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EPA launches searchable database of greenhouse gas emissions

From the January 12, 2012 issue of Public Power Daily

Originally published January 12, 2012

For the first time, the public can access comprehensive greenhouse gas data reported directly from large facilities (including utilities) across the country, the Environmental Protection Agency said Jan. 11. EPA said its online data publication tool allows users to view and sort emissions data for 2010 from more than 6,700 facilities. Data can be sorted in a variety of ways, including by facility, location, industrial sector, and the type of greenhouse gas emitted.

The information from EPA’s GHG Reporting Program can be used to identify nearby sources of greenhouse gases, compare and track emissions, and provide information to state and local governments, the agency said. The 2010 data includes public information from facilities in nine industry groups that directly emit large quantities of greenhouse gases, as well as suppliers of certain fossil fuels.

"Thanks to strong collaboration and feedback from industry, states and other organizations, today we have a transparent, powerful data resource available to the public," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. "The GHG Reporting Program data provides a critical tool for businesses and other innovators to find cost- and fuel-saving efficiencies that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and foster technologies to protect public health and the environment."

The data show that in 2010 power plants were the largest stationary sources of direct emissions with 2,324 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent (mmtCO2e), followed by petroleum refineries with emissions of 183 million metric tons, EPA said. CO2 accounted for 95% of direct greenhouse gas emissions, followed by methane with 4% and nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases accounting for the remaining 1%. One hundred facilities, including 96 power plants, each reported emissions of more than 7 million metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent.

EPA launched the GHG Reporting Program in October 2009, requiring the reporting of greenhouse gas data from large emission sources across a range of industry sectors, as well as suppliers of products that would emit greenhouse gases if released or combusted.

EPA’s GHG Reporting Program Data, as well as the new data publication tool, are available on the agency’s website.


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