4 The record articles

Georgia Facilities – Get Ready for CAERS 2.0!

Posted: January 11th, 2021

Authors: Stacy A. 

In April 2020, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) launched the pilot program for the Combined Air Emission Reporting System (CAERS) in Georgia for calendar year (CY) 2019 reporting.  Since its launch, U.S. EPA and the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (GEPD) have been closely working together to provide and incorporate feedback, implement and test upgrades to CAERS, and get ready for even more reporting in 2021!

ALL4 attended a training session on December 16, 2020 hosted by U.S. EPA and GEPD that provided Georgia facilities with a list of actions facilities must take to prepare for CY2020 reporting and an overview of changes in CAERS for 2021.  For purposes of this blog, we will only be covering those actions facilities must take to prepare for CY2020 reporting.

Most importantly, regardless of your facility’s current CAERS registration status, every facility must “opt-in” to CAERS through the Georgia Environmental Connections Online (GECO) portal.  Each facility’s personnel responsible for completing emissions inventory requirements must navigate to the “Emissions Inventory” section of their GECO homepage and complete a short questionnaire.  The following flowchart details the questions included in the GECO questionnaire:

The questionnaire is designed to determine your facility’s reporting status for CY2020 and update facility contact information as appropriate.  As a reminder, CY2020 is a triennial reporting year for the National Emissions Inventory (NEI), which has different potential to emit (PTE) thresholds for regulated pollutants [see comparison of thresholds in tons per year (tpy) below].  Because of the lower thresholds during a triennial reporting year, significantly more facilities will be required to report CY2020 annual emissions than a normal reporting year.

After opting-in to CAERS, each facility will have the ability to update all information for their preparer(s) and/or certifier.  If your facility completed CY2019 reporting in CAERS and there are no changes to preparer(s) and/or certifier information, no further action is needed.  If your facility completed CY2019 reporting in CAERS and there have been changes to the preparer(s) and/or certifier, you must update the appropriate contact(s) and contact information in both GECO and CAERS.  The contact information must be updated and match in both platforms for U.S. EPA and GEPD to correctly associate personnel in CAERS.  If you have not completed reporting in CAERS before, you will be required to enter all contact information for responsible personnel and their respective role(s) in GECO.  U.S. EPA and GEPD will use this information to associate personnel with their respective facility and role prior to opening CAERS for CY2020 reporting.  Once all associations have been made, users will receive user-specific emails to activate CAERS within their CDX accounts or create a new CDX account with access to CAERS.

GEPD will open GECO for the “opt-in” process on January 25, 2021.  GEPD strongly encourages all Georgia facilities to complete the “opt-in” process within two weeks (i.e., by February 8, 2021) to allow time for U.S. EPA and GEPD to associate all new users and facilities.  CAERS will then be expected to open in March 2021 for CY2020 reporting!

Keep a lookout for more CAERS-related content as ALL4 continues to provide more details about CAERS and our lessons learned from CY2019 reporting in CAERS.  If you have any questions concerning CAERS or reporting in CAERS, please reach out to Andrew Kelley at 678.460.0324 x217 or akelley@all4inc.com or myself at 678.460.0324 x213 or sarner@all4inc.com. Thanks for reading!

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