Planning your RNG pipeline design requires a review of how the project might impact land use, archaeologic resources, endangered resources, floodplains, wetlands, and soil erosion. The linear nature of pipeline projects often requires permits from multiple agencies, transportation authorities, and railroads. Getting the agencies involved early and identifying review timeframes will help keep your project on track.
Betsy and Andy will present two case studies for RNG pipeline projects where multiple permitting agencies were involved. Each project presented unique challenges that required additional coordination with local, state and federal agencies as well as the Department of Transportation and railroad operator. They share the obstacles faced and how you can overcome or avoid them to keep your project on schedule.
Conference Information and Registration
Betsy Powers, PE, is a senior project manager/civil engineer with over 20 years of consulting experience in civil and environmental engineering at SCS Engineers. She has extensive experience in the solid waste field and is currently managing the pipeline permitting and design for two RNG projects. Her experience includes design, permitting, and construction of municipal and industrial solid waste landfills, as well as recycling and composting facilities. She managed the civil site design for Wisconsin’s first utility-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) system on a closed industrial landfill.
Andrew Zikeli is a senior biogas project specialist with over 8 years of biogas to renewable natural gas project experience and over 25 years of consulting experience in environmental compliance and permitting. He has extensive experience in RNG project development, plant design, permitting and commissioning, and is currently managing pipeline installation for two Wisconsin RNG projects.
Join SCS Engineers’ professionals at WEFTEC, the Water Environment Federation’s Technical Exhibition and Conference addressing a diverse and comprehensive list of contemporary water and wastewater issues and solutions including:
Collection Systems – Management, operations and maintenance, infrastructure, overflow reduction, wet weather planning, watershed approaches, and regulations
Energy Conservation and Management – Resource recovery, combined heat and power, biogas optimization
Membrane Technologies – Application in wastewater and water reuse, innovations, enhanced performance, regulatory compliance
Plant Operations and Treatment – Innovations, technologies, processes, and proven solutions in water and wastewater treatment; including nutrient removal and odor control
Regulations – CMOM/SSO Rules, TMDL/Watershed Rules, Nutrient Trading, and NPDES Phase II
Research – Leading-edge process applications in water and wastewater treatment and recent developments
Residuals & Biosolids – Incineration, disposal, reuse through land application, research, regulations, politics, and public perception
Stormwater – Treatment, green infrastructure, wet weather management, modeling
Utility Management – Asset Management and financial planning for infrastructure, technology, regulatory compliance, and security; including environmental management systems (EMS)
Water Reuse/Recycling – Research, regulations, emerging technologies, proven processes
Water Quality & Watershed Management – Stormwater, wet weather, and watershed issues
In September the City of Bangor will formally move over to a new arrangement in which residents will throw all of their recycling in with their trash and leave the mixed waste to be picked up from the curbside every week, as now happens with trash.
Bangor will also close their local recycling station as part of the city’s switch to a new integrated waste conversion plant in Hampden developed by Coastal Resources of Maine with Fiberight technology. The new facility includes a materials recovery facility (MRF), organic processing, plastics processing, anaerobic digestion (AD) and wastewater treatment. The integrated technology is intended to increase recycling rates without the need for extensive outreach programs and is easier for customers to use. According to Coastal Resources of Maine, the benefits are:
The advanced technologies are undergoing final testing at the Hampden, Maine facility, and are already in use at automated material recovery facilities in the United States and in Europe. The end product is cleaner and provides more diverse types of materials that can then be reused to create new products.
The Hampden facility’s advanced MRF has a high degree of separation, recovery, and monetization of commodity products, and then employs additional processes for generating clean cellulose, engineered fuels, and biogas from traditionally non-recyclable materials. Hired for the firm’s technical expertise and experience planning large municipal solid waste and biogas programs and facilities, SCS provided an in-depth examination and analysis of the technologies, program sustainability, and potential economic impacts of the facility.
The facility will serve 116 municipalities and public entities represented by the Municipal Review Committee, a non-profit organization that currently manages the waste disposal activities in Eastern and Northern Maine. The facility is planning to start accepting waste from its municipal customers shortly.
