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Environmental News, Solid Waste News

Landfill Fires Increase, Know the Risks

March 4, 2020

More than 8,000 landfill fires occur each year, ranging from minor surface fires to massive blazes. Due to the potential release of toxic smoke and gases, these fires represent a significant health and environmental concern. Additionally landfill fires result in a cost of approximately $8 million annually in property losses and 30 firefighters injured each year while battling the fires. Fires are caused by a number of factors including arson, deposits of hot wastes, lithium ion batteries, and natural causes such as lightening. In December 2019 alone, 24 fire incidents were reported at waste and recycling facilities in the U.S. and Canada. Based on information provided by Waste 360, the waste and recycling industry experienced a total of 343 “reported facility” fires in the U.S. and Canada. A “reported facility fire” is defined as a fire that has been reported by the media and occurs at a waste or recycling facility in the U.S. and Canada. Fires that are reported by the media are larger…
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Regulatory News, Solid Waste News

U.S. House Passes Bill Targeting PFAS

January 17, 2020

On January 10, 2020, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill targeting per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). The bill, H.R. 535, passed with a 247-159 vote. Despite the threat of a veto by President Donald Trump, 24 Republicans voted for the bill.  Significant items in the bill include: National regulation of some PFAS substances, specifically requiring the U.S. EPA to establish destruction and disposal guidance for a range of materials, including landfill leachate, biosolids, and "solid, liquid, or gas waste streams" from facilities that manufacture or use PFAS; Amend section 5 of the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) to require a 'poses an unreasonable risk' finding and use prohibition in response to any new chemical notification for a PFAS, for a period of five years;Create a rule under section 8 of TSCA requiring manufacturers of PFAS to submit relevant data;Issue guidance for minimizing the use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam; andRevise its Safer Choice standard to require that pots, pans and cooking utensils labelled with…
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Regulatory News, Solid Waste News

EPA Publishes Rules for Existing MSW Landfills

August 29, 2019

EPA published two actions related to the 2016 Emission Guidelines for Existing MSW Landfills in August 2019. The emission guidelines for MSW landfills (40 CFR Part 60, Subpart Cf) require existing landfills (constructed, reconstructed, or modified before July 17, 2014) that reach a landfill gas emissions rate of 34 megagrams of non-methane organic compounds (NMOC) or more per year or closed landfills that reach an emissions rate of 50 megagrams of NMOC or more per year to install a system to collect and control landfill gas. EPA issued a final rule that aligns state plan timing requirements with the updated Clean Air Act section 111(d) implementing regulations that were finalized with the Affordable Clean Energy (ACE) rule. This rule revises the 2016 Emission Guidelines and Compliance Times for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills by updating cross references to the implementing regulations that refer to amended timing requirements for the submission of state plans, the EPA’s review of state plans, and the issuance of federal plans. EPA…
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Solid Waste News

U.S. Faces Waste Recycling Challenges

January 29, 2019

Changing Markets in China and National Sword Policy By now, most everyone in the solid waste industry and many outside the industry are familiar with China’s National Sword Policy, which became effective in February 2018. The bans, restrictions and tougher contamination standards are an effort by China to improve air quality, reduce pollution and prevent illegal waste smuggling. In the short-term, National Sword and other policy changes are creating major challenges for U.S. recyclers to find new markets or reduce contamination in their materials (since 1992, China has imported 106 million metric tons of plastic waste, or 45% of all plastic waste). In some areas, recyclable materials are ending up in landfills, and municipalities are canceling curbside recycling programs. Over the long-term, it will change the way the U.S. deals with its waste, and hopefully create opportunities for innovation and the development of new domestic markets. A new international organization, the Global Alliance to End Plastic Waste, was established earlier this year to develop solutions…
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