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Small Entities and Rulemaking

SBAR Panel #44 - Review of New Source Performance Standards and Amendments to Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

Key Dates and Documents for this SBAR Panel

  • Convening Date: 12/05/2013
  • Completion Date: 07/21/2015

About the Rules

  • Title: Review of New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) and Amendments to Emissions Guidelines (EG) and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills
  • RINs: 2060-AM08; 2060-AS23
  • Docket Nos.: EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0451; EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0215
  • Publication Date for Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (ANPRM): Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills: 07/17/2014. Access the ANPRM on Regulations.gov.
  • Publication Date for Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM): Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills: 07/17/2014. Access the NPRM on Regulations.gov.
  • Publication Date for Final Rules: Not yet published.

What is the Implication of these Rulemakings on Small Entities?

EPA is reviewing and seeking input on methods to reduce emissions from new, modified, and existing municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, some of which are owned by small entities. Standards of performance for new landfills and emissions guidelines for existing landfills may be modified to achieve additional reductions in emissions of landfill gas. Such reductions would reduce air pollution and the resulting harm to public health and welfare.

Section 111(b)(1) of the Clean Air Act (CAA) directs EPA to review and, if appropriate, revise the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) at least every 8 years after promulgation. EPA has initiated review of Subpart WWW, Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills, 40 CFR Sections 60.750 - 60.759 which was last promulgated in 1996. EPA is also considering issues identified in 2002 and 2006 in proposed amendments for the NSPS and Emissions Guidelines (EG). Revisions to the Standards of Performance for MSW landfills were proposed on July 17, 2014 under proposed 40 CFR part 60, Subpart XXX.

When the EPA establishes Standards of Performance for new sources in a particular source category, the EPA is also required under CAA Section 111(d) (1) to prescribe regulations for states to submit plans regulating existing sources in that source category. The EPA believes the existing guidelines for landfills merit review to determine the potential for reductions in landfill gas and issued an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking July 17, 2014.

Municipal solid waste landfills, as defined in 40 CFR part 60, Subparts WWW and Cc, refer to an entire disposal facility in a contiguous geographical space where household waste is placed in or on land. An MSW landfill may also receive other types of Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Subtitle D wastes such as commercial solid waste, non-hazardous sludge, conditionally exempt small quantity generator waste, and industrial solid waste. Portions of an MSW landfill may be separated by access roads. An MSW landfill may be publicly or privately owned.

Municipal solid waste landfill emissions, commonly known as landfill gas, refer to gas generated by the decomposition of organic waste deposited in an MSW landfill. Landfill gas is comprised of approximately 50 percent carbon dioxide, 50 percent methane, and trace amounts of nonmethane organic compounds (NMOCs), some of which are listed as hazardous air pollutants under section 112 of the Clean Air Act. Landfill gas is the regulated pollutant under Clean Air Act Section 111(b) and the designated pollutant under Section 111(d) of the Clean Air Act. NMOCs are measured as a surrogate for landfill gas emissions under Subparts WWW and Cc.

In conducting the review under CAA section 111(b) for the MSW landfills source category, landfill data were obtained from a landfill and LFG energy project database maintained by EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP). Landfill data were also obtained from the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, Subpart HH available at http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/. Due the prevalence of the new data available on landfills and LFG emissions since the standards were originally promulgated in 1996, the EPA is also proposing a review of the emission guidelines under CAA Section 111(d).

How Can I Learn More?

If you own or operate an MSW landfill, you may be affected by these rulemakings. While the opportunity to participate on this Panel has passed, you will have the chance to submit comments during the standard public comment period commencing after publication of the notice of proposed rulemaking in the Federal Register.

Additional information about Review of New Source Performance Standards and Amendments to Emission Guidelines for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills is available on EPA's website: http://www.epa.gov/ttnatw01/landfill/landflpg.html.

Semiannual updates about the development status of the rulemaking are available on:

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