On Friday, September 23, 2021, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued the final rule to reduce the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by 85% by 2036. The rule sets baselines for HFC production and consumption from which reductions can be measured and establishes a compliance and enforcement program. In addition to announcing the final rule, EPA also announced an interagency task force with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to prevent the illegal import and trade of HFCs.
The final rule, which was mandated by the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act, is part of the Biden Administration’s broader climate change-related initiatives. According to the White House Fact Sheet, the actions required by the rule “are expected to result in reductions of more than 4.5 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide-equivalent by 2050 — equal to nearly three years of U.S. power sector emissions at 2019 levels — making today’s announcement one of the most consequential climate actions taken by the federal government in years.”
The rule will be effective 30 days from the date of publication in the Federal Register.