In this Emerging Issues commentary, Gabrielle Sigel and Michael R. Strong of Jenner & Block discuss the U.S. EPA’s proposed rule, released March 10, 2009, for mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, required by an appropriations bill signed by former President George W. Bush in December 2007. “As drafted, the rule requires the first annual GHG emission report to be submitted by a wide-range of industries on March 31, 2011, covering emissions for the calendar year beginning Jan. 1, 2010. EPA estimates that its rule will cover 85 to 90 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions, from approximately 13,000 facilities, at a cost of 4 cents per metric ton of reported emissions. “The proposed rule requires the following industries to report their emissions: Any emitter of a minimum of 25,000 metric tons annually of GHGs. Other specified sources, with different, lower or no GHG thresholds. Vehicle and engine manufacturers. Suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial GHGs.” The authors list the GHGs addressed by the proposed rule, which are to be measured and reported in CO2 equivalents based on a conversion table in the proposed rule. They also review the reporting methodology for stationary sources and for mobile sources (vehicle and engine manufacturers). “Except for those facilities already required to report a GHG emission more often, such as those reporting GHGs pursuant to the Acid Rain Program, reporting would occur once each year,” the authors write. “The beginning of the reporting schedule will be adjusted if the rule is not finalized in time. All reporting would be to a central EPA registry, with electronic forms to be provided by EPA.” The authors review the record retention requirements and offer practice pointers.
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