Federal GHG reporting tool opens for business

By Kris Bevill | August 24, 2011

The U.S. EPA announced Aug. 22 that its electronic tool for reporting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, dubbed e-GRRT, is finally ready for use. The agency is requiring participants of the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule (MRR) to use e-GRRT to submit their pollution data, but the program has been slow to launch and even caused the agency to push back the first annual reporting deadline earlier this year.

The MRR was established in 2009 and served as the EPA’s initial step toward a nationwide GHG emissions reduction program. The purpose of the rule is to acquire data to assist in future policy decisions regarding GHG emissions and to help industries identify ways to increase efficiency, according to the EPA. Any stationary source emitting more than 25,000 tons per year of CO2 equivalent is required to report its emissions data to the agency. This threshold includes most ethanol producers, although the exact number of compliers won’t be known until the first annual reports are submitted.

Participants of the program were required to begin collecting emissions data on Jan. 1, 2010, and were supposed to submit the first year’s data through e-GRRT by March 31 this year. However, issues with the tool led the EPA to extend that deadline and participants now have until Sept. 30 to submit their reports.  According to the EPA, the deadline extension was necessary in order to allow further testing of the system and to give program participants time to become familiar with the tool. The extension has allowed more than 1,000 stakeholders to test the tool, the agency stated. About 7,000 participants are expected to file their reports using e-GRRT.

Non-confidential information collected through the reporting process will be made publicly available. Despite the delay in acquiring that data, the EPA still expects to make that information available by the end of the year in order to allow industry to use it to assist in decreasing emissions and to provide the public with information about the nation’s largest sources of pollution, according to the agency. For more information about the MRR, visit the EPA’s website.