WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senator Tom Carper (D-Del.), Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, today led a hearing on avoiding, detecting, and capturing methane emissions from landfills.
ON THE SCALE OF THE PROBLEM:
“Over the past couple centuries, methane concentrations in the atmosphere have more than doubled, and methane, as many of you know, is roughly 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide.
“Landfills — and their emissions — are largely out of sight, they are largely out of mind for most people. However, landfill methane emissions are the third — that’s right, the third — largest source of methane emissions in the United States and globally.”
ON SUPPORTING THE TECHNOLOGIES NECESSARY TO CAPTURE METHANE EMISSIONS:
“While composting and waste diversion are important tools to reduce methane emissions from landfills, it’s also important that our landfills are equipped with technology that’s necessary to mitigate emissions for years to come.
“[D]eploying innovative methods and technologies to limit methane leakage will go a long way toward reducing landfill emissions across the United States.”
Dr. Tia Scarpelli, Ph.D., Research Scientist & Waste Sector Lead, Carbon Mapper:
“[M]ethane emissions come from two main sources — one is the landfill surface, and the other is landfill gas infrastructure. Both can be mitigated using available technologies … advanced monitoring technologies are readily available to help operators more efficiently monitor methane while also supporting more cost-effective emissions management.”
ON CREATING ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY WHILE REDUCING METHANE EMISSIONS:
“Let me close by reminding everybody that if we take action to reduce landfill emissions, it would have an immediate positive impact on climate, on air quality, [and] on public health, while also creating economic opportunity across the country, especially in our rural areas.”
Tom Frankiewicz, Subject Matter Expert, Waste Methane, Rocky Mountain Institute:
“[M]oney invested in waste management creates jobs … the further up you go up the waste hierarchy, the more jobs that are created.”
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s questions.
Click here to watch Chairman Carper’s opening statement.