Change In the Air

SWANA and NSWMA weigh in on GHG regulations.

The Washington-Based National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and the Solid Waste Management Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., have sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the agency's plans of greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements and their potential impact on municipal solid waste landfills.

In March, the EPA approached NSWMA and SWANA for input about the project, which received specific appropriations from Congress. EPA officials say the agency plans to answer the letter's concerns and release an advanced notice for proposed rulemaking for public comment. Chaz Miller, state programs director for NSWMA, says he expects the notice to be released no later than September so that the project can keep pace with the public comment process. “The waste management industry is aggressively responding to the challenges presented by climate change and how the industry's carbon footprint can be reduced,” said Bruce Parker, CEO and president of NSWMA, in a press release.

The letter requests the EPA to consider: the solid waste sector has substantially reduced GHG emissions; establishing a protocol for estimating fugitive landfill emissions; accounting for carbon sequestration when estimating GHG emissions of individual landfills; eliminating third-party verification; eliminating biogenic GHG emissions as a mandatory reporting element of a federal program.

“Environmentally sound solid waste management practices can make an important positive contribution towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Skinner, executive director and CEO of SWANA, in a press release.