April 23, 2024 | AD & Biogas, Facilities, Food Waste, Policies + Regulations

Regulatory And Community Engagement Guides For AD Facilities

Top: Packaged food items awaiting depackaging prior to digestion with dairy manure. Photo courtesy Reinford Farms, Mifflintown, Pennsylvania

The Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association, the Northeast Recycling Council, Clean & Healthy New York, and the Connecticut Coalition for Economic and Environmental Justice received a U.S. EPA grant in 2022 to develop guidance and training on environmental justice (EJ) engagement and regulatory compliance to support anaerobic digestion (AD) of food waste in communities in the Northeast. The project deliverables, “Anaerobic Digestion & Environmental Justice: Solutions for Wasted Food Webinar Series & Materials” are available and include:

  • Introductory Roadmap: “What’s AD and How Can I Get Involved?” is designed to help municipal officials and residents in EJ communities where AD facilities may be located understand the basics of AD, the overall regulatory landscape, and the opportunities available for meaningful engagement in decision-making.
  • Community Engagement Guide: Guidance covers the process of assessing possible locations for a new AD facility. For example, entities should consider the geographic constraints for siting the facility (e.g., proximity to food waste sources), the socioeconomic conditions in the communities identified as suitable venues for the planned AD facility, which locations in non-EJ areas are viable, the health and environmental impacts of the AD facility’s operations, and what safeguards, contingency, and emergency plans will be put in place to ensure the safety of the surrounding community.
  • Regulatory Guide: Document helps AD developers garner a baseline of required permits for construction of new AD facilities that accept food waste. Factsheets are provided for the Northeast States of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Vermont.

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