Click here to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.) participated in a Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee hearing titled, “Avoiding, Detecting, and Capturing Methane Emissions from Landfills.”

HIGHLIGHTS:

ON UNDERSTANDING DIFFERENT CHALLENGES FACING MUNICIPAL AND PRIVATE LANDFILLS:

RANKING MEMBER CAPITO:

“I addressed in my opening statement some of the concerns from small municipal landfills. Just give me a lay of the land here…if you look at the whole numbers of landfills, what numbers of those are municipal, percentage wise, approximately?

ANNE GERMAIN, NATIONAL WASTE & RECYCLING ASSOCIATION:

“It’s about 50-50. So, Tom said that there's about 1,200 landfills in the country. About half of them are publicly owned and about half of them are privately owned. If you look at the volume of material going into the landfills, however, it switches. About two-thirds of the waste goes to privately owned landfills, and about a third goes to public landfills. So that shows you basically that the publicly owned landfills are significantly smaller than privately owned.”

ON IMPACT OF METHANE REGULATIONS ON SMALL LANDFILLS:

RANKING MEMBER CAPITO:

“What kind of challenges would that [compliance] bring to a small municipal landfill? Are they already doing it if they are complying with the EPA regulations, which I'm sure they would want to do.”

ANNE GERMAIN, NATIONAL WASTE & RECYCLING ASSOCIATION:

 “So, the NSPS does have size limitations. So, landfills below a certain size threshold are not subject to the New Source Performance Standards. So, many of the smaller landfills may not be subject to those rules at all. And so, changing the rules to focus on extending it to smaller landfills, would of course, subject them to control and capture requirements that they might not currently be doing.”

ON INCENTIVES, CHALLENGES IN CAPTURING METHANE FOR ENERGY AND INDUSTRIAL USE:

RANKING MEMBER CAPITO:

“Is there an economic incentive in capturing and selling methane and what are some of the regulatory obstacles to that?”

ANNE GERMAIN, NATIONAL WASTE & RECYCLING ASSOCIATION:

“It's very much dependent on the type of facility. So if you have right now, the Section 48 tax credits that I referred to in the RFS (Renewable Fuel Standard) do provide some incentives for capturing outside of the regulation, and then basically utilizing, depending on the landfill’s location, they might be able to utilize the gas in some way, but many of them do not have any access to be able to create some energy from the gas, so they would have to make it pipeline quality. And currently the way the section 48 tax credit regulations are written by Treasury, they would disqualify gas upgrading equipment necessary to make it pipeline quality.”

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s questions.

Click HERE to watch Ranking Member Capito’s opening statement.
 

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