States to Sue EPA over Failure to Enforce Landfill Gas Rules
by Erin Voegele (Biomass Magazine) A coalition led by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra and the California Air Resources board has announced plans to sue the U.S. EPA over its failure to enforce existing landfill methane regulations.
The coalition announced its plans on March 23 when it submitted a 60-day notice of intent to sue the EPA over the matter. In addition to Becerra and CARB, the coalition includes the attorney generals of Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island and Vermont, along with the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection.
On Aug. 29, 2016, the EPA finalized new source performance standards (NSPS) to reduce emissions of methane-rich landfill gas from new, modified and reconstructed municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. In a separate action, the agency also issued revised guidelines for reducing emissions from existing MSW landfills. The new regulations updated standards and guidelines put into place in 1996.
On May 23, 2017, the EPA announced a 90-day administrative stay of the two rules to allow the agency to reconsider certain aspects of these regulations.
“Landfills that leak gas stink. They also contribute to our air quality problems and emit potent climate-changing gases,” said Richard Corey, executive officer of CARB. “The EPA has laws on the books to control this problem but it’s refusing to follow its own rules. We deserve better and we’re putting them on notice today to do better.” READ MORE