The measures to be taken are designed to minimize odors and air emissions from the landfill
Champ Landfill in Maryland Heights has agreed to proceed with air quality improvements of an estimated cost of $1.6 million, under the terms of a settlement it reached with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) last August. Agency officials detected methane emissions from the surface that exceeded the federal limit during an inspection on May 18, 2016, so there was non-compliance with regulatory requirements under the Clean Air Act (CAA) and the New Source Performance Standards (NSPS). These standards impose controls on emissions of landfill gases, as well as monitoring, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements to ensure that landfill gas emissions are minimized. EPA regulation states that surface methane emissions should not exceed 500 ppm, but officials found levels as high as 10,000 ppm at Champ Landfill.
It seems that such excessive amounts of methane result from improper monitoring of the landfill’s gas collection system. According to the agreement, Champ Landfill will have to pay for a third party to investigate and improve this. The landfill has 60 days to complete the audit and will subsequently need to implement the auditor’s recommended corrective actions in less than one year. It was also agreed that 21 landfill gas extraction wells are installed. These modifications, having an estimated cost of $1.6 million, are expected to minimize air emissions and odors to the surrounding community.
‘This agreement shows how constructive negotiations between a company and EPA can produce positive results leading to air quality improvements that benefit communities’, said EPA Region 7 Administrator Mark Hague. ‘The immediate actions taken required by this agreement will improve the landfill’s operations and minimize air emissions and odors. This is an important step in EPA’s efforts to ensure sources of air pollution in the area are in compliance’, he added.
Taking it a step further, Champ Landfill has also committed to purchase four compressed natural gas (CNG) trash collection trucks that will help reduce particle emissions, compared to conventional diesel trucks that are currently being used. This investment, worth $1.3 million, is considered to be a voluntary Supplemental Environmental Project (SEP).
Source: Environmental Protection Agency