On October 30, 2009, U.S. EPA published the final version of the new mandatory greenhouse gas monitoring and reporting regulation. The final rule took effect December 29, 2009, and required covered sources to begin monitoring on January 1, 2010, with annual submittal of data reports beginning March 31, 2011.

Upcoming deadlines and requirements for affected facilities in 2010 include:  

  • Due to the limited time allowed for installing monitoring equipment, the rule allows temporary use of "best available monitoring methods." Facilities that wish to utilize "best available monitoring methods" after March 31 must submit an extension request by January 28, 2010. U.S. EPA has indicated, however, that it expects the vast majority of covered facilities to be able to implement the monitoring requirements by April 1, 2010. With a few limited exceptions, monitoring equipment must also be calibrated by that date.
  • A written greenhouse gas monitoring plan (available on-site for review, but not submitted to U.S. EPA) must be developed by April 1, 2010.

U.S. EPA has published a fact sheet that provides further details on the rule's special provisions for the 2010 reporting year.

U.S. EPA already has turned its attention to adding new categories of facilities to the mandatory reporting rule's coverage. On December 14, 2009, U.S. EPA submitted two draft rules to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review. One draft regulation would require reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from sectors of the oil and gas industry that have "significant fugitive and vented emissions of carbon dioxide and methane, e.g., natural gas transmission compression, distribution, etc."

The other regulation would extend reporting requirements to carbon dioxide injection facilities, including geologic sequestration sites. U.S. EPA anticipates publication of both proposed rules in February 2010, with final action in September 2010. The draft regulations contemplate that the newly covered facilities would be required to begin monitoring in January 2011.