The Washington-based National Solid Wastes Management Association (NSWMA) and Solid Waste Management Association of North America (SWANA), Silver Spring, Md., have sent a letter to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) about the agency’s proposed mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting requirements and their potential impact on municipal solid waste landfills.

“The waste management industry is aggressively responding to the challenges presented by climate change and how the industry’s carbon footprint can be reduced,” said Bruce Parker, CEO and president of NSWMA, in a press release. “We are leaders in the innovative production of renewable energy from the disposal of waste, and any reporting system should acknowledge the progress that we’ve made in this area.”

The letter requests the EPA to consider:

• The solid waste sector has substantially reduced GHG emissions.

• A protocol for estimating fugitive landfill emissions should be established.

• Carbon sequestration should be accounted for in estimating GHG emissions of individual landfills.

• Strong enforcement authorities make third-party verification unnecessary.

• Biogenic GHG emissions should not be a mandatory reporting element of a federal program.

“Environmentally sound solid waste management practices can make an important positive contribution towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said John Skinner, executive director and CEO of SWNA, in a press release, “It is important that any reporting system encourage these practices."