By Stepehen Wiegand
In October 2009, EPA promulgated the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule. This rule required reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from a number of large sources including suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial greenhouse gases, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, and certain facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of greenhouse gas emissions.
On March 22, 2010, EPA announced proposed rules to amend the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule to cover additional sources including petroleum and natural gas facilities emitting 25,000 metric tons or more of greenhouse gas emissions. Covered facilities would include onshore petroleum and natural gas production, offshore petroleum and natural gas production, onshore natural gas processing, natural gas transmission, underground natural gas storage, liquefied natural gas storage, liquefied natural gas import and export facilities, and natural gas distribution facilities. The proposed rules would require the reporting of fugitive and vented methane and carbon dioxide emissions, including carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide combustion emissions from flares.
In addition to the oil and natural gas sector, EPA is also proposing to collect emissions data from industries that emit fluorinated gases and from facilities that inject and store carbon dioxide underground for the purpose of geological sequestration or enhanced oil and natural gas recovery.
Under the proposed rules, the newly covered sources are required to begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2011 and are required to submit the first annual reports to EPA on March 31, 2012.
The public comment period on the proposed rules will extend for 60 days after EPA’s publication of the proposed rules in the Federal Register. Additionally, two public hearings are currently scheduled on the proposed rules – April 19, 2010 in Arlington, Va. and April 20, 2010 in Washington, D.C.
For more information on the proposed rules, see:www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/proposedrule.html