DEP’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee will hear a presentation at its January 21 meeting on how waste-to-energy facilities can help Pennsylvania meets its obligations under the EPA Clean Power Climate rule.
David Vollero, Executive Director of the York County Solid Waste Authority, Jim Warner, Chief Executive Officer, Lancaster County Solid Waste Management Authority, and Michael E. Van Brunt, Director of Sustainability from Covanta Energy will be making the presentation.
In comments provided to DEP during its listening sessions last year on the EPA Clean Power Rule, the Energy Recovery Council said Pennsylvania’s six waste-to-energy facilities reduced the emission of more than 3 million tons of greenhouse gases from processing more than 8,700 tons of trash per day in 2012.
Waste-to-energy facilities represented about one-third of Pennsylvania’s non-hydro renewable electricity in 2012 and a baseload electric generation capacity of 268 megawatts.
According to U.S. EPA, life cycle emission analysis shows waste-to-energy facilities actually reduce the amount of greenhouse gases expressed as CO2 equivalents (GHGs or CO2e) in the atmosphere by approximately 1 ton for every ton of municipal solid waste combusted.
Waste-to-energy achieves these reductions in greenhouse gas emission through three separate mechanisms: 1) by generating electrical power or steam, waste-to-energy avoids carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from fossil fuel based electrical generation, 2) the waste-to-energy combustion process effectively avoids all potential methane emissions from landfills thereby avoiding any potential release of methane in the future and 3) the recovery of ferrous and nonferrous metals from MSW by waste-to-energy is more energy efficient than production from raw materials – thereby avoiding CO2 from fossil fuel combustion.
The Committee will also hear updates on Pennsylvania’s Recycling Program and on the economic impact of the recycling industry in the Commonwealth.
The meeting will be held in Room 105 Rachel Carson Building starting at 10:00.
For more information, visit DEP’s Solid Waste Advisory Committee webpage. DEP Contact: Keith Ashley, Bureau of Waste Management, 400 Market Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101, 717-787-2553, firstname.lastname@example.org.(Note: Crisci Associates represents Covanta Energy in Pennsylvania.)
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