Legislative and News Update – SWANA Mid-Atlantic Chapter – March 14, 2024

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

SWANA Updates

SWANA Submits Comments on EPA’s “Meaningful Involvement Policy” and Draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics

On January 16, 2024, SWANA submitted comments on the EPA’s Meaningful Involvement Policy, which is EPA’s policy for public participation during development of EPA policymaking and decision-making. SWANA is in support of the policy and its involvement of industry organizations such as SWANA, but commented on the timing for public comment periods and areas that may benefit from additional clarity.

On February 2, 2024, SWANA submitted comments on the EPA’s Draft National Strategy for Reducing Food Loss and Waste and Recycling Organics. SWANA expressed support for the draft, and that EPA should collaborate with SWANA prior to finalization, since SWANA includes a wide range of professionals involved in the industry.

Contact Kristyn Oldendorf, SWANA’s Director of Public Policy, for more information.

SWANA Submits Joint Comments with NWRA to the EPA on the Draft Revisions to AP-42 Emission Factors for Landfills

On March 12, 2024, SWANA and the National Waste and Recycling Association (NWRA) submitted joint comments on the EPA’s proposed updates to AP-42 Section 2.4. AP-42 is EPA’s compendium of emission factors used for calculating emissions from various air emission sources. Emission factors for landfills are published under Section 2.4, which has not been updated since 1998. Regulatory agencies often require the use of AP-42 emission factors for landfills unless site-specific data is available. AP-42 is also typically used for landfill gas and methane emission modeling, which has become an important topic within our Chapter. Due to the complexity of landfills, useful site-specific data can be very difficult if not impossible to obtain, and AP-42 remains the best method for calculation of emissions despite the data being generic and often not representative of actual conditions.

SWANA/NWRA’s comments generally address clarifications with definitions, requests additional information related to landfill gas modeling, flare and LFG-fired engine emission factors, and other clarifications.

Legislative Updates


No updates

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

EPA Proposes Stronger Air Pollution Standards for Large Municipal Waste Combustors

[from Waste Advantage] On January 23, 2024, the EPA published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would revise emission limits for large municipal waste combustors reflecting changes in emission control practices implemented at facilities across the country. The revisions are in response

to a request from a “petitioner” who requested EPA review the regulations in light of their requirement to review the regulations every 5 years. Comments are being accepted until March 25, 2024.

The proposed standards would apply to 57 facilities with 152 units that have the capacity to combust more than 250 tons per day of municipal solid waste and addresses the White House’s push for environmental justice. The proposed standards are based on emission levels achieved by the best controlled and lower-emitting sources, and limit emissions of nine pollutants: particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, hydrogen chloride, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide, lead, cadmium, mercury, and dioxins/furans.

EPA Releases PFAS Air Emissions Test Method Ahead of Disposal Guide

EPA has released a new test method (Other Test Method 50, OTM 50) to measure volatile, nonpolar fluorinated compounds, such as PFAS, in air emissions, including compounds that are products of incomplete combustion or incomplete destruction, a method that the EPA feels could help implement its pending update to EPA’s PFAS destruction and disposal guidance. While the agency has not officially promulgated the draft method, it says it is releasing the method to promote consistency with what it believes is the current best practices to sample and analyze the target volatile fluorinated compounds (VFCs) from stationary sources.

EPA notes that its posting of OTM-50 on its Air Emission Measurement Center (EMC) website that the EPA has not endorsed the validity of the test method or garnered regulatory approval. However, regulatory agencies are looking at requiring testing for PFAS from air emission sources. For example, Pennsylvania has recently sought to include these requirements in new Title V permits based on OTM- 45, but has been unsuccessful.

Maryland Legislative/News

The 446th legislative session convened on January 10, 2024 and will adjourn on April 8, 2024. Bills related to solid waste and recycling are included below. Summaries below are partially based on summaries

HB0001 – Paint Stewardship

HB080/SB0686 – Covered Electronic Devices Recycling Program – This bill revises Maryland’s existing Statewide Electronics Recycling Program (SERP) (enacted in 2005, amended in 2007), by enacting a system for reuse, refurbishment and recycling of covered electronic devices (CEDs) by incorporating consumer fees/advanced recovery fees. The bill has both House and Senate sponsors.

HB0163/SB0056 – Food Waste and Solid Waste Reduction – Establishes an On-Farm Organic Diversion and Composting Grant Program to award grants to eligible entities to assist with the costs of developing and implementing on-farm composting and compost use, food waste prevention, and food rescue projects, in an effort to reduce food waste from agricultural and service facilities. Additionally, it would require MDE to use funds from the Reduce, Recycle, Remanufacture Fund to support the Grant Program to Reduce and Compost School Waste. Would be funded by a statewide solid waste disposal surcharge.

HB168 – Plastic Products – Postconsumer Recycling Content Program – This bill establishes minimum post-consumer recycled content percentage requirements for certain products. This is an updated version of the legislation drafted in 2023.

HB173 – State Buildings and State Highways – Collection of Yard Waste – This bill requires the collection of yard waste on the grounds of a State building or a State highway in a container that will not be discarded with the yard waste or in one that is compostable.

HB0468/SB0532 – Commission to Advance Lithium-Ion Battery Safety in Maryland – Establishes a commission for lithium battery safety that will make recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly by 12/1/2025.

HB0735/SB0642 – Maryland Beverage Container Recycling Refund and Litter Reduction Program – Establishes a beverage container refund and requires distributors/sellers of the containers to pay a fee and be a part of a stewardship organization.

HB0166/SB0146 – Renewable Energy Portfolio Standard – Eligible Sources – Alterations – Seeks to remove waste-to-energy (WTE) from the renewable energy portfolio.

HB1318 – Solid Waste Disposal Surcharge and Food Waste Reduction/Diversion – Establishes an on- farm organics diversion and recycling grant program funded by a solid waste surcharge.

HB1355 – Mattress Stewardship Program – Prohibits disposal or incineration of mattresses and establishes a mattress stewardship program.

Delaware Legislative/News

The 152nd legislative session convened on January 10, 2024 and adjourn on June 30, 2024. No updates.

District of Columbia Legislative/News

No legislative updates.

D.C. Updates Zero Waste Strategy – D.C. has finalized a long-anticipated zero waste plan meant to help the city achieve an 80% diversion rate, with an extension of the target year from 2032 to 2040. The plan includes 43 potential actions across 7 goals, including reducing per-capita waste generation by 15%, prioritizing reuse over single-use items, increasing recycling and composting participation and accessibility, and envisioning a MRF campus. [from Waste Dive]

News Updates

RNG Industry Expects Voluntary Agreements, New Credits to Spur Growth in 2024 – Waste Dive – January 22, 2024

DOD Taps PFAS Remediation Companies, including Clean Earth, for Mitigation Research Project – Waste Dive – January 23, 2024

West Virginia Governor Announces Approval of Nearly $2 Million in Recycling Assistance Grants – Waste Advantage – January 23, 2024

Zero-Waste Advocates See Opportunity in EPA’s $4.6B GHG Reduction Grants – Waste Dive – January 25, 2024

New report highlights potential for RNG to displace natural gas demand – Waste Today – February 1, 2024

SWEEP Certifies its 1st Industry Service Provider – Waste Advantage – February 15, 2024

A New Watchdog Satellite Will Sniff Out Methane Emissions from Space – Washington Post – March 4, 2024

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