Legislative & News Update – SWANA Mid-Atlantic (July 14, 2022)

Jacob Shepherd, P.E. – Legislative Liaison – jshepherd@scsengineers.com

SWANA Updates

SWANA joined NWRA on PFAS Letter to the EPA

On May 10, SWANA joined the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) in submitting a letter to the EPA to request a narrow exemption for an expected designation of poly- and perfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) under CERCLA. EPA is expected to propose a designation under CERCLA for both PFOA and PFOS, which could potentially face landfill with more regulations and higher costs of compliance. SWANA is a member of a “receivers” group along with wastewater industry associations that is working to educate the U.S. Congress and EPA on PFAS. SWANA’s intent is to not be considered as a producer of PFAS.

Oceans Caucus Foundation and SWANA Briefing

SWANA along with the Oceans Caucus Foundation hosted a briefing on May 26, 2022 for Capitol Hill staff on the implementation of the EPA’s National Recycling Strategy and 50% recycling goal. SWANA moderated a panel discussion with representatives from state and local government and private companies. The panel discussion explored the state of recycling in the United States and how EPA’s Strategy and recycling goals can be best achieved through local, state, and federal action.

The briefing continues the work of SWANA and the Oceans Caucus Foundation to provide insightful, balanced information on sustainable materials management and marine debris prevention to Congress, NGOs, and other industry stakeholders. The conversation will continue at WASTECON  2022 in San Diego, California, where public sector solid waste leaders and their teams plan sustainable futures for their communities.  From Waste Advantage Magazine article.

SWANA Recognizes Industry Workers for Waste and Recycling Workers Week

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) recognizes all solid waste workers, and in particular, front-line collection employees, for the great work they do helping to keep communities clean and safe. Driving a waste collection truck or being a helper is a tough job, and SWANA appreciates the dedication of waste and recycling employees.

SWANA chapters are holding Hauler Safety Outreach events to distribute safety information to collection crews. SWANA recently entered into an alliance with OSHA Region 2 to provide enhanced safety education and information to workers in New Jersey and New York. Finally, SWANA will be holding a Safety Summit at WASTECON® on December 5–8 in San Diego.

Legislative Updates

Federal

Watching Two Recycling Bills

Two bills related to recycling infrastructure are ready for consideration in the U.S. Senate. The Recycling Infrastructure and Accessibility Act provides for a pilot grant program to improve   recycling

accessibility in underserved communities using a hub-and-spoke model. The funds would be available for local governments, tribes, and public-private partnerships. The Recycling and Composting Accountability Act would improve measurement, data, and reporting for recycling, improve recycling and composting tactics, assess end markets and diversion for recycled and composted materials, and assess federal government recycling practices. Both bills are ready to be considered by the Senate at any point. Although bills tend to languish in committees, SWANA expects these two bills to have traction.

Expected New OSHA Rulemaking for Heat

SWANA expects the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue new rulemaking intended to prevent heat-related injury for workers. Heat illnesses have become a focus for OSHA along with coronavirus safety. An advanced notice of proposed rulemaking (ANPRM), which is published prior to a draft regulation in the Federal Register, was published in October 2021 and comments closed in January 2022.

U.S.  Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

New Recycling Grant Programs and Requests for Information

There are currently three laws that provide grant programs for recycling, described below. Grant programs are expected to open up in September or October of 2022 and be open for distribution for an expected 60- to 90-day window. Currently, the EPA has requests for information for all 3 programs. While SWANA is working to provide comments on these bills, anyone can submit comments to the EPA.

  • SOS 2.0 – Although this bill passed last year, it did not get funding for the programs until the recent infrastructure law was passed. This program will provide $55 million per fiscal year for the next 5 fiscal years plus $2.5 million for EPA implementation. Funding will be provided to the states for distribution.
    • RECYCLE Act – This program provides $15 million per year for the next 5 fiscal years for education and outreach grants and the model recycling toolkit. The toolkit is available for use by both public and private industries and provides best practices for recycling.
    • Battery Recycling – This program provides $10 million to develop best practices for battery recycling and $15 million to develop battery labeling recommendations. EPA is currently holding feedback sessions for this law and engaging stakeholders.

