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Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program

Confidential Business Information

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Overview

Data collected under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program must be available to the public unless the data qualify for confidential treatment under the Clean Air Act. EPA typically makes confidentiality determinations under the Clean Air Act on a case-by-case basis. Due to the large numbers of entities reporting under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program and the large number of data reporting elements, EPA concluded that case-by-case determinations would not result in a timely release of non-confidential data. EPA is determining through a series of rulemaking actions which categories of data elements will be protected as confidential business information (CBI). Any data submitted under the Reporting Program that is classified as CBI will be protected under the provisions of 40 CFR part 2, Subpart B.

According to Clean Air Act section 114(c), “emission data” cannot be classified as CBI. In July 2010 (75 FR 39094), EPA proposed that data elements used as inputs to Reporting Program emissions equations meet the definition of “emission data.”  Under section 114(c) of the Clean Air Act, emission data are not entitled to confidential treatment. We therefore did not evaluate whether data elements used as inputs to emissions equations would qualify as CBI, including whether disclosure would likely cause substantial competitive harm to the reporting facilities.  Following this proposal, the EPA received numerous industry comments asserting that competitive harm would result from public release of many of these data elements.  We determined that “these concerns warranted an in-depth evaluation of the potential impact from the release of inputs to emission equations.” (76 FR 53060, August 25, 2011).  As a result, the reporting deadline for certain inputs to equations is currently deferred until March 31, 2015 to allow the EPA to fully evaluate issues regarding the release of this data.  In September, 2013, EPA issued a proposal addressing inputs to equations whose reporting deadline was deferred until 2015. View the Proposed Rule (PDF) (31pp., 551K).

Latest Developments

April 8, 2014
EPA has posted 2 tables that identify the CBI status of each data element for direct emission and supply elements. Elements are classified as:

  • "CBI" means the data element has been determined by rulemaking to be Confidential Business Information. Any data submitted under 40 CFR part 98 that is classified as CBI will be protected in accordance with the provisions of 40 CFR part 2, subpart B.
  • “Emission Data” means the data element has been determined by rulemaking to meet the definition of "emission data" in 40 CFR 2.301(a)(2)(i). Under section 114(c) of the Clean Air Act, "emission data" cannot be afforded the protections of Confidential Business Information.
  • "Not-CBI" means the data element has been determined through rulemaking to not qualify as Confidential Business Information. A facility cannot claim such data elements to be Confidential Business Information and the data can be made publicly available.
  • "No determination" status means EPA has not made a confidentiality determination through rulemaking. EPA will evaluate the confidentiality status of data elements with no determination on a case-by-case basis, in accordance with existing CBI regulations in 40 CFR part 2, subpart B.
  • "Deferred Until 2015" means EPA deferred the deadline for reporting the data element until 2015. Additional information »
  • Direct Emitters CBI Table (PDF) (208pp., 1.6M)
  • Suppliers CBI Table (PDF) (67pp., 616K)

February 7, 2014
The Administrator signed a proposed rule that would amend the Petroleum and Natural Gas Systems source category (subpart W) of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. The proposal includes revisions to certain calculation methods, monitoring and data reporting requirements, terms and definitions, and corrects technical and editorial errors that were identified during the course of implementation. This action also proposes confidentiality determinations for new or substantially revised data elements contained in these proposed amendments, and proposes a revised confidentiality determination for one existing data element. More information »

November 29, 2013
EPA finalized confidentiality determinations for the new or substantially revised data elements, other than inputs to emissions equations, that were also finalized in the rule published on November 29, 2013. EPA followed the same methodology for categorizing data elements as in previous GHGRP CBI related rules. For a list of these data elements along with the corresponding proposed confidentiality determinations, see the memorandum Final CBI Determinations Memo (PDF) (12 pp, 111K).

EPA also finalized some new data elements in Subparts FF, HH, and TT that are inputs to equations. EPA conducted an evaluation of these inputs following the process outlined in the memorandum “Process for Evaluating and Potentially Amending Part 98 Inputs to Emission Equations” (Docket ID EPA-HQ-OAR-2010-0929), which accompanied the Final Deferral Rule, 76 FR 53057). Based on this analysis, EPA has determined that deferral of these data elements is not necessary.

