EPA amends Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

By Erin Voegele | December 13, 2016

The U.S. EPA has published a final rule amending specific provisions of its Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule with the goal of streamlining and improving implementation of the rule and improving the quality and consistency of data collected under the rule. The rulemaking also provides minor updates to certain provisions that have been subject to questions from reporting entities and finalizes confidentiality determinations for certain data elements.

One segment of final rule specifically addresses ethanol. The amendment will require facilities that perform ethanol production to indicate whether their facility uses a wet milling process or a dry milling process. The EPA said it intends to use the data on the number of facilities with wet versus dry milling processes and their respective wastewater characteristics to improve the understanding of the data collected under the GHGRP. The data is also expected to allow the agency to better understand trends in industrial wastewater technology for use in future policies and programs, update assumptions used in the U.S. GHG Inventory, and thereby improve the estimates of U.S. emissions from wastewater treatment at ethanol plants. In addition, the EPA said it intends to update the U.S. GHG Inventory using data on the level of biogas recovery in use at wet milling and at dry milling facilities.

Another section of the rule includes a provision related to municipal solid waste (MSW) used a fuel in stationary fuel combustion sources. The rule states when MSW is either the primary fuel combusted in a unit or the only fuel with a biogenic component combusted in the unit, the reporter is required to use specific test methods to determine the biogenic portion of carbon dioxide emissions. Reporting requirements using specific testing methods are also required for units that combust combinations of biomass fuels and fossil fuels.

A full copy of the rule is available on the Federal Register website.