“With the planning and cooperation of many, Fiberight’s providing a truly sustainable solution in Maine while solving several challenges when consumers separate their recyclable materials and eliminating contamination,” stated Bob Gardner, SCS Engineers Senior VP. “The facility is capable of reusing nearly 150,000 tons of what formerly went into a landfill, is processing more municipal solid waste into high-value commodities, and is helping local municipalities and private waste haulers offset the cost of recycling.”
SCS Energy announced today the expansion of their renewable energy programs with the support of new team member Todd Stewart, PE, PMP. SCS has one of the longest and successful biogas and renewable energy practices in the United States. Stewart will support the expanding renewable energy programs for the waste industry, working out of the firm’s Pleasanton, California office.
Stewart, a Senior Project Manager, brings more than 30 years of experience managing complex solar and biogas renewable energy, anaerobic digestion, gas pipeline, and compressor station projects executed efficiently and cost-effectively for his clients and their stakeholders. His technical background in waste to energy, advanced composting systems, solar and conventional power generation, gas transmission and storage, and plant operations brings valuable skills to SCS’s clients planning to invest in the use of renewable energy to control the cost of operations and meet environmental compliance and responsibilities.
Stewart’s background spans design engineering, construction management, operations and maintenance engineering, and identifying and resolving environmental issues, and he is experienced with regulatory processes specifically CEQA and NEPA. He has demonstrated expertise in conceptual project development, FEED process, and the technical and fiscal management of large infrastructure.
“Todd has developed and coordinated some of the largest combined solar and alternative power generation projects in the world,” stated Steve Hamilton, senior vice president of SCS Energy. “We’re fortunate to be putting his acumen to work for our clients.”
Stewart is a licensed Professional Engineer in California and a Certified Project Management Professional. He is the past President of the California Society of Professional Engineers and a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers and the Project Management Institute. He earned his Bachelors of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology.
Reprinted from SWANA Alert:
On Tuesday, August 1, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be holding a public hearing in Washington, DC on the proposed rule, ‘‘Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2018 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2019.’’ In keeping with SWANA’s previous advocacy efforts in regards to the renewable fuel standard (RFS) program, we intend to submit a short written statement to be introduced into the hearing record.
The RFS program is a national policy that requires a certain volume of renewable fuel to replace or reduce the quantity of petroleum-based transportation fuel, heating oil or jet fuel. These amounts are set by EPA each year and the proposed rule will set those levels for 2018. One of the four fuel category amounts that will be set by the RFS is cellulosic biofuels, which includes compressed and liquefied renewable natural gas (RNG) produced from landfill biogas.
As a member of the SWANA Core Advocacy Group, we are notifying you that SWANA intends to submit comments to EPA on the RFS program as part of the August 1st hearing, and in post-hearing comments that EPA will be accepting through August 31st as necessary. These comments will support the testimony of other solid waste industry leaders and ask the EPA set the 2018 RVO standard for cellulosic biofuel at a level that takes into account increased generation of fuel from both existing registered projects and from new projects that will begin generating fuel in 2018. By setting the levels based upon actual current and future capacity instead of on historical data and trends, EPA will ensure that the levels set actually spur demand consistent with increased production. A failure to set the levels high enough would result in a lack of appropriate demand for these fuels, which would undercut the purpose of the RFS program
By setting the levels based upon actual current and future capacity instead of on historical data and trends, EPA will ensure that the levels set actually spur demand consistent with increased production. A failure to set the levels high enough would result in a lack of appropriate demand for these fuels, which would undercut the purpose of the RFS program.
If you or the Chapter or Technical Division members have any questions or concerns about these comments, or if you would like to discuss them further, please contact David Biderman at SWANA.
Thanks to you, our clients, SCS Engineers has received many awards and industry recognitions for research achievements and technology innovations. Engineering News-Record (ENR) recently released the Top 500 Design List, ranking SCS Engineers in the top 100 for the 9th year in a row. In the same publication, SCS is ranked in the Top 10 Sewerage/ Wastewater Firms.
