NW&RA applauds EPA’s decision on cellulosic biofuel

Landfill and digester gas used in vehicles will qualify as advanced fuel pathways.

July 14, 2014
REW Staff

The National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), Washington, D.C., has applauded a decision by the U.S. 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.

According to the final rule, the EPA will allow biogas from landfills to be counted as cellulosic biofuels under the standard. Specifically, compressed natural gas, liquefied natural gas and electricity used to power vehicles derived from landfill biogas or separated municipal solid waste digesters will qualify as cellulosic and advanced fuel pathways. The EPA did not finalize qualifications for waste-derived renewable diesel, naptha and renewable gasoline from biogas.

Cellulosic biofuels are advanced biofuels that help the United States be less dependent on imported petroleum. The EPA mandates renewable fuel obligations annually, and in 2014, its mandated obligation for renewable fuels is 17 million gallons. From the waste that it currently manages, the American waste and recycling industry can generate enough energy to meet this 2014 target.

“The waste and recycling industry welcomes this final rule,” says Sharon H. Kneiss, president and CEO of NW&RA. “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.

“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 at www.ecpa.gov/otaq/fuels/renewablefuels/documents/rfs-path-II-fr-07-02-14.pdf.

The National Waste & Recycling Association is the trade association that represents the private sector waste and recycling services industry.