Court Strikes Down Sensible Limits of Super-Pollutant HFCs

WASHINGTON – A divided three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit today struck down EPA’s common-sense deadlines to end the use of several hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – powerful heat-trapping gases that significantly contribute to climate change – despite the emergence of safer, climate-friendlier alternatives in the marketplace.

The following is a statement from David Doniger, director of the Climate and Clean Air Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“While the 2-1 decision is disappointing, the dissent got it exactly right: EPA does have authority to limit harmful, super-pollutant HFCs. We’re exploring all options for appeals. The fact is, safer, climate-friendlier alternatives are readily available and should be used more to help cool our overheating world.

“It’s also true that the U.S. has been a leader in advancing HFC alternative technologies, and the world agreed to phase down HFCs just last year with the Kigali Agreement. We cannot go backward, or the climate damage suffered by the American people will only magnify.”

NRDC previously petitioned EPA to address the climate risks posed by HFCs. Joined by Honeywell International and the Chemours Company, NRDC intervened on behalf of EPA in defense of the Clean Air Act regulation reversed today. 

By 2030, EPA’s rule would have avoided as much annual climate damage as shuttering about 29 coal-fired power plants – at a fraction of the cost.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 2 million members and online activists. Since 1970, our lawyers, scientists, and other environmental specialists have worked to protect the world's natural resources, public health, and the environment. NRDC has offices in New York City; Washington, D.C.; Los Angeles; San Francisco; Chicago; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Visit us at and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.







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