The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA) has applauded the July 2, 2014 decision by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to publish a final rule qualifying additional fuel pathways as cellulosic biofuel, including landfill gas, under the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS) program, a move designed to bolster the industry.
According to the final rule, the EPA will allow renewable fuels and electricity produced from biogas from landfills, wastewater treatment sludge and animal manure to generate cellulosic renewable fuel credits, allowing companies to be less dependent on petroleum. The credits, known as “renewable identification numbers” (RINs), are publicly traded on an EPA-moderated exchange.
Compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and electricity used to power vehicles from landfill biogas or separated municipal solid waste digesters will qualify as cellulosic and advanced fuel pathways. However, the EPA did not finalize qualifications for waste-derived renewable diesel, naptha and renewable gasoline from biogas.
The EPA mandates renewable fuel obligations annually, and in 2014, its mandated obligation for renewable fuels is 17 million gallons.
“The EPA’s decision to qualify biogas from landfills as a cellulosic pathway advances the agency’s goal of increasing the amount of biofuels available to the fuel industry and provides incentives for the further development of landfill gas to energy projects,” said Sharon Kneiss, president and CEO of NW&RA, in a statement.
“These projects reduce greenhouse gas emissions from landfills by capturing methane and offsetting the use of fossil fuels,” she added. “With the changes from this new rule, the landfill biogas market has a more valuable product and the fuel industry has access to greater volumes of cellulosic biofuels.”
The final rule can be accessed here.