Posted by: Lawyer Sanders | March 18, 2009

Environmental attorney Sanders says EPA is proposing comprehensive national system for reporting greenhouse gase emissions from major sources of air pollution under Clean Air Act.

On March 10th EPA announced that it is proposing a comprehensive national system for reporting emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced by major sources in the United States.  In developing the reporting requirements, EPA considered the substantial amount of work already completed and underway in many states, regions and voluntary programs.

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. This threshold is roughly equivalent to the annual greenhouse gas emissions from just over 4,500 passenger vehicles. The vast majority of small businesses would not be required to report their emissions because their emissions fall well below the threshold.

Greenhouse gases, like carbon dioxide, are produced by the burning of fossil fuels and through industrial and biological processes. Approximately 13,000 facilities, accounting for about 85 percent to 90 percent of greenhouse gases emitted in the United States, would be covered under the proposal. The emission sources covered under the reporting requirement would include energy intensive sectors such as cement production, iron and steel production, and electricity generation, among others.

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.

EPA estimates that the expected cost to comply with the reporting requirements to the private sector would be $160 million for the first year. In subsequent years, the annualized costs for the private sector would be $127 million.

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