The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to include additional emissions sources in its first-ever national mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting system. The data from these sectors will provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from, and will help the EPA and businesses develop effective policies and programs to reduce emissions.
The EPA finalized the GHG reporting requirement in October 2009. That rule required 31 industry sectors, covering 85% of total U.S. GHG emissions, to track and report their emissions.
In addition to those 31 industries, the EPA is now proposing to collect emissions data from the oil and natural-gas sectors, industries that emit fluorinated gases, and facilities that inject and store carbon dioxide (CO2) underground for the purposes of geologic sequestration or enhanced oil and gas recovery.
Methane is the primary GHG emitted from oil and natural-gas systems, and is more than 20 times as potent as CO2 at warming the atmosphere, while fluorinated gases are even stronger and can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Data collected from facilities that inject CO2 underground would enable the EPA to track the amount of CO2 that is injected and, in some cases, require a monitoring strategy for detecting potential emissions to the atmosphere.
The data will also allow businesses to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities and identify cost-effective ways to reduce their emissions in the future.
The EPA is also proposing to require all facilities in the reporting system, including those proposed today, to provide information on their corporate ownership.
Under these proposals, newly covered sources would begin collecting emissions data on Jan 1, 2011,. with the first annual reports to be submitted to the EPA March 31, 2012. These proposals will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. The agency will also hold public hearings on these proposals on April 19 in Arlington, Va., and April 20, in Washington, D.C.
SOURCE: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Â