The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency will begin requiring large emitters of heat-trapping emissions to collect greenhouse gas (GHG) data under a new reporting system starting Jan. 1, 2010. The new project is expected to cover 85 percent of the nation’s GHG emissions and will apply to roughly 10,000 facilities.

“This is a major step forward in our effort to address the greenhouse gases polluting our skies,” says EPA administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “For the first time, we begin collecting data from the largest facilities in this country, ones that account for approximately 85 percent of the total U.S. emissions. The American public, and industry itself, will finally gain critically important knowledge and with this information we can determine how best to reduce those emissions.”

The program will apply to fossil fuel and industrial GHG suppliers, motor vehicle and engine manufacturers, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more of CO2 equivalent per year. The first annual reports covering calendar year 2010 will be submitted to the EPA in 2011. In addition, vehicle and engine manufacturers outside of the light-duty sector will begin phasing in GHG reporting with model year 2011.

The goal of the new system is to provide a better understanding of where GHGs are coming from and information gathered will help develop best practices to reduce emissions. More information on the new system and reporting requirements is online at http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/ghgrulemaking.html