Before the Court: EPA admits that it has failed to meet its nondiscretionary obligations to implement the Landfill Emissions Guidelines, as compelled by the CAA. The only questions before the Court were whether the Plaintiffs have standing and, if so, how long to give EPA to comply with its overdue nondiscretionary duties under the Landfill Emissions Guidelines. The Plaintiffs are the States of Illinois, Maryland, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, California, Vermont, and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Ruling: Plaintiffs have standing, and the EPA must approve existing submitted plans by September 6 and issue the federal plan by November 6.
Impact on Landfill Owners/Operators: This will create some confusion, as landfills will be working on getting revised rules in place while at the same time start complying with the old EG rule. We are already doing that with XXX sites, but this ruling adds complexity. If EPA keeps to the schedule and we have final approved revised rules by March 2020, landfills won’t have to do as much under the old rules before new ones take effect.
…and as waste settles, it can have an effect on equipment,” according to Pat Sullivan of SCS Engineers in this ClimateWire article. As the U.S. EPA focuses on pushing landfill owners into cutting down on methane emissions some worry that a combination of tightening regulations and poor cost analysis might put some smaller landfills out of business.
LANDFILL EMISSIONS: Going to the dump? You might make electricity
Kavya Balaraman, E&E reporter
Reprinted from ClimateWire with permission from E&E Publishing, LLC. Copyright 2016.
SCS Engineers has published two Technical Bulletins summarizing the O&G NSPS final rule and outlining the new LDAR requirements. The two Bulletins explain the modification of how oil and gas sources will be permitted under the Clean Air Act and the new requirements to reduce methane leaks from new oil and gas facilities consistent with the EPA’s New Source Performance Standards.
Reference the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) new source performance standards for Crude Oil and Natural Gas Production, Transmission and Distribution (O&G NSPS), which includes amendments to 40 CFR Part 60, Subpart OOOO and a new Subpart OOOOa. Subpart OOOOa will apply to facilities constructed, modified or reconstructed after September 18, 2015.
Click to read or share the Technical Bulletins:
Pat Sullivan, REPA, CPP, BCES
An SCS Engineers Technical Bulletin will be released early in the week.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued limits on methane emissions from oil and gas wells that are more stringent than those it proposed last year. The final regulations released on Thursday, May 12, 2016, will add hundreds of millions in additional costs per year; at least 25 percent higher than the preliminary version published in August 2015.
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told reporters on a conference call that the mandates, applying immediately to new and modified wells, are a “critical first step in tackling methane emissions from existing oil and gas sources.”
Under the rule, companies must upgrade pumps and compressors while expanding the use of “green completion” technology meant to capture the surge of gas that can spring out of newly fracked wells. Such green completion techniques have been required for new and modified natural gas wells since 2015, but Thursday’s rule would broaden the requirement to oil wells too.
Take me to the EPA summaries. Click on the information sheets listed below:
Thirty-four senators and 171 representatives argue in a brief filed February 23, that the EPA overstepped its boundaries in creating the carbon-cutting Clean Power Plan. In short, the brief states that they feel that Congress never gave the EPA a clear statutory directive or authority to transform the nation’s electricity sector. The brief points out that the EPA seeks to make “decisions of vast economic and political significance” under a “long-extant statute,” and in doing so must point to a “clear statement from Congress.”
Yesterday’s brief comes just two weeks after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the EPA cannot begin enforcing the rule until legal challenges filed by 25 states and four state agencies are resolved.
The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments on the merits of the states’ case on June 2.
With the brief it is clear that the Clean Power Plan is not only facing legal challenges but also political ones. It may be left for the next Administration to pick up this pieces and decide the fate of the Plan.
The National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) returned comments and recommendations on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) draft Part 71 Operating Permit for Ocean County Landfill and MRPC Holdings LFGTE Operations, Permit Number: P71-0CMH-001 (Draft Permit) to EPA Region 2 Permitting Section, Air Programs Branch. The letter was sent on January 28, 2016, to Mr. Steven C. Riva of the EPA.
NWRA and SWANA expressed concerned that the EPA’s issuance of the Draft Permit, and the circumstances under which it has been prepared, represent a significant departure from practical permitting policies and will constitute a disincentive to expand existing and develop future landfill gas-to-energy (LFGTE) projects around the country.
The jointly submitted comments from both not-for-profit Associations on the Draft Permit were intended to convey their members’ strong interest in these projects, which represent an economic investment in alternative renewable energy sources and the reduction in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Both Groups have expressed concern that the EPA’s actions should not undermine those investments and the benefits derived from these LFGTE projects.
The main points of the letter cover the Associations’ disagreement with the EPA’s approach to common control. NWRA and SWANA support the position that the OCL and MRPC are two separate sources that are not under common control, and they oppose the position proposed by EPA Region 2 in the Draft Permit. Both Groups are urging EPA to re-evaluate this decision and utilize an environmentally beneficial approach when making common control determinations for landfills and third-party LFGTE plants both now and in the future. Other portions of the letter address the uncertainty that EPA’s position would create for affected facilities and how it could re-open already settled compliance expectations.
Members of NWRA and SWANA have access to the letter and may continue directing comments and questions through either Association.
Questions directed to SCS Engineers should be addressed to Pat Sullivan, Senior Vice President and the SCS National Expert on the Clean Air Act.
SWANA Webinar, Evaluating Impacts from LFG in a Litigation Setting, by Pat Sullivan, SCS Engineers posted with our articles and papers for viewing or download. Click here.
Learn more about Pat Sullivan, REPA, CPP, BCES.
Two EPA landfill gas rules were published in the Federal Register in August 2015. The proposed EG Guideline rule affects “new” and “existing” landfill sites. Remember, these are guidelines only. Your local and state government agencies will use them to develop and implement the actual rules by which you do business.
Learn more in one place by reading the recent article in Waste Advantage Magazine, the SCS Engineers Technical Bulletin, and a slide set from a recent webinar about what you can expect for your business. All authored by Pat Sullivan, Senior Vice President at SCS and our National Expert on the Landfill Clean Air Act; NSPS.
Technical bulletins provide salient information in a condensed format. These summaries are useful to understand and start to plan for potential impacts to your business. Both bulletins posted today include deadlines and additional resources with contact information to help answer your questions. The two bulletins posted today are as follows:
Clicking the title of each Technical Bulletin will take you to the full text. Each Bulletin may be shared, emailed, or printed.
About Pat Sullivan:
Pat Sullivan, BCES, CPP, REPA, is a Senior Vice President of SCS Engineers and our National Expert on the Landfill Clean Air Act and the New Source Performance Standard (NSPS). Mr. Sullivan has over 25 years of environmental engineering experience, specializing in solid and hazardous waste-related issues.
Click on Pat’s name to see his full qualifications and experience.