Pat Sullivan of SCS Engineers Helps Unpack the EPA’s New NSPS and EG Landfill Rules

By Mallory Szczepanski, Waste 360.

Members of the waste and recycling industry are knee-deep in reviewing the details of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) final rules, which were released last Fridayin an effort to help reduce methane emissions in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills.

Currently, MSW landfills are ranked the second largest industrial source of methane emissions in the U.S., but the new rules are expected to cut methane emissions by approximately 334,000 tons a year starting in 2025. These rules are part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan: Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions, and they serve as an update to the 1996 standards for existing landfills and strengthen the proposed rule for new landfills that was issued in 2014.

“Last week, the EPA released pre-publication copies of two rules: the Final New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and the Final Updates to Emission Guidelines (EG),” says Patrick Sullivan, senior vice president of SCS Engineers in Sacramento, Calif. “The first thing that members of the industry need to do is figure out which rule applies to them, find out if they are considered a ‘new landfill’ or not based on the new definition and move forward from there.”