August 20-27, 2007

Ontario proposal would require methane capture systems at smaller landfills

TORONTO, ONT-The Ontario government is proposing to amend an existing regulation under the Environmental Protection Act to require the installation of methane capture systems for all operating or proposed new or expanding landfills with total waste disposal capacities larger than 1.5 million cubic metres (m3). The current regulation, O Reg 232/98, requires new or expanding sites larger than three million m3 to collect and use or burn landfill gas. New or expanding landfills with greater than 1.5 million m3 capacity would be required to include plans for the design of methane gas controls in their proposals beginning the date the regulation is finalized, while operating landfills of 1.5 million m3 or more capacity would have to submit plans for the design and operaiton of gas controls by January 1, 2009. Operating landfills with gas controls already in place would be required to submit a report confirming that their systems are sufficient. If they are not, the landfill operator would have to submit plans for upgrading the control systems. Environment Minister Laurel Broten noted that the regulation will enable landfill operators to sell electricity generated from methane gas to electricity grid for profit, while limiting emissions of methane, a greenhouse gas 21 times more potent than carbon dioxide. The proposal has been posted to the Environmental Registry at www.ontario.ca/environmentalregistry (reference No 010-0968) for a 90-day comment period ending November 7, 2007.

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