Changes to the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule
Posted: July 19th, 2010Author: All4 Staff
On June 28, 2010, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) issued a final rule that adds four (4) new source categories to those that will be required to submit annual greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reports pursuant to the Greenhouse Gas Mandatory Reporting Rule codified at 40 CFR Part 98 (the GHG Reporting Rule). The source categories added to the GHG Reporting Rule by this final action are as follows:
- Magnesium production – Subpart T – Applies to any process in which magnesium metal is produced through smelting, refining, or remelting operations, or any process in which molten magnesium is used in alloying, casting, drawing, extruding, forming, or rolling operations.
- Underground coal mines – Subpart FF – Applies to active underground coal mines and any underground mines under development that have operational pre-mining degasification systems.
- Industrial wastewater treatment – Subpart II – Applies to anaerobic processes used to treat industrial wastewater and industrial wastewater treatment sludge at facilities that perform pulp and paper manufacturing, food processing, ethanol production, and petroleum refining.
- Industrial waste landfills – Subpart TT – Originally proposed as a part of Subpart HH for municipal solid waste landfills, this new subpart applies to industrial waste landfills that accepted waste on or after January 1, 1980 and that are located at a facility whose total landfill design capacity is greater than or equal to 300,000 metric tons. This source category does not include municipal solid waste landfills, RCRA Subtitle C or TSCA hazardous waste landfills, dedicated construction and demolition waste landfills, or industrial waste landfills that only receive one (1) or more of certain inert waste materials.
These four (4) new final subparts will become effective 60 days after being published in the Federal Register. Facilities that include these source categories will be required to report their emissions to U.S. EPA if they emit 25,000 metric tons carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) or more per year in combined emissions from all source categories covered by 40 CFR Part 98. Monitoring of GHG emissions from these four (4) new source categories must begin January 1, 2011 and the first annual report including emissions from these new source categories will have to be submitted to U.S. EPA by March 31, 2012.
In issuing these new source categories, U.S. EPA also announced a final decision not to include ethanol production and food processing as distinct subparts in 40 CFR Part 98, as well as the final decision not to include suppliers of coal in 40 CFR Part 98 at this time. These types of facilities are still required to report emissions under other subparts of the rule if they meet the reporting threshold of 25,000 metric tons of CO2e per year for all covered emissions sources.
These new source categories being finalized were proposed but not finalized when 40 CFR Part 98 was published in the October 30, 2009 Federal Register. The monitoring requirements for magnesium production, underground coal mines, industrial wastewater treatment, and industrial waste landfills have not changed significantly from when they were proposed in 2009. However, U.S. EPA has added a provision that will allow facilities in these source categories to submit a request to use Best Available Monitoring Methods (BAMM) instead of using the monitoring methods specified in each subpart for calendar year 2011 monitoring. The use of BAMM will not be approved beyond December 31, 2011.
Facilities which include any of these new source categories which are not currently subject to the GHG Reporting Rule for emissions in 2010 must determine if they will now become subject to reporting requirements beginning in 2011 and, if so, prepare a GHG Monitoring Plan prior to when the new monitoring requirements take effect. Likewise, facilities currently subject to the GHG Reporting Rule which include any of these new source categories should become familiar with the new monitoring requirements and make revisions to existing GHG Monitoring Plans accordingly. A pre-publication copy of U.S. EPA’s final action to add the new source categories to the GHG Reporting Rule can be found here.