New rules from U.S. EPA requiring businesses to report Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions took effect on December 29, 2009. 74 Fed. Reg. 56260 (October 30, 2009). Much attention has been paid to the industries that are specifically mentioned as being covered by the rule such as aluminum and cement production. However, there is a 'catch-all' section called "General Stationary Fuel Combustion Sources." 40 CFR §§ 98.30 to .38. The facilities in this category are ones that must meet these three criteria:
- The facilities are not specifically listed as being in another category covered by the GHG rule;
- The facilities must have stationary fuel combustion units with aggregate maximum rated heat input capacity of 30 mmBtu/hr. or greater;
- The facilities emit 25,000 metric tons CO2E [CO2 equivalents] or more per year when the facilities combine emissions from all stationary fuel combustion sources.
A facility is any "property, plant, building, structure, source, or stationary equipment located on one or more contiguous or adjacent properties in actual physical contact or separated solely by a public roadway ... and under common ownership ... or control, that emits or may emit greenhouse gas" 40 CFR § 98.6. Stationary fuel combustion sources include boilers, process heaters, incinerators, turbines and internal combustion engines. 74 Fed. Reg. 46260.
Multi-building hospital complexes may meet these criteria. Teaching hospitals that are part of a larger university campus with multiple buildings and, therefore, possibly multiple boilers may also meet these criteria.
The new federal rule provides guidance on how to calculate or estimate GHG emissions. Covered facilities must report CO2, CH4 (methane) and N2O mass emissions from each stationary fuel combustion unit. 40 CFR § 98.32.