Regulation Database – Municipal Solid Waste Landfills

New Source Performance Standard (NSPS) and Emission Guidelines for Existing Facilities

On August 29, 2016, EPA published final NSPS for new, modified, and reconstructed municipal solid waste landfills, and, in a separate rule, issued emission guidelines for existing facilities. The standards chiefly target methane emissions.

Rule Documents:

Deregulatory Action: 

On May 5, 2017, EPA announced that it would reconsider certain provisions of the methane standards for new and existing landfills. On May 22, 2017, EPA announced announced a 90-day administrative stay of the two rules that established methane emission standards for new and existing landfills, pending its reconsideration of the rules pursuant to to Executive Order 13783: Promoting Energy Independence and Economic Growth.

On June 16, 2017, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Clean Air Council, Clean Wisconsin, and Conservation Law Foundation filed a lawsuit challenging EPA’s decision to stay the landfill methane standards.  On January 31, 2018, petitioners voluntarily dismissed the case, explaining that the stay period had passed, and no new or existing landfills appeared to have been affected.

On October 30, 2018, EPA published a proposed rule to amend the greenhouse gas emissions guidelines for municipal landfills, which would postpone the due date for state plans promulgated pursuant to those guidelines. EPA finalized the rule on August 26, 2019.


The EPA rule postponing the due date was challenged by environmental groups on October 23, 2019. A coalition of states followed suit on October 25, 2019. On April 5, 2021, the court granted a request by EPA to vacate the rule.

Regulatory Action:

On May 10, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency issued the final federal plan for existing municipal solid waste landfills operated by any state, tribe or locale that has not submitted a satisfactory plan to reduce emissions of landfill gas in accordance with the Municipal Solid Waste Landfills Emission Guidelines that were issued in 2016. Landfills are a major source of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas.