In This Issue

Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems Proposed Rule

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0923; FRL-9131-1]; RIN 2060-AP99

EPA is proposing a supplemental rule to require reporting of fugitive and vented greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems, including:

  • Onshore petroleum and natural gas production,
  • Offshore petroleum and natural gas production,
  • Natural gas processing,
  • Natural gas transmission compressor stations,
  • Underground natural gas storage,
  • Liquefied natural gas (LNG) storage,
  • LNG import and export terminals, and distribution.

The proposed supplemental rulemaking does not require control of GHGs, rather it requires only that sources above certain threshold levels monitor and report emissions. This proposed supplemental rule 40 CFR 98, subpart W requires annual reporting of fugitive and vented carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) emissions from petroleum and natural gas systems facilities, as well as combustion-related CO2, CH4, and nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions from flares at those facilities.

This proposed rule would also establish appropriate thresholds and frequency for reporting, as well as provisions to ensure the accuracy of emissions through monitoring, reporting and recordkeeping requirements. This proposed supplemental rule incorporates a number of changes from the original proposed rule, including, but not limited to, different methodologies that provide improved emissions coverage at a lower cost burden to facilities than would have been covered under the initial proposed rule; the inclusion of onshore production and distribution facilities; and separate definitions for “vented” and “fugitive” emissions.

This proposed rule applies to facilities in specific segments of the petroleum and natural gas industry that emit GHGs greater than or equal to 25,000 metric tons of CO2 equivalent per year. Reporting would be at the facility level. Note: many of these facilities are already required to track and report their combustion-related GHG emissions, according to Subpart C of the April 2009 rulemaking for 40 CFR 98.

Submit comments on the subject of this proposed rule on or before June 11, 2010 to http://www.regulations.gov and reference Docket No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0923.