EPA Finalizes Greenhouse Gas Reporting Requirements
A major new regulatory requirement, starting January 1, 2010, will affect most large industrial and utility combustion sources in the US.
Fossil fuel and industrial greenhouse gas (GHG) suppliers, motor vehicle and engine manufacturers, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2 equivalent per year will be required to report GHG emissions data to EPA annually. This threshold is equivalent to about the annual GHG emissions from 4,600 passenger vehicles.
This new program will cover approximately 85 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.
The final rule applies to fossil fuel suppliers and industrial gas suppliers, direct greenhouse gas emitters and manufacturers of heavy-duty and off-road vehicles and engines. The rule does not require control of greenhouse gases, rather it requires only that sources above certain threshold levels monitor and report emissions. (The rule can be found at: 40 CFR Parts 86, 87, 89, 90, 94, 98, 1033, 1039, 1042, 1045, 1048, 1051, 1054, 1065)
The rule requires reporting of annual emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, SF6, HFCs, PFCs, and other fluorinated gases in metric tons. The final 40 CFR part 98 applies to certain downstream facilities that emit GHGs, and to certain upstream suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial GHGs. For suppliers, the GHG emissions reported are the emissions that would result from combustion or use of the products supplied.
The rule also includes provisions to ensure the accuracy of emissions data through monitoring, recordkeeping and verification requirements. Reporting is at the facility level, except that certain suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial gases would report at the corporate level.
In addition, GHG reporting by manufacturers of heavy-duty and off-road vehicles and engines is required, by incorporating new requirements into the existing reporting requirements for motor vehicles and engine manufacturers.
“This is a major step forward in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85 percent of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.”
EPA’s new reporting system will provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from and will guide development of the best possible policies and programs to reduce emissions. The data will also allow businesses to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities, and provide assistance in identifying cost effective ways to reduce emissions in the future. This comprehensive, nationwide emissions data will help in the fight against climate change.
Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are produced by burning fossil fuels and through industrial and biological processes.
Visit the EPA for more information.
Article appearing courtesy of Environmental News Network.
[photo credit: Flickr]
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