Oregon Approves Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rules

As the Western Climate Initiative, the second cap-and-trade program for greenhouse gases in the U.S., makes its way toward enforcement by 2010, Western states are rolling out their own plans and regulations aimed at meeting its reduction goals. Earlier this month California released a final proposed scoping plan for implementing AB32, the Global Warming Solutions Act, and today, Oregon approved the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rules introduced earlier this year. Public comment on the proposed rules closed in May; the state’s Environmental Quality Commission signed off on them this morning.

Beginning in 2010, all facilities that emit more than 2,500 metric tons of carbon dioxide (or equivalent volumes of other greenhouse gases) will be required to report their emissions totals. The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) estimates that the new rules will impact 481 small businesses, 126 large businesses and more than 100 local and state government agencies (from hospitals and prisons to county-owned landfills and sewage treatment facilities).

The reporting rules are aimed at developing a statewide strategy for reducing emissions to 10 percent below 1990 levels by 2020 and to 75 percent below 1990 levels by 2050. “This new rule will help us obtain the fundamental information we need to target reductions of greenhouse gas emissions by identifying the sources of these global warming pollutants and is the first step in developing a cap-and-trade system that works for Oregon’s economy and our environment,” Gov. Ted Kulongoski said in a release.

As the Western Climate Initiative finalizes its own reporting guidelines, DEQ says it will modify its standards in keeping with those goals.

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