EPA Proposes to Expand the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting Rule

Author:Mr Jonathan Flynn, Gregory K. Lawrence and Stephen J. Snyder
Profession:McDermott Will & Emery
 
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The proposed amendments would bring the oil and natural gas industries within the scope of the rule requiring certain facilities to report their annual emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases.

On October 30, 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule mandating the reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from sources comprising 85 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions in the United States. See EPA Finalizes GHG Reporting Rule, Proposes New GHG Permitting Requirements.

As initially drafted, the rule specifically excluded oil and natural gas production industries, as well as other sources from any reporting requirements. On April 6, 2010, the EPA announced public meetings to discuss a new proposed rule that would amend the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule to include sources of greenhouse gas emissions in the petroleum and natural gas sectors and facilities that inject or geologically sequester carbon dioxide that were previously excluded from the reporting requirements.

On April 19, 2010, the EPA will hold a public hearing in Arlington, Virginia, to discuss the proposed Subpart W of the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule. This new section would require industrial facilities to report vented and fugitive methane and carbon dioxide emissions from petroleum and natural gas facilities emitting 25,000 or more metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Potentially affected by the change would be an estimated 3,000 facilities, including onshore petroleum and natural gas production, offshore petroleum and natural gas production, onshore natural gas processing, natural gas transmission, underground natural gas storage, liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage, LNG import and export facilities and natural gas distribution facilities. The EPA has noted that this amendment was originally included in the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule, but was removed due to voluminous comments received on the proposal. The EPA chose to publish the rule without the petroleum and natural gas provisions in order to take additional time to review comments and craft an appropriate rule. The EPA has considered the comments it received and now reintroduced the subpart.

Also on April 19, 2010, the EPA will hold a public hearing in Arlington, Virginia, on Subpart RR of the proposed amendment, which would establish reporting requirements for facilities that inject carbon dioxide underground for the purposes of geologic sequestration...

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