Associations Comment on GHG Reporting Draft

In a joint letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the National Solid Wastes Management Association and the Solid Waste Association of North America commented on the agency's draft mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rule and its potential impact on municipal solid waste landfills.

As EPA proceeds with requirements identifying reporting sectors in this rulemaking process, the associations requested the following be considered:

• The solid waste sector has substantially reduced GHG emissions.

• A protocol for estimating fugitive landfill emissions should be established.

• Carbon sequestration should be accounted for in estimating GHG emissions of individual landfills.

• Strong enforcement authorities make third-party verification unnecessary.

• Biogenic GHG emissions should not be a mandatory reporting element of a federal program.

"The waste management industry is aggressively responding to the challenges presented by climate change and how the industry's carbon footprint can be reduced," said Bruce Parker, NSWMA president and chief executive officer. "We are leaders in the innovative production of renewable energy from the disposal of waste, and any reporting system should acknowledge the progress that we've made in this area."

"Environmentally sound solid waste management practices can make an important positive contribution toward reducing greenhouse gas emissions" added John H. Skinner, SWANA executive director and chief executive officer. "It is important that any reporting system encourage these practices" he added.

The EPA greenhouse gas reporting would mandate reporting of greenhouse gas among all industries, including municipal solid waste, above the EPA determined threshold. The EPA is still in the process of developing the rule's guidelines.

NSWMA – a sub-association of the Environmental Industry Associations – represents for-profit companies in North America that provide solid, hazardous and medical waste collection, recycling and disposal services, and companies that provide professional and consulting services to the waste services industry.

For 40 years, SWANA has been the leading professional association in the solid waste management field. Its mission is "to advance the practice of environmentally and economically sound management of municipal solid waste."

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