EPA Trashes Plan To Pause Landfill Methane Limits

By Abby Smith

The EPA dropped plans to delay Obama-era methane emissions limits for landfills, as it faces legal scrutiny over similar plans to pause rules regulating methane from new oil and gas drills.

The Environmental Protection Agency Jan. 11 withdrew the delay plan from review at the White House regulatory evaluation office.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt announced in May the agency would reconsider portions of the 2016 regulations, which limit methane emissions from new and existing landfills, and delay the requirements for 90 days. Several waste industry groups had petitioned the EPA to make changes to the rules.

Environmental groups sued the EPA over its 90-day delay of the landfill limits. The agency suffered a loss in court in July over a similar 90-day delay of the Obama-era oil and gas methane rule.

But the industry must comply with the landfill emissions limits, which are now in effect after the 90-day pause expired Aug. 29. The EPA is continuing the reconsideration process, according to a notice on its website, though the timeline for completion is unclear.