New PFAS Drinking Water Guidance

The EPA announced new drinking water guidance on June 15 that significantly drops guidance levels for PFOA and PFOS to 0.004 parts per trillion (ppt) and 0.02 ppt, respectively. Additionally, the EPA action establishes standards for PFBS and HFPO (alternate chemicals increasingly used by chemical manufacturers instead of PFAS chemicals, also called GenX chemicals), which are other fluorinated compounds being studied by the EPA. From communications with laboratories, the industry understands that these levels are below what laboratories are capable to detect in water samples. The standards were released before EPA could review the underlying research behind the standards.

Planned EPA Methane Flyovers

EPA is planning a study of landfill methane emissions that will use a combination of aircraft, satellites, and mobile tracers in EPA Region 5. Following this study, the EPA is expected to move equipment to the Midwest and then the Mid-Atlantic for similar methane emission series.

Proposed Changes to the GHG Reporting Rule

The EPA has published a notice of proposed rulemaking for the mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rule (GHGRP). Initially published in 2009, the GHGRP requires reporting of GHG emissions from facilities with GHG emissions above 25,000 metric tons per year MTCO2e. For landfills, the EPA is proposing changes to the decay rate constants (k) and degradable organic carbon (DOC), which are used in the regulations to model methane generation rates for landfills. SWANA does not currently have a timeline on when a draft regulation may be published.

Maryland Legislative

No updates. The 444th legislative session convened on January 12, 2022 and adjourned on April 11, 2022. Although the legislature initially proposed surface emission monitoring (SEM) requirements and the use of methane aerial flyover data for emission data comparisons for landfills, these requirements were removed from legislation that was passed. No bills related to solid waste and recycling were passed during this year’s session.

Maryland MDE

Currently Tracking – New Landfill Methane Rules and State EG Implementation Plan – No updates. MDE is currently developing new rules for methane control and reduction from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. The rules would also implement the Emission Guidelines (EG) under the 2016 NSPS changes (40 CFR 60 Subpart Cf) and would replace the current Federal EG Plan that applies to Maryland landfills (published under 40 CFR 62 Subpart OOO). A draft regulatory framework was presented at the recent June 23, 2021 landfill stakeholders meeting, which has been posted to MDE’s website. As proposed in the draft regulatory framework, the regulations would significantly reduce the threshold for requiring the installation, operation, and monitoring of an active gas collection system. In July, the Chapter Legislative Committee distributed a list of potential issues presented in the framework. MDE is currently reviewing comments submitted on the framework and is developing a draft regulation, which is expected to be published soon.

Delaware Legislative

No updates.

District of Columbia Legislative

No updates.

News Updates

Electric Evolution Increasingly Seen as Inevitable for Waste and Recycling Fleets – Waste Dive – May 16, 2022

What Does Environmental Justice Mean for Waste? Data, Community, Partners Can Provide Greater Clarity – Waste Dive – May 18, 2022

Montgomery Can Crushing King – Cecil & Mid-Shore Runners Up – Maryland Association of Counties

– May 18, 2022

Ford to Use 20% Recycled, Renewable Plastics by 2025 – Plastics News – May 26, 2022

States Take New PFAS Policy Steps as Waste Industry Awaits Federal Guidelines – Waste Dive – June 1, 2022

Baltimore City Council Mounts Filibuster in Protest of Biweekly Recycling Collection – Baltimore Sun – June 2, 2022

Montgomery County, MD Recognizes Best Recyclers, Waste Reducers – Waste Advantage – June 6, 2022

EPA Takes Action to Reset and Strengthen the Renewable Fuel Standard Program – Waste Advantage

– June 7, 2022

Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages Tests Returnable Glass Bottles in Texas – Beverage Digest – June 7, 2022

EPR Bill in Colorado Signed while New York Bills Fail – Resource Recycling – June 8, 2022

U.S. Representatives, NGOs Urge Congress to Pass Federal Plastics Regulations – Oceana (press release via the Progressive Newswire) – June 15, 2022

EPA Awards $152,000 to DC Department of Public Works for Training and Certification to Divert Food Waste – Waste Advantage – June 16, 2022

EREF Announces Landfill Emissions Measurement Project through Partnership with Florida State University – EREF – June 20, 2022

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