The Environmental Protection Agency and its partners have released guidance that can help producers manage livestock manure, boost farm earnings and reduce greenhouse gases. Processing livestock manure under controlled conditions can produce biogas, which can be used to generate electricity. Producers and project developers can increase their incomes by using biogas for onsite electricity generation or delivery to a local eletric utility.

"Using biogas has multiple benefits; it decreases greenhouse gas emissions, produces renewable energy for rural communities, and safeguards local air and water quality," says Bill Wehrum, with EPA. "This guidance will help producers and potential investors make informed choices about which systems work best for farms, for profits and for our environment."

The standardized guidance was developed jointly by EPA's AgStar program, the Association of State Energy Research and Technology Transfer Institutions and USDA. It provides a standardized method that lets farm operators and investors compare the effectiveness of available manure-methane-recovery systems.

Each year, these systems have reduced methane by about 1.5 million metric tons of CO2 equivalent, while providing enough renewable energy to power more than 20,000 average American homes.

To learn more, contact Roxanne Smith, at (202) 564-4355 or e-mail her at smith.roxanne@epa.gov.