Regulatory Developments, Special Topics in Environmental Management

EPA Finalizes Two Major Actions Addressing HFCs

In anticipation of international adoption of an amendment to the Montreal Protocol and also in fulfillment of parts of President Obama’s June 2013 Climate Action Plan (CAP), the EPA has issued two final rules that will reduce releases of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) to the atmosphere.

One rule, promulgated under Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 608, tightens management standards for refrigerants. The second rule expands EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, established under CAA Section 612, by changing the status of certain substances already listed under SNAP, including listing several as acceptable subject to use limits and use conditions and others as unacceptable. Under the rule, most HFCs are listed as unacceptable for specific end uses beginning between 2020 and 2025. Exceptions, under narrow use limits, apply to military- or space- and aeronautics-related applications.

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