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EPA Caves to Big Oil on|Greenhouse Gas Deadline

WASHINGTON (CN) - The Environmental Protection Agency has extended the deadline for operators of natural gas pipelines and petroleum refineries to ask permission to use actual greenhouse gas emissions measurements instead of using the agency's estimates, to fulfill reporting requirements.

The new deadline is July 31, 2011.

The pipeline and refinery operators may rely on physical monitors to detect actual emissions using the best available monitoring methods, if they ask permission for it by the deadline.

Otherwise, the operators must use parameters specified by the agency, which are based on estimates for facilities of certain sizes.

According to a letter submitted by the American Petroleum Institute, the "aggressive deadlines [for using actual emissions] are problematic for reporters who are attempting to monitor greenhouse gas emissions for the first time."

Particularly difficult, according to the letter, was the April 30 deadline, because it did "not provide sufficient time to identify the sources for which best available monitoring methods should be requested."

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