EPA Finalizes Rule Phasing Down Climate Super-Pollutant

On September 23, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) finalized a rule to phase down the production and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 85% by 2036 through an allowance trading program. This rule was mandated by the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which was enacted in December 2020. It targets HFCs, which are primarily used in air conditioning and refrigeration, along with fire suppression, solvents, foam blowing, and aerosols. HFCs became widely used in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment as substitutes for ozone-depleting substances, but they are powerful greenhouse gases.

This final rule follows a proposed rule that EPA issued on May 3, 2021. It is part of a larger, inter-governmental plan to catalyze reductions in HFCs.