August 29, 2013
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing amended recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and enhanced verification procedures for certain reporters in 24 subparts of the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program. These proposed changes would address disclosure concerns identified for certain data reporting elements that were deferred from reporting until March 31, 2015. Where disclosure concerns were identified, EPA is proposing that in lieu of reporting these inputs to equations, facilities would be required to use an electronic inputs verification tool, and would be subject to enhanced recordkeeping and reporting requirements. These proposed changes would maintain EPA’s ability to verify emissions, and ensure compliance with the program.

The EPA developed a “pilot” inputs verification tool for one subpart, subpart X (Petrochemical Production), to demonstrate how the tool would function within e-GGRT as well as the types of verification checks that would be conducted. The inputs verifier tool will be available from the date that the proposed rulemaking is published in the Federal Register until the comment period for the rulemaking closes.

EPA has developed a PowerPoint presentation to assist stakeholders in using the pilot Inputs Verification Tool. The presentation walks stakeholders through use of the tool, including demonstration of how to register, enter data, and generate sample verification warnings. View the presentation (PDF) (47pp, 2M)

For additional information, please see the following documents:

December 17, 2012
EPA has evaluated (PDF) (34 pp, 297K) inputs whose reporting deadline was deferred until 2013 following the process that was outlined in the final inputs deferral rule[1], and does not plan to take further action regarding the 2013 inputs. Therefore, inputs to equations whose reporting was deferred until 2013 must be reported to EPA by April 1, 2013[2], for reporting years 2010, 2011, and 2012 as applicable[3]. The 2013 inputs will be reported as part of the RY 2012 reporting process. More info (PDF) » 3 pp, 48K)

[1] 76 FR 53057 published 8/25/11, p.53061
[2] Because March 31, 2013 falls on a weekend, the deadline is moved to the next business day which is April 1, 2013.
[3] Facilities should have this information for prior years because inputs to equations are required to be kept as recordkeeping (see 40 CFR Part 98.3).

