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EPA Extends Comment Period on Proposed Amendments to GHG Reporting Program

Posted Friday, November 8th, 2013

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the comment period on its proposed amendments to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) Reporting Program.  Comments were originally due to EPA by November 12, 2013, and are now due to EPA by November 26, 2013.  The proposed amendments would modify certain reporting and recordkeeping requirements, provide an alternative verification approach, and provide confidentiality determinations for certain sensitive data.  The proposed amendments are intended to address concerns about the potential release of sensitive data while maintaining EPA’s ability to verify emissions and ensure compliance with the program.

Under the GHG Reporting Program, regulated entities calculate emissions using either direct measurement, mass balance, or the use of emission factors.  Emissions calculated by mass balance or the use of emission factors require the input of sensitive data.  EPA previously categorized such data as “emission data” while also proposing confidentiality determinations for the same data.  Because the Clean Air Act precludes emission data from being treated as confidential, concerns arose regarding the potential release of this sensitive information.  In response to those concerns, EPA has proposed the following amendments to the GHG Reporting Program:

• Adding a requirement that certain reporters use an EPA-provided inputs verification tool which, upon input of sensitive data, would calculate the emissions and verify compliance without retaining the entered data; • Modifying the required format for maintaining records of the entered data; • Lengthening the record retention period from 3 to 5 years for all records maintained under Part 98; • Adding new data elements to be reported, and proposing confidentiality determinations of such data; and • Removing the requirement to report certain data, but requiring that such data be kept as records.

Comments regarding the proposed amendments are now due to EPA by November 26, 2013.  For additional information, contact Andrew Holway.

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