Title: [GreenYes] Re: reaching out to EDF re organics in the landfill
I agree. EDF is misguided about this and many
other aspects of energy policy, such as "clean
coal." EDF doesn't seem an easy org for
outsiders to influence, because of its great
wealth, corporate (free market) orientation, and
top-down governance. But I agree the attempt should be made.
At 06:35 AM 10/27/2008 -0700, Kate wrote:
>Environmental Defense Fund plans to sue the EPA for failing to update
>landfill emissions standards and enforce improved landfill gas capture
>systems. The group is pushing the iniative in order to prevent climate
>change from the nation's second largest source of methane emissions.
>EDF is touting landfills as a source of homegrown energy with no
>mention of the valuable paper, food and yard waste that causes methane
>emissions. Diverting these materials through composting will
>completely prevent methane emissions and have much more positive
>climate and environmental benefits than stop-gap collection systems--
>see www.cool2012.com or www.stoptrashingtheclimate.org for the facts.
>We need a concerted effort to steer EDF onto the right course and
>prevent what could be another big win for the landfill industry and a
>serious blow to organics recycling. We need to educate EDF and show
>that their approach ignores the real opportunity for change through
>eliminating methane emissions by composting. Does anyone have a strong
>contact at EDF to get the ball rolling?
>Environmental Defense Fund Takes Legal Action to Address Landfill
>New U.S. Climate Change Science Report Calls Methane Reductions a
>clear win-win solution
>Vickie Patton (720) 837-6239 or firstname.lastname@example.org
>Kevin Lynch (303) 447-7200 or email@example.com
>Sean Crowley - 202-550-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org
>(Washington, DC October 23, 2008) Today, Environmental Defense Fund
>filed a notice of intent to sue the U.S. Environmental Protection
>Agency (EPA) for its failure to update emission standards for hundreds
>of landfills nationwide. Landfills are the nation’s second largest
>source of manmade methane pollution. Methane is a potent greenhouse
>gas and a contributor to the smog air pollution that is associated
>with respiratory illnesses affecting millions of Americans. In
>September, the U.S. Climate Change Science Program issued a landmark
>report declaring measures to reduce methane emissions a “clear win-
>“Capturing the waste gas leaking from the nation’s landfills and
>converting it to a local source of energy is a trifecta for the
>nation’s economy, environment and energy security,” said Vickie
>Patton, Environmental Defense Fund Deputy General Counsel.
>“Converting methane pollution to a homegrown energy source is a common
>sense solution to address global warming and protect our kids’ health
>while boosting our economy.”
>The recent U.S. Climate Change Science Program report determined that
>measures to reduce methane emissions are: a “clear win-win solution
>for climate (less warming) and air quality (less pollution).” See
>Climate Projections Based on Emissions Scenarios for Long-Lived and
>Short-Lived Radiatively Active Gases and Aerosols, ps. 64-65, (Sept.
>2008), at http://www.climatescience.gov/Library/sap/sap3-2/final-report/.
>Capturing landfill emissions also creates an economic boon to local
>communities because cost-effective technology provides access to an
>untapped energy source.
>EPA has failed to update the emission standards for landfills for a
>dozen years, violating its duty under the nation’s clean air laws to
>modernize the emission standards at least every eight years.
>Methane contributes to harmful ozone and is a potent greenhouse gas
>Methane emissions contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone.
>Exposure to ground-level ozone has been linked to serious health
>effects including premature mortality, decreased lung function,
>respiratory illness, and asthma. Methane is also a potent global
>warming gas about 21 times more powerful at warming the atmosphere
>than carbon dioxide (CO2). Methane’s relatively short atmospheric
>lifetime (10 years), coupled with its potency as a greenhouse gas,
>makes reducing methane emissions from landfills one of the best ways
>to mitigate global warming over the near-term..
>Landfills are top emitters of methane gas
>Methane is emitted from a variety of human and natural sources.
>Municipal solid waste landfills are the second largest source of human-
>related methane emissions in the United States, accounting for nearly
>23 percent (125 Tg CO2 eq.) of emissions in 2006. These emissions are
>comparable to nearly three times the total carbon dioxide emissions
>released from all of the nation’s cement manufacturing. And the U.S.
>is responsible for about 18% of global methane emissions from
>landfills equal to the landfill emissions of Canada, Mexico, China
>and Russia combined.
>Landfills can become clean energy sources
>Landfill gas is created as solid waste decomposes in a landfill. This
>gas consists of about 50 percent methane, about 50 percent CO2, and a
>small amount of non-methane organic compounds. Because methane is a
>principal component of natural gas, methane emissions from landfills
>present a key opportunity to capture and use a significant home-grow
>Landfill gas is extracted from landfills using a series of wells and a
>vacuum system. This system directs the collected gas to a central
>point where it can be processed and treated. From this point, the gas
>can be used to generate electricity, replace fossil fuels in
>industrial and manufacturing operations, fuel greenhouse operations,
>or be upgraded to pipeline quality gas.
>A number of landfills around the country are already utilizing this
>energy from methane. The 16.6 million tons-in-place Lopez Canyon
>landfill, run by the Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation, produces 7.1
>megawatts of energy, enough to power 4,500 homes. And the Coffin
>Butte Landfill in Oregon produces enough methane to generate 5.66 MW
>and power 4,000 homes. While many landfills are realizing the
>economic benefits of capturing and utilizing the energy from methane,
>there are still hundreds of landfills across the nation missing this
>EDF's Notice of Intent to Sue:
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