If your facility reported its greenhouse gas emissions in 2010, your data is now open to public scrutiny. But what exactly does this mean for you, and for the environmental regulatory landscape?
The Environmental Protection Agency has published its GHG emissions report records from the 2010 GHG reporting program, making it available to anyone in the public.
This continues the EPA's recent trend of increasing environmental reporting transparency.
The online database allows users to search through GHG records from over 6,700 facilities. It’s possible to view GHG emission records down to the facility level.
The goal of releasing all of this GHG emissions reporting data is to help local communities identify nearby sources of greenhouse gases and to be used for a tool to help businesses compare and track their own GHG emissions.
Unsurprisingly, carbon dioxide made up the majority of the green house gas accounted for, at 95% of the total GHGs released in 2010.
This new greenhouse gas emissions reporting data has revealed that power plants were by far the largest producers of GHG, emitting 2,324 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent. That’s more than 12 times as much as the next highest emitter: petroleum refineries, which emitted 183 million tons.
This data could have a huge impact on the sector, especially as alternative power sources are getting more and more attention in the media.
All of this GHG emissions data was collected in 2010 as part of a mandatory greenhouse gas reporting rule, from a range of 9 industry sectors, including:
- Power plants
- Metals manufacturing
- Petroleum refinery
- Pulp & paper
- Chemical manufacturing
- Government & commercial facilities
However, this year the EPA will require an additional 12 groups to submit their GHG emissions data:
- Electronics manufacturing
- Fluorinated gas production
- Magnesium production
- Petroleum and natural gas systems
- Use of electric transmissions and distribution equipment
- Underground coal mines
- Industrial wastewater treatment
- Geologic sequestration of carbon dioxide
- Manufacture of electric transmission and distribution
- Industrial waste landfills
- Underground injection of carbon dioxide
- Imports & exports of equipment pre-charged with fluorinated GHGs or containing fluorinated GHG in closed-cell forms
If your facility falls into any of these categories, then be prepared to monitor and track your GHG emissions so that your data can be added to this growing public resource.
GHG emissions reporting continues to be one of the fastest growing elements of compliance reporting, and many are still just learning of the benefits of GHG tracking.
If you're interested in learning about the correct methodology for tracking and accounting your greenhouse gases, download our free guide.
Does your facility fall into any of these reporting groups? How are you preparing for your mandatory greenhouse gas reporting? Will this new data affect your business?
January 16, 2012