The Air Resources Board held its first AB 32 Mandatory Reporting workshop Wednesday, February 28. ARB staff released a draft list of sectors that will be among the first required to report GHG emissions. Landfills were not on the lsit.
Despite the fact that Landfills are the largest anthropogenic source of methane in the state, they will not be required to report GHG emissions for the foreseeabe future. ARB staff defended its position to "punt" on landfills, stating that there is too much uncertainty associated with the emissions from landfills and there is no protocal available to calculate the methane emissions from landfills.
It appears that developing a reporting protoal for landfills may also be on hold for now. Staff belive they need to wait for the results of the recently approved joint CEC/CIWMB study on landfill gas capture before moving ahead on landfills. This is a three year study.
While we agree with the assertion that there is uncertainty surrounding emissions from landfills, we disagree with the ARB's decision to defer development of a protocal and reporting of emissions. There is a measure of uncertainty attached to all GHG emission reporting. If uncertainty is the basis for not requiring reporting, the ARB should clearly lay out the factors and certainty thresholds necessary to move ahead.
This revelation makes the CEC landfill gas study all the more important. The CEC needs to ensure that the study is conducted as quickly as possible, without compromising the study's integrity.