Research Handbooks in Environmental Law series
Edited by Geert Van Calster, Wim Vandenberghe and Leonie Reins
Chapter 18: Challenges for controlling GHG emissions from US solid waste management: a summary of federal and exemplary US state efforts
The following provides an overview of the US state and federal regulatory responses to the challenges posed by accounting for and controlling greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from solid waste management. After a description of the primary challenges associated with controlling GHG emissions from this sector, along with a summary of the scope of US GHG emissions from solid waste management, a summary of the federal and state regulatory mechanisms is provided. Federal regulatory mechanisms in the US are limited at this time to GHG permitting and emissions reporting programs, and there appears to be little appetite among federal government regulators to increase the scope or intensity of these regulatory programs covering the solid waste management sector, apart from administrative efforts to moderately increase the stringency of technological controls for methane emissions. On the state level, only California has taken steps to impose comprehensive, economy-wide regulations intended to limit GHG emissions through the imposition of a cap-and-trade program. Yet, the effect of that program on operations within the solid waste management sector is somewhat limited.
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