The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued new regulations requiring a broad cross-section of facilities to monitor and report their greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. These regulations have surprisingly broad applicability.

The new requirements don't just apply to sectors traditionally associated with the climate change debate (energy, mining, industry); they also cover health care facilities, colleges and universities, governmental facilities, and certain commercial buildings. For example, the regulations cover virtually all boiler systems of a certain size (50 MMBTU per year), including industrial boilers, and any large boiler system of a hospital, college, or government.

All facilities subject to the new regulations must begin monitoring their GHG emissions no later than January 1, 2010, and must submit a full year of 2010 monitoring results in the first quarter of 2011. Monitoring methods are prescribed by the EPA. The penalty for not complying can be up to $32,500 per day of violation.

Unlike other GHG reporting programs, the new federal requirements do not require facilities to obtain independent, third-party verification of their submissions to EPA. Instead, the new requirements require an in-house certification of (1) the accuracy of monitoring data and (2) compliance with all EPA requirements. So the cost of compliance can be quite reasonable. To find out if your boiler system is covered by these new rules, please contact any of the attorneys below.