The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is working to develop a new regulation aimed at reducing methane emissions from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills in the state. Methane is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) with a global warming potential over 25 times greater than carbon dioxide. The new requirements MDE is considering are modeled after similar rules in California and Oregon and would become among the most stringent in the US. MDE anticipates publication of the draft rule in December 2022, followed by public participation and finalization of the rule in the spring of 2023.
This proposed rulemaking has been several years in development and is consistent with Maryland’s GHG Reduction Act of 2009 and the recent Climate Solutions Now Act of 2022 that requires Maryland to become “net zero” for GHG emissions by 2045, with an interim goal of achieving 60% GHG reductions by 2031 (over 2006 levels). MDE estimates that once implemented; this rule could result in up to a 50% reduction in GHG emissions from affected landfills.
MDE presented initial details about the draft regulation (aka, the state plan) at the October 24, 2022, Air Quality Control Advisory Council and stakeholder meeting. The proposed rule would apply to smaller and mid-sized landfills. It would likely impact many facilities not currently subject to the EPA’s federal landfill air regulations under NSPS & EG 40 CFR 60 Subparts Cf and XXX and NESHAP CFR 63 Subpart AAAA. MDE estimates that 32 active and closed MSW landfills in the state will be subject to the proposed regulation.
SCS Engineers is tracking the proposed rule closely, so stay tuned for additional details once the draft rule is published.
For additional information on MSW regulations and GHG emission reductions, please visit scsengineers.com or one of SCS’s nationwide offices.
About the Author: Joshua Roth, PE, is a Vice President and Project Director with the Landfill Gas (LFG) Group in the SCS Reston, VA office. He has served on a number of LFG engineering projects involving LFG remediation system design, emissions inventories and air permitting, migration and odor control, ambient air sampling and reporting, LFG and CER due diligence projects, GHG emission mitigation and reporting, field sampling and assessments, and general emissions control projects.