EPA Releases Proposed HCFC Allocation Rule

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a pre-publication notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) seeking comments on options for adjusting the allowance system controlling the consumption and production of hydrocholorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Under the obligations of the Montreal Protocol and Title VI of the Clean Air Act (CAA), U.S. HCFC production and consumption is capped and will be completely phased out by 2030. More specifically, effective January 1, 2015, the production and consumption of all HCFCs cannot exceed 10 percent of the established cap and all production and consumption of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b will cease as of January 1, 2020. After that date, all other HCFC production and consumption must not exceed 0.5 percent of the cap. The proposed rule seeks comments on how best to implement the 2015 step-down to no more than 10 percent of the cap. In addition, the EPA is proposing modifications to section 608 regulations and is highlighting certain CAA requirements (e.g., labeling requirements, restriction on HCFC use, and introduction into commerce) that will take effect in 2015. The public comment period will close 60 days after the NOPR is published in the Federal Register. However, if a public hearing is held, the comment period will close 75 days after the notice is published in the Federal Register. Contact: Karim Amrane.