Greenhouse Gas Emission Reporting: Federal and State

consulting-croppedBased on total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in the United States, 32% comes from electricity production and 20% is from industry. In 2009, the Environmental Protection Agency published a rule for mandatory reporting of greenhouse gas emissions from facilities labeled as large GHG emission sources.

The goal of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) is to collect nationwide information that will help develop policies and programs to reduce emissions. The publically available data is used by the EPA to better understand the sources of GHGs and facilities can track their progress and compare their data to similar establishments.

Facilities that release 25,000 metric tons or more of carbon dioxide equivalent per year are required, by the EPA, to submit annual reports. However, Massachusetts is paving the way to a cleaner economy.

In 2008, the Massachusetts Global Warming Solution Act (GWSA) was established to address local climate change and effects of global warming across the state. The act’s goal is to reduce GHG emissions in Massachusetts (from 1990) 25% by 2020 and 80% by 2050.

  • Under GWSA, a facility in Massachusetts is required to report if it falls under one of these categories:
  • Regulated under Title V of the U.S. Clean Air Act and 310 CMR 7.00 Appendix C (Air Pollution Control Regulations).
    • These facilities also must obtain permits for specific emission sources that emit above threshold values outlined Appendix C.
  • Emits 5,000 (or more) tons per year of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e).
  • In addition to carbon dioxide, CO2e includes:
  • Methane (CH4)
  • Nitrous oxide (N2O)
  • Sulfur hexafluoride (SF6)
  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
  • Perfluorcarbons (PFCs)

These facilities must report by April 15 each year through the Climate Registry Information System (CRIS). There is no direct reporting fee but organizations must pay an annual membership dues to CRIS. This membership fees is based upon your organization’s annual revenue or operating budget. Click here for more information on registering with CRIS.

Massachusetts Global Warming Solution Act is one of the most comprehensive and robust GHG programs across the country and, so far, the state is right on track. From 1990 to 2011, GHG emissions have been reduced by 15%. Many factors contributed to this GHG reduction: changing gas prices, economy downturn, new energy efficient technology, recycling programs, and a general better understanding of greenhouse gases.

Facilities that are not required to report GHG emissions in Massachusetts are encouraged to report voluntarily. The information is still beneficial in helping the state reach its goal of a 25% GHG reduction by 2020.

Accurate reporting begins with good data management. At Triumvirate, we recognize that recordkeeping has evolved over the years and would like to help keep your data organized. We work closely with our clients to create recordkeeping documents that are clear, concise, and user-friendly. Every facility has a unique set of emission data and we want you to be prepared to access this data for reports, permits, and inspections 

Please contact us for help with managing emission data, determine if your facility is required to report under GWSA or if you would like to report voluntary. 

Helpful Resources:

The EPA List of Global Warming Potentials 
Mass GWSA 
310 CMR 7.00: Air Pullution Control Regulations
Interactive GWSA Data
Massachusetts Climate Registry Information System

To learn more about how we can help you meet the reporting requirements check out our consulting services in the link below.

Learn More