Final Rule Notice Signed by US EPA Administrator September 23, 2021
What are hydrofluorocarbons?
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were initially manufactured as replacements for ozone-depleting substances in refrigeration, air conditioning, aerosols, fire suppression, and foam blowing sectors. While helping protect the stratospheric ozone layer, HFCs are unfortunately also greenhouse gases that contribute to the warming climate.
What is required?
The American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM) authorized EPA to address HFCs in three ways: (1) phasing down production and consumption, (2) maximizing reclamation and minimizing releases from equipment, and (3) facilitating the transition to next-generation technologies through sector-based restrictions. This final rule focuses on the first area – requiring the phase down of production and consumption of HFCs by 85% below baseline levels by 2036 through an allowance allocation and trading program.
Who is affected?
Companies that produce, import, export, destroy, use as a feedstock, reclaim, package, or otherwise distribute HFCs may be affected by the final rule. Companies may also be affected if they use HFCs to manufacture refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment, foams, aerosols, and fire suppressants, or use HFCs in one of the six applications specified in the AIM Act.