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EPA Announces Final Rules for Reducing Methane Emissions from MSW Landfills

landfill methane emissions

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Friday announced the final rules that will help reduce methane emissions in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. New, modified and existing landfills will soon begin capturing and controlling landfill gas emissions at levels that are one-third lower than the current required levels.

The new rules, which are expected to cut methane emissions by approximately 334,000 tons a year starting in 2025, are part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions. These rules serve as an update to the 1996 standards for existing landfills and strengthen the proposed rule for new landfills that was issued in 2014.

Currently, MSW landfills are ranked the second largest industrial source of methane emissions in the U.S., but with the new rules, methane from landfills will be captured and utilized in place of other fossil fuels.

In addition to the new rules, the EPA will continue to offer its Landfill Methane Outreach program, which provides landfill owners and operators with tools and resources to better facilitate development of landfill gas energy projects.

At WasteExpo, Anne Germain, director of waste and recycling technology for the National Waste and Recycling Association; Matt Stutz, from Fort Worth, Texas-based Weaver Consultants Group; and Patrick Sullivan, senior vice president of SCS Engineers in Sacramento, Calif., discussed how landfill operators are preparing for the new source performance standards.

Stay tuned for more coverage on the new rules and their impact on the industry.

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