treatment plant located in Camden City, N. J. It also operates a 100 mile regional sewer collection system and 25 pumping stations ranging from 1 MGD to 54 MGD in capacity.

The CCMUA has identified three fundamental goals that are critical to the success of its operation:

Optimization of Water Quality Performance


Optimization of Air Quality Performance


Cost Minimization


In order to meet these goals, the CCMUA first undertook a privatization process for the purpose of soliciting private, external expertise in the wastewater treatment field. At the same time, the CCMUA also implemented an Environmental Management System (EMS) to optimize internal performance and to offer another, in-house, alternative to the privatization proposals submitted. Ultimately, the CCMUA found that implementation of an EMS resulted in improvement in water quality and air quality performance and in significant cost reductions. More importantly, the CCMUA found that the improvements realized through implementation of the EMS were collectively more attractive than the benefits offered through the privatization proposals. Accordingly, the CCMUA remained a public entity. This paper will discuss the benefits of implementing an EMS and also discuss how implementation of internal improvements, through an EMS, can bring about results that are comparable or actually better than those realized through a privatization process.

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.2175/193864705783866117

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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