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CEPM to Host "Renewable Natural Gas: Sustainable Energy from Trash" Webinar

Washington & Jefferson College's Center for Energy Policy and Management will host a free March 8 webinar on renewable natural gas as part of its Energy Lecture Series.

“Renewable Natural Gas: Sustainable Energy from Trash” will be the subject of a free, hour-long webinar at 11 a.m. March 8. Speakers will be Steven Schmitz, Managing Partner at Green Rock Energy Partners, which owns South Hills Landfill, and Tom Spears, Capitol Area Gas Operations Manager for WM, formerly Waste Management, which owns a number of landfills with renewable natural gas energy projects in the state.

Renewable natural gas (RNG), also known as biogas, is a fast-growing segment of the natural gas industry. Natural gas is primarily methane, a naturally occurring byproduct of the decomposition process at landfills. Rather than vent it into the atmosphere, companies have turned to collecting and processing the gas and using it to power compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicles, for power generation, or for other purposes. Biogas is sustainable and can also be produced from the decomposition process at agricultural operations or wastewater treatment facilities.

Green Rock Energy Partners is a private equity firm that invests in renewable energy businesses and owns and operates sustainable infrastructure projects. Green Rock recently acquired the South Hills Landfill in South Park, Allegheny County. The facility creates RNG and uses it as CNG for truck transportation. Production at the facility is expected to exceed one million gallons of renewable fuel per year.

As the operator of the largest landfill gas-to-energy program in North America, WM has made a steadfast commitment to sustainability. Using cutting edge technology to power landfill gas-to-energy projects, it is able to maximize the capture of energy from landfills, including Arden landfills in Washington County, and create renewable fuels that provide power for residences, businesses, and WM trucks. Through 2025, WM plans to invest $825 million in its landfill RNG network.

Steven Schmitz is a Managing Partner and co-founder of Green Rock Energy Partners. Prior to launching Green Rock, Steven had a 40-year career in petroleum refining, energy trading and business development. Steven holds a B.S in Chemical Engineering from Lehigh University and a Master of Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.

As the Capitol Area Gas Operations Manager for WM, Tom Spears oversees 13 active gas collection systems across Pennsylvania and West Virginia, six of which have active renewable energy projects. Tom joined WM in 2006 and has served in the Gas Group since 2009. He is an Army veteran and helicopter pilot who served in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

The webinar is free and open to the public. To register, visit or click here!

The seminar is approved for Continuing Legal Education in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio. Contact the Washington County Bar Association at for information.

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