Third-Party Verification Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reports No Longer Required By The MassDEP Reply

On August 26, 2015, the MassDEP issued an e-mail to Massachusetts Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions reporting facilities that it will no longer require verification of GHG reports by an approved verification body once every three years as stated in 310 CMR 7.71(7).  This decision applies to reports for reporting year 2014 and future years thereafter.  Verification of emission reports for years prior to 2014 must still be completed and submitted to MassDEP.

The reason for the change is that MassDEP believes the third party verification program has been successful in improving the quality of reported GHG emissions data to-date.  Each reporting facility in the state has completed verification for at least one emission year.  MassDEP believes the reviews have resulted in significant changes to many reports and that going forward, facilities will continue to implement these changes in future years as part of their own internal verification processes.

MassDEP intends to publish a draft report on the verification requirement in the near future which will include supporting data that was considered in deciding to no longer require the third-party verification.   MassDEP  will likely be proposing amendments to 310 CMR 7.71(7) to replace the current verification requirement with other verification options such as self-certification of reported emissions.

Despite the removal of the third party verification requirement, the accuracy and consistency of data should remain a priority that needs to be addressed by alternate means such as a periodic peer review or GHG emissions audit.

CAPACCIO works closely with companies in assisting with the tracking of GHG emissions and in the preparation and submission of GHG reports to both the MassDEP and the Federal EPA.  CAPACCIO will continue to provide GHG program audits and peer reviews of GHG tracking systems, programs, and reporting.

CAPACCIO will continue to follow any developments from the MassDEP and our air quality experts can help with all your compliance needs.  If you have questions or require assistance, please contact Bob King at 508-970-0033 ext. 113 or bking@capaccio.com or John Baycroft at 508-970-0033 ext. 144 or jbaycroft@capaccio.com.