From the National Association of Counties

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering potential changes to federal rules governing municipal solid waste landfill emissions.  There are currently more than 2,000 active municipal solid waste landfills in the U.S. (both privately and publicly owned) yet only 729 are subject to the federal “New Source Performance Standards” (NSPS) or “Emissions Guidelines” (EG).  Over the next five years, 20 new landfills are projected.  EPA is considering a rule that would include tighter standards for more facilities nationwide.

The NSPS currently applies to landfills constructed, modified or reconstructed after May 30, 1991, with the EG applying to landfills that accepted solid waste after Nov. 8, 1987.  Current law states that landfills with a size threshold over 2.5 million mega-grams (2.7 billion tons) or 2.5 million cubic meters must comply with annual reporting.  If such landfills also emit more than 50 Mg per year of non-methane organic compounds (landfill gas) and meet certain standards, they must also comply with emission standards.

Since the NSPS and EG were promulgated in 1996, there have been changes in the landfill industry that indicate a need to reevaluate and revise these regulations, most notably a number of new monitoring techniques and the proliferation of gas-to-energy facilities.     EPA is accepting comments from state and local governments on the proposal until November 8, 2013.   Comments can be sent directly to Hilliary Ward, EPA Project Lead at ward.hillary@epa.gov and Andrew Hanson, EPA Intergovernmental Federalism Contact at hanson.andrew@epa.gov.