A measure recently adopted by California's Air Resources Board (ARB) will require 14 California landfills to design and install new methane gas collection and control systems by 2012. Many landfills with existing methane capture systems will be required to further reduce emissions. ARB estimates that 218 of the state's 367 municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills may be subject to the regulation. The move is expected to reduce 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
“Fixing the leaks in existing landfill gas collection systems is a fast way to cut the methane gas that is directly harming the Earth's atmosphere,” said ARB Chairman Mary D. Nichols. “Even better, we will see an immediate health benefit, because methane is a precursor to smog.”
MSW landfills comprise California's second largest man-made source of methane.