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July 19 -- Comment period extended to October 6, 2022. https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-15402

June 21 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to amend specific provisions in the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule to improve the quality and consistency of the data collected under the rule, streamline and improve implementation, and clarify or propose minor updates to certain provisions that have been the subject of questions from reporting entities.

These proposed changes include revisions to improve the existing calculation, recordkeeping, and reporting requirements by incorporating updates to existing emissions estimation methodologies and providing for collection of additional data to understand new source categories or new emission sources for specific sectors. The proposed changes would improve understanding of the sector-specific processes or other factors that influence greenhouse gas emissions rates, improve verification of collected data, and complement or inform other EPA programs.

The EPA is also proposing revisions that would improve implementation of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule such as updates to applicability estimation methodologies, providing flexibility for or simplifying calculation and monitoring methodologies, streamlining recordkeeping and reporting, and other minor technical corrections or clarifications. This action also proposes to establish and amend confidentiality determinations for the reporting of certain data elements to be added or substantially revised in these proposed amendments. Further, this action includes a request for comment to solicit information that may aid in potential future revisions to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule.

Comments must be received on or before August 22, 2022.

Executive Summary

The EPA is proposing amendments to part 98 to implement improvements to the GHGRP. After more than 10 years of implementation of the program, the EPA has assessed the data collected, emissions, and trends established from annual reports in each industrial sector required to report. In this review, the EPA has evaluated the requirements of the GHGRP to identify areas of improvement, such as where the rule may be modified to reflect the EPA's current understanding of United States (U.S.) GHG emission trends, or to improve data collection and reporting where additional data may be necessary to better understand emissions from specific sectors or inform future policy decisions. The EPA has subsequently identified improvements to the calculation, monitoring, and reporting requirements that would incorporate new data or updated scientific knowledge; reflect new emissions sources; improve analysis and verification of collected data; provide additional data to complement or inform other EPA programs; or streamline calculation, monitoring, or reporting to provide flexibility or increase the efficiency of data collection.

The proposed amendments include improvements to requirements that would enhance the quality of the data collected, clarify elements of the rule, and streamlining changes. The types of proposed amendments that would improve the quality of the data collected under the rule include revisions to update emission factors to more accurately reflect industry emissions; refinements to existing emissions calculation methodologies to reflect an improved understanding of emissions sources and end uses of GHGs; providing for collection of additional data to understand new source categories or new emission sources for specific sectors; additions or modifications to reporting requirements in order to eliminate data gaps and improve verification of emissions estimates; revisions that address prior commenter concerns or clarify requirements, and editorial corrections that would improve the public's understanding of the rule.

The types of streamlining changes that the EPA is proposing include revisions to applicability for certain industry sectors to account for changes in usage of certain GHGs or where the current applicability estimation methodology may overestimate emissions; revisions that provide flexibility for or simplify monitoring and calculation methods; and revisions to streamline reported data elements or recordkeeping where the current requirements are redundant, where reported data are not currently useful for verification or analysis, or for which continued collection of the data at the same frequency would not likely provide new insights or knowledge of the industry sector, emissions, or trends at this time.

This action also includes a request for comment related to potentially expanding existing categories or including additional new source categories to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule. In these cases, the EPA is seeking additional information to better inform our consideration of proposing these new source categories to the GHGRP. Therefore, the EPA is specifically requesting comment related to the potential expanded or new source categories described in this section. The EPA is also requesting comment on potential future amendments to add new calculation, monitoring, and reporting requirements for the aluminum production source category. If the Agency becomes comfortable that the information available is sufficient to support a rule revision, the EPA may consider undertaking a future action to revise or add source categories or to incorporate updated calculation and reporting requirements.

Further, this action includes a proposal to update 40 CFR part 9 in accordance with the publication requirements of the PRA to include the OMB control number issued under the PRA for the information collection request (ICR) for the GHGRP.

Finally, this action proposes to establish and/or revise confidentiality determinations for the reporting of certain data elements added or revised in these proposed amendments, and for certain existing data elements for which no confidentiality determination has been previously proposed, or for which we are proposing to amend a previously established confidentiality determination.

Most of the changes that are proposed are not anticipated to significantly increase the recordkeeping and reporting burden associated with the GHGRP. The proposed changes are anticipated to improve the quality of the data reported under the program. Some of the proposed revisions could potentially increase burden in cases where the proposed amendments add or revise reporting requirements. The estimated incremental costs include an average burden of $1,424,775 per year beginning in reporting year (RY) 2023.

The EPA anticipates that the proposed changes may take effect on January 1, 2023 and would apply beginning with reports submitted for RY2023, which are required to be submitted to the EPA by April 1, 2024.

EPA Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program https://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting
FRN with proposed rule: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-09660 (200 pages)

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