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U.S. Senate hearing shows EPA should not delay on updating landfill regulations

January 31, 2024 Work Area: Methane

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. 

Contacto con la prensa

Steve Reyes, Director de Comunicación, [email protected], +1 562-916-6463

Acerca de Clean Air Task Force 

Clean Air Task Force (CATF) es una organización mundial sin ánimo de lucro que trabaja para protegerse de los peores impactos del cambio climático catalizando el rápido desarrollo y despliegue de energías bajas en carbono y otras tecnologías de protección del clima. Con 25 años de experiencia reconocida internacionalmente en política climática y un compromiso feroz para explorar todas las soluciones potenciales, CATF es un grupo de defensa pragmático y no ideológico con las ideas audaces necesarias para abordar el cambio climático. CATF tiene oficinas en Boston, Washington D.C. y Bruselas, con personal que trabaja virtualmente en todo el mundo. Visite y siga a @cleanaircatf.

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