EPA Announces Next Step in Phaseout of Imports and Production of HCFCs
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a final rule that, effective Jan. 1, 2015, will amend its regulations to implement the next major milestone in the phaseout of hydrochlorofluorocarbons. The EPA is required to phase out the production and import of HCFCs in accordance with the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, under which the U.S. has agreed to decrease HCFC consumption and production levels to 10 percent of the U.S. baseline by 2015 and to phase out HCFC production and consumption entirely by 2030.
This rule makes the following changes.
- for HCFC-22, sets a 2015 consumption allocation of approximately 10,000 metric tons, decreasing by approximately 2,000 MT per year until it is phased out in 2020, and approximately 28,000 MT of production allowances each year
- for HCFC-123, sets a consumption allocation of approximately 2,000 MT per year through 2019 and allows for continued use of HCFC-123 in nonresidential streaming fire suppression applications
- for HCFC-124, sets a production and consumption allocation of 200 MT per year through 2019
- for HCFC-142b, sets a production and consumption allocation of 35 MT in 2015, decreasing by five MT per year through 2019
- for HCFC-225ca/cb, allocates zero percent of the baseline for production and consumption, effective Jan. 1, 2015
- sets a de minimis exemption allowing any person with HCFC-225ca/cb in inventory prior to Jan. 1, 2015, to use that material as a solvent
- finalizes a de minimis exemption allowing any person with HCFC-124 in inventory prior to Jan. 1, 2015, to use that material as a sterilant for biological indicators