On March 10, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) released its draft Greenhouse Gas (“GHG”) reporting rules, setting mandatory reporting requirements for emissions sources, fossil fuel producers, and vehicle and engine manufacturers for calendar year 2010. The proposed rules would require facilities that annually emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or carbon dioxide equivalents to begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2010 and submit annual reports starting in 2011. EPA predicts nearly 13,000 facilities would be affected by the proposed rules, though small business and livestock operations are expected to fall under the reporting threshold. The rules would, however, apply to a wide variety of stationary sources, including power plants and upstream producers of coal, coal-based liquid fuels, petroleum products, or any other producers, importers, or exporters of GHG’s. The average cost of reporting under the proposed rules is estimated by EPA to be 4 cents per metric ton. This would result in a minimum reporting cost of $1,000 for facilities meeting the threshold reporting requirement.
EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting rules are the result of congressional directive issued as part of the fiscal year 2008 spending bill, which was approved at the end of 2007. The rules are a precursor to the economy-wide cap-and-trade system designed to take effect in 2012. The data gleaned from this registry will be used by the government to set values for the cap and trade system. EPA stated that it developed the reporting rules using principals already in existence in other greenhouse gas reporting programs and guidance documents, such as the Department of Energy’s 1605(b) Voluntary Reporting Program, the Climate Registry, and RGGI.
Two public hearings will be held. The first will be on April 6 – 7 in Arlington, Virginia, and the second will be on April 16, in Sacramento, California. The public will have 60 days to comment on the rule after it is published in the Federal Register. A pre-publication copy can be found at
This article was authored by Chris M. Hunter, Jackson Kelly PLLC. For more information on the author see here.