EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson called the development a “major step forward” in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies. “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,” she said. “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 will provide a better understanding of where greenhouse gases are coming from and will guide development of the best possible 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. This comprehensive, nationwide emissions data will help in the fight against climate change.
Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are produced by burning fossil fuels and through industrial and biological processes. Fossil fuel and industrial greenhouse gas 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 greenhouse gas emissions data to EPA annually. This threshold is equivalent to about the annual green house gas emissions from 4,600 passenger vehicles.
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 greenhouse gas reporting with model year 2011. Some source categories included in the proposed rule are still under review.
The EPA provides more information on the new reporting system and reporting requirements.