Thank you for your friendship, your business, and the opportunity to serve you.
Under section 211 of the Clean Air Act, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is required to set renewable fuel percentage standards every year, including for cellulosic biofuel, biomass-based diesel, advanced biofuel, and total renewable fuel. In November the EPA established the 2017 standards, which will apply to all motor vehicle gasoline and diesel produced or imported in the year 2017. Most biogas produced qualifies as Advanced Cellulosic Biofuels, or the D3 category, which is the same as cellulosic (non-corn) ethanol. For the last several years, nearly 95% of the advanced cellulosic fuel generated has been from digester and landfill biogas, not cellulosic ethanol.
The final rule also establishes the four percentage standards applicable to producers and importers of gasoline and diesel, based on volume requirements. Renewable Fuel Volumetric Obligations (RVOs) are expected to continue driving the market to overcome constraints in the renewable fuel distribution infrastructure. This, in turn, could lead to substantial growth over time in the production and use of renewable fuels. If a renewable fuel-producing project uses a Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS)-approved pathway and is registered with EPA, the project can generate credits that can be sold to produce additional revenue. The value of these Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs) credits fluctuates based on market supply and demand.
The 2017 RVOs finalized in November for 2017 will help drive the market demand for these credits. Producers of biogas want the demand for RVO to be higher than the supply of biogas that will actually be produced and used as vehicle fuel during the year. This will protect the value of RINs, encouraging revenues for biogas-vehicle fuel projects and financing for new projects. Digester and landfill biogas normally have the highest value of all RINs.
Overall, EPA’s 2017 standards recognize the important role that biogas plays among all advanced biofuel producers, including cellulosic ethanol, and the role biogas will continue to play for generating renewable fuel for US vehicles.
SCS Engineers’ National Experts are available to answer your questions about the impact of the 2017 standards on your business and current and potential projects. Click here to contact SCS.
An informative and complete discussion from Jeffrey L. Pierce of SCS Engineers, Energy Practice of siloxanes and landfill gas (LFG) utilization. Plus, presentations on the economics and performance of siloxane removal from biogas; advice on siloxane sampling, analysis and data reporting recommendations on standardization for the biogas utilization industry.
On July 11, 2016, multiple organizations representing the full value chain of cellulosic waste feedstock conversion to transportation fuel sent a letter to Gina McCarthy, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The letter supporting the Renewable Fuel Standard Program: Standards for 2017 and Biomass-Based Diesel Volume for 2018 (Proposed Rule) noted that additional information and factors need to be considered.
On June 1, 2016, the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), and the Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas (RNG Coalition) provide comments on Pipeline Safety: Safety of Gas Transmission and Gathering Pipelines (FR20722) proposed rules to Mr. Mike Israni, Deputy Associate Administrator for Pipeline Safety – Field Operations at U.S. Department of Transportation. Comments by the three not-for-profits were made on behalf of the solid waste industry including companies, municipalities, and professionals.
The letter reflected the solid waste industry support for the efforts made by the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA) to ensure pipeline safety and included comments on the Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, (ANPRM) as follows:
The revised definition for gathering line (onshore) as the basis for determining the beginning and endpoints of each gathering line requires further clarification. The definition remains too broad for applications that do not have the same level of risks since they are not accessible to the public.
PHMSA has elected not to propose rulemaking for landfill gas systems. However, it notes that pipelines that transport landfill gas away from the landfill to another facility are transporting gas and that PHMSA may consider this in the future.
The associations pointed out that the same rulemaking for landfill gas systems should apply to all forms of biogas that are collected and managed in a similar manner to landfill gas. Also noted was that low-pressure gas lines delivering biogas off-site to a dedicated end user need not be considered for further regulation as they do not present the same level of risk that natural gas or other high-pressure gas lines do. Landfill gas/biogas systems fall under federal, state and local regulators. Because landfill gas/biogas systems are regularly inspected for safety, generally use plastic piping, and do not present a substantial risk to the public the Associations feel that it is not necessary to consider additional regulation.
Contact NWRA, SWANA, RNG Coalition or SCS Engineers for more information.