On March 10, 2009, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a news release proposing the first comprehensive national system for reporting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by major sources in the United States.  Although the EPA has yet determine whether greenhouse gases, such carbon dioxide, are "pollutants" under the Clean Air Act, the EPA has taken this step to gather "comprehensive and accurate data about the production of greenhouse gases."

The EPA stated that the new reporting requirements would apply to suppliers of fossil fuel and industrial chemicals, manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines, as well as large direct emitters of greenhouse gases with emissions equal to or greater than a threshold of 25,000 metric tons per year.  The EPA estimates that it will affect approximately 13,00 facilities, which account for about 85% to 90% of greenhouse gases emitted in the United States.  For a listing of the various industries that EPA believes will be affected, see the end of this post.

In order to differentiate it from the mandatory greenhouse gas reporting programs developed by states and regional programs, the EPA will require automobile, truck and engine manufacturers to report emissions from the engines they produce.  The first annual report would be submitted to EPA in 2011 for the calendar year 2010, except for vehicle and engine manufacturers, which would begin reporting for model year 2011.

The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 after publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.  Two public hearings will be held during the comment period.

The Proposed Rule:

Information regarding the public hearing:

Other Information regarding the Proposed Rule:

Table of Emission Source Categories Affected.  For a more complete list, please see Table 1 "Examples of Affected Entities by Category" in the Preamble to the rule.

Sector Reporters
Electricity Generation Power Plants
Transportation Vehicle and Engine Manufacturers
Industrial All large industrial emitters, including those in the following industries:
  Metals Iron and Steel, Aluminum, Magnesium, Ferroalloy, Zinc, and Lead
  Minerals Cement, Lime, Glass, Silicon Carbide, Pulp and Paper
  Chemicals HCFC-22, Ammonia, Nitric Acid, Adipic Acid, SF6 from Electrical Equipment, Hydrogen, Petrochemicals, Titanium Dioxide, Soda Ash, Phosphoric Acid, Electronics
  Oil and Gas Components of oil and gas systems (e.g., Refineries), Underground coal mining
Other Landfills, Wastewater Treatment, Ethanol, Food Processing
Agriculture Manure Management
Upstream Suppliers Petroleum Refineries, Gas Processors, Natural Gas Distribution Companies, Coal Mines, Importers, Industrial Gases (e.g., HFCs, N2O, PFCs, CO2)