As one key approach to mitigating climate change, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created a series of voluntary partnerships—the AgSTAR Program, Landfill Methane Outreach Program, and Natural Gas STAR/Methane Challenge Program—to help the agricultural, municipal solid waste, and oil and natural gas industries reduce their anthropogenic methane emissions. These programs provide their partners with technical assistance and information, host and present at events to encourage methane reduction activities, enable partners to share experiences and lessons learned, and track key industry data. Successful implementation of voluntary partnerships requires an infrastructure to provide the information, tools, and coordination necessary to engage and support partners on an ongoing basis—and to tackle the complex task of obtaining the industry data necessary to track and report methane reduction achievements.
For many years, ERG has provided technical, data, outreach, and communications support to help these three programs achieve their goals.
- For AgSTAR, ERG updates the AgSTAR project database which tracks details of all U.S. manure-based anaerobic digestion systems and calculates project emission reductions. ERG also developed a strategy to help focus AgSTAR’s outreach and communications efforts.
- For LMOP, ERG researched, wrote, reviewed, and edited a resource about the creation of renewable natural gas from biogas; updated RNG cost data/calculations and added job creation and other economic benefits from RNG projects to the program’s cost model; and created new interactive data visualization features for the LMOP website.
- For Natural Gas STAR/Methane Challenge, ERG reviewed and compiled data reported to the program, updated the Natural Gas STAR and Methane Challenge accomplishments webpages, and updated the individual company partner profile webpages. ERG also developed background documents that discuss emission mitigation technologies across the oil and gas supply chain.