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Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting, Reduction, and Verification Options for Wastewater Treatment Facilities

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For many local governments, emissions from wastewater treatment plants constitute a significant portion of their greenhouse gas inventory and represent one of the most promising opportunities for emissions reduction projects. Yet standardized, accurate accounting standards for emissions from wastewater treatment plants are in their nascent stages in the US. However, recent developments in three areas demonstrate progress in this area 1) The adoption of a consensus based standard for organization/government wide accounting of GHG emissions from wastewater by key voluntary programs, 2) The development of national and state-wide reporting standards that could eventually lead to opportunities to value reductions under a future cap-andtrade system and 3) the growing use of Clean Development Mechanism methodologies in voluntary GHG offset markets. This study examines the current status of GHG emissions quantification and reduction methodologies for wastewater plants and the key components of a framework that will provide value to emerging programs.

Keywords: Greenhouse gas; Greenhouse gas emissions; Greenhouse gas inventory; carbon offset; climate change; emissions trading; greenhouse gas reductions; methane capture and destruction; wastewater treatment

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: January 1, 2009

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  • Proceedings of the Water Environment Federation is an archive of papers published in the proceedings of the annual Water Environment Federation® Technical Exhibition and Conference (WEFTEC® ) and specialty conferences held since the year 2000. These proceedings are not peer reviewed.

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