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Related Practices
Related Practices

EPA Issues Rule to Extend Reporting Deadline for 2010 Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Beveridge & Diamond, P.C., March 28, 2011

The Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) has issued a final rule, effective March 18, 2011, that extends the deadline for submitting the first annual greenhouse gas (“GHG”) emissions reports due under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program, 40 CFR Part 98.  The new deadline for reporting 2010 GHG emissions data to EPA is September 30, 2011.

EPA anticipates that this additional time will provide an opportunity for the agency to fully roll out an electronic reporting system, test the system, and obtain industry feedback and for industry to become familiar with the new system prior to the first reporting deadline. 

This delay follows a last minute scramble by regulated entities to register for reporting by a mandatory January 30th deadline. This rush to register was caused by the failure of EPA to timely bring on-line the registration elements of the electronic reporting system that it had spent months designing for use by the thousands of entities that will need to report GHG emissions. The scramble to register was particularly difficult for those who import or export, as EPA somewhat inexplicably decided that those entities must use an entirely different electronic reporting system, and then posted no information to guide reporters on the registration process until one week prior to the registration deadline. Consequently, EPA’s decision to delay all GHG inventory reporting until the regulated community has an opportunity to test and comment on the reporting system is likely a recognition that the initial steps to roll out the reporting system have been rocky, and that more thought and dialogue is necessary to ensure the system will, in fact, work.

The extension does not affect ongoing GHG emissions monitoring requirements for facilities subject to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program; these requirements remain in full force.  Nor does the final rule extend the reporting deadline for future years.  GHG emissions for calendar year 2011 must still be reported by March 2012.  The extension does effectively extend the deadline for reporters to register with EPA’s online reporting system until August 1, 2011. Reporters will need to report any changes in their existing designated representatives, those individuals responsible for certifying, signing and submitting the annual GHG reports, by August 1, 2011.  The final rule is available at http://edocket.access.gpo.gov/2011/pdf/2011-6417.pdf

For further information on the GHG reporting rule or on this recent agency action, please contact Stephen Richmond at srichmond@bdlaw.com, Amy Lincoln at alincoln@bdlaw.com, or Aladdine Joroff at ajoroff@bdlaw.com.