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Region-wide Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory Project

    Project Summary

    The NJTPA completed the FY 2011 GHG Inventory & Forecast project (GHG I&F) for the 13-county NJTPA region. The goal of the study was to quantify the amount and kinds of climate change gases that are emitted in the region. The project presents greenhouse gas emissions from all major sectors, including:

    • fuel consumption and electricity use in the residential, commercial, and industrial sectors;

    • transportation-related emissions from on-road, non-road, aviation, marine, and rail transportation sectors including freight;

    • industrial processes;

    • agricultural sources, including soils, manure and livestock;

    • waste management; and

    • land use, land use changes, and forestry.

    This project provides GHG emission estimates for the six primary GHG gases; Carbon Dioxide (CO2), Methane (CH4), Nitrous Oxide (N2O), Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6), Hydroflourocarbons (HFCs), and Perflourocarbons (PFCs). This inventory estimated GHG for the 2006 base year and projected GHG emissions for the years 2020, 2035, and 2050.

    The NJTPA GHG inventory was developed utilizing two accounting methods: direct emissions and consumption‐based emissions. Direct emissions are defined as those emissions that take place within the NJTPA region. GHG gases emitted from landfills and from the combustion of motor fuels in automobiles are examples of direct emissions. Consumption‐based emissions are those emissions associated with a product or process, such as the generation of electricity. Since a significant amount of the electricity consumed within the NJTPA region is generated outside of New Jersey, the consumption-based method estimated the emissions associated with that electricity even though it was generated elsewhere. The NJTPA also estimated the greenhouse gases associated with the upstream production of a product or process, called energy‐cycle emissions, which include emissions associated with material extraction, processing, and transport. For example, the extraction, distribution, and refining of gasoline is often not considered in the direct emissions accounting, but is included in a consumption/energy cycle accounting method. Measuring greenhouse gas emissions by using both methods provide a more nuanced and complete picture of where greenhouse gas are being emitted and provides additional guidance on what GHG mitigation measures may be pursued.

    This GHG inventory and forecast will help state, regional, and local policy makers and citizens understand the sources of GHG emissions so that well-informed policy decisions will be made to reduce these emissions. The results of this GHG inventory and forecasting project will serve as a basis for NJTPA to formulate and evaluate greenhouse gas reduction policies and action plans at the regional, subregional, and municipal levels. Furthermore, a GHG Management web‐based tool was developed by NJTPA to facilitate the sharing of GHG emissions data with county and municipal planners.

    Hired to assist with this effort was the consultant team lead by TranSystems/E.H. Pechan & Associates, along with AKRF, Inc., AECOM, and Arch Street Communications, Inc. The first three team members supplied NJTPA with technical support on the project, while Arch Street provided communication and outreach support. Progress of the project was overseen by a Technical Advisory Committee.

    For more information, contact Jeffrey Perlman at [email protected].