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Methane/Landfill Gas Collection System Operators

History

The public's awareness of environmental issues was raised in the 1960s and 1970s, when many environmental regulations were introduced to reduce and prevent pollution and other hazards. The Clean Air Act was enacted in 1970 to protect the public's health and welfare by regulating emissions of hazardous air pollutants. This act has been amended in the years since and now includes strict regulations that mandate landfills of certain sizes install and operate landfill gas collection and control systems. The reason for this regulation is that landfills contain municipal solid waste that decomposes into organic waste that produces biogas. Biogas contains methane, which is dangerous to the environment and people because it's flammable.

As described by the U.S. Energy Information Administration, municipal solid waste landfills can be a good source of energy. The methane that is produced as a byproduct of landfills is the "same energy-rich gas found in natural gas, which is used for heating, cooking, and producing electricity." Some landfills control the methane gas emissions simply by burning or flaring methane gas. Many landfills collect and treat biogas, then sell the methane, and some landfills generate electricity by using methane gas.  

Companies today continue to need methane/landfill gas collection system operators to help them monitor and maintain landfill gas projects. Their work helps to ensure that methane/landfill extraction systems are meeting operational plans and goals.  

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