WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Carper and Chris Coons and Congresswoman Lisa Blunt Rochester (all D-Del.) today applauded the award of $999,831 in grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to the University of Delaware (UD) for research to quantify and mitigate emissions from municipal solid waste landfills.

“Landfills are a significant source of methane pollution, which we know is some 80 times more potent than carbon dioxide at trapping heat in our atmosphere over the short term,” said Senator Carper, Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “This grant will help make the University of Delaware a critical partner in the effort to reduce methane emissions and meet our climate goals. In addition, I am pleased to see the Biden Administration recognize the University of Delaware’s leadership in researching solutions to protect public health and our environment.”

“The more we can mitigate the impacts of our landfills, the cleaner our air and the better the quality of life for everyone in Delaware,” said Senator Coons. “I’m glad to see this grant go to the University of Delaware to support its important work to quantify and reduce methane emissions and address this critical issue facing our climate. As an appropriator, I’m always proud to see funds making their way to projects that help make Delaware an even better place to live.”

“I’m thrilled that the University of Delaware will be able to use these critical funds as they continue their research on new and innovative ways to reduce methane emissions and help fight the climate crisis,” said Rep. Blunt Rochester. “I want to thank the Biden-Harris Administration for their ongoing commitment to saving our planet and look forward to seeing the impact of this research.” 

“Paul Imhoff’s research to develop models and methods for reducing emissions from landfills has been making an impact nearly two decades,” said Levi Thompson, dean of UD’s College of Engineering. “This funding from the EPA advances his work to the next level and expands the college’s impact on solving climate challenges including plastics upcycling and greener waste management.”


Across the world, communities generate residential, commercial, and industrial waste that goes into municipal landfills, which release gas as the waste degrades. About half of landfill gas emissions are methane, which contributes significantly to climate change. Landfills also emit other gases that can adversely affect human health and the environment.

The grant for the University of Delaware is part of $4.6 million in grants that EPA is awarding to five institutions for research to quantify and mitigate emissions from municipal solid waste landfills. The University of Delaware will use this funding for initiatives to quantify errors in measurement technologies, guide future technology applications, evaluate landfill management practices, and more accurately model and predict landfill emissions.