Sedina L. Banks

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Greenhouse Gas Data Just a Click Away

Earlier this month, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for the first time comprehensive greenhouse gas (GHG) data through EPA’s GHG Reporting Program. The 2010 GHG data includes publicly accessible information from sources in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of GHGs or supply certain fossil fuels.

The GHG Reporting Program came as result of EPA’s October 2009 issuance of the Mandatory Reporting of GHG Rule (74 FR 56260).  The rule requires certain large sources and suppliers of products that would emit GHGs if released or combusted to report their GHG data and other relevant information starting in 2010.  EPA’s online data publication tool allows the public to review the GHG data in multiple ways including by facility, industry, location or gas.

Texas had the most reporting facilities at 678, followed by California at 456.  D.C. had the fewest reporting facilities at 7.  Power plants were the largest stationary source of direct emissions, followed by petroleum refineries.  Carbon dioxide accounted for the largest share of direct GHG emissions with 95 percent, followed by methane with 4 percent, and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases representing the remaining 1 percent.

The GHG Reporting Program differs from the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, because the Inventory cannot be broken down by location or facility.  The Inventory is an assessment of GHG emissions from the United States developed to fulfill the United States’ commitment to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).

EPA will require more sources to report next year under the GHG Reporting Program.