Unit 7.1: Federal Regulation


Anaerobic digestion (AD) influences the handling, storage, and transport of waste streams directly affecting environmental impact and safety.  The design and management of these operations are in turn regulated in the United States by federal, state, and local agencies.  Although AD systems have been used within the US for a number of decades, regulation of these systems has developed independently by location, and is inconsistent across the country.  Depending upon operation and design, anaerobic digestion systems can fall into a number of regulatory realms.  Generally, AD systems are regulated through agencies that commonly oversee operations for solid waste, waste water treatment plants (WWTP), permitted agricultural facilities, hazardous waste facilities, composting operations, and combined authority of these regulatory agencies or others depending upon the location of the operation.  This module will outline general permitting requirements and regulatory issues common to AD systems.  The information presented is intended to give an overview of regulatory concerns for implementation of an on-farm digester; a more detailed analysis will be required on a site-by-site basis for implementation.

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