May 10, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Arlington, Virginia, and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Maryland, received a letter from the Administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Scott Pruitt indicating an intent to reconsider the rules entitled “Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills” and “Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.” To allow time for that reconsideration, the letter also expressed an intent to pause the rules with a 90-day administrative stay, given that the issues EPA plans to reconsider are integral to the rules.
In 2016, the EPA adopted rules that differed substantially from what the industry expected considering 14 years of conversation, during which time industry leaders collaborated with the EPA to develop necessary revisions to its 1996 “new source performance standards” and “emissions guidelines,” according to the associations. In October 2016, NWRA, SWANA, Republic Services, Phoenix, and Waste Management, Houston, filed petitions for judicial review and a petition for administrative reconsideration, rulemaking and stay, which remain pending.
EPA’s letter indicates an intent to reconsider the following topics:
- Tier-4 surface emission monitoring;
- annual liquids reporting;
- corrective action timeline procedures;
- overlapping applicability with other rules;
- the definition of cover penetration; and
- design plan approval.
The EPA also indicated that it will consider any other matter that it believes may benefit from additional comment.
“We are pleased with the EPA’s decision to grant an administrative stay and reconsider regulatory issues of great importance to our industry,” said Kevin Kraushaar, NWRA Interim CEO. “We now look forward to providing information and feedback to EPA leadership as they evaluate and determine modifications to the rules.”
“This is a great next step in our efforts to protect our industry and achieve updated rules that are reasonable, clear and cost-effective to our collective members,” said David Biderman, SWANA Executive Director.