The MWMC is embarking on an exciting project to purify biogas – a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process – in order to produce renewable natural gas (RNG). Producing RNG is a win for the community and the environment. The project will reduce greenhouse gas emissions, fully utilize a byproduct of the wastewater treatment process, and potentially provide an additional revenue source.

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Biogas flare

Timeline

Construction is currently underway on biogas purification facilities, and a pipeline to connect to NW Natural’s utility grid is being built as well. The MWMC’s goal is to start producing RNG in 2021.

Environmental Benefits

The MWMC is committed to protecting the environment and recovering resources from the wastewater treatment process. There are many environmental benefits of producing RNG:

  • Using RNG replaces fossil fuels with a clean vehicle fuel to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The MWMC expects an annual reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of as much as 7,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents. That’s equal to removing 1,600 passenger vehicles from the road.
  • Utilizing RNG rather than fossil fuels is an important step toward meeting the City of Eugene’s climate change policies. With RNG, we close the loop on waste and provide meaningful emissions reduction that supports Eugene’s Community Climate Action Plan.
  • Methane is a natural byproduct of the wastewater treatment process. Producing RNG will allow all of the gas to be beneficially used.
  • RNG is a clean vehicle fuel that can offset dirtier fossil fuels like diesel, resulting in air quality benefits.

Treatment plant and Willamette River

Financial Benefits

RNG will potentially provide the MWMC with an additional revenue source, by selling the gas and its renewable fuel credits to an off-taker that will use it for fueling vehicles.

Safety First

The MWMC is committed to the safety of the community, its neighbors, and employees. The MWMC has preventative measures in place to ensure safety with Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) at the wastewater treatment plant, including maintenance practices, staff training, and equipment requirements. Biogas, which is similar to RNG, has been safely handled at the wastewater treatment plant in Eugene since it began operating in the 1950s.

NW Natural has one of the tightest and most modern pipeline systems in the nation. It was one of the first gas utilities in the U.S. to remove cast iron and bare steel piping from its system – and replace it with high quality coated steel or polyethylene pipe. NW Natural works closely with regulators to ensure its system is safe and reliable, in order to meet or exceed all state and federal regulations.

Biogas pipe

Resources

Contact

Mark Van Eeckhout, Project Manager
541.736.7126
mvaneeckhout@springfield-or.gov

Loralyn Spiro, Lead Communications Coordinator
541.726.2233
lspiro@springfield-or.gov