Center for American Progress

COLUMN: Now Is the Time for Stronger Methane Rules from Municipal Landfills
Press Release

COLUMN: Now Is the Time for Stronger Methane Rules from Municipal Landfills

Washington, D.C. — With the Environmental Protection Agency’s public comment period on greenhouse gas emissions from landfills now closed, the Center for American Progress released a column calling on the agency to take action on curbing methane emissions from municipal landfills—by avoiding landfill use altogether. Methane emissions from municipal landfills make up 18 percent of all domestic methane emissions, the third largest source of emissions in the U.S. methane itself is a greenhouse gas that has 34 times more global warming potential than carbon dioxide.

The column—co-authored by CAP Managing Director for Energy Policy Danielle Baussan and Energy Policy Special Assistant Erin Auel—suggests promoting strategies to divert waste, especially organic waste, which makes up nearly half of the contents of landfills. While current strategies for reducing methane emissions have seen some success, there is still a great deal of room for improvement by avoiding the use of landfills entirely.

“Methane emissions are among some of the most potent greenhouse gases and are often caused by organic waste dumped into landfills throughout the country,” Baussan said. “There has been some success in capturing methane from these landfills, but they have still not come close to meeting even the EPA’s modest methane capture targets. With the comment period closing on new greenhouse gas emission rules, now is the time for the EPA to institute some common sense policies for reducing methane emissions that go beyond simply capturing the methane that is produced and instead focuses on producing less methane to begin with.”

Click here to read the column.

For more information on this topic, contact Tom Caiazza at 202.481.7141 or [email protected].

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