Whitby, Ontario –

The Regional Municipality of Durham would like to advise residents that the owners, Durham and York Regions, and the operator, Covanta, are undertaking an investigation into the cause of the fire at the Durham York Energy Centre on Dec. 11 and conducting a damage assessment.

“The Durham York Energy Centre is currently receiving and processing waste at 50 per cent capacity with boiler number one,” said Susan Siopis, Commissioner of Works for The Regional Municipality of Durham. “It appears the damage was contained to an exterior portion of the building above boiler number two —a small section of the roof where the fire was first observed. As a precautionary move, boiler number two will not be restarted until the damage assessment has been completed.”

At approximately, 9 a.m. on Dec. 11, the DYEC was taken off the electrical grid and began running on self-generated power, to allow Hydro One to complete pole relocations near the facility on South Service Road. The grid separation was accomplished without incident.  However, at 10:30 a.m. the DYEC experienced a problem, which triggered a plant shutdown. The emergency shut down system is designed to protect personnel, the community and the facility. At approximately 11:30 a.m., as part of the standard operating procedures (SOP) during a shutdown, Covanta staff performed a visual inspection of the complete facility. During the inspection staff observed a fire on the roof near the west side. Staff responded according to the SOP and the Clarington Fire Department was immediately contacted. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) was also notified of the situation.

The Hydro One work was completed and power was restored to the facility at approximately 1:30 p.m. The fire was contained and extinguished by 4:30 p.m. Boiler #1 was restarted at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 11 and began processing garbage at 1 a.m. on Dec. 12.

The Durham York Energy Centre, located in Courtice, is Durham Region’s primary long-term disposal option for waste and only processes the household waste remaining after Durham and York Regions’ aggressive composting, recycling and reuse programs. Both regions are leaders in waste diversion with diversion rates consistently above 50 per cent. For more information on the Durham York Energy Centre, visit http://www.durhamyorkwaste.ca, call 1-800-667-5671, or email info@durhamyorkwaste.ca.

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