Matthew DeNafo Selected as New President of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA)

Matthew DeNafo has been selected to lead the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA) as its new President beginning April 2023.

DeNafo’s appointment was made official following the approval of minutes from the ACUA Board of Commissioners meeting on Thursday, January 19.

“I am excited to serve the community in this new role at ACUA,” said DeNafo. “Throughout my 15 years at ACUA, I have been fortunate to work alongside an extraordinary team of people committed to the hard work of keeping our environment clean. I am confident ACUA will continue its long history of success in environmental leadership. This will include a continued focus on innovative solutions, customer centric services, transparency, and most importantly, cost-efficient solid waste and wastewater management.” 

DeNafo currently serves as the Vice President of Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management for ACUA where he is responsible for overseeing all Centralized Maintenance and Asset Management activities throughout the Authority, which includes a staff of more than 60 employees across the fleet, facilities, electrical and instrumentation, mechanical services, IT and research and development departments.

Prior to this, DeNafo served as Senior Engineer for the Authority. Throughout his career, he has contributed to many of ACUA’s integral infrastructure and engineering projects, including the construction of its compressed natural gas (CNG) station, wastewater facility protective seawall, green vehicle wash, pump station improvements, emergency power upgrades, and landfill cell construction.

“While our national search revealed prospects, it also listed Mr. DeNafo as a highly qualified candidate which I fully agreed,” said ACUA Board of Commissioners Chair Marvin Embry. “DeNafo has earned the position and will accept the responsibilities with commitment, dedication and strong understanding of the Authority.”

The search to fulfill the position of President was completed following the announcement of longtime ACUA President Rick Dovey’s retirement that is set for June 2023. A consultant group conducted an independent search that included both internal and external candidates. After an extensive interview process, DeNafo was ultimately selected to lead the Authority.

DeNafo is a graduate of Rowan University College of Engineering where he completed his degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as a Master’s in Environmental Engineering. He also holds a Master’s in Business Administration from Rutgers University. 

DeNafo is a New Jersey Licensed Professional Engineer and a Certified Municipal Engineer. He currently serves on the board of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s New Jersey Chapter (SWANA NJ), is President of the Waterford Township Board of Education, and sits on the Advisory Board for the Atlantic County Institute of Technology (ACIT).  DeNafo is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), New Jersey Water Environmental Association (NJWEA) and the American Public Works Association. 

The ACUA is responsible for treating wastewater from 14 municipalities in Atlantic County. It maintains 20 pump stations, more than 60 miles of underground pipeline, and a 40-million-gallon per day wastewater treatment facility in Atlantic City that is powered by renewable energy. The Authority also implements Atlantic County’s Solid Waste Management Plan and operates a 360-acre Environmental Park in Egg Harbor Township that includes a landfill, transfer station, composting facility, and recycling center. The Authority oversees the recycling program for Atlantic County and currently provides waste and recycling collection services for 24 municipalities across Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland Counties.

The ACUA is an environmental leader and has been recognized nationally for its efforts to incorporate sustainability and renewable energy in its operations. The ACUA is home to New Jersey’s first commercial wind farm that powers its wastewater treatment facility, a 500-kilowatt solar project, a compressed natural gas (CNG) station that powers its fleet of more than 80 collection vehicles, a green vehicle wash, electric vehicle charging stations, and a renewable energy storage battery. The Authority will soon be implementing a landfill gas to pipeline quality natural gas project, a wastewater to hydrogen energy project, and a community solar project that will generate solar on ACUA’s landfill to benefit residents of the Pleasantville Housing Authority.