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2011 Domestic News
December 7, 2011 – EPA Finalizes GHG Reporting Program Subpart FF Underground Coal Mines
On November 9, 2011, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency finalized technical corrections and other clarifying amendments to seven subparts under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule (40 CFR part 98). In this action (PDF) (4 pp, 46K), EPA amended 40 CFR part 98 to correct technical and editorial errors and to address certain issues identified as a result of working with entities required to report during rule implementation and outreach. In general, these amendments do not change the overall requirements of the rule but improve clarity and ensure consistency across the calculation, monitoring and data reporting requirements. In addition, EPA has provided a one-time extension of the reporting deadline to September 28, 2012 for any entity that reports under twelve subparts, including Subpart FF Underground Coal Mines.
Notice: Any communication on the GHG Reporting Program is intended to provide general and administrative information about Part 98. This communication does not provide legal advice, and responses to questions do not have legally binding effect or expressly or implicitly create, expand, or limit any legal rights, obligations, responsibilities, expectations, or benefits in regard to any person. Facility owners or operators and suppliers are responsible for determining how they would be affected by the requirements of the rule.
November 2, 2011 – Presentations Available from the 2011 U.S. CMM Conference!
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) held its 2011 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference from 18 to 20 October 2011 in Park City, Utah USA.
Top-notch speakers from around the world shared their insights on many aspects of coal mine methane recovery and use projects, including their costs, policy and legal implications, and the future of the U.S. market for ventilation air methane mitigation projects. The event concluded with an extremely informative site tour of the Solvay Chemicals trona mine ventilation and incineration project in Green River, Wyoming.
August 19, 2011 – Two New Resources on the CMOP Website
Financial and Regulatory Incentives for U.S. Coal Mine Methane Recovery Projects (PDF, Aug. 2011) (18 pp, 531K) examines selected energy and GHG governmental and voluntary programs that include financial and regulatory incentives and mandates focusing on the capture and use, sale, or destruction of CMM (CMM Recovery Projects). This document also examines recent federal and state legislation, enacted and proposed, as well as regulatory action and regional GHG agreements that may facilitate or guide development of the next generation of CMM Recovery Projects.
Coal Mine Methane: A Review of Capture and Utilization Practices with Benefits to Mining Safety and to Greenhouse Gas Reduction (PDF, Mar. 2011) (36 pp, 4.9MB) reviews the technical aspects of CMM capture from coal mines, the main factors affecting CMM accumulations in underground coal mines, methods for capturing methane using boreholes, and specific borehole designs for effective methane capture. This article also examines aspects of removing methane from abandoned mines and from sealed/active gobs of operating mines, and details the benefits of capturing and controlling CMM for mine safety, and benefits for energy production and greenhouse gas (GHG) reduction.
July 22, 2011 – Technical Corrections, Clarifying and Other Amendments to Certain Provisions of the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
On July 19, 2011, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Lisa P. Jackson signed proposed technical corrections, clarifying and other amendments to seven subparts under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule. This includes Subpart FF (Underground Coal Mines).
In general, the amendments do not change the overall requirements of the rule, but improve clarity and ensure consistency across the calculation, monitoring and data reporting requirements.
In addition, EPA is also proposing a limited, one time extension of the 2012 reporting deadline for reporting GHG information for subparts required to start collecting data in 2011 (including Subpart FF). This extension would allow sufficient time for stake holder testing of the on-line reporting tool for these new source categories. For more information, please visit: http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/technical-corrections.html#2011.
Any communication on the GHG Reporting Program is intended to provide general and administrative information about Part 98. This communication does not provide legal advice, and responses to questions received do not have legally binding effect or expressly or implicitly create, expand, or limit any legal rights, obligations, responsibilities, expectations, or benefits in regard to any person. Facility owners or operators and suppliers are responsible for determining how they would be affected by the requirements of the rule.
July 14, 2011 – GHG Accounting for Coalmine Methane Projects
The Greenhouse Gas Management Institute (GHGMI) has announced the launch of its latest e-learning course, GHG Accounting for Coalmine Methane Projects.
Coal mine methane (CMM) projects are an important source of offsets, and there are a number of GHG accounting standards for a variety of offset programs. This course provides guidance for navigating these programs as well as comprehensive and detailed technical instruction on accounting for GHG reductions, project emissions, and displacement at CMM projects.
Key concepts covered include:
- GHG standards and programs
- CMM GHG project accounting using CDM, GHGS, and other methodologies
- Defining a CMM project
- Establishing the baseline scenario and selecting relevant GHGs
- Quantifying emissions and removals
- Monitoring, documenting and reporting
The GHG Accounting for Coalmine Methane Projects course is deployed on GHGMI's interactive e-learning platform.
