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NYWEA Climate Change for Municipalities


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Climate change and effects on municipalities and POTWs

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NYWEA Climate Change for Municipalities

  1. 1. Climate Change & Water/Wastewater Operations Marc Karell, P.E. Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC NYWEA 2009 Spring Technical Conference & Exhibition West Point, NY June 2, 2009
  2. 2. Goals: Background and Why is This Important • Understand the basics of climate change and greenhouse gases (GHGs). • Learn how POTWs and water plants can take advantage of the new realities and develop an economically and socially beneficial carbon management program.
  3. 3. Is Climate Change for Real? Part 1: Global Warming Is Happening • Avg. global temp.  1.10F in past century. Real, and larger than that seen in any century. – Another 40F rise in next 35 years? • If continued, there will be long-term effects on: – our climate, – water supply, – diseases, – agricultural, tourist, insurance & oil markets. • Our economy and way of life • Together these effects are called: “Climate Change”
  4. 4. The Arctic is Melting
  5. 5. Potential Climate Change Effect Impacts
  6. 6. Is Climate Change for Real? Part 2: Causes of Climate Change • Certain compounds in our atmosphere trap heat, called “greenhouse gases” or GHGs. • From natural & man-made sources. – CO2 levels have risen by nearly 40% since industrial revolution – Global temp. rise correlates with activities • Large majority of scientists in field believe that man-made emissions contributes significantly to climate change.
  7. 7. From the Pew Center on Global Climate Change
  8. 8. Common GHGs GHG GWP Common POTW Sources CO2 1 Digester gas, combustion CH4 25 Influent, anaerobic digesters N2O 298 Nitrification HFCs wide range Refrigeration gases PFCs wide range SF6 22,800
  9. 9. Climate Change: Public Perception • 94% of respondents said the U.S. should take actions to limit its GHG emissions, at least as much as other developed countries do on average. • 73% said the U.S. should participate in Kyoto, up from 64% in 2002. Source: 2005 U.S. Ford Foundation-funded poll
  10. 10. Global Attempt to Address Issue: Reduce GHG Emissions • Because effect is global, action must be global. • To reverse effects: achieve global GHG reductions • Many nations under the auspices of the United Nations met in 1997 in Kyoto, Japan • Agreed to reduce global GHG emissions in 2008-12 by 5.2% relative to 1990 “Kyoto Protocol”
  11. 11. Kyoto Protocol Philosophy • Affected industries are those highest in fuel use: power, cement, glass, steel, paper • Different limits for different nations – “Developed” vs. “Developing” nations • Progress wherever reductions occur, even far away • Market-based. Cap and trade. Affected facilities have a limit, but may exceed it if they obtain “credits” from another. $ invested in GHG reductions can be made back by sale of credits. – GHG credits as money making currency
  12. 12. Where Things Stand in the U.S. • The Kyoto Protocol was not approved in the US. • Obama Administration and new Congress promised aggressive federal GHG emission reduction rules • Some states currently developing their own rules • There are additional economic drivers that make a GHG reduction program beneficial
  13. 13. U.S. GHG Programs • Current/future regulations – Northeast “RGGI” trading program – California AB-32 and Western Climate Initiative • Voluntary programs – USEPA “Climate Leaders” – USDOE “1605b” – Chicago Climate Exchange – The Climate Registry
  14. 14. RGGI Regulation - Here in NY • Market-based CO2 trading program involving power plants with units ≥25 MW: 10 NE states. • Affected states must meet total CO2 emissions equal to an early 2000’s baseline emissions this year and a 10% reduction by 2019. • Virtually all allowances will be auctioned. Thus, power plants must pay to emit CO2.
  15. 15. New Proposed Federal GHG Reporting Rule! • Applicable to any facility that emits >25,000 metric tons of CO2e/yr or facility in any of 20 source categories, which includes industrial wastewater treatment plants! • Must report 2010 emissions of GHGs by March 31, 2011 using accepted methods • Will be 40 CFR Part 98 • April 10, 2009 Fed. Register – Can still comment up until June 9
  16. 16. What an Industrial WWTP Must Report • Annual CH4 emissions from anaerobic wastewater treatment processes • Annual CO2, CH4, and N2O emissions from stationary combustion devices and flares.
