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EPA announced a 90 day Administrative Stay for the August 2016 Landfill Methane Rules

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On May 23rd 2017, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced a 90-day administrative stay for the August 2016 New Source Performance Standards and Emissions Guidelines for municipal solid waste landfills.

EPA notified industry petitioners on May 5th, 2017 that the Us EPA was granting their reconsideration request. This stay will allow EPA to reconsider certain aspects of the new source standards and emission guidelines for existing landfills. Consistent with President Trump’s Energy Independence Executive Order Energy Independence Executive Order, EPA will continue to review these actions to ensure that they protect the environment and enable a growing economy.

A letter was sent to the EPA from the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA), Republic Services, Inc., Waste Management, Inc., and Waste Management Disposal Services of Pennsylvania, Inc., dated October 27, 2016, requesting reconsideration, and in some circumstances an administrative stay, of provisions included in the EPA’s final rules has stated in the Stay Letter dated May 5th from the EPA.

The Administrator of EPA Scott Pruitt was quoted in saying on the matter “EPA is continuing to ensure that the public has the opportunity to comment on agency actions,”  “Reconsidering portions of the landfill rules will give stakeholders the opportunity to review these requirements, assess economic impacts and provide feedback to the agency through the reconsideration process.”

In August 2016, EPA issued updated guidelines for existing municipal solid waste landfills and standards for newly built, modified or reconstructed landfills. Municipal solid waste landfills receive non-hazardous waste from homes, businesses and institutions. The updated rules require landfills to install and operate landfill gas collection systems, monitor emissions, as well as other provisions. EPA is reconsidering certain aspects of these standards, including the surface emissions monitoring option known as tier 4. To allow time for EPA to review these aspects, which are central to the outcome of the rule, both rules are stayed. Sources do not need to comply with any of the requirements while the 90-day stay is in effect. EPA estimates that implementing these rules would cost businesses more than $100 million per year to install and operate gas collection and control systems.

As part of the reconsideration process, EPA expects to prepare a proposed rule, which will allow for public comment. Additional information on the stay and reconsideration:

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