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NSWMA and SWANA want EPA to Extend Exemptions for Landfill Gas

Date: June 4, 2009

Source: NSWMA and SWANA

Proposed Standards for Reciprocating Internal Combustion Engines Could Reduce Use of Landfill Gas as Fuel and Hinder Efforts to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

  • NSWMA and SWANA Call on EPA to Revise Proposed Rule and Extend Exemption

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed updates to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), regulations originally finalized on June 15, 2004 (69 FR 33474). The proposed changes (74 FR 9698) appear to include the same exemption for RICE located at major sources. However, stationary RICE located at area sources (i.e., minor sources) do not appear to be covered by the exemption. By subjecting landfill and digester gas-fired RICE to these new requirements, EPA would eliminate numerous and necessary renewable energy projects.

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSMWA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) are encouraging EPA to extend this exemption to engines at area sources because they are not different than engines installed at major sources and because the lack of an exemption would force existing renewable energy projects to shut down, resulting in the flaring of landfill and digester gas.

The proposed rule is inconsistent with the efforts of federal and state agencies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and promote renewable energy and distributed generation requirements. Landfill and digester gas have always been used as a significant source of additional renewable energy to reduce GHG emissions and displace our dependence on fossil fuels.

NSWMA President and CEO Bruce J. Parker noted, "EPA should reconsider its proposed rulemaking on landfill and digester gas-fired engines and include an appropriate exemption from the proposed rule to make it consistent with federal and state policy which strongly supports and promotes the use of renewable fuels—not creating obstacles to renewable energy projects and forcing existing renewable projects off-line."

"Landfill-gas-to-energy projects are a reliable source of renewable energy. Such projects help reduce American dependence on foreign sources of energy, and they address global warming by capturing methane, which is a greenhouse gas," added SWANA Executive Director and CEO John H. Skinner. "By making the changes we suggest, EPA would be fostering these projects."

About NSWMA

NSWMA – a sub-association of the Environmental Industry Associations – represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry. For more information about how America's solid waste management professionals are serving as environmental health and safety stewards, protecting our environment and serving our communities, please visit www.everydayenvironmentalists.org/energy.

About SWANA

SWANA – is a leading professional and educational association in the solid waste management field. SWANA's mission is "to advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound management of municipal solid waste." SWANA serves over 8,000 members and thousands more industry professionals with technical conferences, certifications, publications and a large offering of technical training courses. For more information, visit www.SWANA.org.

Thom Metzger, NSWMA
(202) 364-3751, tmetzger@envasns.org.

Robert Wolfe, SWANA
240-494-2256, rwolfe@swana.org.

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