Solid Waste & Recycling


SWANA and NSWMA win against bioreactor landfill R&D challenge

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), supported by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) a...

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), supported by the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) scored a victory in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Chief Judge Ginsberg dismissed the GrassRoots Recycling Network’s (GRRN) challenge of the EPA’s Research, Development and Demonstration Rule allowing approved state landfill permitting programs to issue permits to facilities that conduct research and development on bioreactor landfills. The dismissal was based on a determination that GRRN did not have standing to seek a review of the rule.

In August of 2004, SWANA and NSWMA submitted a joint amicus brief (friend of the Court) in support of the EPA’s Final Rule on Research, Development, and Demonstration Permits for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills. The rule allows states to issue variances from certain landfill criteria in order to foster innovation in landfill technology, providing such variances not pose an increase in risk to human health and the environment.

SWANA Executive Director and CEO, John Skinner, Ph.D. commented on the recent victory, saying, “SWANA supported EPA’s rulemaking because we believed that they established a process where research and development on innovative landfill designs could proceed while fully protecting the environment. We are pleased that the Court decision recognized that an RD&D permit must be as protective of human health and the environment as would be a regular permit.”

NSWMA President and CEO, Bruce Parker, said, “The Court’s decision allows the regulated community to test, refine and implement experimental operations and designs for the next generation of landfills, to improve environmental protection and operating efficiencies.”

SWANA and NSWMA represent companies and professionals in the solid waste and recycling industries. SWANA is a professional education association in the solid waste management field with members from both the public and private sectors. NSWMA is a not-for-profit trade association representing private sector solid waste collection, disposal and recycling companies.

For more information, contact:

Evan Von Leer, Marketing Communications Coordinator
The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA)
PO Box 7219, Silver Spring, MD 20907
Call: 301-585-2898 x252
Fax: 301-589-7068

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