Babcock & Wilcox Enterprises, Inc. (B&W) (NYSE:BW) has provided formal comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed emissions rules for municipal solid waste (MSW) landfills, calling for more stringent limits on emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas that plays a role in climate change.
Methane, which is generated in landfills by the decomposition of organic waste such as food and plant matter, is a heat-trapping gas 85 times more potent than carbon dioxide. Landfills are responsible for 18 percent of manmade methane emissions in the United States, according to the EPA.
Reducing these methane emissions is a key piece of the administration’s Climate Action Plan announced in 2013. However, B&W’s management is concerned that the proposed rule doesn’t secure the level of methane reduction that could be achieved through encouraging recycling, the diversion of organic waste from landfills and the deployment of waste-to-energy power generation technology for the production of clean, renewable energy, suitable to support sustainable base-loaded power.
With more than 500 waste-to-energy and biomass units installed worldwide, an established history providing environmental equipment since the 1970s and the most comprehensive suite of environmental control products available, B&W is well-qualified to share its experience and make recommendations on this issue.
“While we applaud the administration’s strategy to reduce methane emissions, we are concerned that the proposed rule does not go far enough,” said E. James Ferland, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of B&W. “We urge the Agency to modify the rule to support recycling, the diversion of organic waste from landfills and greater reliance on waste-to-energy to achieve significantly higher methane reductions.”
“B&W also recommends that the EPA use the 20-year global warming potential of methane as established by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in its Fifth Assessment Report in the final rule,” Ferland said.
The EPA’s recently announced Clean Power Plan rule recognizes waste-to-energy power as a reliable, renewable base load technology. B&W and its subsidiary, B&W Vølund, have designed and built many of these plants around the world. B&W also designed and manufactured the steam generation system and environmental control equipment for the newest and most-advanced waste-to-energy plant in the United States, the Palm Beach Renewable Energy Facility No. 2 in West Palm Beach, Fla.
Filed Under: Industry regulations