JULY 2009

Industry groups wants EPA exemptions for landfill gas
Proposed standards for reciprocating internal combustion engines could reduce use of landfill gas as fuel

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed updates to the National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants (NESHAP) for stationary reciprocating internal combustion engines (RICE), regulations originally finalized on June 15, 2004 (69 FR 33474).

The proposed changes (74 FR 9698) appear to include the same exemption for RICE located at major sources. However, stationary RICE located at area sources do not appear to be covered by the exemption. By subjecting landfill and digester gas-fired RICE to these new requirements, EPA would eliminate numerous and necessary renewable energy projects.

The National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSMWA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) are encouraging EPA to extend this exemption to engines at area sources because they are not different than engines installed at major sources and because the lack of an exemption would force existing renewable energy projects to shut down, resulting in the flaring of landfill and digester gas.

The proposed rule is inconsistent with the efforts of federal and state agencies to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, and promote renewable energy and distributed generation requirements. Landfill and digester gas have always been used as a significant source of additional renewable energy to reduce GHG emissions and displace our dependence on fossil fuels.

NSWMA president and CEO Bruce J. Parker noted, “EPA should reconsider its proposed rulemaking on landfill and digester gas-fired engines and include an appropriate exemption from the proposed rule to make it consistent with federal and state policy which strongly supports and promotes the use of renewable fuels – not creating obstacles to renewable energy projects and forcing existing renewable projects off-line.”