EPA signs two rules
to further protect
Earth's ozone layer
Dec 15, 2009 9:18 AM
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced two final rules that will further cut ozone-depleting pollutants, protecting the Earthís ozone layer and reducing harmful greenhouse gases.
These rules 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 Earthís 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 January 1, 2010. The rulemakings protect the ozone layer by decreasing availability of the 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.
More information on these two rules can be obtained at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/rulesoverview.html.
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