  17. 17. Why Develop a Climate Change (CC) Program? Many Business (Non-regulatory) Reasons 1. $$$. The growing cost of energy – Actions that reduce energy usage reduce GHGs – Given the price of energy these days, much $$$ will be saved! – Example. DuPont claims they invested $120 million in CC (energy efficiency) programs in the 1990’s and as a result has saved over $3 billion in avoided energy costs
  18. 18. Why Develop a Climate Change (CC) Program? Many Business (Non-regulatory) Reasons 2. $$$. GHG emission reductions achieved and verified can become sellable credits, even in the US (the voluntary market). – Example. Blue Heron Paper Co. (OR) improved energy efficiency by 25% (191,000 metric tons GHGs/yr). Financial incentives, tax credits for project and a pledge to buy all verified GHG emission reduction credits.
  19. 19. Why Develop a Climate Change (CC) Program? Many Business (Non-regulatory) Reasons 3. Pressure from financial market, insurance, accounting, governmental bodies – Example. The Equator Principles gives financial institutions social and environmental benchmarks (including CC) to finance a project – Insurance companies are terrified about their costs of rising sea levels
  20. 20. Why Develop a Climate Change (CC) Program? Many Business (Non-regulatory) Reasons 4. CC risk – Usually, we are concerned with how a plant impacts the environment. For the first time, we are worried about how the environment will impact plant operations! – These may directly affect WWTP operations: • Flooding • Hot weather • Illness, lost productivity – More extreme rainfalls, changes in snowmelt patterns would result in greater short-term flows and challenge capacity design. • POTW operators are beginning to study this – “Climate Change Adaptation”
  21. 21. Physical Effects – Now!
  22. 22. Why Develop a Climate Change (CC) Program? Many Business (Non-regulatory) Reasons 5. Public relations – Just say “Climate Change” to Toyota and GE! – Further the climate change/sustainability goals of a municipality (NYC 2030) 6. Pleasing customers. Firms ask about the “carbon footprint” of products. Life Cycle Analysis (LCA) – Major retailers Wal-Mart, Tesco now request suppliers provide GHG information throughout product life cycle. – Example. CA entrepreneur performed LCA to compare proposed sludge treatment to form alternative fuel with conventional sludge treatment and endpoint (land application, on-site combustion, etc.)
  23. 23. GHG Emissions Along Product Life Cycle New Sales and Supply Production/ Recycling/ Investment/ Distribution Consumer Chain Operation End of Life Design End Use • Green Building • Emissions related • Emissions related • raw / input materials Emissions related to to energy demand to energy demand • raw / input materials Emissions related to of processes at end user filling facility processing related /to Emissions of raw • Emissions due to • input materialsraw / processing of storage, cooling usage • input materials Transport emissions • Transport emissions • Transport • Transport emissions emissions • Emissions related to energy demand for waste disposal recycling
  24. 24. Climate Change Opportunities for POTWs • Actions to reduce GHG emissions will lead to direct cost savings • Show progress to stakeholders and the public; positive social profile • Understand the physical, operational risks that Climate Change represent • Can Climate Change be an opportunity? (Hint, ask Toyota or GE)
  25. 25. Summary: Why Should a Municipality Invest in Carbon Management? • Reduce exposure to future rules, carbon trading • Direct economic benefits of GHG reductions • Carbon management should be part of overall planning – effects of future changes • Integrate GHG metrics into EH&S reporting • Respond to stakeholders, do the “right” thing • Carbon management as VALUE, not LIABILITY, as pollution is normally considered.
  26. 26. Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC • Nearly 25 years of experience in diverse climate change and air quality services: – GHG emission inventories – Strategies to achieve cost saving, beneficial reductions – Energy and green building assessments – LCAs – Emission inventories (criteria and toxics) – Air compliance audits – Permitting for maximum operational
  27. 27. “With regard to excellence, it is not enough to know, but we must try to have and use it.” - Aristotle 384-322 BC
  28. 28. Thank you. Questions? Marc Karell, P.E. Climate Change & Environmental Services, LLC 914-584-6720