Are you keeping track of hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) related items? If you are, then you may be interested in the following information. On May 19, 2021, the EPA published a Proposed Rule in the Federal Register entitled, “Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act”.
- In this proposed rule, the EPA is establishing an allowance allocation program to phase down HFC production and use.
- The EPA’s proposed goals are to issue allowances based on 2017, 2018, and 2019 HFC production or HFC imported data and to phase down EV-weighted (exchange value equivalents) production by 85% from the baseline within 15 years.
- The proposed rule would allow companies to continue using HFC blends in the foam blowing industry.
- “The PU foam and recreational boating industries estimate that in 2020, structural composite preformed PU foam for marine and trailer uses used approximately 28 MT of HFC–134a blowing agent. This specific use of HFC–134a blowing agent is expected to continue in the United States due to performance issues with alternatives (e.g., lack of structural integrity, shrinking).”
Environmental groups and some industry representatives have objected to the original language in the recently published proposed rule. They are expressing concern that the foam blowing sector could possibly use HFC blends which may a have higher global warming potential than available alternatives.
The EPA sent a supplemental proposal to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) on July 8th, 2021 – “Supplemental Proposal: Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substances Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program”. The OMB webpage indicates that the submittal is currently pending regulatory review.
Please continue to stay tuned to this and other important environmental posts, as Spirit shares information regarding important issues that may affect us all.