Thursday, December 23, 2010

EPA Updates GHG Emissions Disclosure Deadlines in Manufacturing

Environmental Leader reports this morning that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing actions under the greenhouse gas, also called GHG, reporting program.  The actions are essentially delays.  The measures intend to address industry issues and concerns about  publicizing input types and amounts.

Environmental Leader (EL) is a B to B product stewardship news source, known for articles on what businesses face and how they comply with environmental regulations like REACH and policy around manufacturing emissions, water and wetlands, supply chain material disclosure, safe sourcing and the like.

One clever thing overheard recently at a Green Chemistry event was the notion of starting to track input data -- including fuel amounts -- while that data is still private.  That is, before EPA starts forcing companies to report it.  While still private, input chemical quantity data, for instance, as well as fuel amounts, can be appropriately and confidentially monitored and managed.  Changes to procedures and processes can be made without fuss.  I guess you would call this substance volume tracking.  It would require solid chemical inventory practices and strategies -- but none of it is rocket science because the data simply is what it is.  All that changes are regulatory threshold amounts both on-premise and in waste streams.  

EPA delays some GHG emissions data disclosure

The action to delay some (note: some) of the GHG reporting requirements came about because companies resisted sharing what they consider confidential business information.  As EL reports:
“Issues like this have been sensitive,” Jeff Holmstead, a former Bush administration EPA official who is now a partner at Bracewell & Giuliani told the Wall Street Journal. “In some industrial operations, the amount of fuel you use…people consider that kind of information competitive,” he said.
EPA said it would delay, possibly until as late as 2014, a measure intended to pressure companies to reveal specific amounts of fuel and solvents associated with greenhouse-gas emissions

However it's important to note that in the meantime, total emissions for each facility will still be required, reported, and released into public domain. 

August 2011 deadline for most GHG emissions data disclosure

EPA said it would give businesses until Aug. 31, 2011, to disclose the factors used in calculating greenhouse-gas emissions.  The agency said it may (note: may) give companies until as late as March 2014 to make such disclosures of “inputs”—such as coal—to emissions calculations.

See the EL article here:
http://www.environmentalleader.com/2010/12/21/epa-to-assess-confidentiality-of-greenhouse-gas-emissions-data/