September 23, 2009

Which industries report greenhouse gases to EPA?

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced that the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reporting system has been approved. This will require large emitters of greenhouse gases to record and report their emisssions starting in January 2010.


This plan covers about 10,000 facilities (both commercial and municipal) that represent 85% of the nation's GHG. Most of the industrial reporters are those in process manufacturing industries, not discrete manufacturers. Vehicle and engine makers are also included. I don't know if that's because they are among the largest greenhouse gas emitters or if it is to send a signal for future actions. (Of course, when we are dealing with a government agency, it could simply be in response to congressional pressure.)

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. Source: EPA press release

This excludes most manufacturers, for now. However, if you want to find out for sure if you are required to record, check out this applicability tool available at the EPA website.

The first reporting is due in 2011. There will probably be some early PR from the EPA in response to eager greenhouse activists. It will be interesting to see if they indicate  an interest in expanding the reporting system to more sources at that time.

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