Regulations proposed for landfill methane control

Environment and Climate Change Canada has proposed new federal regulations governing landfill methane emissions.

Regulations Respecting the Reduction in the Release of Methane (Waste Sector) would require landfills to control methane emissions and ensure landfill gas-recovery systems capture as much methane as possible.

The proposed regulations would provide a consistent regulatory approach to reduce landfill methane emissions across the country in publicly and privately owned landfills that have received municipal solid waste. More specifically, owners and operators of regulated landfills that are estimated to generate methane above regulation thresholds would be required to comply with and monitor methane concentration limits on the landfill surface, limit venting of methane to the atmosphere, and detect and repair methane leaks.

To help assist with compliance costs that some landfills may incur, the Canada Community-Building Fund provides $2.4 billion in funding every year to provinces and territories who, in turn, distribute this funding to communities for strategic investments in essential infrastructure, including solid waste management infrastructure. This funding could support communities who develop landfill gas management infrastructure projects to comply with the proposed Regulations.

The proposed regulations would aim to reduce methane emissions from Canadian landfills by about 50 percent by 2030 (from 2019 levels). They would contribute to Canada’s commitment to reducing global methane emissions by at least 30 percent below 2020 levels under the Global Methane Pledge. They would also help Canada reach its emissions reduction target of 40 to 45 percent below 2005 levels by 2030 and net-zero emissions by 2050.

Stakeholders, interested parties, and Canadians are invited to review the proposed regulations and provide feedback by August 28, 2024.