Municipal Solid Waste Landfill New Source Performance Standards

The Environmental & Energy Law Program is tracking the environmental regulatory rollbacks of the Trump administration. Click here for the list of rules we are following. If you’re a reporter and would like to speak with an expert on this rule please email us.

Why it Matters

When the waste in landfills decomposes, methane, carbon dioxide, and other often toxic gases are released. These rules require emissions reductions from municipal landfills, targeting the powerful greenhouse gas methane.

Current Status

Litigation is pending over the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) delay of the rule while it reconsiders the rule.


On August 29, 2016 EPA finalized two rules targeting methane emissions from new and existing landfills. They were scheduled to go into effect on October 28, 2016.

Industry petitioned EPA for reconsideration on October 27, 2016.

Trump Era

On May 5, 2017 Administrator Pruitt sent a letter to industry, announcing that EPA would reconsider several aspects of the landfill rules.

On May 31, 2017 EPA published its decision to reconsider several issues in the landfill rules and to delay the rules for 90 days.

On June 16, 2017 environmental groups sued EPA over the 90-day delay. NRDC et al. v. EPA, No. 17-1157 (D.C. Cir.)

On August 4, 2017 the environmental groups asked the court to vacate EPA’s administrative stay of the landfill rule.

On September 28, 2017 the court denied the environmental groups’ request to vacate the stay. Since the 90-day delay is now over, the rule should be in effect. Therefore, the court ordered parties to submit briefs on “whether the lawsuit is now moot.”

The petitioners brief, submitted on November 20, 2017, can be found here.

On March 23, 2018 seven state attorneys general notified EPA they will sue in 60 days over its failure to enforce the 2016 regulation.

For More Information

For more on the history of the Municipal Solid Waste Landfill NSPS Rules see their entry in the Columbia University Sabin Center for Climate Change Law’s database. Also see Sabin’s Climate Deregulation Tracker for additional updates.

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