Terrebonne Landfill | Methane release detected by satellite

GHGSat satellites detected a large methane leak from the Complexe Enviro Connexions landfill in Terrebonne on Wednesday afternoon.

Posted at 5:00 am.

Jean-Thomas Leveille

Jean-Thomas Leveille

With an estimated emission rate of 1.2 tons per hour, it’s a “pretty serious” release, he said. Press Jean-François Gauthier, vice president of measurements and strategic initiatives at GHGSat, the world leader in satellite methane detection.

“This is comparable to what we saw from the maintenance activity on the gas pipeline where we had to release some of the gas. [contenu dans la conduite] “, he describes.

“It’s still very important for a Canadian landfill because most sites in Canada are managed sites with waterproof drip layers and gas collection systems,” explains Gauthier. “What we’re seeing here is generally on a smaller scale. »


A satellite image showing methane emissions above the Complex Enviro Connexions landfill in Terrebonne on Wednesday

Mr Gauthier says it is impossible to measure the duration of the leak, which would give an estimate of the total amount of gas released, because the satellites only observe one location for 20 seconds at a time.

GHGSat also estimates that the estimate of the emission rate detected Wednesday at the Terrebonne landfill is subject to a 48.7% degree of uncertainty – the satellite sensors that measure the concentration of methane in the atmosphere rely on estimates of the emission rate. consider a number of factors including wind speed.

Thus, the leakage itself is not in doubt, but the calculation of its magnitude is inherently imprecise.

Methane (CH4) is a potent greenhouse gas (GHG) whose global warming effect is 86 times greater than that of carbon dioxide (CO).2) for a period of 20 years.

The fossil fuel sector is by far the biggest emitter, but landfills also generate much of it, as does agriculture.

Marvel at the Enviro Communications Complex

The Enviro Connections Complex, owned by Waste Connections, was surprised Wednesday to learn methane emissions were detected at its site.

“You teach me,” replied company spokesman André Chulak Press Thursday.

“This week’s draw is going very well,” he said, adding that no leaks had been detected by the company recently.

“Our capture rate is over 97%,” he added, which he said rules out a problem with sealing the site.

Could the emission come from the facilities of Trans Québec & Maritimes, which injects gas captured at the Enviro Communications Complex into its pipeline?

Press the company could not be reached on Thursday evening.

Not the first

This is not the first time GHGSat satellites have detected methane emissions at the Enviro Communications Complex, Quebec’s largest technical landfill (LET).

“We have observed five or six times in the last year, each time with a similar emission level,” says Jean-François Gauthier.

“It’s a site we look at sometimes when we can,” he explains, especially depending on the weather.

Complexe Enviro Connexions is not a customer of GHGSat, which logically prioritizes monitoring the sites of companies that use its services.

GHGSat presents daily on the 27the United Nations Climate Conference (COP27), recently detected methane emissions by its satellites.

The company also released various statistics from last year’s observations on the sidelines of the event, most notably the fact that North America will generate 10% of all methane emissions in the world in 2022.

More details

  • 14%
    Proportion of methane leaks detected worldwide by GHGSat in 2021 from the waste sector

    Source: GHGSat

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