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Regulatory Agency Reviews EPA’s Confidentiality Ruling on GHG Reporting

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s proposed rule that establishes what information is emissions data and what will be considered confidential business data, under the agency’s greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting rule, is under review by White House regulatory officials, reports the New York Times.

EPA sent the proposed rule, which applies to businesses required to begin tracking GHG emissions data under the agency’s GHG reporting rule, to the White House Office of Management and Budget for review.

The EPA requires 31 industries, which accounts for 85 percent of the annual production of U.S. greenhouse gases in the country, to track and report emissions, starting with the largest emitters on Jan. 1. The mandatory GHG reporting requirement was finalized last year.

Several groups want to keep some of the disclosed data confidential. As an example, last year, the American Petroleum Institute asked the EPA to keep all ancillary data that is required for reporting to be kept confidential, according to the New York Times.

But environmental groups such as the Environmental Defense Fund believe public access to the data is essential.

In the meantime, Virginia’s attorney general is asking the EPA to revisit the data it used to create the federal regulations on greenhouse gases, stating the agency used flawed and falsified data, reports Business Week.

Other new proposals by the EPA include reducing annual mercury emissions for U.S. gold mine processing and production facilities by 73 percent from 2007 levels to about 1,390 pounds of emissions annually.

This proposal could impact about 20 facilities in the U.S., and cost $6.2 million to implement with annual costs of $3.8 million, according to Mineweb.com.

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