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The new reporting requirements would apply to suppliers of fossil fuel and industrial chemicals, manufacturers of motor vehicles and engines, as well as large direct emitters of greenhouse gases with emissions equal to or greater than a threshold of 25,000 metric tons per year. According to an agency release, the vast majority of small businesses would not be required to report their emissions because their emissions fall well below the threshold.
"Our efforts to confront climate change must be guided by the best possible information," said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. "Through this new reporting, we will have comprehensive and accurate data about the production of greenhouse gases. This is a critical step toward helping us better protect our health and environment – all without placing an onerous burden on our nation's small businesses."
In developing the reporting requirements, the EPA said it considered the substantial amount of work already completed and underway in many states, regions and voluntary programs. Approximately 13,000 facilities, accounting for about 85 percent to 90 percent of greenhouse gases emitted in the United States, would be covered under the proposal.
The direct emission sources covered under the reporting requirement would include energy-intensive sectors such as cement production, iron and steel production, and electricity generation, among others, the agency said in a press release.
The first annual report would be submitted to the EPA in 2011 for the calendar year 2010, except for vehicle and engine manufacturers, which would begin reporting for model year 2011.
The agency estimates that the expected cost to comply with the reporting requirements to the private sector would be $160 million for the first year. In subsequent years, the annualized costs for the private sector would be $127 million.
The EPA noted it is developing this rule under the authority of the Clean Air Act. The proposed rule will be open for public comment for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register. Two public hearings will be held during the comment period.