On Mar. 10, EPA announced a proposed rule in response to the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110–161) that requires mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large sources in the United States. In general, EPA proposes that both upstream production facilities such as fuel suppliers and downstream emitting sourcess of GHG are to report. Emission sources include electric generators, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, food processors, lime production facilities and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHG emissions. Annual reports to EPA are required. The gases covered by the proposed rule are carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), perfluorocarbons (PFC), sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), and other fluorinated gases including nitrogen trifluoride (NF3) and hydrofluorinated ethers (HFE). EPA is using its authority under the Clean Air Act to develop the rule and it states that the rule is relevant for determining how to use Sections 111, 112 and 129 of the Clean Air Act to establish standards for sources emitting GHGs. EPA estimates that the expected cost to comply with the reporting requirements to the private sector would be $160 million for the first year. In subsequent years, the annualized costs for the private sector would be $127 million. This rule will begin the process of shifting the focus of GHG regulation away from the states.

The proposed rule will soon be published in the Federal Register under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0508. The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Two public hearings will be held during the comment period. Click here for a pre-publication copy of the proposed rule and preamble.