EPA ups methane capture requirement
Next step: A new energy source
With the EPA‘s recent announcement that new landfills will be required to capture two-thirds of their methane and toxic air emissions by 2023 (13% more than current requirements)—see our previous post on this subject—the Obama Administration is taking another step to lower greenhouse gas emissions. This move by the EPA addresses the fact that landfills are the third largest source of methane emissions in the U.S. and methane is a greenhouse gas 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Also, when landfill gas is captured, it can be converted into another renewable energy source.
Landfills demand long-term commitment
Iowa DNR: ‘There are landfills without liners’
Most Iowa communities deposit their waste in landfills. According to the Iowa Department of Natural Resources (DNR), there are currently 42 landfills operating in the state and there are 50 others that have been closed because they were full. A DNR environmental engineer said that “burying trash is a long-term commitment … We’ve come a long way in regulating and preventing pollution from landfills, but there are landfills in the state that don’t have liners.” And that means leachate could be leaking into Iowa’s groundwater.
Coal-ash landfill approved in Missouri
Ameren gets OK despite public opposition
St. Louis-based Ameren Corp., despite public opposition, has received approval for a coal-ash landfill by the Missouri Public Service Commission (MPSC), the state agency that regulates utilities. The planned coal-ash landfill would be adjacent to Ameren’s coal-fired power plant near the town of Labadie, Mo., in Franklin County, just west of St. Louis. Local residents expressed fear their water may become contaminated, citing recent coal-ash spills in Tennessee, Wisconsin, and North Carolina. Critics said they were also disappointed by the MPSC’s decision because it moves Ameren one step closer to final approval for constructing the coal-ash landfill near its Labadie plant, which is located on a Missouri River flood plain.
W.Va. chemical spill sparks waste dispute
Putnam County towns call for remediation
Six months after a chemical spill contaminated the water supply in west-central West Virginia, local communities are calling for a cleanup of the tons of waste it left behind. The city of Hurricane and other Putnam County towns in west-central West Virginia, want two subsidiaries of Waste Management Inc. that operate a local landfill to dig up and remove an estimated 228 tons of waste containing the chemical that fouled the region’s water supply in January.