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Landfill methane project development handbook


This handbook advances the purpose and mission of Landfill Methane Outreach Program by providing the tools and necessary information to stakeholders for the development of successful landfill gas projects. The Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) is a voluntary assistance and partnership program created by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 1994 to reduce methane emissions by encouraging the recovery and use of landfill gas as a renewable, green energy resource. The Landfill Methane Outreach Program has developed many publications and tools to assist those wishing to develop landfill gas energy projects or to promote LFG to various audiences.

Approximately 250 million tons of solid waste was generated in the United States in 2008 with 54 percent deposited in municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills. As this landfilled waste decomposes, a process that may take 30 years or more, it produces landfill gas. landfill gas contains approximately 50% methane and 50% carbon dioxide with less than one percent non-methane organic compounds and trace amounts of organic compounds. If left uncontrolled, landfill gas can lead to smog formation and air pollution and can pose an explosion hazard. Furthermore, since landfill gas contains methane—a greenhouse gas with more than 20 times the heat trapping potential of carbon dioxide—it can contribute to climate change. However, its high methane content also means that LFG can be utilized as a valuable source of energy.

There are substantial opportunities across the country to harness this energy resource and turn what would otherwise be a liability into an asset. The U.S. EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program encourages and facilitates the development of environmentally and economically sound LFG energy projects by partnering with stakeholders and providing a variety of information, tools, and services. One tool, the Energy Project Development Handbook, provides landfill gas energy project development guidance, with individual chapters about the basics of landfill gas energy, gas modeling, technology options, economic analysis and financing, contract and permitting considerations, and selection of project partners.

The intended audience for this handbook is landfill owners, energy service providers, corporate energy end users, state agencies, local governments, and communities. These and other stakeholders interested in developing this valuable resource can all benefit from information provided in this handbook as they work together to develop successful landfill gas energy projects.

View the handbook here: Landfill methane project development handbook.