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Environment

Reporting CO₂ Emissions

by Cheryl Hogue
September 28, 2009 | APPEARED IN VOLUME 87, ISSUE 39

Tens of thousands of industrial plants will have to report their emissions of greenhouse gases to EPA under a rule the agency unveiled last week. "For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85% of the total U.S. emissions," EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson says. Facilities that release at least 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide or its equivalent will have to file their first reports in 2011 about their 2010 emissions. Although CO2 makes up the majority of U.S. emissions, the rule covers other greenhouse gases as well: methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride, nitrogen trifluoride, and hydrofluorinated ethers. Companies that supply any of these chemicals, along with those that produce fossil fuels and manufacturers of motor vehicles and other engines, also must file reports, EPA says. The American Chemistry Council, a chemical industry organization, says it supports the new national reporting system. Companies that are ACC members already track their greenhouse gas emissions and provide these data to the association under its Responsible Care program.

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