Washington state aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and one way is to capture natural gas emissions at landfills and to use the methane for biofuels.

State legislation to reduce emissions would require methane collection systems at large landfills.

A capture system employs a vacuum inside the landfill to draw the rising gas back down through pipes to a storage location. There, the methane is processed into natural gas or burned off in a flare system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates that current technology can capture 60% to 90% of a landfill’s methane emissions.

A Washington state bill, which recently passed both houses of the Legislature, aims at regulating the capture of methane emissions from Washington landfills. The bill would require the owner or operator of an active covered landfill with 450,000 tons or more of waste in place to estimate the quantity of gas generated by the landfill. California and Oregon have similar landfill emissions rules in place.

Read more: energynews.us