ASTM International is a primary standards contributor to a recent rule approved by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on greenhouse gas reporting by large sources and suppliers in the United States.
The final Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule was enacted in response to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110-161). Under the rule, manufacturers of vehicles and engines and other entities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of greenhouse gas emissions are required to submit annual reports to EPA.
The following ASTM technical committees have standards referenced in the EPA rule:
· C01 on Cement;
· C07 on Lime;
· D01 on Paint and Related Coatings, Materials and Applications;
· D02 on Petroleum Products and Lubricants;
· D03 on Gaseous Fuels;
· D05 on Coal and Coke;
· D20 on Plastics;
· D22 on Air Quality;
· E01 on Analytical Chemistry for Metals, Ores and Related Materials;
· E13 on Molecular Spectroscopy and Separation Science; and,
· E15 on Industrial and Specialty Chemicals.
The standards referenced are test methods and specifications that cover a diverse set of topics – including aviation fuel, water, coal sampling systems and hydraulic cement – and can assist businesses in tracking and reporting their own emissions.
In addition to the standards listed in the EPA rule, ASTM committees are currently working on several proposed new standards related to climate change. These include WK21096, Guide for Disclosures Related to Climate Change Exposures/Risks, and WK21808, Guide for Climate Change Assessment and Risk Management, both under development by ASTM International Committee E50 on Environmental Assessment, Risk Management and Corrective Action.
The rule was signed by Lisa P. Jackson, U.S. EPA administrator, on September 22, and goes into effect on January 1, 2010. First annual reports are to be submitted to the EPA in 2011, covering calendar year 2010.
Gases covered by the rule are: carbon dioxide; methane; nitrous oxide; hydrofluorocarbons; petrofluorcarbons; sulfur hexafluoride; and other fluorinated gases, including nitrogen trifluoride and hydrofluorinated ethers.
The purpose of the EPA’s new reporting system is to provide better understanding of the sources of greenhouse gases, which are produced by burning fossil fuels and through industrial and biological processes. Report data may also identify cost-effective ways to reduce future greenhouse gas emissions.
ASTM International welcomes and encourages participation in the development of its standards. ASTM’s open consensus process ensures worldwide access for all interested individuals. For more information on becoming an ASTM member, please contact Daniel Smith, ASTM International (phone: 610-832-9727; firstname.lastname@example.org).
Established in 1898, ASTM International is one of the largest international standards development and delivery systems in the world. ASTM International meets the World Trade Organization (WTO) principles for the development of international standards: coherence, consensus, development dimension, effectiveness, impartiality, openness, relevance and transparency. ASTM standards are accepted and used in research and development, product testing, quality systems and commercial transactions around the globe.