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On May 21, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a new Final Rule entitled “Federal Plan Requirements for Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills That Commenced Construction On or Before July 17, 2014, and Have Not Been Modified or Reconstructed Since July 17, 2014”?

If you missed it, here is a quick rundown of what this new rule is designed to do.

This federal plan would impose requirements for non-methane organic compounds (NMOC) and methane on MSW landfills in states, territories, and tribal lands which have not submitted either a plan or negative declaration finding as required by regulations implementing the 2016 MSW Landfills Emission Guidelines (EG) and Subpart B (Adoption and Submittal of State Plans for Designated Facilities) rules.

This plan may require the installation of gas collection and control systems (GCCS). The installation of the GCCS requirements include (in part):

  • Operate a GCCS if the NMOC emission rate is ≥ 34 Mg/year (≥ 50 Mg/year if the facility is in the closed landfill subcategory),
  • Operate the GCCS at a negative pressure at each wellhead (except during certain specified conditions),
  • Operate the interior wellhead at a temperature of less than 131 °F, and
  • Operate the collection system so that the methane concentration is less than 500 ppm above background at the surface of the landfill

The landfill must control the collected gas by routing it to:

  • A non-enclosed flare designed and operated according to the requirements of 40 CFR 60.18
  • An enclosed control device achieving a 98% NMOC reduction, or an outlet concentration of 20 ppmv NMOC or less, or
  • A gas treatment system that processes the collected gas for subsequent sale or beneficial use

The rule also contains discussions regarding “legacy controlled” landfills.

To date, there are approximately 39 entities that have not submitted either a state plan or a negative declaration.

The EPA has received either a state plan, or a negative declaration, from the following states:

  • State Plans from Arizona, California, Delaware, New Mexico, and West Virginia
  • Negative Declarations from Maine, Rhode Island, and Vermont

The following states currently have plans pending with the EPA:  Florida, Oregon, New York, South Dakota, and Virginia. For all other entities, the EPA is establishing this MSW Landfills Federal Plan.

A state can submit a plan to the EPA after the promulgation date of this rule. Upon approval, this MSW Landfill Plan will no longer apply to landfills covered by the state plan.  This rule is effective on June 21, 2021.

Please reach out to our subject matter experts if you have any questions related to the proposed rule. Stay tuned as Spirit continues to track this and other important developments that may affect the industries we serve.

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