EPA has released its final GHG monitoring and reporting regulations (preamble and rule text) that cover downstream, upstream and mobile sources of GHG emissions. These regulations, which become effective Jan. 1, 2010, will cover an estimated 10,000 facilities that EPA estimates emit about 85 percent of GHG emissions in the United States. The first GHG reports are due to EPA by March 31, 2011. The rule applies to facilities that emit more than 25,000 tpy of CO2e and to a few selected smaller facilities. It also requires fossil fuel producers, importers and exporters to monitor and report potential emissions by consumers based upon the GHG content of their fuels. Finally, it applies to manufacturers of heavy-duty trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and nonroad engines. Other smaller, mobile sources will be covered by another rule currently under development by EPA.
EPA dropped electronics manufacturers, food processers, underground coal mines and suppliers of coal from the final rule, deferring their inclusion pending further consideration. Conversely, 15 industrial categories currently subject to the acid rain program - including aluminum, cement, and petrochemical producers, petroleum refineries, and electricity generators - must monitor and report regardless of the volume of their GHG emissions. Unlike the proposed rule, which had a "once in always in" requirement, the final rule will allow a facility to stop reporting emissions once they fall below 25,000 tons for five consecutive years, but only after notifying EPA and explaining why emissions declined.