People of Jersey Water Works: Profile of Richard Dovey

New Jersey Association of Environmental Authorities celebrates the Atlantic County Utilities Authority President and Jersey Water Works (JWW) steering committee member Rick Dovey for his career and upcoming retirement at the 2023 Utility Management Conference.

Richard Dovey has been a leader in environmental stewardship throughout his career, described as a “mentor to many employees and colleagues,” a “visionary, leader, and innovator” in his work at the Atlantic County Utilities Authority (ACUA), a “champion of clean energy,” and a “master at community relations.” Rick is regarded as a leader in the state of New Jersey and nationally in the field of renewable energy and is respected for his visionary leadership, resiliency, hard work, and commitment to promoting a clean and healthy environment. Dovey will retire from the ACUA when his contract ends in June 2023.  

Rick’s work on the Jersey Water Works Steering Committee and as a life member of the Association of Environmental Authorities (AEA) has allowed him to connect with a range of people acting as a “friend, mentor, and leader” in the field of environmental stewardship and clean energy. We recognize and appreciate the great work that Richard Dovey has done for our collaborative and in the field of clean energy and wastewater management. 

Rick Dovey has been the president of the ACUA since 1990. The ACUA operates a wastewater treatment plant that processes 40 million gallons each day, based in Atlantic City in New Jersey. The ACUA is a regional sewerage collection system that serves 14 municipalities in Atlantic County and an extensive solid waste management system in Egg Harbor. The ACUA serves 100,000 homes and businesses in Atlantic County. At ACUA, Dovey oversaw an annual operating budget of $60 million and a capital budget of $20 million a year. Rick’s focus on high quality customer service and community engagement made ACUA a highly regarded and valued agency in Atlantic County and across the state. Under Dovey’s leadership, ACUA was nationally recognized for their excellence in innovation, efficiency, and environmental stewardship.

Dovey’s work with ACUA has been instrumental in shaping clean energy in New Jersey. Rick is described as “among New Jersey’s most ardent advocates for preserving public ownership and fighting utility preservation.” Rick is a strong proponent of clean energy and initiated many of ACUA’s green initiatives. Some of Dovey’s most notable projects with ACUA include a 500-kilowatt solar project, a landfill gas-to-electricity project, a compressed natural gas station that became the first in South Jersey, and the construction of the state’s first wind farm at ACUA’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. Dovey worked on a range of other areas with ACUA as well, including recycling, community education, youth programming, and shared services.

Rick’s career has been largely centered around leadership at various environmental and community organizations, including roles as treasurer of the Atlantic County Economic Alliance, supervisor of the Cape Atlantic Conservation District Board, chair of the Egg Harbor City Industrial Commission, Stockton University Foundation board member, and member of many advisor boards for community organizations and educational institutions across the state. These leadership positions—and the many more Dovey has held—indicate the knowledge, aptitude, and commitment that are so evident throughout his career.

“I’ve been living this for a long time, and at 70 years old, it’s time to stop working and start playing,” said Rick in an interview about his retirement. “My experience here has been wonderful. I’m terribly interested still, though, in everything that I’ve been working on here. I’ll care a lot about it.”

After retirement, Rick Dovey plans to stay involved with Jersey Water Works Steering Committee. He has been an exemplary leader in the environmental sector in New Jersey. We appreciate his commitment and dedication to this important work and celebrate this new chapter for Rick and his family. Thank you, Rick, for all that you have done for ACUA, Jersey Water Works, and our state.

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