Legislative & News Update – SWANA Mid-Atlantic (March 9, 2023)

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

SWANA Updates

New SWANA ARF Report on Air Pollution Control at WTE Facilities

The SWANA Applied Research Foundation (ARF) has released a new report, Advanced Air Pollution Control at Waste-to-Energy Facilities. This report provides a state-of-the-art review—supplemented by case studies—of commercially proven, new and emerging nitrogen oxide (NOX) and carbon dioxide (CO2) control technologies that can potentially be deployed in existing WTE facilities. The report can be downloaded from the SWANA website.

It is SWANA’s hope that this report will serve as a valuable and timely reference document for WTE facility managers as they consider the benefits and costs of investing in additional NOX control technologies and CO2 capture systems to further reduce emissions from their facilities. The report also serves as a useful resource for state and local governmental officials evaluating WTE facilities.

SWANA Submits Comments on Renewable Fuel Standard Proposal

SWANA submitted comments  to  the  U.S.  Environmental  Protection  Agency  (EPA)  on  its  proposed Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) “set” rule that includes renewable volume obligations (RVOs) for 2023, 2024 and 2025. The proposed rule also expands the program to include certain types of renewable electricity used by light-duty electric vehicles. SWANA joined the National Waste & Recycling Association (NWRA), American Public Gas Association, Energy Vision, and The Coalition for Renewable Natural Gas in submitting detailed comments on the RFS rule as a whole. SWANA has participated in a joint letter with this same group in response to previous RFS proposals.

The RFS rule requires refiners or importers of gasoline and diesel fuel to achieve their renewable volume obligations by including renewable fuels into petroleum-based fuels or by obtaining credits known as Renewable Identification Numbers (RINs). Renewable fuel types include biomass-based diesel, cellulosic biofuel, advanced biofuel. The major change proposed in the RFS rule is an expansion of the program to allow for the generation of electric renewable identification numbers (eRINs) from eligible sources of biomass-based electricity used by light-duty electric vehicles. One result of this change is that various waste conversion technologies would be eligible to participate in the RFS program for the first time.

FTC Extends Comment Deadline for “Green Guides” Review

The US Federal Trade Commission is extending the deadline for public comment on the Guides for the Use of Environmental Marketing Claims, better known as the “Green Guides” until April 24, 2023. Comments were originally due by February 21. The FTC is seeking comment on a variety of environmental marketing claims, including those related to the terms “compostable,” “degradable,” “recyclable,” and “recycled content.” The Green Guides will influence how they are used on packaging and in marketing across the United States.

The SWANA Sustainable Materials Management Technical Division Advocacy Committee is leading development of the Association’s comments in conjunction with the SWANA Core Advocacy Group.

Legislative Updates


H.R.652/S.177 – Zero Food Waste Act – This bill was reintroduced in the Senate in January having failed during the previous session of Congress. The bill would direct the EPA to establish a grant program to study and reduce food waste.

H.R.651/S.179 – COMPOST Act – This bill was also reintroduced in the Senate in January after failing in the previous Congress session. The bill would make composting a conservation practice under USDA conservation programs and would establish a competitive grant program for expanding access to food waste composting.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Proposes to Add PFAS, Environmental Justice, and Climate Change to National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives for FY 2024-2027

The EPA announced it is seeking public comment on its proposal to address environmental justice, climate change, and PFAS contamination in its National Enforcement and Compliance Initiatives (NECIs). Every four years, EPA selects national initiatives to focus resources on environmental problems where federal enforcement can make a difference. EPA is proposing to add PFAS, environmental justice, and climate change to these initiatives.

EPA Agrees to Reevaluate MSW Landfill Emissions Measurements in Effort to Settle Lawsuit

Content from Waste Dive. The EPA said it will reevaluate the estimations in its AP-42 guidance document for estimating municipal solid waste (MSW) landfill emissions in response to a lawsuit brought by environmental groups in July 2022. The EPA has proposed a consent decree that would, by January 15, 2024, require the EPA to suggest updated methods or indicate that an update is not needed. The EPA will solicit public comments on the consent decree until March 13.

Maryland Legislative

The 445th legislative session convened on January 11, 2023 and will adjourn on April 10, 2023. Bills related to waste and recycling are listed below:

HB0031 – Environment Products and Packaging – Addresses recycling labeling requirements for plastic containers and bags.

