Reporting of greenhouse gases (GHGs) to be mandated for top 13,000 facilities

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Courtesy of Verisae

The newly formed Obama administration has listed greenhouse gas (GHG) tracking and reporting as a major goal, with the objective of protecting the future of the environment by reducing today's carbon footprint. If no action were taken, the makeup of the earth would significantly altered. Future actions will establish a market drive carbon cap and trade program to drive GHG emissions reductions.

Greenhouse Gas tracking is outlined in The Climate Registry Protocol, which details the requirements for mandatory monitoring and tracking. The premise around greenhouse gas tracking are included in the U.S. Clean Air Act, aimed at improving air quality and lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

Under the GHG reporting plan drafted by the EPA, only the top 13,000 emitters will be required to report emissions in 2011. This allows for good coverage of the US emissions by targeting the highest emitting facilities nationwide as a first step. These facilities account for the majority of greenhouse gas emissions within the United States and present a logical starting point for emissions reductions in the US. The regulation would cover companies that either release large amounts of greenhouse gases (GHG) directly or produce or import fuels and chemicals that when burned emit large amounts of carbon (CO2) gases.

One of the major focuses of the Greenhouse Gas tracking protocol is refrigerant gases used in refrigeration and cooling systems by numerous facilities, including manufacturers, food processors, retailers, grocery stores, office buildings, municipalities and hospitals, just to name a few. Because of their chemical makeup, refrigerant gases contain significant levels of carbon in the form of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Emission and/or venting of these chemicals were regulated under the U.S. Clean Air Act for several years.

Greenhouse gases (GHGs) as the name implies lead to an increase in heat trapping atmosphere and an ultimate increase in global average tempatures. The intent and overall goal of GHG tracking relates to better collection and management of the emissions data now so informed decisions can be made about future carbon trading schemes. The tracking protocols also help government entities to more accurately inventory the amounts of emissions reaching the atmosphere. The new GHG legislation puts in motion the data collection, organization, and first stage reporting mechanisms to allow the US to accurately calculate and maintain a GHG emissions baseline across the entire economy. This will allow for better understanding today as well as to determine progress for future Cap and Trade programs. With this accurate information, it can be determined if the guidelines are effective in lowering the harmful effects of these substances to the ozone layer.

Greenhouse Gas tracking involves measuring direct and indirect emissions and keeping extensive records on its usage, maintenance, leak containment and disposal. Heating and cooling systems, as well as other energy consumption, are defined as direct emissions.

Better and more effective GHG management is an objective of the current US government. No longer will the US sit by and watch the world attack the issue of climate change. The US is now taking action to lower carbon emissions to the betterment of future generations. By taking no action, the earth's makeup would significantly change, with humans and animals adversely affected and marine and plant life severely damaged.

Greenhouse Gas (GHG) management and reporting is now falling under the EPA regulations contained within The U.S. Clean Air Act because the causes of global climate change is now well know. Human activities and the use of global warming substances, like refrigerant gases, are all leading to increased global warming. The substances are carbon dioxide, chlorine, bromine, nitrous oxide, chloroflurocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, methane, methyl bromide, methyl chloroform, sulfur hexafluoride, hydroxyl, perfluorocarbobs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, fluorine, and the fluorinated gases hydrofluorinated ethers and nitrogen trifluoride. The mandatory law is aimed at reducing the use of these substances to lower the effects of global warming.

Beginning in 2010, GHG management, tracking, and reporting will be environmental law for the highest emitting facilities. Part of the management will revolve around better tracking and reporting of refrigerant gases. Entities must submit usage reports and service records for all refrigerants having high GWP. Special calculations are applied to refrigerants when any leads occur. The GHG emission reporting rules and related protocols allow for progressive companies to take advantage of software already created to help with carbon emissions reporting. Some web applications allow organizations to track GHGs to the asset level across global, distributed facilities.

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