EPA invites public comment on draft inventory of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions and sinks

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that a Draft Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks: 1990–2014 was being made available for a 30-day public review and comment period. The document summarizes annual U.S. emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and other gases from 1990 through 2014 by source category and sector. The inventory also includes estimates of carbon fluxes in U.S. agricultural and forest lands.

The draft document reports that forest management practices, tree planting in urban areas, and other practices resulted in a net sequestration of C in the United States. Net sequestration of carbon in forest ecosystem pools and harvested wood products in 2014 is estimated to be 583.4 MMT CO2 Eq. which represents 85% of total 2014 CO2 removals for the nation. The document states that the “net forest sequestration is a result of net forest growth and increasing forest area, as well as a net accumulation of carbon stocks in harvested wood pools.”

The technical approach used to estimate emissions and sinks for greenhouse gases is consistent with methods recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and reported in a format consistent with the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) reporting guidelines. The document is the latest in a series of annual U.S. submissions to the Secretariat of the UNFCCC. 

The notice of the document’s availability and the request for public comments appears in the February 22, 2016 issue of the Federal Register (81 FR 8713). The draft report can be obtained by visiting the EPA’s Climate Change site at http://www3.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport.html.
EPA is requesting recommendations for improving the overall quality of the inventory report which will be finalized in April 2016. Comments must be submitted to EPA by March 23.