HB0091 – Environment – Recycling – Hotels – Would require hotels to provide recycling for guests of a hotel by 10/1/2024.

HB0109 – Task Force on Recycling Policy and Recycling and Waste Streams in Maryland – Establishes a task force on recycling policy and recycling and waste systems to review the Maryland Recycling Act (MRA).

HB0284/SB0222 – Environment – Reducing Packaging Materials – Producer Responsibility – Would require MDE to conduct a statewide recycling assessment every 10 years and would establish EPR provisions for producers of certain packaging materials.

HB0342 – Environment – Plastic Products – Postconsumer Recycling Content Program – Would establish EPR provisions for producers of certain plastic products and would establish a minimum postconsumer recycling content requirement for certain products.

HB0586/SB0782 – State Procurement Purchasing Preferences – Compost, Mulch, Soil, Recycling Aggregate – Would require state government departments to give preference to certain products produced from recycled or organic materials during purchasing.

HB0609/SB0768 – Environment – Waste Haulers – Reporting Requirement – Requires annual reports for waste haulers that disposed of waste within a Maryland county.

HB0840/SB0743 – Climate, Labor, and Environmental Equity Act of 2023 – Would require MDE to score and review environmental permits for environmental justice and climate.

HB0930 – Environment – Office of Recycling – Mattress Stewardship Program – Establishment – Would prohibit disposal of mattresses in a landfill or incinerator and provide for mattress producer stewardship of mattresses after January 2028.

HB1086 – Department of the Environment – Recycling Analysis and Report – Would require MDE to analyze county and municipal recycling programs and make recommendations to increase recycling rates and implementing EPR programs.

HB1088 – Emissions Standards, Ambient Air Quality Standards, and Solid Waste Management – Among other requirements, this bill would clarify the authority of a jurisdiction to regulate disposal systems or solid waste and authority to set emission or ambient air quality standards.

HB1089 – Maryland Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Program – Would establish redeemable beverage container refund and litter reduction programs.

HB1139 – Solid Waste Disposal and Diversion and On-Farm Composting and Compost Use – Would establish an on-farm composting and compost use grant program funded by a solid waste disposal surcharge.

Maryland MDE

Currently Tracking – Proposed Landfill Methane Rules and State EG Implementation Plan – MDE has published proposed regulations for methane control and reduction from municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. The rules will also implement the Emission Guidelines (EG) regulations under the 2016 New Source Performance Standards (NSPS) changes (40 CFR 60 Subpart Cf) and would replace the Federal EG Plan that currently applies to Maryland landfills (published under 40 CFR 62 Subpart OOO). A link to the Maryland register is provided below. Public comments were accepted until February 1, 2023.


Delaware Legislative/News

The 2023 legislative session convened on January 10, 2023 and will adjourn on June 30, 2023. Bills related to solid waste and recycling include:

SB-51 – Use of Single-Service Plastic Implements and Polystyrene Containers in Food Establishments

– Would prohibit food establishments from providing consumers with ready-to-eat food or beverages in polystyrene foam containers or certain single-services food implements.

District of Columbia Legislative/News

No updates.

News Updates

Virginia Tech is Turning Food Waste into Biodegradable Bioplastics – Virginia Tech – January 17, 2023

Five Tons of Marine Debris Airlifted from Kahoolawe, HI Destined for Recycling – Waste Advantage – January 20, 2023

Why the U.S. Farm Bill Matters to Counties – A NACo Guide – MACo Conduit Street – January 23, 2023

Federal lawmakers reintroduce bills calling for billions in food waste recycling and prevention grants – Waste Dive – Megan Quinn – February 3, 2023

DOE report touts chemical recycling R&D opportunities while noting plastic’s environmental justice issues – Waste Dive – Megan Quinn – February 6, 2023

Lawmakers call for EPA to more tightly regulate plastic production and cut ties with chemical recycling

– Waste Dive – Megan Quinn – February 14, 2023

New Orleans gets trashed for Mardi Gras. Now the city wants to recycle – Washington Post – Andrea Sachs – February 15, 2023

How the EPA’s Renewable Fuel Standard Program Changes Could be a Boon for Landfill and AD Operators – Waste Dive – Cole Rosengren – February 16, 2023

D.C. To Pilot Curbside Composting Pickup This Summer – DCist – Jacob Fenston – February 17, 2023

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