The proposal, which could establish an accounting basis for federal regulation of heat-trapping gases, would require about 13,000 factories, power plants and other facilities to report their emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other gases that climate scientists link to global warming.
Oil refineries, cement makers, utilities and pulp and paper manufacturers and the automotive sector are among the industries covered by the proposal. The E.P.A. says that the rule, promulgated under the Clean Air Act, would account for 85 percent to 90 percent of the countrys emissions of heat-trapping gases, although small manufacturers would be exempt.
We do not expect to have a significant impact on small businesses, said Dina Kruger, the director of the agencys climate change division.
A 60-day comment period and two public hearings will soon take place. Ms. Kruger said the agency hoped to make the rule final this fall. If that happens, reporting could begin in 2011, after the monitoring of 2010 emissions.
This is the foundation of any serious program to cap and reduce global warming pollution, said David Doniger, the policy director for the climate center at the Natural Resources Defense Council. You have to have source-by-source data on how much of global warming pollution is emitted and from where.
The E.P.A. estimated that the cost to industry would be $160 million in the first year, then fall to $127 million a year.
Bill Kovacs, the vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs for the United States Chamber of Commerce, noted that some manufacturers already volunteered the data.
Manufacturers would be required to report emissions from the vehicles they make. Charles Territo, a spokesman for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, said that his organization was still reviewing the proposal, but that the reporting requirement was not new for the automobile industry.
E.P.A. already knows the carbon dioxide emissions from automobiles, Mr. Territo said, because E.P.A. measures grams per mile of CO2 from automobiles.
Experts said the proposal had been expected in September.