Greenhouse Gas

Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reporting

The West Virginia Division of Air Quality (DAQ) does not currently require sources to report their GHG emissions directly to DAQ. The DAQ will obtain the federal GHG data being collected rather than requiring sources to report GHG data to the State as well as to EPA. Sources are still encouraged however, to voluntarily report GHGs when completing their annual emissions inventory.

  • Emissions Inventory

    The USEPA requires States to inventory and submit emissions from air pollution sources. These sources include Point Sources (industrial stationary sources), Nonpoint Sources (small facilities, lawn mowers, wood stoves, etc.), and Mobile Sources (cars, trucks, boats, etc.).

Reporting Greenhouse Gases to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

The Environmental Protection Agency's Mandatory Reporting Rule of Greenhouse Gases (MRR-GHG) applies to direct greenhouse gas emitters, fossil fuel suppliers, industrial gas suppliers, and facilities that inject CO2 underground for sequestration or other reasons. In general, the threshold for reporting is 25,000 metric tons or more of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent per year. Reporting is at the facility level, except for certain suppliers of fossil fuels and industrial greenhouse gases.

Is the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule applicable to your facility?

Greenhouse Gas Overview

Certain gases effectively trap heat in the earth's atmosphere. The net effect is much like a greenhouse where the glass allows light but keeps heat from escaping. The so-called greenhouse gases can have a similar effect and may actually influence the earth's climate. Our climate appears to be warming and many scientists believe that human greenhouse gas emissions are contributing. The warming potentially can lead to serious consequences, including changes in weather patterns, increased droughts, increased extreme weather events and adverse impacts on various species.

The substances of concern include individual gases as well as groups of gases that have similar characteristics. The typical list includes six items:

The greatest amounts of emissions, both naturally and man-made, occur from carbon dioxide, followed by methane.

Greenhouse gases are not created equal. Each possesses a different efficiency for trapping heat. For example methane is about 21 times more potent than CO2 and sulfur hexafluoride is thousands of times more potent than CO2. Therefore, to estimate the net effect on climate, GHG emissions are usually converted to CO2 equivalent (CO2e) and then expressed in metric tons.

Global Warming Potentials (100-Year Time Horizon)

CO2 1
CH4 21
N2O 310
HFC-23 11,700
HFC-32 650
HFC-125 2,800
HFC-134a 1,300
HFC-143a 3,800
HFC-152a 140
HFC-227ea 2,900
HFC-236fa 6,300
HFC-4310mee 1,300
CF4 6,500
C2F6 9,200
C4F10 7,000
C5F14 7,400
SF6 23,900

Source: IPCC (1996) and listed as Table ES-1 from the Executive Summary of the Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990-2009, page 3

*The CH4 GWP includes the direct effects and those indirect effects due to the production of tropospheric ozone and stratospheric water vapor. The indirect effect due to the production of CO2 is not included.

USEPA #430-R-11-005 (April 2011)

The Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, is an emissions inventory that identifies and quantifies the country's primary anthropogenic1sources and sinks of greenhouse gases that are essential for addressing climate change. This inventory adheres to both (1) a comprehensive and detailed set of methodologies for estimating sources and sinks of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, and (2) a common and consistent mechanism that enables Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to compare the relative contribution of different emission sources and greenhouse gases to climate change.

In 1992, the United States signed and ratified the UNFCCC. As stated in Article 2 of the UNFCCC, “The ultimate objective of this Convention and any related legal instruments that the Conference of the Parties may adopt is to achieve, in accordance with the relevant provisions of the Convention, stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Such a level should be achieved within a time-frame sufficient to allow ecosystems to adapt naturally to climate change, to ensure that food production is not threatened and to enable economic development to proceed in a sustainable manner.”

U.S. Greenhouse Gas Inventory Report

The Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

Greenhouse Gas Permitting

Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from the largest stationary sources were, for the first time, covered by the Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) and Title V Operating Permit Programs beginning January 2, 2011. These permitting programs, required under the Clean Air Act, are proven tools for protecting air quality and the same tools will be used to reduce GHG emissions. But the thresholds established in the Act for determining when emissions of pollutants make a source subject to these permitting programs, 100 and 250 tons per year, were based on traditional pollutants and were not designed to be applied to GHGs.

Permitting Effects of the Tailoring Rule

Date: July 1, 2011 - Present

  • PSD - Sources that emit or have the potential to emit at least 100,000 tpy CO2e and that undertake a modification that increases net emissions of GHGs by at least 75,000 tpy CO2e will also be subject to PSD requirements.
  • Title V - New Sources as well as existing sources not already subject to Title V that emit, or have the potential to emit, at least 100,000 tpy CO2e became subject to Title V requirements.


  • If sources or modifications exceed these CO2e-adjusted GHG triggers, they are not covered by permitting requirements unless their GHG emissions also exceed the corresponding mass-based triggers (i.e., unadjusted for CO2e).
  • No source with emissions below 50,000 tpy CO2e, and no modification resulting in net GHG increases of less than 50,000 tpy CO2e, will be subject to PSD or title V permitting before April 30, 2016.