EPA Proposes Rule Requiring Companies to Capture and Destroy Byproduct Greenhouse Gas

On September 29, 2021, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rule that would require manufacturing plants to control, capture, and/or destroy HFC-23. HFC-23 is a powerful greenhouse gas that is generated during the manufacture of certain class II ozone-depleting substances, including HCFC-22. According to EPA, HFC-23 has a substantially longer atmospheric lifetime and higher global warming potential than all other HFCs. This proposal follows a September 23, 2021 rule that established an allowance trading program for the phase out of all HFCs.

Under the proposed rule, HFC-23 must be captured and employed for a commercial use or destroyed using a technology approved by the Environmental Protection Agency, thereby ensuring it is not directly emitted. The rule would be narrow in scope, only affecting plants that continue to manufacture HCFCs under an exception to the HCFC phaseout under the Clean Air Act and its implementing regulations.

Comments on the proposed rule may be submitted to EPA until November 15, 2021.