Before reporting even begins, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to include additional emissions sources in its first-ever national mandatory greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting system. The EPA expects that the data from these sectors will help provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from.
“Gathering this information is the first step toward reducing greenhouse emissions and fostering innovative technologies for the clean energy future,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “It’s especially important to track potent gases like methane, which traps more than 20 times as much heat as carbon and accelerates climate change.”
The EPA finalized the greenhouse gas reporting requirement in October of 2009. That rule required 31 industry sectors, covering 85 percent of total U.S. GHG emissions, to track and report their emissions.
In addition to those 31 industries, the EPA is now proposing to require reporting of emissions data from the oil and natural gas sector, industries that emit fluorinated gases, and from facilities that inject and store carbon dioxide (CO2) underground for the purposes of geologic sequestration or enhanced oil and gas recovery.
Methane is the primary GHG emitted from oil and natural gas systems and is more than 20 times as potent as CO2 at warming the atmosphere, while fluorinated gases are even stronger and can stay in the atmosphere for thousands of years. Data collected from facilities that inject CO2 underground would enable EPA to track the amount of CO2 that is injected and in some cases require a monitoring strategy for detecting potential emissions to the atmosphere.
The EPA is also proposing to require all facilities in the reporting system, including those proposed in this new proposal, to provide information on their corporate ownership.
Newly covered sources would be required to begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2011 with the first annual reports submitted to the EPA on March 31, 2012.
Article by Roger Greenway appearing courtesy Environmental News Network.