EPA Continuing to Move Swiftly to Curb HFCs

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Coming shortly after the September 23, 2021, enactment of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s rule calling for an 85% reduction in hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) over the next 15 years, the agency maintained its momentum on October 8, 2021, granting 10 petitions submitted under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act to further reduce HFCs.

The AIM Act, enacted in December 2020, specifically directs the EPA to address HFCs in three areas; phase down their production and consumption, manage the use of existing HFCs and alternative chemicals, and promote the use of alternative and developing technologies.

The petitions, available through the EPA website, include large corporations, state agencies, and environmental sustainability initiatives, seeking generally to either prohibit the sale or require the phase out of various classes of HFCs from identified industries, including air conditioning and refrigeration systems.

Having granted the petitions, the EPA will, over the next two years, propose and finalize rules to respond to them and begin enacting restrictions in products like aerosols, air conditioning and foam.

In promoting its recent activities, the EPA asserted a goal of saving hundreds of billions of dollars in public health benefits to be achieved by 2050 under the current ambitious agenda.