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On Nov. 4, the EPA announced initial public engagement and input opportunities for new and existing programs funded by the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA). The aim of these programs is to deliver substantial emissions reductions to tackle climate change, improve public health, and reduce pollution in overburdened communities.

The EPA’s Request for Information (RFI) aims to collect public comments on a range of questions in a set of six non-regulatory dockets including climate pollution reduction grants, transportation programs, and low emissions electricity program and greenhouse gas corporate reporting.

Also this month, the EPA proposed strengthened standards to further reduce methane and other harmful air pollution. The proposed updates would result in more comprehensive emissions reductions from oil and natural gas facilities. The goal of these expanded standards is to protect communities, combat climate change, and foster innovation.

In other environmental updates, we highlight the following in our Compliance News:

Ask an Expert: Inflation Reduction Act

BC expert Adam Ross shares insights on the new IRA and how it may help you fund your solids and biogas related projects. Read “Ask an Expert”


The U.S. Supreme Court’s 2022 fall docket opened with Sackett v. EPA , which will determine which test courts should use to decide which waters are “waters of the United States” (WOTUS).

RCRA MPU exemption decision

A recent decision by an EPA administrative law judge rejected an EPA argument of its interpretation of the Manufacturing Process Unit (MPU) exemption under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), which may lead to more leeway regarding MPU exemptions.

EPA proposes crackdown on fugitive emissions exemptions

A proposed rule issued by the EPA on Oct. 13 signifies the agency’s intent to include additional large industrial sources in the requirements to account for “fugitive emissions” in determining whether a physical or an operational change at their facility is a “major modification.”

Ask an Expert: Inflation Reduction Act funding opportunities for solids and biogas projects

In this month’s feature, BC expert Adam Ross provides insight on how the Inflation Reduction Act may benefit water industry construction projects.

Question: Does the Inflation Reduction Act have any opportunities for water industry projects?

Answer: Brown and Caldwell VP Adam RossIn August, President Biden signed into law the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022 (IRA) aimed at curbing inflation through a variety of initiatives. The law also authorized $391 billion in provisions related to climate change and energy security. This represents the largest investment in climate change in U.S. history.

What you should know

If your facility is currently in construction or will be constructing a solids and biogas related project, you may be eligible to receive up to 50% of the construction cost back as a direct payment from the federal government. This is the result of the IRA’s extension and amendment of the pre-existing Investment Tax Credit (ITC) , and creation of a new Clean Electricity Investment Tax Credit. Some important highlights:

  • Direct pay. Tax-exempt organizations, such as municipalities and water authorities or utilities, are now eligible to take advantage of the ITC, which was previously only available to tax-paying entities.
  • Qualified biogas properties. Qualified biogas facilities have been added to the list of eligible energy properties, which was previously limited to solar, wind, and the like. Biogas projects that capture gas for sale or productive use are now eligible. Qualified biogas property means the system converts biomass to biogas (CH4>52% by volume) and captures the gas for sale or productive use. The IRS is expected to provide further guidance on eligible components for each type of qualified biogas property.
  • Zero carbon electricity. New technology-neutral zero carbon emission ITC for power generation begins in 2025.
  • Clean fuel. New alternative transportation fuel Production Tax Credit for biogas upgrading to renewable natural gas begins in 2025 and is in addition to renewable identification numbers (RINs).

Move your energy projects forward with confidence

Taking advantage of the IRA may enable you to advance projects ahead of your initial schedule based on availability of funds or receipt of tax credits. The potential certainty of the IRA means that the credits can be plugged into the feasibility/alternatives analysis during the planning and decision-making phase.

Eligible water resource recovery facility projects

Facilities with construction starting prior to Jan. 1, 2025 (ITC):

  • Biogas CHP
  • Biogas RNG
  • Biogas cleaning/conditioning and upgrading
  • Digesters
  • Solar
  • Energy storage

For projects with construction starting between 2025 and 2032 (Clean Electricity ITC):

  • Biogas CHP
  • Other electricity generation technologies with zero carbon emissions

Here at BC, we are helping clients figure out what type of projects are eligible and what portions of their projects are eligible for funding. We are monitoring guidance from the IRS on how these credits can best be leveraged.

About the experts

Meghan Krishnayya, Indianapolis, is the Director of Technical Practices for Brown and Caldwell, with 25 years of experience in municipal and industrial markets. She guides strategies to deliver client value through differentiated technical solutions and expertise, with a personal passion around compliance; permitting; and Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals.

Adam Ross is a Brown and Caldwell Vice President and Area Leader for California’s Central Valley-Tahoe Area. As a mechanical and civil engineer with more than 20 years of experience, Adam’s technical specialty is anaerobic digestion, biogas utilization, renewable energy, and co-digestion of organic waste. He is based in California.

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