EPIC Releases Paper on Regulatory Challenges Related to Biogas


Scott Anders, Director, Energy Policy Initiatives Center (619) 260-4589

Ashley Wood, Director of Communications, USD School of Law (619) 260-4097



Energy Policy Initiatives Center Releases Report on Converting Cow Manure to Biogas

Report details regulatory challenges associated with biogas production on California’s dairy farms

[Download Report]

San Diego, Calif., August 21, 2007—The Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC), a nonprofit research center at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law today released a report that provides a detailed review of the regulatory challenges facing California’s dairy farmers who want to produce renewable biogas using manure and other agricultural materials.Biogas is produced through a biological process called anaerobic digestion, in which bacteria convert organic materials into biogas in an oxygen-free environment.


“Converting cow manure and other agricultural wastes to a clean and useful energy sources helps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by capturing methane that would otherwise have been released into the atmosphere,” according to Scott Anders, EPIC’s director and author of the report. “It also creates a renewable gas that can replace traditional natural gas for electricity generation and, because other organic wastes can be mixed with manure, biogas production can help to divert organic materials away from our landfills.”


The report provides background information on how biogas is produced and used; identifies challenges or issues of uncertainty related to air quality, water quality, solid waste management, electricity, and natural gas regulation; and recommends ways to encourage biogas production in California.


“Biogas production via anaerobic digestion has attracted significant attention as a viable greenhouse gas reduction strategy, largely because methane is a potent greenhouse gas with 21 times the global warming potential of carbon dioxide,” said Anders. “But regulations related to biogas are still evolving as the industry grows, so it is important to identify current regulations that might create disincentives and to identify issues that need further attention to ensure that biogas can play a vital role in our greenhouse gas reduction strategy.”


To download copies executive summary and full report, please see the EPIC website at www.sandiego.edu/epic/publications/.


Energy Policy Initiatives Center (EPIC)

EPIC is an academic and research center of the University of San Diego School of Law that studies how energy policy issues affect the San Diego County region and California. EPIC integrates research and analysis, law school study and public education, and provides legal and policy expertise and information about efficient and environmentally responsible solutions to our future energy needs.


USD School of Law

The University of San Diego School of Law is a center of academic excellence focused on preparing its students for legal practice in the new century.One of the most selective law schools in the country, the School of Law’s nationally recognized faculty create a demanding, yet welcoming environment that emphasizes individualized education.USD law school graduates consistently score higher than the state average on the California Bar Exam and go on to practice law throughout the country and abroad, forming an influential network of alumni.The USD School of Law is one of only 80 law schools in the country to have a chapter of The Order of the Coif, the most distinguished rank of American law schools. The school is accredited by the American Bar Association and is a member of the Association of American Law Schools.Founded in 1954, the law school is part of the University of San Diego, a private, nonprofit, independent, Roman Catholic university chartered in 1949. Please visit the Web site at www.law.sandiego.edu for more information.