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EPA Finalizes GHG Reporting Rules for Four Emissions Sources

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is finalizing rules that require underground coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment systems, industrial waste landfills and magnesium production facilities to report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under its national GHG reporting program.

Methane is the primary GHG emitted from these four sources and is more than 20 times as potent as carbon dioxide at warming the atmosphere, and the data from these emissions sources will help the agency and businesses develop policies and programs to reduce them, says EPA.

These sectors will begin collecting emissions data on January 1, 2011, with the first annual reports submitted to EPA on March 31, 2012.

The national reporting program requires about 10,000 facilities that emit about 85 percent of the nation’s greenhouse gases to collect emissions data.

Also starting next January, the EPA is requiring power plants, industrial plants and other large stationary greenhouse gas sources to obtain pollution permits. These facilities will be required to include GHGs in their permit if they increase these emissions by at least 75,000 tons per year.

In a separate ruling, the EPA is requesting public comment on which industry related GHG information would be made publicly available and which would remain confidential.

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