Greenhouse Gas Services
National Expert: Ray Huff
SCS Engineers is a pioneer in our nation’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in order to combat global warming. We proactively pursue the development of markets in which major sources of methane (e.g., oil and gas industry, landfills, dairies, etc.) can generate and sell GHG credits by voluntarily installing methane recovery systems and selling the methane as fuel. Methane is 25 times more powerful than carbon dioxide in terms of its greenhouse effect. Capturing and destroying these emissions can have significant environmental benefits. Simply destroying methane via combustion (power generation or flaring) or sequestration can diminish its GHG potential by 95 percent. Even greater benefits are available if the methane is used as renewable energy in order to offset natural gas or coal-fired power generation.
SCS Engineers provides the following GHG services:
- GHG emissions inventories and estimating GHG reductions
- Third-Party Verification of GHG emission inventories and reduction credits under the California Air Resources Board (ARB)
- Developing protocols for GHG emissions estimates and offsets
- Developing strategies for reducing GHG emissions, including design, construction, and operation of projects to reduce emissions
- Project feasibility assessments including onsite testing and gas characterization
- Identifying opportunities for voluntary GHG emission reductions
- Modeling landfill methane generation rates to quantify GHG emissions potential
- Designing, constructing, and operating landfill gas collection and flaring systems and other GHG emission reduction projects, including identification of alternative sources of financing
- Expert witness testimony regarding generation, verification, valuation, and sale of GHG credits
- Arranging the sale of GHG credits/monetization
- Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) project development assistance, including preparation of Project Design Documents (PDD)
- Monitoring GHG programs at the international, national, regional, state, and local levels
- Researching and evaluating emerging technologies and GHG issues
- Developing renewable energy projects, including design, construction, and operation of direct use, electricity generation, and liquefied and compressed natural gas projects using biogases from landfills, agricultural operations, and coal beds
Our clients provide important services to society; we are pleased to assist them while also helping to minimize adverse environmental and economic impacts. SCS provides practical, proven, and effective solutions to control GHG emissions. For example, SCS designs, installs, and operates landfill gas (LFG) collection systems that destroy the equivalent of more than 25 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year.
Many of our clients are land developers who construct urban infill and other forms of smart growth. SCS can design, construct, and operate systems that protect these projects from historical contamination that might be present. Billions of dollars of real estate development in contaminated areas (“Brownfields”) have been made possible by our work.
The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and subsequent developments, including the Kyoto Protocol, are driving current efforts towards GHG trading. SCS Engineers is actively involved in developing markets for GHG emissions reductions both domestically and internationally. Our work includes engineering assignments on projects in various stages of development in North America, South America, Oceania, and Asia. We are proud to be among the environmental firms pioneering GHG emissions reductions to combat global warming.
SCS has been involved with many Emission Reduction Credit (ERC) projects for landfills and industrial facilities, including traditional ERC projects associated with criteria air pollutant offsets required for New Source Review (NSR) compliance, as well as GHG credits generated from landfills through the control of methane or other industrial processes that create GHG reductions.
SCS Engineers has conducted numerous GHG reduction credit assessments, provided third-party due diligence for assessments for GHG credits, and filed applications on behalf of our clients with various registries and agencies for mandatory reporting and voluntary registration of GHG credits. We are currently providing GHG consulting support services to the two largest waste collection companies in the U.S. — Waste Management, Inc. and Republic Services, Inc. — for all of their landfills nationally.
SCS’s services for GHG reporting include:
- Determining applicability
- Preparing GHG monitoring plans
- Installing and/or maintaining required monitoring equipment
- Collecting GHG monitoring data
- Preparing GHG reports
Some of our exceptional GHG credentials are highlighted below:
- SCS is an approved technical assistance provider for The Climate Registry (TCR) and the Climate Action Reserve’s (CAR) GHG programs. We provide GHG services for clients across the U.S.
