EPA Extends GHG Emissions Reporting Deadline

GHG emitters and regulation enthusiasts alike were counting down the days until the end of March (albeit for different reasons and with different facial expressions), at which time large GHG emissions sources that were expected to report 2010 data would be required to file their first reports with e-GGRT, the EPA’s online reporting tool.

Photo from Berteun Damman. Some rights reserved.

But just a few days ago, the EPA announced that, in the name of giving the EPA time to further test the electronic platform and giving the industry an opportunity to become familiar with the tool, they will be extending the original March 31, 2011, reporting deadline to “this summer.”

A Legal Update from McGuireWoods called this deferral a “stunning change.” The update even suggested that the “open ended deferral and the prosaic reason for the delay may provide further ammunition for EPA’s opponents in Congress regarding EPA’s readiness and ability to regulate GHGs.”

It wouldn’t be the first time that someone has questioned the EPA’s abilities. Recent GAO Testimony on the EPA’s “Major Management Challenges” was less than optimistic. On the mandatory GHG reporting by an estimated 10,000 facilities:

Data collection, monitoring, and verification for a universe of facilities this large could be expected to pose a formidable challenge for EPA especially in light of the tight budget environment.

Let’s hope the EPA can rise to the challenge. Eventually.

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