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Mar 28 -- The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) invites comments to OMB by April 29, 2024 regarding the extension of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP).

In response to the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764; Pub. L. 110-161) and under authority of the Clean Air Act, the EPA finalized the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (GHG Reporting Rule) (74 FR 56260; October 30, 2009). The GHG Reporting Rule, which became effective on December 29, 2009, establishes reporting requirements for certain large facilities and suppliers. It does not require control of greenhouse gases. Instead, it requires that sources emitting greenhouse gases, supplying certain products that contain greenhouse gases, or injecting carbon dioxide (CO2) underground in quantities above certain threshold levels, to monitor and report annual emissions in amounts of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).

Subsequent rules have promulgated requirements for additional facilities, suppliers, and mobile sources; provided clarification and corrections to existing requirements; finalized CBI determinations; amended recordkeeping requirements; and implemented an alternative verification approach. Collectively, the GHG Reporting Rule and its associated rulemakings are referred to as the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP).

Signed into law on December 26, 2007, the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (Public Law 110-161-Dec. 26, 2007, henceforth referred to as the “Appropriations Act”) directed EPA to “develop and publish a draft rule not later than 9 months after the date of enactment of this Act, and a final rule not later than 18 months after the date of enactment of this Act, to require mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions above appropriate thresholds in all sectors of the economy of the United States.”

The accompanying explanatory statement further directed EPA to “use its existing authority under the Clean Air Act” to develop a GHG reporting rule. “The Agency is further directed to include in its rule reporting of emissions resulting from upstream production and downstream sources, to the extent that the Administrator deems it appropriate. The Administrator shall determine appropriate thresholds of emissions above which reporting is required, and how frequently reports shall be submitted to EPA. The Administrator shall have discretion to use existing reporting requirements for electric generating units under Section 821” of the 1990 CAA amendments.

Section 114 of the CAA provides EPA authority to require the information mandated by the GHGRP because such data will inform and are relevant to future policy decisions. CAA section 114(a)(1) authorizes the Administrator to require emissions sources, persons subject to the CAA, or persons whom the Administrator believes may have necessary information to monitor and report emissions and provide such other information the Administrator requests for the purposes of carrying out any provision of the CAA. For these reasons, the Administrator may request that a person, on a one-time, periodic, or continuous basis establish and maintain records, make reports, install and operate monitoring equipment and, among other things, provide such information the Administrator may reasonably require.

The GHGRP collects information from facilities that directly emit GHGs or inject CO2 underground and from suppliers of certain products that contain GHGs. Reporting entities use uniform methods for calculating emissions, which enables data to be compared and analyzed. The comprehensive GHG data reported directly from large facilities and suppliers across the country are easily accessible to the public via EPA’s online data publication tool, also known as FLIGHT (Facility Level Information on Greenhouse gases Tool) at: http://ghgdata.epa.gov/ghgp/main.do. FLIGHT is designed for the general public and allows users to view and sort GHG data for every data year starting with 2010 from over 8,000 entities in a variety of ways including by location, industrial sector, and type of GHG emitted. To support the needs of data users, all non-confidential data collected through the GHGRP are made available for download through Envirofacts (https://enviro.epa.gov/ ), a cross-EPA data publication website.

Data collected through the GHGRP complement the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks (Inventory) and are used to significantly improve our understanding of key emissions sources by allowing EPA to better reflect changing technologies and emissions from a wide range of industrial facilities. For example, within the industrial processes and product use sector of the Inventory, EPA directly uses annual GHGRP data in 11 categories to improve the national estimates. The industrial sectors that utilize GHGRP data include, but are not limited to, adipic acid production, aluminum production, cement production, petrochemical production, semiconductor manufacturing, and substitution of ozone depleting substances. The Inventory uses GHGRP data as both updates to activity data and emission factors. For example, GHGRP data are used as activity data within the cement production sector (e.g., utilizing aggregated reported clinker production), as updates to emissions factors for nitric acid production (e.g., nitric acid production data by abatement type used to develop country-specific emission factors), and as direct emissions captured within the lime production sector (e.g., capture of CO2 reported by lime facilities is incorporated directly into emissions calculations). In addition to direct use of GHGRP data as emission factors and activity data, the Inventory also uses GHGRP data as quality assurance and verification for calculated emissions estimates, emission factors, and other assumptions used in the Inventory. EPA continues to assess the GHGRP data for further updates to the Inventory.

EPA has established a central repository of data for all respondents, the web-based Electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT). Respondents report data electronically, and EPA stores the data in the database. Facilities and suppliers subject to the GHGRP register online through the e-GGRT system (https://ghgreporting.epa.gov/ghg/login.do).

GHGRP: https://www.epa.gov/ghgreporting
EPA submission to OMB: https://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAViewICR?ref_nbr=202403-2060-002 Click IC List for information collection instrument, View Supporting Statement for technical documentation. Submit comments through this webpage.
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2024-06553

For AEA members wishing to submit comments, "A Primer on How to Respond to Calls for Comment on Federal Data Collections" is available at https://www.aeaweb.org/content/file?id=5806

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