New Rule Aims to Reduce Ozone-Depleting Chemical by 75 Percent

The EPA has proposed a rule that would further decrease the consumption and production of harmful hydrochlorofluorocarbon emissions, ozone-depleting substances and potent greenhouse gases, that will begin in 2010.

EPA is leading the way and working with the global community in helping to protect the environment for future generations with the phase out of HCFCs,” said Robert J. Meyers, principal deputy assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Air and Radiation. “This proposal will help restore the ozone layer and address climate change.”

The proposed rule states that consumption and production in the U.S. will be reduced by at least 75 percent in 2010. As a party to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the U.S. will completely phase out HCFCs in 2030.

This action will also amend provisions concerning HCFC production for developing countries’ basic domestic needs and would clarify a ban on the sale and distribution of HCFCs through interstate commerce under the Clean Air Act. EPA will accept comments on the proposed rule for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.

In 1993, EPA started eliminating the most harmful HCFCs to implement the Montreal Protocol’s gradual phase out of overall HCFC levels.

One hundred ninety-three countries are parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer. Signed in 1987, this successful treaty is helping to heal the ozone layer by ending the production of ozone-depleting substances.

More on EPA’s involvement in the Montreal Protocol: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/strathome.html

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