EPA’s New GHG Reporting Program: e-GGRT

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced a new tool to allow 28 industrial sectors to submit their 2010 greenhouse gas (GHG) pollution data electronically.

Grabbing ahold of industry’s GHG data is a bit like grabbing a tiger by the tail.

Tiger by the tail. The electronic GHG Reporting Tool is known as e-GGRT for short, a gritty, growly and staccato moniker for a function that is precisely that. Reporting GHG data is a nuts and bolts effort, slightly predatory, that can only be done one data piece by one data piece.

A user can hope for speed and a usable interface, but one thing we’ve noticed in our years of environmental data consolidating — from relatively simple MSDS data fields to more complicated supplier material disclosure data — is that bulk uploads are great but one by one is inevitable. Meaning: data has to be culled. Do it at the start, do it later which is more difficult as time creates data dependencies, but evenutally data must be culled. (This is the type of project companies rightly outsource.)

EPA says that it put the e-GGRT through its paces before making yesterday’s announcement. More than 1,000 stakeholders, including industry associations, states and NGOs tested the electronic GHG Reporting Tool (e-GGRT) — testing for clarity and user-friendliness.   Apparently it passed.

It’s e-GGRRRREAT? The EPA expects to receive 2010 greenhouse gas data from approximately 7,000 large industrial greenhouse gas emitters, including power plants, petroleum refineries and landfills. The agency plans to publish non-confidential greenhouse gas data collected through the tool by the end of 2011.

If you missed the August 1, 2011, deadline, go ahead and register or have your agency register anyway; EPA is likely to be lenient.  They want a queue of data more than they want a queue of wrists to slap.

On August 19 (2011) EPA Head Lisa P. Jackson signed a final action related to certain data elements reported under EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. EPA says it needs to further examine the likely business impact from the disclosure of these data elements before they are reported and potentially subject to public availability. This action defers the deadline for reporting these data elements while EPA addresses issues related to reporting and public availability of these data elements. In fact, EPA is deferring the reporting deadline for some of these inputs until March 31, 2013, and for others until March 31, 2015. This action does not affect the reporting deadline for other data elements under the rule or for suppliers of greenhouse gases.

To compare EPA’s e-GGRT tool with a commercial Greenhouse Gas reporting tool, Google search for emissions regulator tools. Here’s one example of a commercial tool.

On the EPA Confidential Business Information (CBI) page. Also, EPA & Air policy is online.

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About Kal

Kal Kawar, CIH, PE, has a bachelor's in chemical engineering and a master's in industrial hygiene. His professional experience includes serving as staff industrial hygienist for IBM's New York semiconductor manufacturing facility, and as industrial hygienist for IBM’s US headquarters. Now executive vice president of Actio, Kal taps more than 20 years' worth of chemical engineering, industrial hygiene, and environmental engineering experience. His far-reaching expertise with global regulatory challenges created by EPA, TSCA, REACH, RoHS, WEEE – and hundreds of others – aid in developing Actio software solutions for MSDS management, raw material disclosure compliance, and product stewardship in a supply chain.