CBI Rulemaking Actions

Federal Register Date Citation Action Description
03/10/2014 79 FR 13394 Proposed Rule Amends subpart W of the GHGRP, including revisions to certain calculation methods, monitoring and data reporting requirements, terms and definitions, and corrects technical and editorial errors. Also proposes confidentiality determinations for new or substantially revised data elements contained in these proposed amendments, and proposes a revised confidentiality determination for one existing data element.
Preamble and rule (PDF) (68 pp, 937K)
Fact sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 37K)
01/22/2014 79 FR 3507 Final Rule; Correction On January 22, 2014, EPA published a correction to a minor error in the November 29, 2013, final rule entitled “2013 Revisions to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule and Final Confidentiality Determinations for New or Substantially Revised Data Elements.” The correction corrects a header to the amended Table NN-2, a table in subpart NN (Suppliers of Natural Gas and Natural Gas Liquids), which had inadvertently been listed as Table NN-1. The error did not extend to the information contained in the Table, and reporters will be able to use the amended Table for their RY 2013 reports. Notice (PDF) (2 pp, 248K)
01/15/2014 79 FR 2614 Extension of Comment Period Extends the public comment period for the proposed rule titled Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program: Amendments and Confidentiality Determinations for Fluorinated Gas Production (subpart L). The public comment period started on November 19, 2013. This notice announces the extension of the deadline for public comment from January 21, 2014 to February 20, 2014. Comments must be received on or before February 20, 2014.
Notice (2 pp, 203K)
11/29/2013 78 FR 71904 Final Rule Finalizes amendments that consist of three parts: amendments related to global warming potentials (GWPs), other amendments largely based on feedback from stakeholders, and confidentiality determinations for new or revised data elements.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (79 pp, 935K) Exit EPA disclaimer
Memo: Table of Final 2013 Revisions to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule (PDF) (132 pp, 1M)
Factsheet (PDF) (2 pp, 37K)
Final CBI Determinations Memo (PDF) (12 pp, 111K)
11/19/2013 78 FR 69337 Proposed Rule Proposes amendments to reduce the level of detail in which emissions would be reported, remove the mass-balance method from the rule, clarify the emission factor method, and revise the set of default global warming potentials (GWPs) used by subpart L reporters to calculate and report their carbon-dioxide equivalent (CO2e) emissions. Also proposes confidentiality determinations for the reporting of the new and substantially revised data elements.
Proposed Rule (24 pp., 400K)
Factsheet (PDF) (3 pp., 42K)
Redline Strikeout of Proposed Changes to Subpart L (PDF) (46 pp., 552K): This redline strikeout document represents the combined changes proposed to the subpart L regulatory text in two proposed actions:
  • Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program: Proposed Amendments and Confidentiality Determinations for Fluorinated Gas Production (This proposed rule.)
  • Revisions to Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements, and Proposed Confidentiality Determinations under the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (Proposed Inputs rule.)
11/13/2013 78 FR 68162 Final Rule Amends the calculation and monitoring methodologies for subpart I, Electronics Manufacturing. Changes include revising certain calculation methods and adding a new method, amending data reporting requirements, and clarifying terms and definitions. Finalizes confidentiality determinations for the reporting of the new and revised data elements being finalized in this rule.  Many of these changes are in response to stakeholder feedback on specific aspects of subpart I. This final rule also amends subpart A, General Provisions, to correspond with the changes to the reporting requirements in subpart I.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (78 pp, 2M)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (6 pp, 50K)
More information
09/11/2013 78 FR 55994 Proposed Rule Proposes amended recordkeeping and reporting requirements, and enhanced verification procedures for certain reporters in 24 GHGRP subparts. Proposed changes would address concerns that public disclosure of certain data elements that are inputs to the equations used to calculate emissions and deferred from reporting until 2015 would reveal business sensitive information and maintain EPA’s ability to verify emissions, and ensure compliance.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (31pp., 550K)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (3 pp., 41K)
Memorandum: List of ‘Inputs to Equations’ Data Elements Proposed Not To Be Reported (PDF) (39 pp., 294K)
04/02/2013 78 FR 19802 Proposed Rule Proposes confidentiality determinations for the new or substantially revised data elements other than inputs to emissions equations. EPA followed the same methodology for categorizing data elements as in previous GHGRP CBI related rules.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (77 pp, 911K)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 52K)
Memorandum (PDF) (115 pp, 1M)
Correction to Proposed Rule (2 pp, 255K)
11/20/2012
77 FR 69585
Notice Announces an extension of the public comment period for subpart I (Electronics Manufacturing) until January 16, 2013 and that additional documentation on the proposed amendments and confidentiality determinations for subpart I is available in the docket.
Notice; extension of public comment period (PDF) (2 pp, 201K)
10/26/2012 77 FR 65377 Notice Announces EPA’s plan to authorize contractors named in the notice to access information submitted under the GHGRP that may be designated or claimed as confidential business information. EPA is accepting comments until November 5.
Notice (PDF) (3 pp, 204K)