May 19, 2011 – Call For Abstracts
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program (CMOP) is requesting submission of abstracts for the 2011 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference, taking place October 18-20, 2011 in Park City, Utah. Presentations are intended to provide timely updates on innovations (whether technological, methodological, financial, or policy) affecting CMM project development in the United States or globally.
Abstracts of approximately one page in length (about 500 words) are welcomed for consideration on the following topics:
- Regulatory/policy developments affecting CMM projects
- Financial incentives for CMM projects (in the U.S.)
- Project development in the U.S. and globally
- New or innovative projects at active or abandoned mines
- New or innovative end-use technologies (including case studies)
- Degasification technologies or developments
- Analytical Tools
Each submission should include the following information:
- Author name
- Phone number
Please indicate whether you are willing to present as a standalone presentation, and/or as part of a moderated panel or roundtable discussion.
Abstracts should be submitted by May 27th, 2011
EPA will review all abstracts, and will notify submitters if their abstract has been accepted by mid-June. Those whose abstracts are accepted will need to submit final presentations by September 30, 2011.
For more information about the conference, including registration, sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities, and information on accommodations, please visit the conference website. If you have any additional questions, please contact our contractor, ERG.
We look forward to seeing you in Park City!
April 29, 2011 – CBM–to–Electricity Project Planned for Indiana
Hoosier Energy recently announced plans for a facility that will create electricity using coalbed methane (CBM) at the Merom Generating Station. Hoosier Energy expects the new CBM power facility to go online in July 2012, when it will generate 13 megawatts of energy. That's enough to power about 7,000 homes, according to company Communication Coordinator Rick Moore.
The Merom plant's current production capacity from coal combustion is more than 1,000 megawatts, according to Hoosier Energy's website. Work on the CBM facility — which will be separate from the Merom coal–combustion plant — is already under way with the drilling of wells and the construction of a collection system for the gas, a growing worldwide energy source that is found exclusively in coal seams.
Moore said Hoosier Energy chose to construct a CBM plant at Merom simply because the location had enough CBM to make it possible. Moore said that while CBM is combined with natural gas for energy production at other facilities, Merom will be the first U.S. site built to produce energy exclusively from CBM.
March 24, 2011 – Save the Date! 2011 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference,
October 18-20, 2011, Park City, UT
Mark your calendar for the 2011 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference! The conference, taking place at the Marriott Hotel in Park City, features experts on methane gas recovery and use from both government and industry, showcases the latest technological advances, provides expert discussion on legal and financial issues, examines intriguing case studies, and provides attendees with important networking opportunities.
We're excited to announce that this year's conference will feature a special site visit to Solvay Chemicals' trona mine in Wyoming.
Call For Papers
We are soliciting abstracts to be presented at the conference in Park City. If interested in participating in the conference as a presenter, please submit a short abstract (approximately one page in length) of your proposed topic, and links to any appropriate background information, no later than May 27, 2011. Abstracts may be sent to our contractor, ERG.
Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities
Our Exhibit Hall becomes more and more popular each year! The 2011 U.S. Coal Mine Methane Conference provides a great opportunity for companies to showcase themselves in front of high-level decision makers. An Exhibitor and Sponsor Information Package will be available soon. For more information on these opportunities, please contact Mark Grady at ERG.
We will launch the conference web site soon! Until then, for more information, please contact ERG.
We look forward to seeing you in Park City.
March 10, 2011 – GHG Reporting Deadline Extension for 2010 Reporters
EPA is announcing its intention to extend the reporting deadline for companies reporting 2010 GHG data, with plans for reporting to begin late summer 2011. The agency will provide more detail on these intended changes in the coming weeks and will ensure that this reporting extension is in effect before the original reporting deadline of March 31, 2011. This extension will allow EPA to further test the system that reporters will use to submit data, and give industry the opportunity to test the tool, provide feedback and have sufficient time to become familiar with it prior to reporting.
To clarify, this applies only to entities required to report 2010 emissions (e.g., not emissions from underground coal mines that will report by March 31, 2012). Some coal mines might be subject to provisions of this rule for stationary combustion, etc. Please check the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program website for updates.
This document is provided solely for informational purposes. It does not provide legal advice, have legally binding effect, or expressly or implicitly create, expand, or limit any legal rights, obligations, responsibilities, expectations, or benefits in regard to any person. This is intended to assist reporting facilities/owners in understanding key provisions of the final rule.
