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New EPA Rules Further Reduce HCFCs to Protect Ozone Layer

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two final rules that will further reduce the availability and use of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are primarily used as refrigerants and harm the ozone layer.

A diminished ozone layer allows more radiation to reach the Earth’s surface, leading to serious health effects, such as skin cancer, cataracts, and weakened immune systems.

The first rule prohibits the use of specific HCFCs to manufacture new air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment beginning in 2010, while allowing limited HCFC use to service existing equipment.

The second rule prohibits the sale, distribution, and import of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances and their components containing certain HCFCs that are manufactured or imported after 1 January 2010.

The rulemakings protect the ozone layer by decreasing the availability of these compounds as well as the demand for newly-produced equipment containing HCFCs. These rules advance US compliance under the Clean Air Act and the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.




This is a justified use of the EPA's regulatory mandate. Even though the CFC - ozone layer effect is not an absolute fact. If the EPA stuck to regulating things that actually need regulating - they wouldn't end up in Federal Court as they will with CO2.


Ozone is one of those issues that many nations could agree upon. Those were mostly developed nations that had an option and the solution would not impact most of the economy. Let's hope the rest of the work to be done will solicit generous cooperation.

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