Industry Responds to EPA Stay of Landfill Air Rules

In October of 2016, NWRA, SWANA, Republic Services and Waste Management filed petitions for judicial review.

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) on May 10 received a letter from the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) indicating an intent to reconsider the rules entitled “Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills” and “Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.”

The updated rules, which were under discussion for years and enacted last fall, will now enter a period of reconsideration. According to the two waste associations, the letter “expressed an intent to pause the rules with a 90-day administrative stay, given that the issues EPA plans to reconsider are integral to the rules.”

The rules, as enacted, were not what the industry had expected. In October of 2016, NWRA, SWANA, Republic Services and Waste Management filed petitions for judicial review and a petition for administrative reconsideration, rulemaking and stay, which remain pending.

EPA’s letter indicates an intent to reconsider the following topics:

1) Tier 4 surface emission monitoring

2) Annual liquids reporting

3) Corrective action timeline procedures

4) Overlapping applicability with other rules

5) The definition of cover penetration

6) Design plan approval

The EPA also indicated that it will consider any other matter that it believes may benefit from additional comment.

“We are pleased with the EPA’s decision to grant an administrative stay and reconsider regulatory issues of great importance to our industry,” Kevin Kraushaar, NWRA Interim CEO, said in a statement. “We now look forward to providing information and feedback to EPA leadership as they evaluate and determine modifications to the rules.”

“This is a great next step in our efforts to protect our industry and achieve updated rules that are reasonable, clear and cost-effective to our collective members,” SWANA Executive Director David Biderman said in a statement.

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