10/16/12 77 FR 63538 Proposed Rule Proposes amending calculation and monitoring methodologies for Subpart I, Electronics Manufacturing. Also proposes confidentiality determinations for reporting of the new and revised data elements under the proposed amendments to subpart I. Many of these proposed actions are in response to a petition to reconsider specific aspects of subpart I.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (65 pp, 794K)
Subpart I Amendments Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 45K)
08/24/12 77 FR 51477 Final Rule Finalizes confidentiality determinations for new data elements in subpart L, and defers reporting of one element in subpart L.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (19 pp, 462K)
08/13/2012
77 FR 48072 Final Rule Finalizes confidentiality determinations for most data elements to be reported under nine subparts; defers the deadline for reporting certain recently added data elements that are inputs to emission equations in three subparts; finalizes amendments to Electronics Manufacturing (subpart I) to remove the requirement for a facility to recalculate the previous reporting years emissions and resubmit them to EPA where use BAMM is allowed.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (18 pp, 311K)
Fact Sheet: Final Confidentiality Determinations for Nine Subparts and Amendments to Subparts A and I (PDF) (3 pp, 44K)
Memorandum: Final Data Category Assignments and Confidentiality Determinations (PDF) (31 pp, 518K)
04/13/2012 77 FR 22312 Notice Announces EPA’s plan to authorize contractors named in the notice to access information submitted under the GHGRP that may be designated or claimed as confidential business information. EPA is accepting comments until April 30, 2012.
Notice (PDF) (4 pg, 210K)
03/19/2012 77 FR 15990 Extension of Public Comment Period Extends the public comment period for the proposed rule regarding proposed confidentiality determinations for certain data elements reported under subpart W.
Announcement (PDF) (1 pg, 193K)
02/24/2012 77 FR 11039 Proposed Rule Determines which data elements reported under subpart W would be considered confidential business information (CBI); also defers deadline for reporting some inputs to emissions equations until 2015.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (23 pp, 261K)
Fact Sheet:  Proposed Confidentiality Determinations for Subpart W (PDF) (2 pp, 46K)
Memorandum A: Proposed Data Category Assignments for Subpart W (PDF) (32 pp, 494K)
Memorandum B: Proposed Changes to Subpart W Inputs (PDF) (7 pp, 93K)
02/22/2012 77 FR 10434 Proposed Rule Re-proposes confidentiality determinations for the data elements in subpart I and proposes amendments to subpart I regarding calculation and reporting of emissions from facilities using BAMM.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (17 pp, 212K)
01/10/2012 77 FR 1434 Proposed Rule Proposes confidentiality determinations for 8 subparts (L, DD, II, QQ, RR, SS, TT, UU) and amendments to Table A-6 in subpart A
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (19 pp, 230K)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 99K)
Memorandum: Proposed data category assignments and CBI determinations (PDF) (22 pp, 556K)
10/17/2011 76 FR 64010 Direct Final Rule Special rules governing certain information obtained under the Clean Air Act: Technical Correction
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (24 pp, 91K)
08/25/2011 76 FR 53057 Final Rule Finalizes the deferral of reporting data elements that are inputs to emissions equations until March 2013 for some data elements and March 2015 for other data elements.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (15 pp, 235K)
CBI Deferral Fact Sheet (PDF) (3 pp, 46K)
CBI Deferral Frequently Asked Questions (2 pp, 34K)
Process for Evaluating and Potentially Amending Part 98 Inputs to Emission Equations (PDF) (6 pp, 145K)
CBI Deferral Response to Comments (PDF) (322 pp, 1.5M)
08/23/2011 76 FR 52659 Notice Access by EPA Contractors to Confidential Business Information (CBI) Related to the Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program
Notice (PDF) (4 pp, 192K)
05/26/2011 76 FR 30782 Final Rule Finalizes confidentiality determinations for 34 subparts for data elements that are not inputs to emissions equations. Finalizes amendments to 40 CFR 2 governing CBI obtained under 40 CFR 98.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (37 pp, 330K)
Final Data Category Assignments and Confidentiality Determinations for Part 98 Reporting Elements (PDF) (90 pp, 1.8M)
Fact sheet (PDF) (4 pp, 43K)
PowerPoint presentation (PDF) (14 pp, 96K)
Response to Comments (PDF) (350 pp, 1.5M)
12/27/2010 75 FR 81366 Call for Information Requests additional information and public comment regarding potential harm to businesses by public release of inputs to emission equations.
Call for Information (PDF) (4 pp, 139K)
12/27/2010 75 FR 81350 Proposed Rule Proposes to defer the reporting of data elements that are inputs to emission equations for three years.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (14 pp, 183K)
Fact Sheet (PDF) (4 pp, 63K)
PowerPoint presentation (PDF) (12 pp, 240K)
12/27/2010 75 FR 81338 Interim Final Rule Defers until 08/31/2010 the reporting of data elements that are inputs to emissions equations. [This action is now moot because the reporting date for year 2010 emissions has been extended to 9-30/2011.]
Interim Final Rule (PDF) (10 pp, 169K)
07/27/2010 75 FR 43889 Proposed Rule Supplements the 07/07/2010 proposal by proposing confidentiality determinations for data elements that were added or revised by other rule revisions.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (4 pp, 159K)
Data Category Assignments for Revised 98 Reporting Elements (PDF) (53 pp, 1.2M)
07/07/2010 75 FR 39094 Proposed Rule Proposes determinations of the confidentiality status of data for all Part 98 subparts. Proposes amendments to 40 CFR 2 governing CBI obtained under 40 CFR 98.
Preamble and Rule (PDF) (39 pp, 302K)
Data Category Assignments for Part 98 Reporting Elements (PDF) (130 pp, 1.3M)

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