United States (Federal)

US-15:Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

Policy Description

Facilities that emit 25,000 tons of CO2e or more per year from on-site combustion (such as natural gas use) are required to annually report their emissions to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The first reporting year was 2010.

Description

The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program is the implementation of the EPA issued Mandatory Reporting Greenhouse Gases Rule, which requires facilities that emit 25,000 tons of CO2e or more per year from on-site combustion (such as natural gas use) to annually report their emissions to the EPA. An estimated 85-90 percent of the total U.S. GHG emissions from approximately 13,000 facilities are covered by this rule [1]. The purpose of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program is to provide accurate and timely GHG data to better understand the sources of GHG emissions and make more informed policy, business, and regulatory decisions [2].

The first reporting year was 2010. The GHG data from 2010 was reported to EPA via an online electronic greenhouse gas reporting tool (e-GGRT) in September 2011 [3]. The results from the first year of reporting were made available to the public in January 2012 through its interactive data publication tool (http://ghgdata.epa.gov/ghgp/main.do) [4] [5]. The data publication tool allows users to review information by filtering GHG data in a variety of ways including by facility, industry, location, or gas. The tool displays data from direct emitters and from suppliers.

Policy Information Expand this section for information on the key features of the policy, such as its date of introduction, categorization, main objective(s) and linkages with other policies.

Policy Categorisation

Policy Instrument Type: Administrative

Position in the Pyramid

About Us

Participation: Mandatory

Period

Start Date: 2010

Policy Linkages

Supports Greenhouse Gas Permitting (under the Clean Air Act) Effort Defining
Supports New Source Performance Standards (under the Clean Air Act) Effort Defining

Agencies Responsible

Environmental Protection Agency

Primary Objective: GHG Emissions

Objective

The GHG Reporting Program provides a better understanding the sources of GHGs and is intended to guide development of the policies and programs to reduce emissions. The publicly available data allows reporters to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities, and aid in identifying cost effective opportunities to reduce emissions in the future [6].

Target Group

The Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (40 CFR part 98) applies to direct greenhouse gas emitters, fossil fuel suppliers, industrial gas suppliers, and facilities that inject CO2 underground for sequestration or other reasons. In general, the threshold for reporting is 25,000 metric tons or more of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year. Reporting is at the facility level, except for certain suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial greenhouse gases [7].

Driver of energy consumption or emissions affected by policy: Total GHG emissions.

Implementation Information Expand this section for information on targets, monitoring, verification and enforcement regimes, and implementation requirements and tools.

Coverage

An estimated 85-90 percent of the total U.S. GHG emissions from approximately 13,000 facilities are covered by the final rule.

Quantitative Target? no

Progress Monitored? yes

Verification Required? yes

Enforced? yes

Sanctions: Facilities or suppliers that fail to monitor or report GHG emissions, quantities supplied, or other data elements according to the requirements of the applicable rule could potentially be subject to enforcement action by EPA under Clean Air Act (CAA) sections 113 and 203–205. The CAA provides for several levels of enforcement that include administrative, civil, and criminal penalties. The CAA allows for injunctive relief to compel compliance and civil and administrative penalties of up to $37,500 per day per violation [8].

Requirements on the Target Group

 

The target group is required to electronically submit their annual reports using an electronic greenhouse gas reporting tool (e-GGRT), which is accessed through the EPA web page at http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/reporters/datasystem/index.html 

Relevant energy-intensive facilities include, for example: Iron and Steel production, Aluminium production, Cement production, Petrochemical production, and Suppliers of industrial GHGs.

Support by Government

 

To assist reporters in complying with this regulation, EPA has developed a suite of information and training resources (see implementation toolbox, below.)  

Implementation Toolbox

 

To assist reporters in complying with this regulation, EPA has developed a suite of information and training resources including:

  • An on-line applicability tool that assists potential reporters with assessing whether their facilities are required to report GHG emissions under EPA’s mandatory GHG Reporting Rule. Available at http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/help/tool/index.html
  •  A series of training presentations,  on the reporting requirements of the rule, and the electronic GHG reporting tool (eGGRT). http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/reporters/training/index.html
  • An online tutorial on general provisions, stationary combustion, electricity generation, and municipal landfills sections of the GHG Reporting Program http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/documents/pdf/2012/training/online/player.html
  • A hotline to answer technical questions on rule implementation and eGGRT. http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/contactus.html
  • Information sheets, technical information and proposed rules for each subpart. http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/reporters/subpart/index.html
  • A searchable database of frequently asked questions. http://www.ccdsupport.com/confluence/display/faq/FAQs
  • An Online Data Publication Tool that allows users to review information easily by filtering GHG data by facility, industry, location, or gas. This tool also provides tutorials, information, FAQ, and many other resources to assist users. http://www.ccdsupport.com/confluence/display/ghgp/Home

See http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/index.html for further information.

Impacts, Costs & Benefits Expand this section to find information on policy effectiveness and efficiency.

Impact Quantitative Estimate Qualitative Estimate
Estimated effect on energy consumption or emissions N/A N/A
Estimated costs/benefits for industry The total annualized costs incurred is about $160 million (~$12,000 per facility) for the first year and $127 million (~$10,000 per facility) for subsequent years [9]. Low.
Estimated cost for government Congress appropriated “not less than $3.5 million” for activities to develop and publish the draft Rule [10]. Not known.
Other Benefits
General Benefits The Program will provide a better understanding the sources of GHGs and will guide development of the policies and programs to reduce emissions.
Specific Benefits The publicly available data will allow reporters to track their own emissions, compare them to similar facilities, and aid in identifying cost effective opportunities to reduce emissions in the future.

References & Footnotes

References

[1] US EPA (2011). Factsheet: Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases (40 CFR part 98). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/documents/pdf/2009/FactSheet.pdf

[2] "Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program." Environmental Protection Agency. .

[3] "For GHG Reporters." Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. Environmental Protection Agency. .

[4] US Federal Register (2009). 40 CFR Parts 86, 87, 89 et al. Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases; Final Rule, p. 56363. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/documents/pdf/2009/GHG-MRR-FinalPreamble.pdf

[5] "Basic Information." Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. Environmental Protection Agency. .

[6] US EPA (2011). Factsheet: Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases (40 CFR part 98). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/documents/pdf/2009/FactSheet.pdf

[7] US EPA (2011). Factsheet: Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases (40 CFR part 98). Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/documents/pdf/2009/FactSheet.pdf

[8] US Federal Register (2009). 40 CFR Parts 86, 87, 89 et al. Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases; Final Rule, p. 56363. Retrieved from http://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting/documents/pdf/2009/GHG-MRR-FinalPreamble.pdf

[9] Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Proposed Rule (GHG Reporting), March 2009. .

[10] Regulatory Impact Analysis for the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Proposed Rule (GHG Reporting), March 2009. .