First Nationwide Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting Rules Proposed: Comments Likely Due in May

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The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday proposed regulations which create the first nationwide system for reporting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases emitted by major sources in the US. The proposed regulations were promulgated pursuant to the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which was signed into law in December 2007, and which instructs the EPA to require mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economy. Approximately 13,000 facilities will be subject to the rule, accounting for 85% to 90% of greenhouse gases emitted in the U.S. Despite this large percentage, most small businesses will not be subject to the rule, as the primary threshold is set at 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent, an amount equal to the emissions from 2,200 homes, 58,000 barrels (2.4 million gallons) of oil, or 131 rail cars of coal. This reporting threshold is higher than many of the proposed or final regional greenhouse gas thresholds. For example, it is five times larger than the threshold in the Massachusetts regulations at 310 CMR 7.71, and well above the Western Climate Initiative reporting threshold of 10,000 tons.

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