The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released long-awaited climate change emissions data today on an interactive website that clearly shows who the nation’s biggest polluters are where they’re located.
For the first time, the public can see where these industrial sources are emitting pollution in their communities. The website provides data on about 6700 industrial plants based on 2010 pollution discharges. Plants include those that produce cement, iron and steel, petroleum refiners, and pulp and paper manufacturers.
The program covers major industrial sources that emit 25,000
tons of carbon dioxide equivalent or more a year.
You can sort by geographic area and industry sector, type of GHG emitted and
compare emissions among facilities. And you can share the information using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter.
This information can be used by communities to identify nearby sources of GHGs, help businesses compare and track emissions, provide information to state and local governments, and provide investors with transparent information, helping them to put their money in leaders, not laggards.
GHG data for direct emitters show that in 2010:
- Power plants were the largest stationary sources of direct emissions with 2,324 million metric tons of
carbon dioxide equivalent (mmtCO2e), followed by petroleum refineries with emissions of 183 mmtCO2e.
- CO2 accounted for the largest share of direct GHG emissions with 95%, followed by methane with 4%, and
nitrous oxide and fluorinated gases at 1%.
- 100 facilities reported emissions over 7 mmtCO2e, including 96 power plants, two iron and steel mills and two refineries.
The release of the data is part of a program, called for under the FY 2008 Omnibus Appropriations Act signed into law by President George W. Bush in December 2007 (H.R. 2764; Public Law
Since 1995, fossil-fuel fired power plants over 25 megawatts have been required to report carbon emissions under the Clean
Air Act, but this new website also includes other greenhouse gases: methane, nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulfur hexafluoride and other fluorinated gases.
Here’s the website: