National Waste Associations Comment on Proposed Revisions to EPA Greenhouse Gas Regulations

National Waste & Recycling Association, Solid Waste Association of North America offer comments
Dec 8, 2014 4:05 PM ET

WASHINGTON, Dec. 8, 2014 /3BL Media/ — Two national waste industry associations commented to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on Dec. 1, applauding its attempt to reduce greenhouse gases through its Clean Power Plan proposal while expressing concern about possible regulatory overreach.

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) and the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) jointly submitted comments Monday on the proposed rule—EPA’s Carbon Pollution Emission Guidelines for Existing Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units—which was developed to cut greenhouse gases (GHG) from power plants to address the risks of climate change.

To access the full comments provided by NW&RA and SWANA to U.S. EPA, click here.

While the associations commended the EPA for trying to develop a rule that would reduce GHGs while providing states with significant flexibility in addressing how the rule would be implemented, they expressed concern with the Existing Source proposal, objecting in particular to the future potential for EPA to regulate “other entities” not in the fossil fuel, electric generating sector.

“The municipalities and private companies comprising the waste and recycling industry in the United States support reducing greenhouse gas emissions from affected power plants,” said Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of NW&RA. “However, while we have great interest in lending the support of our renewable energy projects to this effort, we object to the potential for the EPA to regulate ambiguously defined ‘other entities’ that are outside the scope of this rule.”

Municipal and privately owned landfill facilities that extract renewable energy from landfill gas could help electric utilities achieve their emissions reductions. NW&RA and SWANA member facilities supply the landfill gas used to produce nearly all of the 2,000 MW of waste-based, renewable energy generated from more than 600 landfills in the United States.

“We do not support a regulatory approach that could require our associations’ members, who are not electric utilities, to become governed by this rule,” said John Skinner, executive director and CEO of SWANA. “Doing so would counter the GHG reduction goals of the proposal by discouraging renewable energy sources. Only affected electricity generators should bear the burden of this rule.”

NW&RA and SWANA did applaud the EPA for releasing a revision to its Biogenic Framework on Nov. 19 with its intended approach on accounting for emissions from municipal solid waste.

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The National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry. Association members conduct business in all 50 states and include companies that collect and manage garbage, recycling and medical waste, equipment manufacturers and distributors and a variety of other service providers. For more information about NW&RA, visit

The Solid Waste Association of North America is a professional education association with members working in the solid waste management industry across North America. For more information about SWANA, visit