In response to the 2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110-161), EPA has issued 40 CFR Part 98, which requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large sources and suppliers in the United States. Part 98 is intended to collect accurate and timely emissions data to inform future policy decisions. Under Part 98, suppliers of “fossil fuels or industrial GHGs, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHG emissions are required to submit annual reports to EPA.” Part 98 was published in the Federal Register (www.regulations.gov) on October 30, 2009 under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0508-2278. Part 98 became effective December 29, 2009.
The petroleum and natural gas systems sectors were originally included in the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule (40 CFR Part 98), but due to public comment, Subpart W was re-proposed in April 2010. The public comment period has now closed and it is anticipated by the EPA that this rule will be finalized in November of 2010, and will become effective in 2011. Under this rule, facilities not already reporting but required to report under subpart W would begin data collection in 2011 following the methods outlined in the rule, and would submit data to EPA by March 31, 2012. “In the Appropriation Act, Congress requested EPA to develop this reporting program on an expedited schedule, and Congressional inquiries along with public comments reinforce that data collection for calendar year 2011 is a priority. Delaying data collection until calendar year 2012 would mean the data would not be received until 2013, which would likely be too late for many ongoing GHG policy and program development needs.”
The regulation requires reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from the petroleum and natural gas industry, and does not include any mandate to control the greenhouse gas emissions. The rule applies to industry segments of the petroleum and natural gas industry that emit GHGs greater than or equal to 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year such as:
- Onshore petroleum and natural gas production
- Offshore petroleum and natural gas production
- Natural gas processing
- Natural gas transmission compressor stations
- Underground natural gas storage
- Liquefied natural gas storage
- Liquefied natural gas import and export terminals, and distribution
The rule incorporates methodologies that provide improved emissions coverage at a lower cost to affected facilities. In this rule the EPA is requiring the use of direct measurement of emissions for only the most significant emissions sources where other options are not available, and is allowing the use of engineering estimates, emissions modeling software, and leak detection and publicly available emission factors for most other vented and fugitive sources. For smaller fugitive and inaccessible to plain view sources, component count and population emissions factors are proposed.
The complete rule can be reviewed at: http://www.regulations.gov/search/Regs/home.html#documentDetail?R=0900006480ad5aa6