WASHINGTON - Concerns raised last spring by the HVACR industry, among others, when the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) proposed a greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting program, have garnered a positive response from the EPA.

The EPA said in a statement that it is moving “to address issues about the public availability of certain data that some businesses may consider to be confidential.”

While saying, “The total emissions for each facility is still required to be reported to EPA and released to the public,” the EPA added that it is also “soliciting comments from stakeholders seeking more specific information about claims of business sensitivity regarding inputs to emissions equations and proposing to defer the deadline for reporting that data until March 2014.”

The statement went on to say, “The new information and reporting deferral would allow EPA to assess the issue and make final decisions on how to treat the data elements in question.”

The decision means the proposal will go through another comment period (the first was last spring), this time specifically related to the confidentiality issue. “EPA is taking comment for 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, or 45 days if a hearing is requested, and is accepting comments in response to EPA’s request for information for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register,” the EPA said in its statement.

According to the statement, “EPA’s greenhouse gas reporting program requires the reporting of GHG emissions data from large emission sources and fuel suppliers across a range of industry sectors. The data will help guide the development of programs to reduce these emissions.”

In April 2010,The NEWSsought comments from refrigerant manufacturers who would be among the entities required to do such reporting to the EPA. There was general concern about how to measure to the levels asked by the EPA; reporting of information which may conflict with confidential business information; and what the EPA will do with the information collected.

For more on these actions, go to www.epa.gov/climatechange/emissions/CBI.html.

Publication date:12/27/2010