US EPA launches online database for greenhouse gas emissions

11 January 2012 19:43  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (ICIS)--US environmental officials on Wednesday launched an online database that provides individuals access to site-specific information on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by power plants, refineries, chemical producers and other industries.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said that its GHG Reporting Program enables individuals and communities to identify nearby sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

That data, the agency added, can inform policy decisions by state and local governments “and provide important information to the finance and investment communities”.

The online resource and search engine allows users to identify sources of greenhouse gases by state or to look for emissions data related to a specific plant or facility.

The agency’s GHG reporting programme collects data from facilities that emit 25,000 tonnes/year of carbon dioxide equivalent, beginning with the 2010 reporting year, and it chiefly covers nine major industries.

Among them are power plants, metals manufacturers and mineral producers, petroleum refineries, chemical makers and pulp and paper manufacturing.

Approximately 6,700 facilities are covered by the 2010 data.

An additional 12 industries will be brought into the GHG reporting system this year (for the 2011 reporting year), including many that are downstream consumers of chemicals, such as electronics manufacturing and wastewater treatment facilities.

The agency noted that “greenhouse gas emissions do not have direct adverse effects on human health”.

“Instead, GHGs contribute to global warming, causing Earth’s climate to change, which in turn endangers human health and welfare,” the EPA said in a statement accompanying the online announcement.

That EPA position, first articulated in its December 2009 “endangerment finding” related to greenhouse gases, is being challenged in multiple federal lawsuits by several state governments and a variety of US industries.

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

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