EPA Considers Adjustments to Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Imports
The Environmental Protection Agency has issued a notice of proposed rulemaking where it considers options for adjusting the allowance system controlling U.S. consumption and production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons. Under Title VI of the Clean Air Act, the EPA is required to phase out production and import of these chemicals in accordance with U.S. obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Total U.S. HCFC production and consumption is capped and will be completely phased out by 2030. Beginning Jan. 1, 2015, U.S. production and consumption of all HCFCs must be no more than 10% of the established cap. Existing EPA regulations prohibit production and consumption of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as of Jan. 1, 2020. At that time, all other HCFC production and consumption must not exceed 0.5% of the cap and is limited to use as a refrigerant in existing air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Given these requirements, the EPA is seeking comment on how best to implement the 2015 stepdown to no more than 10% of the cap.
Interested parties may submit public comments on the EPA proposal by Feb. 24 if a public hearing is not held or March 10 is a hearing is held.