Attorney General Tong pushes EPA for stricter regulation of very potent greenhouse gases
(Hartford, CT) —Attorney General William Tong today joined a multi-state coalition to urge the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to use its authority under the U.S. Innovation and Manufacturing Act to adopt more stringent regulations to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
HFCs are thousands of times more powerful than carbon dioxide in their ability to trap heat over a twenty-year period and are the fastest growing source of emissions in the United States and around the world. In today’s petition, the coalition argues that in order to tackle climate change and meet President Biden’s climate goals, it is essential that the EPA exercises its authority to regulate HFCs to the extent possible and take bold action to reduce emissions of this harmful super pollutant. , including the adoption of regulations such as the strict HFC bans in California.
“HFCs are super pollutants and reducing their emissions is vital in the fight against climate change” said Attorney General Tong. “We cannot afford to ignore the climate crisis and put our heads in the sand. The EPA must act and adopt stricter regulations for these powerful greenhouse gases. ”
HFCs are widely used in residential, mobile and commercial cooling systems – such as air conditioning and refrigeration – as well as in construction foams and aerosols. Once viewed as a safer environment for the environment to ozone-depleting substances, which destroy the earth’s ozone layer, HFCs were later seen to pose huge environmental risks as powerful greenhouse gas with significant global warming potential. Due to their increasing share of emissions and their relatively short lifespan in the atmosphere, reducing the consumption and production of HFCs – in the short term – is one of the best options for tackling climate change. .
In 2015, the EPA issued regulations that would have required the replacement of HFCs with safer chemicals. As a result, many American companies have already invested in technologies to manufacture alternatives. However, these regulations were partially rescinded in 2017 on the grounds that the EPA did not have the power under the Clean Air Act to require them. To fill this void, several states have passed or are in the process of passing laws banning the sale and manufacture of products and equipment containing HFCs on certain dates. In December 2020, Congress passed the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, which requires the EPA to facilitate the gradual reduction in the use and production of HFCs by 85% over the next fifteen years and gives the EPA a broad authority to take the necessary steps to regulate HFC emissions. what the coalition is looking for.
Earlier this month, Connecticut joined a coalition of 14 attorneys general to support the EPA’s proposal to establish a cap-and-trade program to gradually reduce the production and consumption of HFCs, such as demands the law. In today’s petition, a similar coalition is urging the EPA to go further and create regulations similar to the strict HFC bans in California. The coalition is also calling for the EPA to reinstate its 2015 regulations and reinstate other requirements to help reduce HFC emissions that were repealed under the Trump administration.
Attorney General Tong joins California Attorneys General, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, North Carolina, New Jersey, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and the District of Columbia, as well as New York, Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection, Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection, Maryland Department of the Environment, New York Department of Environmental Conservation, Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, Vermont Department of Environmental Conservation, and Washington State Department of Ecology, by filing the petition.
A copy of the petition is available here.
Assistant Attorney General Jill Lacedonia assisted the Attorney General in this case.
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