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Landfill Methane Emission Reduction Grant

Ecology, Department of
Title of action
Landfill Methane Emission Reduction Grant
Date significant agency action was initiated
Tuesday, March 5, 2024
New grant or loan program
Brief description of significant agency actions for which the agency is initiating an environmental justice assessment.
Owners and operators of Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) Landfills in Washington must meet new requirements (RCW 70A.540) to reduce emission of methane gas, a potent greenhouse gas emitted by landfills. Under the new law, MSW owners and operators may be required to improve technology and performance of current systems in place, such as installing gas collection and control equipment or upgrading current equipment, increase monitoring requirements as well as record keeping and reporting. The 2023-25 Washington State Budget includes $15 million to establish a grant program and help offset the cost for landfill owners and operators to meet the new requirements. Landfills are a significant source of methane emissions in Washington. Ecology’s most recent Greenhouse Gas inventory reported approximately 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions from landfills, which was approximately 2% of the state’s total GHG emissions in 2018. Additionally, methane has underlying cardiovascular, respiratory, and neurological implications. Communities adjacent to MSW landfills, especially those considered “overburdened,” may be concerned about the potential public health and additional downstream effects of uncontrolled methane emissions. While communities are not eligible entities, they
Methods for providing public comment for agency consideration as part of the environmental justice assessment.
Beginning in 2024, Ecology will conduct community engagement with overburdened communities on related air quality programs and funding opportunities. We are hoping to reduce redundancy for communities by trying to collaborate across teams for shared engagement activities for grants of similar kinds in the same program. Although specific events are yet to be planned, we are hoping to hear from communities through interviews, questionnaires, and community meetings to inform this grant program.