EPA Issues Final Rule for Mandatory GHG Reporting Requirements, Extends Initial Report Deadline

December 2, 2011

On November 29, EPA issued a final rule for GHG reporting, including a six-month extension for several industrial sectors that were previously scheduled to begin mandatory reporting on March 31, 2012.  The move extends that deadline to Sept. 28, 2012, for facilities that include petroleum and natural gas systems, electronics manufacturing, industrial waste landfills, coal mining, industrial wastewater treatment and other installations. The August 4 proposed rule would also have required some industrial facilities to report twice, once for sources of pollution required to report in prior years, and again in September for sources reporting for the first time with 2011 emissions data.  EPA says the one-time delay avoids this requirement, in line with industry requests received in comments on the proposal. EPA also noted an aim to ensure that there is sufficient time for development and stakeholder testing of the electronic GHG reporting tool.

The final rule also sets a reporting threshold of 36.5 million tons per year of methane for underground coal mines, which EPA says will simplify reporting for the sector and exclude small mines from reporting. The proposed rule required reporting by all underground mines that are subject to quarterly or more frequent sampling by the federal Mine Safety and Health Administration (MSHA), regardless of size. In addition, the final rule makes a number of technical corrections and clarifications to reporting requirements across several industrial sectors.