EPA Mandates Natural Gas Plants to Make Pollution Data Public

Hundreds of natural gas processing plants are forced to publicly report harmful emissions.

According to E&E News, under a new rule, the facilities would have to report emissions to EPA’s Toxics Release Inventory. The TRI, created by Congress in 1986, is intended to let communities know the types of hazardous pollutants that nearby businesses are discharging. By casting more light on those releases, it’s often credited with increasing public pressure on individual companies to cut them.

The requirement, which follows a regulatory battle launched nine years ago, was intensely opposed by industry. It will take effect next year, with the first reports due in July 2023, according to the final rule set for publication in tomorrow’s Federal Register. The minimum estimated compliance costs to industry will amount to at least $11.8 million in the first year, and $5.6 million thereafter, according to EPA.

Close to 300 plants could be required to report their emissions, the rule indicates. About 1.4 million people live within 3 miles of one of those plants; adding those facilities to the TRI “will meaningfully increase the information available to the public on releases and other waste management of listed chemicals,” it continues.

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