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As part of the Climate Action Plan – Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued two proposals to further reduce emissions of methane-rich gas from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.

Under these proposals, new, modified and existing landfills would begin collecting landfill gas at emission levels nearly a third lower than current requirements.

Municipal solid waste landfills receive non-hazardous wastes from homes, businesses and institutions. As landfill waste decomposes, it produces a number of air toxins, carbon dioxide, and methane. MSW landfills are the third-largest source of human-related methane emissions in the U.S., accounting for 18 percent of methane emissions in 2013.

Combined, the proposed rules are expected to reduce methane emissions by an estimated 487,000 tons a year beginning in 2025. EPA estimates the climate benefits of the combined proposals at nearly $750 million in 2025 or nearly $14 for every dollar spent to comply. Combined costs of the proposed rules are estimated at $55 million in 2025.

EPA will take comment on the proposed rules for 60 days after they are published in the Federal Register. The agency will hold a public hearing if one is requested within five days of publication.

Published in the October 2015 Edition of American Recycler News