Environmental Business Alert: EPA Rulemakings

Date: Dec 28, 2009

EPA Reduces Hydrochlorofluorocarbon ("HCFC") Production & Consumption Allowances

With a December 15, 2009 final rule, the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") continued to phaseout HCFCs in accordance with the Montreal Protocol and Title VI of the Clean Air Act. Effective January 1, 2010, the rule establishes an annually declining baseline for HCFC–22 of 41.9 % in 2010 to 26.1 % in 2014. HCFC-142b will be allocated at 0.47 % of its baseline for the same period. For the first time, EPA also set allowances for HCFCs-123, 124, 225ca, and 225cb, but at 125% of the applicable baseline to avoid market disruptions. Nevertheless, these allocations will allow the U.S. to meet the Protocol's 75% aggregated HCFC baseline reduction targets for the 2010 – 2014 compliance period. 74 Fed. Reg. 66,412.

EPA Bans Appliances Pre-Charged with HCFC-22 and -142b

On the same day it issued the HCFC allocation rule, EPA also banned the sale or distribution of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances or their components manufactured on or after January 1, 2010, that are pre-charged with HCFC-22, HCFC-142b or blends thereof. The ban applies regardless whether the HCFCs were produced before 2010 or were reclaimed. Stockpiled or used appliances may continue to be sold, and stockpiled components may be used to service appliances manufactured before January 1, 2010, but may not be used to create new appliances. 74 Fed. Reg. 66,450.

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Environmental Business Alert - EPA Rulemakings