EPA puts administrative stay on landfill methane rules

EPA puts administrative stay on landfill methane rules

The stay will allow the EPA to reconsider certain aspects of the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines.

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May 23, 2017
Waste Today Staff
Conversion Technologies Landfills Legislation and regulations Municipal Solid Waste

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced a 90-day administrative stay for the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. In a May 5 letter, EPA notified industry petitioners that the agency was granting their reconsideration request. This stay will allow EPA to reconsider certain aspects of the new source standards and emission guidelines for existing landfills.

“EPA is continuing to ensure that the public has the opportunity to comment on agency actions,” says Administrator Scott Pruitt. “Reconsidering portions of the landfill rules will give stakeholders the opportunity to review these requirements, assess economic impacts and provide feedback to the agency through the reconsideration process.”

In August 2016, EPA issued updated guidelines for existing MSW landfills and standards for newly built, modified or reconstructed landfills. MSW landfills receive nonhazardous waste from homes, businesses and institutions. The updated rules require landfills to install and operate landfill gas collection systems, monitor emissions, as well as other provisions. EPA is reconsidering certain aspects of these standards, including the surface emissions monitoring option known as tier 4. To allow time for EPA to review these aspects, which are central to the outcome of the rule, both rules are stayed. Sources do not need to comply with any of the requirements while the 90-day stay is in effect. EPA estimates that implementing these rules would cost businesses more than $100 million per year to install and operate gas collection and control systems.

As part of the reconsideration process, EPA expects to prepare a proposed rule, which will allow for public comment. Additional information on the stay and reconsideration can be read here.