February 18, 2011 – New U.S. Publication: Methane Capture Options for Greenhouse Gas Emission Reduction
The Congressional Research Service published a report discussing alternatives for addressing methane capture, sources of methane, opportunities and challenges for methane capture, and current federal programs that support methane recovery. A few U.S. government programs have supported the capture of methane to mitigate climate change, including the Global Methane Initiative (formerly Methane-to-Markets Partnership), administered by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Read the full report (PDF, 24 pp, 463K).
February 10, 2011 – New Tools and Resources from EPA's Coalbed Methane Outreach Program
New: Coal Mine Methane Recovery at Active U.S. Coal Mines: Current Projects and Potential Opportunities
CMOP has developed an online map and accompanying matrix, which provides information about current projects and potential opportunities to develop coal mine methane (CMM) recovery and utilization projects at active U.S. coal mines.
The information presented is a condensed version of CMOP's report "Identifying Opportunities for Methane Recovery at U.S. Coal Mines: Profiles of Selected Gassy Underground Coal Mines 2002-2006" (PDF, January 2009) (207 pp, 1.6MB). The profiles are designed to help project developers perform an initial screening of potential projects.
The map and matrix can be found on the CMOP website at: http://www.epa.gov/cmop/resources/map.html
Updated: Coal Mine Methane Project Cash Flow Model Version 2.0
CMOP is proud to launch an updated version of the Coal Mine Methane Project Cash Flow Model. The web-based tool allows coal mine operators and owners, project developers, equipment vendors, and other interested parties to evaluate the financial viability of recovering and utilizing CMM at a specific U.S. site in one of eight ways.
Version 2.0 of the model upgrades the previous version by adding the capability to investigate the benefits of oxidizing methane in mine ventilation air in exchange for marketable carbon credits.
January 20, 2011 – Verdeo Lists Largest CMM Abatement Project with the Climate Action Reserve
Verdeo Group, Inc. has listed with the Climate Action Reserve (CAR) what will be the largest coal mine methane (CMM) abatement project undertaken in the U.S. Verdeo is financing the project and leading development efforts in partnership with CONSOL Energy, Inc.
The project will abate ventilation air methane (VAM) exhausted from a ventilation shaft at the McElroy mine in West Virginia, one of the largest underground coal mines in the U.S. The project will permanently reduce approximately 380,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (tCO2e) on an annual basis when it becomes operational in the latter half of 2011.
For more information, please refer to the press release on the Verdeo website (PDF) (2 pp, 62K).
January 13, 2011 – U.S. EPA GHG Reporting Deadline
For any underground coal mine facilities that have stationary fuel combustion units (under Subpart C) or that otherwise meet the threshold (25,000 or more mtCO2e per year) for reporting GHG data to EPA under another subpart in 2010, the deadline is rapidly approaching. The first reports are due by March 31, 2011.
In order to submit reports, a facility must first submit a valid Certificate of Representation through EPA's electronic Greenhouse Gas Reporting Tool (e-GGRT). The deadline for this "registration" step is January 30, 2011. Details on registration.
DO NOT WAIT UNTIL JANUARY 30, 2011 TO BEGIN YOUR REGISTRATION.
Please note that facilities subject to only Subpart FF – Underground Coal Mines – do not need to submit their Certificate of Representation until January 30, 2012 for calendar year 2011 GHG data.
Notice: Any communication on the GHG Reporting Program (GHGRP) is intended to provide general and administrative information about Part 98. This communication does not provide legal advice, and responses to questions do not have legally binding effect or expressly or implicitly create, expand, or limit any legal rights, obligations, responsibilities, expectations, or benefits in regard to any person. Facility owners or operators and suppliers are responsible for determining how they would be affected by the requirements of the rule.
January 6, 2011 – Chicago Climate Exchange Closes Cap and Trade System, but Keeps Offsets
The Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX) ended the second commitment period for emissions reductions for member companies on December 31, 2010, and did not begin a new cycle of commitment periods. Exchange trading in allowances (Carbon Financial Instruments or CFIs) to meet emission reduction commitments also ended as of December 31, 2010.
The end of mandatory CFI trading for member companies was announced in October 2010. CFIs once traded as high as $7.50 per metric ton of CO2-equivalent emissions, but the exchange trading price in December 2010 was just 5 cents and had been that low for more than a year.
In the CCX system, CFIs were both allowances and emissions offset credits. The generation of CFIs will continue as part of a strictly voluntary offset generation system.
CCX has protocols for ten different emission reduction offset project types, including one for coal mine methane collection and combustion.