Audit, Compliance and Risk Blog

EPA proposes to update and expand mandatory greenhouse gas emission reporting requirements

Posted by Jon Elliott on Fri, Jul 14, 2023

Greenhouse gasFor over a decade, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has required thousands of facilities and organizations to report annual emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs), in what it refers to as its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) (40 CFR part 98). On May 22, 2023, EPA published an extensive set of proposals to update and expand existing requirements. These proposals supplement and supersede proposals published in June 2022 but not acted on by the agency. The remainder of this note summarizes these proposals, focusing not on the many technical revisions to existing requirements but on proposals to target additional activities with reporting requirements. (I’ve written about EPA’s mandatory GHG reporting program several times, including HERE).

Who Must Report?

EPA’s GHGRP presently requires reporting from the following qualifying entities, based on GHGs emitted and/or on the emission source’s industrial sector:

  • 19 sectors - facilities with a source of any size in any of the following sectors: adipic acid production; aluminum production; ammonia manufacturing; cement production; electricity generation; electrical transmission and distribution equipment manufacture and refurbishment; electrical transmission and distribution equipment use; geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide; HCFC-22 production; lime manufacturing; nitric acid production; injection of carbon dioxide; petrochemical production; petroleum refineries; phosphoric acid production; silicon carbide production; soda ash production; and titanium dioxide production.
  • 4 sectors - facilities with a source in a specified sector with emissions above a specified threshold: HFC-23 destruction processes that are not co-located with a HCFC-22 production facility and that destroy more than 2.14 metric tons of HFC-23 per year; municipal solid waste landfills that generate 25,000 metric tons CO2 equivalent (CO2e) or more of CH4 per year; manure management systems with combined CH4 and N2O emissions of 25,000 metric tons CO2e or more per year (although Congress has repeatedly deferred EPA’s authority to enforce against this sector); and underground coal mines subject to quarterly or more frequent sampling by Mine Safety and Health Administration of ventilation systems.
  • 13 sectors - facilities that contain any source in any of the following specified source categories, and that emit a total 25,000 metric tons CO2e or more per year in combined emissions from all stationary fuel combustion units, miscellaneous uses of carbonate, and these source categories: electronics manufacturing; ferroalloy production; fluorinated gas production; glass production; hydrogen production; industrial waste landfills; industrial wastewater treatment; iron and steel production; lead production; magnesium production; petroleum and natural gas systems; pulp and paper manufacturing; and zinc production.
  • 6 sectors - suppliers of the following GHGs or fuels that emit GHGs when burned or consumed: coal-to-liquids; importers and exporters of fluorinated greenhouse gases contained in pre-charged equipment or closed-cell foams; petroleum products; natural gas and natural gas liquids; industrial GHGs; CO2; and importers and exporters of fluorinated GHGs contained in pre-charged equipment or closed-cell foams.
  • PLUS facilities without any source in the preceding categories, but with aggregate maximum rated heat input capacity of stationary fuel combustion units of 30 million Btu per hour (mmBtu/hr or greater), that emit 25,000 metric tons CO2e or more from all stationary fuel combustion sources.

What types of technical updates is EPA proposing?

EPA proposes extensive technical changes to GHGRP reporting requirements for the following sectors (identified in the alphabetical subpart of the Part 98 GHGRP rules):

  • A (General Provisions)
  • B (Energy Consumption)
  • C (General Stationary Fuel Combustion Sources)
  • F (Aluminum Production)
  • G (Ammonia Manufacturing)
  • I (Electronics Manufacturing)
  • N (Glass Production)
  • P (Hydrogen Production)
  • Y (Petroleum Refineries)
  • AA (Pulp and Paper Manufacturing)
  • HH (Municipal Solid Waste Landfills)
  • OO (Suppliers of Industrial Greenhouse Gases)
  • PP (Suppliers of Carbon Dioxide)
  • QQ (Importers and Exporters of Fluorinated Greenhouse Gases Contained in Pre-Charged Equipment and Closed-Cell Foams)
  • RR (Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide)
  • UU (Injection of Carbon Dioxide)

The proposed changes would:

  • address changes in industry practices
  • adopt improved calculation and monitoring methods
  • collect new data to understand new source categories or new emissions sources for specific sectors

What reporting sectors is EPA proposing to add?

In addition, EPA is proposing to add GHGRP requirements for four emitting sectors:

  • Geologic Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide with Enhanced Oil Recovery Using ISO 27916 (new subpart VV; first proposed in 2022)
  • Coke Calciners (new subpart WW)
  • Calcium Carbide Production (new subpart XX)
  • Caprolactam, Glyoxal, and Glyoxylic Acid Production (new subpart YY)
  • Ceramics Production (new subpart ZZ)

What now?

Comments are due by July 21, 2023, after which EPA will consider them and may adopt some version of revisions. EPA has said that such changes would become effective January 1, 2025, and apply to 2025 data reports due April 1, 2026. This timeline would provide time for organizations whose reporting requirements may change, as well as those that may become subject to GHG reporting requirements for the first time.

Implementation Checklist

Has the organization prepared a GHG emissions inventory, identifying operations that:

  • Burn fossil fuels and/or use GHGs?
  • Supply fossil fuels and/or GHGs?

For each such potential source of GHG emissions, has the organization collected appropriate information?

  • Fossil fuel and GHG use?
  • GHG emissions?
  • List of any sources regulated for emissions of GHGs or other air pollutants, and documentation associated with applicable their permits and compliance reports (including part 98 reports from prior years)?

Has the organization identified facilities and individual sources subject to part 98 reporting?

If the organization is a supplier of fossil fuels or specified GHGs, has the entity identified materials streams subject to part 98 reporting?

If the organization is presently subject to mandatory GHG emission reporting under part 98, has it evaluated any changes proposed by EPA?

If the entity has activities in any of the additional sectors EPA is proposing to regulate, has it evaluated how the requirements would apply and how it would comply?

Where Can I go For More Information?

EPA provides extensive information on its website, and has published its proposed revisions:

About the Author

jon_f_elliottJon Elliott is President of Touchstone Environmental and has been a major contributor to STP’s product range for over 30 years. 

Mr. Elliott has a diverse educational background. In addition to his Juris Doctor (University of California, Boalt Hall School of Law, 1981), he holds a Master of Public Policy (Goldman School of Public Policy [GSPP], UC Berkeley, 1980), and a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering (Princeton University, 1977).

Mr. Elliott is active in professional and community organizations. In addition, he is a past chairman of the Board of Directors of the GSPP Alumni Association, and past member of the Executive Committee of the State Bar of California's Environmental Law Section (including past chair of its Legislative Committee).

You may contact Mr. Elliott directly at:

Tags: Environmental, EPA, Greenhouse Gas, Environment