On September 17, 2014, both the Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) and the National Waste & Recycling Association (NW&RA), released comments regarding the new EPA standards found within the Standards of Performance for Municipal Solid Waste Landfills.
It is important to note that the NW&RA and SWANA represent the private and municipal/public waste and recycling industries in the US. Both departments are concerned about the affects of the new ruling, which has sparked joint comments from both of them respectively.
Sharon H. Kneiss, the NW&RA president and CEO, and John Skinner, Ph.D., SWANA executive director and CEO, sent joint comments to the EPA regarding the new unnecessary regulations.
Their statements concluded that “Landfills are a critical component in the spectrum of waste management options in the United States, but the latest round of regulations proposed by the EPA create significant, undue burden..” and that the “EPA’s proposed new rule and cost analysis substantially underestimates the number of existing landfills that will be affected.”
It is apparent then, that many in both the private and public sector are not happy with these proposed regulations. Their statements reflect the inefficiencies that these regulations may cause, along with the costs and potential violations without providing any genuine environmental benefit.
The joint comments from the NW&RA and SWANA, highlight the lack of research that the EPA conducted prior to releasing their new proposed landfill standards. For example, the financial impact on current landfill and recycling plants can hamper modifications to facilities as well as any progress already made. In fact, the EPA’s data only included costs on landfills opening in 2014 and later, which overlooks a large number of facilities.
The cost of adhering to the EPA’s new regulations could potential reach millions of dollars, especially when it comes to expanding and upgrading infrastructure. This added financial burden could cause plants to shut down, leaving few options for the public to choose from.
The EPA will not release its final ruling until next year, so it is hoped that these comments could possibly alter the final regulation standards to better suit the economic climate.