Proposed project will convert landfill gas to energy

Rumpke Waste and Recycling is in the early stages of build a plant to turn gases created at the landfill near Medora into an energy source

The Indiana Department of Environmental Management is considering granting the Cincinnati, Ohio-based company an air permit for the project, which will emit air pollutants. The permit process includes a 30-day public comment period, which ends April 13.

A copy of IDEM’s preliminary findings including a draft permit and supporting documents are available at the Jackson County Public Library at 27 W. Main St. in Medora and IDEM’s Southeast Regional Office at 820 W. Sweet St., Brownstown. You also can visit IDEM’s website to find a copy of the permit and search for using the permit number 42493.

Hillary Ladig, corporate communications coordinator for Rumpke, explained the intentions of the project.

”Last year, we signed an agreement with Archaea Energy to construct and manage a landfill gas-to-energy facility at our landfill in Medora. Recovering landfill gas reduces greenhouse gases and provides the community access to clean energy,” she said. “We are currently in the permitting phase of the project, obtaining the necessary modifications to our existing solid waste and air permits.”

While there is no definitive launch date, Ladig said the plant is anticipated to be up and running sometime next year.

She also explained how the process will work.

”Landfill gas is produced through the natural process of waste decomposition,” she said. “Once the Medora gas plant is operational, it will function like this: A series of gas wells and pipes will collect and funnel landfill gas to the on-site plant. The plant will separate carbon dioxide from methane gas and other trace gases to create clean, recycled natural gas. Archaea will then send the natural gas to a local pipeline to be shared as a renewable energy source for the region.”

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Comments from the public about the project will be taken until April 13.

Contact Tamara Havics of the Indiana Department of Environmental Management Office of Air Quality at 800-451-6027, Ext. 2-8219, or email [email protected].