EPA Finalizes the Nation’s First Greenhouse Gas Reporting System

On Jan. 1, 2010, EPA will require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system. This new program will cover approximately 85 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.

“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.”

EPA’s new reporting system will provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from and will guide development of policies and programs to reduce emissions. The data also will 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.

Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are produced by burning fossil fuels and through industrial and biological processes. Fossil fuel and industrial 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.

The first annual reports for the largest emitting facilities, covering calendar year 2010, will be submitted to EPA in 2011.

More information on the new reporting system and reporting requirements can be found at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html

More about the National Partnership for Environmental Priorities is available at http://www.epa.gov/waste/partnerships/npep/index.htm.
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