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EPA Lauds Waste-to-Energy Project in Chester County

Release Date: 01/11/2008
Contact Information: Terri White 215-814-5523,

PHILADELPHIA (January 11, 2008) ) A landfill gas-to-energy project operated by the Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority in Chester County, Pa., has received national prestige as 'project of the year' by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Methane, a primary component of landfill gas, is a greenhouse gas over 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at trapping heat in the atmosphere. EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) recognizes government and private organizations that are helping the agency deliver energy and environmental benefits by harnessing landfill gas to produce renewable energy. Nationwide, there are approximately 435 projects generating this renewable energy.

“Landfill gas energy projects play an important role in meeting the environmental and energy challenges of the 21st Century,” said EPA Administrator Stephen L. Johnson. “By turning methane waste into wealth, EPA and our partners are helping build a clean and plentiful energy supply for our country.”

The Southeastern Chester County Refuse Authority's (SECCRA) landfill gas collection system is generating usable electric power. The project is reducing greenhouse gas emissions amounting annually to the benefit of planting about 10,000 acres of forest, removing the emissions of 7,000 vehicles, or preventing the use of 85,000 barrels of oil. Annual energy savings equate to powering 530 homes.

In 2007 alone, the nation's 435 landfill gas projects provided over 10.5 billion kilowatt hours of electricity and delivered 79 billion cubic feet per year of landfill gas to corporate and government users, and produced energy equivalent to powering roughly 810,000 homes and heating nearly 547,000 homes each year.

In addition to the SECCRA landfill gas-to-energy project, EPA named six other 2007 winners for recognition by the agency's Landfill Methane Outreach Program.

    Projects of the Year
        Iris Glen Landfill Gas to Energy Project, Johnson City, Tenn. - Landfill gas energy projects that upgrade the gas to natural gas quality are usually limited to landfills with large amounts of gas, but not in Johnson City. There, an engine and boiler use landfill gas to supply 100,000 pounds per hour of steam, 7.5 megawatts of electricity, and chilled water to a Veterans Administration hospital, university buildings, and a large civic center.
    EPA Lauds Elk County Landfill Project
        Greentree High Btu Landfill Gas Project, Kersey, Pa. - This project is one of the largest landfill gas projects in the country. The landfill gas is upgraded to natural gas quality and utilized in clean-burning power generation equipment to generate renewable power.

    Industry Partner
        Ameresco, Framingham, Mass. - Ameresco continues to show leadership by consistently developing innovative and flexible landfill gas energy projects. Thirteen operational projects, including three new projects in 2007, with another 9 under construction, demonstrate Ameresco’s ability to provide long-term environmental and economic solutions for landfills and the communities they serve.

    Energy Partner
        Alameda Power & Telecom and the City of Palo Alto, Watsonville, Calif. - Two community-based utilities actively pursued landfill gas opportunities in their own backyard. Tapping an initial 3.2 megawatts (MW) of renewable energy, with an additional 15 MW from local landfills under development, helps them meet renewable energy goals and provide green power to a record number of green power customers.

    Community Partner
        Greater Lebanon Refuse Authority (GLRA), Lebanon, Pa. - GLRA and PPL Renewable Energy created and built a Renewable Energy Education Facility that serves as an educational forum for local, national, and international visitors. With the goal of “empowering our future leaders with green energy,” the project demonstrates the power of renewable energy from a 3.2 megawatt landfill gas energy project, 2,000 watt wind turbine, and 1,000 watt solar array (multiple solar panels).

        CIFAL-Atlanta, Atlanta, Ga. - Bringing together local government officials and solid waste experts from around the world, CIFAL-Atlanta co-hosted with LMOP the Greening Solid Waste Practices workshop in September 2007. The forum allowed solid waste professionals to explore best practices for implementing landfill gas energy projects to reduce methane emissions, provide a clean, renewable form of energy, and stimulate the local economy.

    EPA's Landfill Methane Outreach Program is a voluntary assistance and partnership program that reduces greenhouse gas emissions by supporting landfill gas energy project development. The program also assists countries throughout the world in developing landfill methane reduction projects through the international Methane to Markets Partnership. Since 1994, LMOP has assisted in developing more than 330 landfill gas projects in the United States, reducing methane emissions by over 24 million metric tons of carbon equivalent.

    For information about the Landfill Methane Outreach Program Conference and Project Expo:

    For information about the Methane to Markets Partnership: