Today, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works held a hearing, “Avoiding, Detecting, and Capturing Methane Emissions from Landfills.” The hearing was an important look into the methods and technologies that can be used to reduce methane and other harmful pollution from new and existing municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, and comes as the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s August 2024 statutory deadline to reassess its standards approaches.
“As the third largest source of human-caused methane emissions in the country, it is critical that EPA revises its new and existing source landfill regulations,” said Darin Schroeder, Methane Legal and Regulatory Director at CATF. “Advances in mitigation technology and best practices for this sector have outpaced existing standards, as evidenced by requirements in leading states like California, Oregon, and Maryland. Reducing methane is the best tool we have to bend the climate curve, and EPA should act without delay to update their standards.”
EPA’s current standards for new and existing MSW landfills were most recently updated in August 2016. The Clean Air Act requires EPA to review New Source Performance Standards every eight years and to revise them if deemed appropriate by the agency, meaning the agency must begin a rulemaking process no later than August 2024.
Methane is a harmful super pollutant with a climate warming potential more than 80 times that of carbon dioxide over its first 20 years in the atmosphere. Reducing methane pollution is the best way to reduce the amount of global warming we’ll experience in the next 20 to 30 years, a critical timeframe for avoiding passing irreversible climate tipping points. The most recent inventory in the U.S. shows that in 2021 U.S. landfills emitted approximately 3.7 million metric tons of this powerful greenhouse gas.
Steve Reyes, Communications Manager, [email protected], +1 562-916-6463
About Clean Air Task Force
Clean Air Task Force (CATF) is a global nonprofit organization working to safeguard against the worst impacts of climate change by catalyzing the rapid development and deployment of low-carbon energy and other climate-protecting technologies. With 25 years of internationally recognized expertise on climate policy and a fierce commitment to exploring all potential solutions, CATF is a pragmatic, non-ideological advocacy group with the bold ideas needed to address climate change. CATF has offices in Boston, Washington D.C., and Brussels, with staff working virtually around the world. Visit catf.us and follow @cleanaircatf.