Marten Law: EPA Releases Additional Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Rules for Three Industry Sectors

Marten Law: EPA Releases Additional Proposed Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Rules for Three Industry Sectors

  By Russell Prugh, Marten Law PLLC

"On March 22, 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released proposed regulations for mandatory monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in three sectors: oil and natural gas production, transmission, and storage facilities; carbon dioxide (CO2) injection and sequestration facilities; and facilities that emit fluorinated gases," writes Russell Prugh.  "The proposed regulations supplement EPA's final GHG monitoring and reporting regulations issued in October 2009 and require most facilities in these three sectors to begin monitoring on January 1, 2011, and filing annual emissions reports on March 31, 2012."

Prugh, an associate with Marten Law PLLC, explains that "In October 2009, EPA released final GHG emissions monitoring and reporting regulations for 31 industry sectors (the "2009 GHG Reporting Rule"). EPA's 2009 GHG Reporting Rule identified three groups of GHG sources that fall within the rule's requirements: "downstream," "upstream," and mobile sources.

"Downstream sources are commercial and industrial plants and other types of facilities that have the potential to directly emit significant amounts of GHGs. Sources in 15 categories must report regardless of the volume of their GHG emissions, while most other downstream sources are required to report if their emissions exceed 25,000 tons of GHG per year. Upstream sources include fuel suppliers and suppliers of industrial GHGs. Instead of reporting emissions, these sources report the GHG content of the fuels and gases they supply as a surrogate for the GHG emissions that occur from the end use of their products.

"For mobile sources, the 2009 GHG Reporting Rule requires manufacturers and importers of heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles, and off-road engines to report CO2 beginning with model year 2011, and other GHGs starting in later model years. Cars and light-duty trucks are excluded under the rule (EPA has addressed GHG emissions from cars and light-duty trucks under a separate, recently issued rulemaking). The 2009 GHG Reporting Rule required covered facilities to begin GHG emissions monitoring January 1, 2010, and requires that the facilities file their first annual reports to EPA by March 31, 2011. When EPA promulgated the 2009 GHG Reporting Rule, it decided not to finalize all of the rule's proposed subparts. EPA has now re-issued monitoring and reporting proposals for industry sectors that were excluded from the 2009 rulemaking."

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