EPA to Address Methane Emissions from Landfills

July 1st, 2014 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced plan to use their authority under the Clean Air Act to regulate methane emissions from new landfills. Under the proposal, landfills would be required to capture two-thirds of their methane and air toxics emissions by 2023. This is a 13 percent increase than required under current rules which were set in 1996. EPA proposal is another step forward as part of the Obama administration’s climate plan and especially valid since methane is a greenhouse gas with global warming potential 25 times that of carbon dioxide. Although regulations would only apply to new landfills, EPA seeks to extend the regulations to existing landfills as well and is currently seeking public feedback on how and whether to update. Regulating emissions from existing landfills is key and will be great accomplishment if updated as landfills are currently the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S.

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