EPA Tightens Landfill Methane Emissions Rules


by | Aug 18, 2015

landfillThe EPA has issued two proposals to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste landfills. Under the proposals, new, modified and existing landfills would begin collecting and controlling landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements.

MSW landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the US, accounting for 18 percent of methane emissions in 2013 — the equivalent of approximately 100 million metric tons of carbon dioxide pollution, the EPA says.

Combined, the proposed rules are expected to reduce methane emissions by an estimated 487,000 tons a year beginning in 2025, equivalent to reducing 12.2 million metric tons of carbon dioxide. The EPA estimates the climate benefits of the combined proposals at nearly $750 million in 2025 or nearly $14 for every dollar spent to comply. Combined costs of the proposed rules are estimated at $55 million in 2025.

The proposals are part of the President’s Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions.

Photo Credit: landfill site via Shutterstock

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