Powerplants and large industrial facilities that emit more than 25,000 tonnes of CO2 annually must begin monitoring and reporting on their greenhouse-gas emissions yearly as a result of an Environmental Protection Agency rule that goes into effect on Dec. 30.

The regulation will cover approximately 85% of the nation’s greenhouse-gas emissions and apply to roughly 10,000 facilities, EPA says. The first reports will be due in 2011.

Andy Byers, associate vice president of Overland Park, Kan.-based Black & Veatch’s environmental management practice division, says the rule will create opportunities for some engineering firms. “Those facilities that are subject [to the rule] could be looking for some help” in determining whether they must comply with the requirements and in collecting data on emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases. Byers adds that the new reporting system could play a role in current discussions in Washington as Congress and EPA consider regulating carbon emissions.