Greenhouse Gas tracking will soon become mandatory in the United States, with the first reports due in early 2011 for the 2010 year. The federal law affects businesses and governments with heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems or refrigeration and air-conditioning systems, as well as those who produce industrial chemicals, fossil fuels, cars and engines. It is the responsibility of companies to review and comply with the new EPA regulations or face substantial fines.
The US Clean Air Act aims to improve air quality and lower greenhouse gas emissions. Within this aim, the Climate Registry Protocol covers greenhouse gas tracking and outlines the need for mandatory monitoring.
A big part of the greenhouse gas tracking requirement is its focus on the refrigerant gases used in refrigeration and cooling systems at a wide variety of facilities. This list includes but is not limited to food processors, grocery stores, office buildings, hospital buildings, retailers and local government facilities. It is known that refrigerant gases include significant levels of carbon in the form of perfluorocarbons, chlorofluorocarbons and hydrochlorofluorocarbons. These compounds have been regulated under the US Clean Air Act for some years.
It is accepted that greenhouse gases absorb and release radiation into the atmosphere which is a significant contributory factor to the global warming effect. Greenhouse gas tracking will help to pinpoint the main origin of these greenhouse gases and monitor the amount which is discharged. Environmental officials have a baseline of information against which to measure future usage. Accurate and timely information will help determine if the guidelines are effective in lowering the effects of these substances on the ozone layer.
Greenhouse gas tracking helps to measure both direct and indirect emissions and to keep extensive records on maintenance, leaks and disposal. Heating and cooling systems and other energy consumptions are defined as producing direct emissions.
Greenhouse Gas tracking was among the major goals of the Obama administration as the United States aims to protect the future of the environment by reducing the carbon footprint of today. By taking no action, the earth’s makeup would significantly change, with humans and animals adversely affected and marine and plant life severely damaged.
Greenhouse gas tracking is to become law because it has been determined that certain man-made compounds materially contribute to global warming. Those substances are carbon dioxide, chlorine, bromine, nitrous oxide, chlorofluorocarbons, hydrofluorocarbons, methyl chloroform, sulfur hexafluoride, halons, carbon tetrachloride and the fluorinated gases hydroflorenated ethers and nitrogen trifluoride.
Although greenhouse gas tracking was once optional it now becomes mandatory, and from 2010 the regulation requires companies and municipalities to provide exact information on how much of the global warming substances they use and if any leaks occur. Software applications have been developed, with web based applications available to assist companies in complying with this law.