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Trump Landfill Methane Emissions Rule Scrapped by Appeals Court

April 5, 2021, 7:51 PM

A Trump-era methane rule that delayed plans to control potent greenhouse gases from landfills was thrown out Monday by a federal appeals court in Washington, D.C.

The order came after the Biden administration asked the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit last month to voluntarily vacate the rule while the White House reviews a host of environmental rulemakings.

  • Trump’s rule slowed the implementation of 2016 methane emissions plans from 2019 to 2021. Its review was articulated as a priority in President Joe Biden’s January executive order on the environment.
  • The Biden team is now free to bypass the time-consuming repeal process and start fresh with new rulemaking on landfill emissions, which are third in overall U.S. methane production.
  • The 2016 regulation would have required new and existing landfills to install controls to capture emissions. Landfills continue to operate under a set of Clinton-era regulations.

The case is: Env’t. Def. Fund v. EPA, D.C. Cir., No. 19-1222, order to vacate and remand issued 4/5/21

To contact the reporter on this story: Jennifer Hijazi in Washington at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Rebecca Baker at