The Washington, D.C. (U.S.)-based Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has sent a letter to Michael S. Regan, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), petitioning the agency to use new powers granted under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act in the “most ambitious and effective way” to prohibit the use of HFCs.
In particular, the EIA requests that the EPA prohibit using many HFCs in newly manufactured refrigeration and air conditioning systems ranging from small residential air conditioners to large refrigeration systems in supermarkets, targeting the largest sectors of HFC consumption and emissions.
EIA also urges the EPA to immediately restore the restrictions on the use of various HFCs that were finalized under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program in 2015 and 2016 by SNAP Rules 20 & 21, “particularly for other end-uses not covered by this petition.”
More ambitious and comprehensive requirements are feasible, the EIA argued, “given the further advancement in availability and industry acceptance of low GWP technology in recent years,” the letter said.
“This is a key moment for the U.S. to demonstrate true climate leadership by implementing the most ambitious feasible restrictions on HFC use,” said Christina Starr, Senior Policy Analyst, EIA, in a statement.
“These regulations are essential to meet the Kigali Amendment HFC phase-down schedule,” added Starr. “If strong enough, they can make it feasible to accelerate it in several years and help lead the world into the next chapter of Montreal Protocol climate action.” President Biden recently announced his administration is planning to send the Montreal Protocol’s Kigali Amendment to Senate for ratification.
shecco America, a division of shecco, publisher of this website, was a co-signatory on the petition along with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Green America.
Follow CARB’s lead
The petition asks the EPA to use the California Air Resource Board’s (CARB) recently enacted HFCs regulation – the most comprehensive such regulation in the U.S. – as a base in federal policy. EIA points out in the letter that an ambitous and accelerated regulation of HFCs is needed due to the previous administration’s lack of action on environmental issues.
“Our petition presents an ambitious roadmap to end the unnecessary reliance on climate-damaging gases for cooling, especially by the supermarket industry,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, Climate Campaign Lead, EIA. “California has already demonstrated that this is eminently achievable.”
EIA noted that interested organizations can submit a letter supporting the EIA’s petition to the EPA.