WASHINGTON (CN) – The Environmental Protection Agency is lowering the allowed consumption for hydrochlorofluorocarbons used in heating and cooling applications to meet its obligations to reduce and eliminate the use of such chemicals under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Specifically, the EPA is setting a lower cap on the amounts of HCFC-141b, HCFC-22, and HCFC-142b for the period 2010-2014 that can be used in industry at 25 percent of the amount of those substances used in the U.S. in the baseline year 1989.
The U.S. was one of the original signatories to the 1987 Montreal Protocol and the U.S. ratified the Protocol on April 12, 1988. In 1990 Congress adopted amendments to the Clean Air Act to meet the requirements of the Protocol.
As of Jan. 1, the U.S. will have reduced its aggregate production and consumption of hydrochlorofluorocarbons by 75 percent from its use in the baseline year. The Protocol schedules the total elimination of hydrochlorofluorocarbons in 2040.
In a related action, the EPA is banning the sale or distribution of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances containing HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, or blends containing one or both of these substances, beginning Jan. 1.