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Jenner & Block: U.S. EPA Finalizes Rule Mandating Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

“On September 22, 2009, U.S. EPA issued a final rule imposing mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This rule is the Obama administration's first major regulatory action on GHGs,” explain Gabrielle Sigel, a partner at Jenner & Block and Co-Chair of her Firm's Climate and Clean Technology Law Practice, and Jennifer L. Cassel, an associate at Jenner & Block. “The GHG reporting rule, which was Congressionally-mandated in an appropriations bill signed by President Bush in late 2007, requires most sources to submit their first annual GHG emission report on March 31, 2011, covering emissions for the calendar year beginning January 1, 2010. EPA estimates that the rule will cover 85% of total U.S. GHG emissions from approximately 10,000 facilities, and is expected to cost, in total, for all covered private sector facilities, approximately $115 million the first reporting year and $72 million each subsequent year.”
Sigel and Cassel note that the final rule “includes many significant changes from the proposed rule, released in March of this year.” They list the source categories that are not required to report per the final rule, and point out a new provision in the final rule as to when facilities may cease reporting. The authors explain the reporting methodology for stationary sources and the reporting threshold calculation for stationary sources. In addition, the final rule expands the current reporting requirement for mobile source manufacturers.
Sigel and Cassel outline the record retention requirements of the final rule and explain the reporting procedures, including what enforcement actions may be taken for non-compliance with the reporting requirements. The authors conclude this article with six practice pointers that will be helpful for legal counsel who represent facilities that are covered by the final rule.
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