Date: June 3, 2011
Source: News Room
A landfill in Ocean County, NJ is fighting a possible precedent setting EPA decision to require the facility to "aggregate," or combine, its Clean Air Act (Title V) operating permit with that of an adjacent gas-to-energy facility that utilizes methane from the landfill. In this case, EPA appears to be using "common control" as a criterion for requiring a combined permit. The companies involved are the Ocean County Landfill Corporation (OCLC) which owns the landfill, and Manchester Renewable Power Corporation (MRPC) which owns the energy facility. Some in the industry worry that EPA's approach is an unlawful extension of a similar policy for the oil and gas sector that requires facilities to combine emissions for permitting to determine whether more stringent "major" pollution source controls apply. The fear is that additional pollution control requirements stemming from this approach might render existing projects no longer economically feasible. There is additional concern that combining permits might also tip some facilities into the category as major sources of greenhouse gases (GHGs) which could lead to additional pollution control requirements down the road.