The US EPA released a proposed rulemaking to establish an allocation system to decrease the production and import of HFCs by 85% over the next 15 years.

The proposed rule is the first step to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020, the new climate law setting the US on course for compliance with the international HFC phase-down under the Kigali Amendment.

The AIM Act directs the EPA to sharply reduce the production and consumption of HFCs by using an allowance allocation and trading programme. The proposals list 18 of the higher GWP HFCs including, R134a, R32, R125, R143a, R23, R152, and R152a.

Michael S Regan, Administrator, EPA, said: “With this proposal, EPA is taking another significant step under President Biden’s ambitious agenda to address the climate crisis. By phasing down HFCs, which can be hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide at warming the planet, EPA is taking major action to help keep global temperature rise in check. The phase-down of HFCs is also widely supported by the business community, as it will help promote American leadership in innovation and manufacturing of new climate-safe products. Put simply, this action is good for our planet and our economy.”

Speaking on behalf of the Environmental Investigation Agency, Avipsa Mahapatra said: “We are incredibly excited by the swiftness with which EPA is setting up a framework to implement landmark climate regulation to eliminate HFCs that will achieve emission reductions of 4.7 billion metric tons of CO2e by 2050.”

The production and consumption phase down will be effective from 1st January 2022, under the following timetable: 2022 to 2023 90%; 2024 to 2028 60%; 2029 to 2033 30%; 2034 to 2035 20%; 2036 and thereafter 15%.

The EPA is also proposing a ban on the use of non-refillable and disposable cylinders, bringing it into line with similar bans on this type of cylinder in other leading countries.

Karen Meyers, Vice President, Rheem Manufacturing Company, and Chairman of the Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, said: “The AIM Act is one of the most significant environmental policy laws passed in recent years. This HFC allocation rule is key to achieving an orderly HFC phase-down in the United States, creating a uniform federal approach to this effort, capturing significant projected environmental and economic benefits.”

Julie Cerqueira, Executive Director, US Climate Alliance, said: “Alliance states have been leading the charge in reducing HFC emissions in recent years and now have a strong federal partner in this push. It’s a win for jobs, a win for our economy, and it will help us achieve our bold state and federal climate goals.”

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