On March 10, the EPA issued a pre-publication copy of a proposed rule governing reporting of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses (GHG). The proposed rule will require large facilities in certain industry categories to provide annual reports of GHG emissions. The rule will allow facilities to either measure emissions or to use facility-specific calculation methods to determine GHG emissions. The EPA estimates that the rule will affect 13,000 facilities representing 85 to 90 percent of GHG emitted in the United States. The specific industry segments identified by the EPA as being impacted by the proposed rule include but are not limited to fuel combustion sources, electricity generation, ethanol, food processing, iron and steel, pulp and paper, waste water treatment facilities, manure management, natural gas, and landfills (see http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghg_infosheets.html for a complete list).
Since many of our clients will be subject to the emissions reporting rule, we have begun analyzing the impact of the proposed rule on the industry segments for which we routinely provide advice and counsel. We will provide an in-depth analysis of the proposed rule, including information on what areas may warrant comments, in the near future. Comments on the proposed rule will be due within 60 days of publication in the Federal Register, which has not yet occurred.