The past two years, Northeast Waste Management Officials’ Association (NEWMOA) and Northeast Recycling Council (NERC) have worked collaboratively along with partners Clean and Healthy New York and the Connecticut Coalition for Economic and Environmental Justice (CT EEJ) to develop informative resources for anaerobic digestion (AD) facilities to be able to effectively navigate the regulatory requirements and engage with communities when siting and operating an AD facility.

The project was aimed at expanding awareness of AD as an option for diverting food waste across the northeast. The project was funded by a grant from EPA Region 2. Four free webinars were hosted by NEWMOA and NERC to provide information on how to reduce wasted food, the process of siting an AD facility, AD operators’ perspectives, and best practices for engaging environmental justice communities when siting and operating an AD facility. Over 970 individuals registered.

Additionally, the following resources were developed in collaboration with the project steering committee:

  • A Regulatory Guide to the Northeast States’ Air, Water, and Solid Waste Anaerobic Digestion Facility Permitting Processes
  • Best Practices Guide for Community Engagement with Environmental Justice Populations About Anaerobic Digestion
  • What’s Anaerobic Digestion and How Do I Get Involved? (English Version)
  • What’s Anaerobic Digestion and How Do I Get Involved? (Spanish Version)

The regulatory guide provides a breakdown of the regulatory landscape around anaerobic digestion for the U.S. and the eleven northeast states. This includes information about air, water, waste, and environmental justice requirements, and contact information for different state agencies.

The community engagement guide offers best practices for engaging with environmental justice communities and describes the steps to take to endure a successful relationship with the community to achieve success in launching or continuing operations. Informational flyers were developed in English and Spanish to support outreach efforts of AD operators in engaging communities in which they seek to operate in.

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