Landfills Collecting Methane and Reducing Emissions
The California Air Resources Board has adopted a regulation that forces landfills to install equipment that captures methane gas or fixes leaking methane gas collection systems. This is in order to reduce the amount of green house gases being released into our atmosphere. Currently California has 367 solid waste landfills, 218 of which will be affected by this new regulation.
Methane gas is created by decomposing solid waste and is 23 times more powerful than carbon dioxide according to the United States Environmental Protection agency. With this regulation in place, 1.5 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas methane will be prevented from entering the atmosphere, which will also lead to noticeable health benefits such as reduced smog. Recently, other industries like waste management and dairy have been capturing methane gas and converting it into electricity or destroying it by burning it (which then releases CO2 but no methane).
This regulation is an important part of the Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006. This act intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 25 percent by 2020. Other regulations that support this act include phasing out fluorinated gases (another type of green house gas) and cutting fuel carbon content 10 percent by 2020 in a measure known as the Low Carbon Fuel Standard. All of these are great steps towards saving our earth’s atmosphere!