Last week, EPA’s Landfill Methane Outreach Program (LMOP) held its 17th annual conference at the Hilton Hotel in Baltimore, MD, with a long-since sold-out exhibitor slate and an excess of 700 preregistered attendees…a new record for the event. Sadly, freezing conditions and an unhealthy coating of snow carved into the number of those who were able to overcome mother nature’s impediments to travel, yet the show floor, presentations, and networking events were hotbeds of activity.
Each year, LMOP recognizes select Partners for excellence in innovation and creativity, success in promoting renewable energy development, and achievement of environmental and economic benefits through successful landfill gas (LFG) energy projects. These award-winning LFG energy projects and Partners contribute to job creation and a cleaner energy future.
On January 22, 2014, Partners accepted the following awards at LMOP's 17th Annual Conference and Project Expo in Baltimore, Maryland:
Projects of the Year
Blue Ridge Renewable Energy Plant, Pennsylvania: Having traversed numerous obstacles (e.g., shopping mall, interstate, wetlands) during its construction, a 4-mile “extension cord” now connects PPL Renewable Energy’s 6.4-MW LFG electricity plant at IESI Blue Ridge Landfill with the Borough of Chambersburg’s Cree substation. The plant supplies 15% of this municipal utility’s 11,000 customers’ energy needs and made it possible to lower their electricity payments. An example of determination in overcoming the odds, successful completion of this project was particularly satisfying as interconnection-related issues had thwarted other developers’ attempts at the site for years.
Seminole Road Landfill Renewable Fuels Facility, Georgia: Flaring excess LFG and running 40 diesel-fueled garbage trucks, DeKalb County decided that self-developing a renewable natural gas (RNG) and renewable compressed natural gas (RCNG) project was the way to go. Bolstered by $7 million in funding via the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the county built a Renewable Fuels Facility and purchased 40 new CNG-fueled waste collection vehicles. About 550 standard cubic feet per minute of LFG is cleaned to create RNG, partially for delivery to an Atlanta Gas Light pipeline with the rest dried and compressed to become RCNG. An onsite fueling station offers the RCNG to county vehicles and the public at the low price of $2.10 per gallon gasoline equivalent.
Community Partner of the Year
Gaston County Solid Waste and Recycling Division: North Carolina’s sustainability goals in 2008 included reducing landfill emissions, producing renewable energy, and providing infrastructure for a new Eco-Industrial Park. With a voluntary gas collection system installed, a self-developed LFG electricity project (2.8 MW) in operation, and grading and utility hookups in place at the park, the county is well on its way to realizing all of its main objectives. The county plans to make excess LFG as well as waste heat from the LFG electricity project available to future tenants of the park, intended to help green businesses thrive. Potential tenants include a biodiesel facility and a foodwaste anaerobic digester.
This was the 15th LMOP conference I’ve had the pleasure of attending (I missed the first and then last year’s because of schedule conflicts), and each year the program posts new levels of achievement.
As I’ve said many times in the past, LMOP is, in my humble opinion, EPA’s crowning achievement…a program that exists to benefit all the constituents involved with landfill gas. What a thought.
What’s with the title?
Many, many, many years ago—back before we all got too serious about ourselves—Johnnie Lee Wills and Deacon Anderson published a novelty song named “Rag Mop.” Perhaps more appropriately it was known as “Ragg Mopp,” because in order for the lyrics to match the meter, the spelling required an extra G and extra P…thus R-A-G-G M-O-P-P, Rag Mop, Doo-doo-doo-Dah-dee-ah-dah, Rag Mop.
Such astute characters of the time as Elvis Presley, Cecil the Seasick Sea Serpent (of the Time for Beanie TV show), and Alvin and the Chipmunks made good use of the nonsense lyrics, which had reached their zenith in the hands of the Ames Brothers, whose rendition reached No. 1 on Billboard magazine’s charts in early 1950.
Shows what used to be possible without an agenda.