By Craig B. Simonsen

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has adopted a six month extension on Greenhouse Gas (GHG) reporting and other amendments that affect owners or operators of certain industrial gas suppliers, direct emitters of GHGs, and facilities that geologically sequester or otherwise inject carbon dioxide (CO2) underground. Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases, 76 FR 73886 (November 29, 2011). The original 2009 final GHG reporting rule was published in October 2009, 74 FR 56260 (October 30, 2009).

The amendments allow a limited, one-time six month extension of the 2012 reporting deadline for facilities and suppliers that contain one or more source categories for which data collection began in 2011. Articles about the EPA’s original GHG reporting rulemaking may be found in our previous newsletters here and here and here. The source categories, as defined in 40 CFR part 98,  cover approximately 85-90 percent of U.S. GHG emissions through reporting by direct emitters, suppliers of certain products that would result in GHG emissions when released, used, or oxidized, and those that geologically sequester or otherwise inject carbon dioxide (CO2) underground. The amendments also include additional information to clarify compliance obligations and to correct data reporting elements so that they more closely conform to the information used to perform calculations.

EPA has determined the amendments are effective for the calculation of GHG emissions and quantities for the 2011 reporting year and has adopted this one-time extension of the 2012 reporting deadline to enable testing of its electronic-GHG Reporting Tool (e-GGRT), which incorporates the changes presented in the amendments.

The final rule amendments are effective on December 29, 2011.  Technical information and implementation materials on the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program are found on the Agency’s Internet site at