True Confessions: EPA Proposes Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting

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Thousands of U.S. facilities that generate greenhouse gases (GHGs) soon will be required to start reporting their emissions to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), if new regulations proposed by the agency become effective. The proposed rule would make annual GHG reporting mandatory for approximately 13,000 facilities across the country beginning in 2011, for emissions occurring in 2010. EPA estimates that the covered facilities and industries are responsible for 85 to 90% of all GHG emissions in the U.S.

Last week, EPA also moved one step closer toward issuing a formal endangerment finding that CO2 and other GHGs qualify as “pollutants” under the federal Clean Air Act, which would trigger the agency’s authority to regulate emission levels. The finding, which EPA recently submitted to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review, comes nearly two years after the Supreme Court ordered the agency to determine whether GHGs pose a threat to public health, in Massachusetts v. EPA.

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