Issue Date: December 21, 2009
EPA Prohibits Use Of HCFCs In Appliances
EPA issued two final rules last week that will restrict the availability and use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) beginning in 2010. One rule allocates allowances for the production and import of the ozone-depleting substances, which are commonly used in refrigeration. The other bans the sale or distribution, including import and export, of precharged air-conditioning and refrigeration products and components that use HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b. Under the 1987 Montreal protocol, an international treaty, the U.S. is obligated to eliminate the use of HCFCs by 2030. EPA says it will reduce allocations of HCFCs for manufacturing by 75% between 2010 and 2014. The final rule allocates 50,000 tons of HCFC-22 for use in 2010 and decreases allocations by approximately 10% annually, down to 31,100 tons in 2014. The ban on the sale of HCFC-containing air-conditioning or refrigeration units applies only to new appliances manufactured after Jan. 1, 2010. About 9.5 million window air conditioners, freezers, and refrigerators were imported into the U.S. each year between 2006 and 2008, according to EPA.
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