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Mandatory landfill gas utilization

Ontarios environment ministry is proposing to amend regulations under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) to re...


Ontarios environment ministry is proposing to amend regulations under the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) to require mandatory landfill gas collection and utilization (or flaring) for all operating or proposed new or expanding landfills where total waste disposal capacities is larger than 1.5 million cubic metres.

Ontario regulations already require mandatory landfill gas collection and controls for new or expanding sites larger than three million cubic metres (Regulation 232/98). In addition to the requirements under O. Reg. 232/98, landfills may also be required to implement gas controls on a site-specific basis to address (for example) air quality issues such as odor. Landfill owners may also voluntarily implement gas controls, subject to approval of the Director.

The ministry proposes to amend regulations under the EPA to require the following:

All operating, new or expanding landfills larger than 1.5 million cubic metres of waste capacity require landfill gas controls (collection and use or flaring).

New or expanding landfills larger than 1.5 million cubic metres capacity would be required to include plans for the design of gas controls in their proposals, starting with the date the new regulation is finalized (i.e., filed). The gas control plans would be included in the review and approval of the landfill under Part V (waste management) and Section 9 (air) of the EPA.

Operating landfills larger than 1.5 million cubic metres capacity would be required to submit plans for the design and operation of gas controls to the Director by January 1, 2009. The certificates of approval for the affected landfills would be amended to include the gas controls as approved by the Director.

Operating landfills that already have gas controls in place would be required to submit a report demonstrating that their existing controls are sufficient. If existing controls are deemed insufficient, the operating landfill would be required to submit plans to upgrade the controls.

The actual date for implementation of the gas controls for a particular site would be as soon as practical, as approved by the Director, taking into account site-specific factors such as site design and rate of fill.

As in O. Reg. 232/98, a landfill owner would be allowed to submit, if appropriate, a report demonstrating that the characteristics of the site and the nature of the waste are such that the site would not generate significant quantities of landfill gas. The regulatory amendments would also indicate that the rate at which waste is deposited in the site is factor that can be considered. The approval Director could then determine that landfill gas controls are not required.

As in O. Reg. 232/98, the mandatory gas control requirements would not apply to closed landfills or to landfills associated with forest products operations.

As is the case currently, landfills not covered by the new regulations could still be required to implement gas controls on a site-specific basis (e.g., to address odor concerns) or voluntarily implement gas controls, subject to approval of the Director.

For details, and for more timely information updates like this concerning waste topics, contact the Ontario Waste Management Association (OWMA) and consider joining. The OWMA website is www.owma.org


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