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On Tuesday, October 28, 2014, the US EPA published its final rule that adjusts the allowance system for the consumption and production of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) for years 2015 to 2019. The rule was promulgated pursuant to the Clean Air Act, certain sections of which ensure that the United States meets its obligations under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (Protocol). Under the Protocol and its amendments, all developed countries are subject to caps on their consumption and production of HCFCs. These countries must achieve a certain percentage of progress towards the total phaseout of production and consumption of HCFCs by certain dates.
Under yesterday's rule, the US EPA issued allowances for four HCFCs and implemented a de minimis exemption for use of existing inventory of HCFC-225ca/cb and HCFC-124. Allowances for each of the four HCFCs are as follows:
For HCFC-225ca/cb, the US EPA allocated zero percent of the baseline for production and consumption. However, the US EPA finalized a de minimis exemption to allow any person with HCFC-225ca/cb in inventory prior to January 1, 2015, to use that material as a solvent. The US EPA also finalized a de minimis exemption to allow any person with HCFC-124 in inventory prior to January 1, 2015, to use that material as a sterilant for biological indicators.
The rule becomes effective on January 1, 2015. The full rule can be found here.