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EPA Sets First Greenhouse Gas Reporting System

U.S. Monitoring to begin in January 2010.

by on Sep.22, 2009

The combined EPA and NHTSA standards that make up this proposed National Program would apply to passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles, covering model years 2012 through 2016. They require these vehicles to meet an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, equivalent to 35.5 miles per gallon.

The combined EPA and NHTSA standards that make up a proposed national program apply to 2012-2016 passenger cars, light-duty trucks, and medium-duty passenger vehicles. They require an estimated combined average emissions level of 250 grams of carbon dioxide per mile, equivalent to 35.5 mpg.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will require large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to begin collecting greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system.

This new program will cover approximately 85% of the nation’s GHG emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.

The gases covered by the proposed rule are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and other fluorinated gases including nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and hydrofluorinated ethers (HFE).

The final rule was signed by the Administrator on September 22, 2009.

“This is a major step forward in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85% of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge, and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.”

EPA’s new reporting system is designed to look at where GHGs are coming from and will guide development of the policies and programs to reduce emissions. The data will also allow businesses to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities, and provide assistance in identifying cost-effective ways to reduce emissions in the future. It will also be a good way to check on the “how green we are” claims of companies.

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are produced by burning fossil fuels, as well as 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.

Earlier this year EPA said that GHGs are a threat to human health and social welfare.

The first annual reports for the largest emitting facilities, covering calendar year 2010, will be submitted to EPA in 2011. Vehicle and engine manufacturers outside of the light-duty sector will begin phasing in GHG reporting with model year 2011. Some source categories included in the proposed rule are still under review.

Now, the transportation sector accounts for nearly 1/3 of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, more than 50% of nitrogen oxide emissions, and almost 75% of our petroleum consumption.


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