EPA To Require Greenhouse Gas Emission Data

For the first time, starting next year, the nation's biggest greenhouse gas emitters will be required to collect data on their emissions and report them to the Environmental Protection Agency. It's the first step toward what could be new regulations and a better understanding of where most of the pollution is coming from. Jack Williams reports.

About 10,000 of the nation's largest greenhouse gas emitters will be required to report the specific data under the new rules.

Dena Krueger heads the EPA's Climate Change Division.

"This kind of information about their level of emissions and how they're changing over time should be very important for them because it's difficult to manage what you're not actually measuring. From where we sit at the Environmental Protection Agency we are looking at how to deal with greenhouse gases, the policies and programs that we could implement to reduce emissions and this type of data is very important to us as we look into the Clean Air Act to see how we can cost effectively reduce emissions and protect the environment."   
 
Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide, among many others, and are produced in part by industrial activities. The data collection will begin in January and be required only for facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent every year.

"Only the largest facilities in the country, the really big factories and power plants, as well as the suppliers of fossil fuels, will be reporting under the rule. We used the threshold because we did not want to impose a reporting burden on small businesses or on houses or cars or things like that."  

Krueger says the largest facilities account for about 85-percent of the nation's total greenhouse gas emissions.

Bio photo of Jack Williams

Jack Williams

Director of News Programming

News Director Jack Williams has been with Houston Public Radio since August of 2000. He's also a reporter and anchor for Houston Public Radio's local All Things Considered segments...