- SCS is an accredited verifier by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) under the AB 32 mandatory reporting program, and has completed mandatory reporting for over 120 facilities under the AB 32 program, including a wide variety of industrial operations.
- SCS is an accredited livestock, mine methane capture (MMC), and ozone-depleting substances (ODS) offset project verification body under CARB’s Cap and Trade program, under which SCS has verified over 1 million credits that have been approved and used as a compliance mechanism.
- We are at the forefront of the Solid Waste Association of North America’s (SWANA) advocacy on GHG issues. We are an active participant in the solid waste industry’s advocacy efforts on GHG issues in California, and we are one of the only consulting firms to have been involved with the Solid Waste Industry for Climate Change (SWICS) group since its inception.
- SCS provides assistance for the majority of the 900 landfills required to report under the mandatory Federal GHG reporting program.
- SCS has provided certification services for numerous GHG credit transactions under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) of the Kyoto Treaty, and is significantly involved in the very active international GHG market.
- We have been the lead contractor for one of the EPA’s Climate Change Programs for over 10 years. As part of this relationship, we keep fully informed of GHG issues at the Federal and international levels.
- SCS drafted GHG inventory protocols for the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) and is thoroughly versed in its process for certification and trading of GHG credits.
SCS is at the forefront of GHG regulations and programs at the state, regional, Federal, and international levels, and we can provide the services you need to control and reduce GHG emissions.
SCS Engineers can create a protocol to assess, characterize, and quantify your GHG emissions and set targets for future reductions. In effect, we can calculate your “carbon footprint.” By establishing operations initiatives and instituting emissions tracking procedures, we can help reduce your GHG emissions, with the added bonus of possible operating cost savings. GHG reductions often result in increased efficiency.
We can help determine whether your organization has marketable GHG credits by assessing the potential for GHG emission credits sales; understanding present and future GHG regulations; participating in voluntary emissions reporting; arranging for certification and sale of GHG credits; and using public reporting and trading programs.
Corporations, businesses, and institutions purchase GHG credits for various reasons. There is growing consumer demand for environmentally responsible companies who offer new carbon neutral products and services, creating competitive positioning and market value for “green” organizations. In addition to complying with regulations and mitigating economic risks, a lot of organizations are concerned about environmental stewardship and corporate responsibility. For example, hundreds of universities have pledged carbon neutrality. Credits are also being purchased by speculators and even individuals through retail GHG providers.
Several different entities are selling GHG credits, including carbon asset developers, project developers, aggregators/wholesalers, retailers, and brokers. Most of the activity occurs in voluntary markets. Other markets include the CCX, the CAR, over the counter, auctions/RFP process, compliance markets (which are rapidly evolving and may become the dominant markets), Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), regional cap-and-trade program in ten northeast and Mid-Atlantic states, California’s AB32, and Federal cap and trade legislation.
There are many sources of methane, including landfills, dairies (manure digestion), and Coal Mine Methane (CMM) which is released to the atmosphere from mining activities. Methane is a potent and widespread GHG with a short atmospheric lifetime (about 12 years), so benefits of capturing it can be realized in the near-term. It is a great source of energy; and methane projects directly and indirectly reduce GHG emissions while generating energy. Methane can be used for electricity; combined heat and power; thermal energy; medium Btu fuel (500-700 btu/scf); boilers, kilns, heaters, greenhouses, etc.; to supplement natural gas and propane use; and as pipeline injection and vehicle fuel.
SCS provides a full complement of services for GHG Emission Credit Projects, including:
- Transaction due diligence
- Independent models and cost estimates
- Environmental review (All Appropriate Inquiry)
- Feasibility studies
- LFG recovery and resulting GHG credit projections
- Project analysis , development, and implementation
- Introduce sources of financing / funds
- Monitoring and Quality Assurance Plans
- Design, construction, and O&M of GHG projects
- LFG collection systems
- Protocol compliant GHG monitoring systems
- Validation against protocol(s)