EPA WARM Tool Now Includes Anaerobic Digestion


ABC Regulatory Alert:
EPA WARM Tool, which Calculates GHG Reduction from Recycling, Now Includes Anaerobic Digestion

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has acted on the American Biogas Council (ABC) request to look into the widely used WARM tool, which solid waste managers use to measure how much in emissions can be saved by using alternate waste management options. Originally it did not include anaerobic digestion as an option for handling organics. In a few months, and with the expertise volunteered by some of your fellow members, we’re excited to share with you the result and announce one more place where anaerobic digestion is included. Not only should this new updated tool be helpful to you, it will also benefit solid waste managers and government officials with whom you’re working. It will show them quantitatively how beneficial biogas systems are to reducing harmful air emissions compared to other methods of managing organic material.

WHAT IS WARM?

The EPA’s Waste Reduction Model (WARM) was developed for solid waste managers (from state and local governments and other organizations) who want to calculate the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions associated with different waste management options. For example, how much in GHGs would one save by composting food waste instead of landfilling it? Now we can measure how much is saved by digesting it.

For the first time, the just released WARM Tool Version 14, features energy and emission factors for the anaerobic digestion of organic materials, including food waste, yard trimmings, and mixed organics. Before, it only included the following waste management options: source reduction, traditional recycling, landfilling, combustion and composting. Now AD is added to that list. For AD, the WARM Tool will evaluate the energy and emissions associated with:

  • Transporting materials
  • Operating the digester
  • Avoided utility emissions from biogas combustion
  • Avoided fertilizer application and fugitive emissions
  • Soil carbon storage resulting from application of digestate to agricultural soils

In addition, the anaerobic digestion pathway in WARM includes options for the user to model both a wet AND dry digester system and even allows the user to model his/her application of digestate to agricultural soils with and without curing.

Links

Main EPA WARM page
WARM Version 14 (now including AD)
Direct Link to the Ver. 14 WARM Excel Spreadsheet

Solid waste managers or government officials should use the newly updated tool, which can show them quantitatively how beneficial biogas systems are to reducing harmful air emissions.

ABC’s Federal Policy Team:

Maureen Walsh, ABC Lobbyist
(202) 681-6092, maureen@dc-groupllc.com
 
Patrick Serfass, ABC Executive Director
(202) 640-6595, pserfass@ttcorp.com
 
Amy McCrae Kessler, ABC Director and Federal Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee Co-Chair
(845) 259-8400, amy.kessler@turningearthllc.com
 
John Hanselman, Federal Legislative and Regulatory Affairs Committee Co-Chair
(617) 480-1448, jhanselman@vanguardrenewables.com
 

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