EPA Region 3
Topic: Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule
Date: February 4, 2011
Host: Hello, this Bonnie Smith of EPA’s mid-Atlantic region and welcome to Environment Matters, our series of environmental podcasts. Today we have with us James D. Smith, an environmental engineer in EPA’s mid-Atlantic region. Jim is here today to talk to us about the nation’s first greenhouse gas reporting system.
Host: Why do companies need to report greenhouse gases?
James: EPA needs detailed information regarding the quantity of greenhouse gases and where those emissions are coming from.
Host: And where do they come from?
James: Greenhouse gases such as carbon monoxide and methane result from industrial processes, the burning of fossil fuels such as gasoline, coal and oil and from biological processes.
Host: How many companies do you think will be reporting greenhouse gases?
James: Roughly about 10,000 companies will be reporting greenhouse gas emissions nationally, which amount to about 85% of emissions nationally . Regionally there are about 1000 companies reporting and their emissions will represent about 85% of emissions.
Host: How do companies know if they need to report?
James: There’s been a major effort to notify companies about the greenhouse reporting rule and provide the information they need including press releases, mailings and webinars which are training sessions over the internet. There’s also been a website established that has detailed information for companies regarding the rule.
Host: Will this information be available to the public?
James: Yes, EPA publishes a national greenhouse gas inventory report every year. In past years this report has relied on estimates but in future years it’ll be strengthened by having actual data reported by industry.
Host: What will EPA do with the info?
James: This information will be used to help us determine how to best curb climate change.
Host: Why is greenhouse gas reporting important?
James: Most scientists agree that emissions of greenhouse gases over the past century have had a serious impact on the earth’s climate and continued emissions threaten real harm for the future. As a necessary first step for dealing with this problem, EPA needs the authority to obtain accurate emissions data from industry.
Host: Thank you Jim. For more information about this new reporting system and reporting requirements, look on EPA’s website under climate change.
Host: That website is www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html.
And thank you for joing us on Environment Matters, our series of environmental podcasts.