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By Lynn L. Bergeson 

On February 24, 2022, EPA announced the selection of 11 organizations to receive a total of approximately $2 million in funding to divert food waste from landfills by expanding anaerobic digester capacity nationwide. Anaerobic digestion (AD) produces biogas that can be captured and used for energy production and digestate (a fertilizer product) by using microorganisms to break down organic materials, such as food scraps and manure, in the absence of oxygen. By reducing the amount of wasted food in landfills and consequently methane emissions, AD may reduce significantly the impacts of climate change. EPA’s food recovery hierarchy includes AD as a strategy that is preferable to landfilling and incineration, because it contributes to building a circular economy. Each of the selected organizations will receive between $150,000 and $200,000 over two years. A list of the selected projects is available here.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On April 8, 2021, from 12:00 to 1:30 p.m. (EDT), the Environmental Law Institute (ELI), in partnership with BioCycle and the American Biogas Council, will host a webinar titled “Food Scrap Recycling: Opportunities and Realities of Anaerobic Digestion.” The webinar will focus on anaerobic digestion and its ability to create biogas and digestate that can be used as renewable energy products. Registration is required via this link.


 

By Lynn L. Bergeson

On July 19, 2018, the bipartisan Carbon Utilization Act was introduced by Representatives Scott Peters (D-CA) and David Young (R-IA) to promote biogas and carbon capture utilization and sequestration (CCUS) technologies. Biogas is produced by converting organic waste material into CO2, methane, and other carbon products that then are captured by CCUS technologies to use as energy or fuel. The newly introduced bill incentivizes the use of innovative technologies for farmers, biotech businesses, research programs, and rural development programs.


 

On December 16, 2015, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Biogas Opportunities Roadmap Progress Report. The report shows the timeline of achievements that have been made since 2014 when the Roadmap was originally created, including the new Renewable Fuel Standard rule, streamlined REAP applications and scoring criteria, expanded biomass definitions, and increased funding for a larger range of biofuel projects. The Roadmap was originally created to take advantage of biogas systems to reduce methane emissions while producing enough energy to power over three million homes by encouraging cost-effective strategies for voluntary methane emission reductions. The report identifies next steps that will occur within the next two years to further this goal, including new modeling efforts for biogas, innovation challenges, and an EPA website for anaerobic digestion and biogas.