August 2, 2004


Long Beach, CA – The U.S. EPA announced on July 28, 2004, that it would join efforts with Australia, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, United Kingdom, and Ukraine to help poorer nations harvest their methane gas emissions.  The immediate local benefits will be to provide clean burning fuel, reduce global warming, and improve air quality in the region.  Methane emission reductions also will moderate global warming.  The EPA plan would involve programs budgeted at up to $53 million over the next five years to help the poorer nations reduce emissions of methane primarily from landfills, coal mines and oil and gas systems.

Methane and other gases are produced during the microbiological decomposition of organic wastes buried in dumps and landfills.  Methane is a significant greenhouse gas, about 20 times more potent than carbon dioxide, so the reduction in methane emissions from municipal and industrial activities is one measure to reverse the effects of climate change and associated global warming.  The methane fraction of landfill gas (LFG), comprising about 50% of the mix, is also a potential fuel, useable to generate heat and/or electricity.

SCS Engineers (SCS) is proud to be a leader in management of LFG and the development of energy recovery systems for both the public and private sector since 1970.  Our firm has helped develop, design, install, operate, and troubleshoot LFG collection and utilization systems at more than 350 waste disposal sites in the USA, Latin America, Asia, Australia, and Africa.

Since 1996, SCS has been a partner with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Office of Air and Radiation, Methane Branch and the Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP).  In general, SCS conducts educational outreach programs and provides technical assistance to potential landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) projects in the U.S. and developing nations.

Notable SCS landfill gas-to-energy projects include:

  • Assisting MGM International in the development of LFGTE projects aimed at reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Development Mechanism of the Kyoto Protocol.  These assignments have included onsite testing, gas recovery modeling, and economic feasibility studies at landfills in Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Brazil.
  • Performing a feasibility study for the City of Brisbane, Australia, to retrofit their existing landfill, and future expansions to accommodate bioreactor technology.  Included in the study is an analysis of additional air space created with the use of the technology, potential landfill gas production, energy utilization, and greenhouse gas credits and the economic benefit to the landfill.
  • Providing field testing, LFGTE feasibility analysis, and LFG collection system design services for three landfills in Israel, including the Hiriya Landfill in Tel Aviv where SCS also is designing the landfill closure.  The LFG collection systems have been built at all three sites, with two of them generating electricity.
  • Conducting an energy recovery feasibility study for a planned a 50 MW Landfill Gas Fired Power Plant at South Korea’s largest active waste disposal site, the Sudokwon Landfill.  This project will lead to development of one of the world’s largest LFG-to-energy system and will substantially reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.
  • Consultation on improving the efficiency of landfill LFG utilization for the Sang-Am closed landfill site in Seoul, South Korea.  The project reduces energy costs, Korea’s reliance on imported fuel, and South Korea’ greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Employing microturbines to meet the small quantity power need of onsite users at smaller landfills.  Generally, these microturbines produce exactly the power needed to match onsite consumption. SCS Energy, a division of SCS Engineers, has been instrumental in providing renewable energy to clients from microturbines as well as from fuel cells and reciprocating engine plants.

In addition, virtually concurrent with the announcement of EPA’s methane emission reduction program, the World Bank selected SCS for contract negotiations for the conduct of initial feasibility studies of LFG-to-energy at 10 landfills in 5 Latin American countries.  The studies will also cover the potential for GHG emission reductions at all sites.

SCS applauds the EPA’s efforts to help capture the second-most abundant greenhouse gas on a global level.

SCS Engineers is an award-winning engineering and construction company specializing in environmental services and solid waste management.  Since 1970, SCS Engineers has delivered economically and environmentally sound solid and hazardous waste solutions to private and public sector clients nationwide through a network of more than 35 offices and 450 professional staff.  For more information about SCS Engineers, please visit our website at or contact.