EPA Finalizes Landfill Methane Rules

Date: June 20, 2016

Source: US EPA

This week the EPA sent its final rules tightening controls on controlling methane from new and existing landfills to the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review, ahead of a July 14 deadline. The rules consist of a new source performance standards (NSPS) rule for new and modified landfills and also a rule revising emission guidelines for existing landfills. The revisions are in response to a 2011 petition from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) demanding a lower threshold at which facilities must capture methane emissions. EPA has a statutory duty to review and if necessary revise NSPS rules eight years after their issuance, but failed to do so for the landfill NSPS, which it issued in 1996. EPA proposed changes to the NSPS in August 2015. EPA has no statutory duty to revise the emissions guidelines for existing sources but did so anyway. Under the proposed rules, landfills would be required to capture landfill gases emitted above a threshold of 34 metric tons of methane which is significantly lower than the existing 50-ton threshold.

See also: "EPA to Update Landfill Methane Rules," (www.wasteinfo.com/news/wbj20160531C.htm).

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