• EPA Publishes Proposed Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
  • April 29, 2009 | Author: James Arnold Holtkamp
  • Law Firm: Holland & Hart LLP - Salt Lake City Office
  • EPA published today a 285-page proposed rule to require reporting of greenhouse gases (“GHGs”) from all sectors of the economy. The proposed rule will require reporting of GHG emissions from sources representing approximately 85 to 90 percent of the greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. The GHGs covered by the proposed rule are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxides, sulfur hexafluoride, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons and certain other fluorinated compounds. The proposed rules are required by the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, signed by President Bush on December 7, 2007.

    The reporting rule will be a major building block in a federal mandatory GHG regulatory program. The proposed rule, which consists of a 285-page Federal Register Notice, would require suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial GHGs, vehicle and engine manufacturers, and facilities that emit in excess of 25,000 metric tons per year of CO2-equivalent GHGs to submit annual reports to EPA. The first annual report would be submitted to EPA in 2011 for calendar year 2010, except for vehicle manufacturers, which would begin reporting for model year 2011.

    The reporting methods in the proposed rule are based on existing reporting programs and protocols, including the Department of Energy §1605b voluntary reporting program; EPA’s Acid Rain Program; various state and regional reporting programs such as The Climate Registry, The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative; various nongovernmental organization protocols, including those developed by the World Resource Institute/World Business Council for Sustainable Development; programs developed by industry associations such as the American Petroleum Institute and the Cement Sustainability Initiative; and international reporting programs, including those of the European Union’s Emissions Trading Scheme, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and Environment Canada.

    The proposed rule identifies forty source categories, with a subpart of the rule devoted to detailed requirements for each category. The source categories include, among others, General Stationary Fuel Combustion, Electricity Generation, Cement Production, Food Processing, Lime Manufacturing, Oil and Natural Gas Systems, Petroleum Refineries, Soda Ash Manufacturing, Underground Coal Mines, Landfills, Wastewater Treatment, Manure Management and Suppliers of Coal. The list of categories is not exclusive, and EPA’s intent is to require reporting from any source with over 25,000 metric tons per year of CO2 equivalent emissions, even if it is not covered by a source category. The reporting would be primarily at a facility level and would be further broken down by source category within the facility.

    The comment period for the proposed rule expires on June 9, 2009, and hearings will be held on April 6 in Washington, D.C., and April 16 in Sacramento, CA.