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EPA Releases Facilities’ Greenhouse Gas Emissions Data

On January 11 the United State Environmental Protection Agency for the first time released greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions data under its GHG reporting program.  The data are available on a searchable website and can be easily viewed by state and facility:  http://epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgdata/ and http://ghgdata.epa.gov/ghgp/main.do.  The data show 2010 GHG emissions by large industrial facilities and certain suppliers.

The data include GHG reports for more than 6,700 facilities nationwide.  Reports are required from facilities that emit more than 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent each year.  As expected, the data show large GHG emissions from power plants, but also show details on emissions from other manufacturers, including refineries, chemicals, metals, and paper, as well as landfills and government and commercial facilities.

EPA’s presentation of this data will allow facilities to compare their reported GHG emissions with other facilities.  It also will allow the media and public to review the same data for their own purposes.  News stories reporting on the data and naming specific facilities almost certainly will follow.  Some facilities will receive news reporters’ questions and publicity from citizens groups and blogs about their data.  Facilities on the data list may wish to prepare for such inquiries, identify a specific person or office to answer questions, and prepare press statements in advance.

If you have questions about EPA’s GHG reporting program, about how it affects your facilities, or about its requirements and legal issues going forward, please contact your Spencer Fane attorney or any member of our Environmental Law Practice Group.