EPA omits ethanol from final GHG reporting program

By Kris Bevill
Posted Sept. 28, 2009, at 7:33 a.m. CST

The U.S. EPA has finalized its rule requiring greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters to annually collect data and report emissions levels, but has decided not to include ethanol producers on its initial list of emitters.

In its proposal, released in March, the EPA included the ethanol industry as one of the main categories of GHG emitters. In response to comments submitted after the agency's released proposal, however, the EPA has decided to remove ethanol from its list of source categories while it further evaluates comments and options.

According to the EPA's final rule, many commenters agreed with the original list of source categories, but some expressed concern that the EPA would not have sufficient time to consider and address public comments for particular categories.

Other categories that were removed from the list of required reporters include: electronics manufacturing, fluorinated GHG production, food processing and magnesium production.

Under the EPA's proposed rule, ethanol production facilities would have been required to report GHG emissions produced by stationary fuel combustion, on-site landfills and on-site wastewater treatment. In light of the comments, the agency has determined that further evaluation is needed for the portion of the rule that addresses industrial landfills wastewater treatment. However, the agency maintains ethanol plants will be required to submit GHG emission reports if the facility's stationary fuel combustion emissions exceed 25,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent annually.

For more information on the EPA's GHG reporting program and its requirements, visit http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html.