EPA Rolls Back HFC Leak Prevention Rule, Raising Cost and Climate Harm

WASHINGTON – The Environmental Protection Agency finalized a rule today that eliminates leak prevention and repair requirements for hydroflurocarbons, or HFCs, the powerful heat-trapping pollutants used in commercial and industrial refrigeration.

Following is a statement from David Doniger, senior strategic director in the Climate & Clean Energy Program at the Natural Resources Defense Council:

“EPA’s payoff to big industries like Boeing, Eli Lilly, Proctor & Gamble, and Koch Industries makes no sense. This rollback will fuel the climate crisis by adding more super-polluting HFCs to the atmosphere each year, in an amount equal to the carbon pollution from one million cars. It will save industry just $24 million a year, a pittance when spread across thousands of industrial facilities. 

“And this rollback is all the more baffling when industry – including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufacturers – is supporting the same HFC leak prevention measures in the bipartisan legislation now moving forward in both the Senate and House. 

“We are exploring all avenues to restore this commonsense, dirt-cheap measure that would stop HFC leaks and protect the climate.”


The Trump EPA has finalized the rollback of an Obama administration standard that set leak repair and maintenance requirements for industrial and commercial refrigeration and air conditioning equipment containing HFCs.

The Obama administration’s rules simply extended to HFCs the leak prevention requirements already in place for the same industries for ozone-depleting refrigerants such as CFCs. 

Among those supporting the Trump EPA rollback is NEDA/CAP, a coalition of companies that include the Boeing Company, BP America, Eli Lilly & Company, ExxonMobil Corporation, Georgia-Pacific LLC, Intel Corporation, Koch Industries, Inc., Merck & Co., Inc., NewPage Corp., Occidental Petroleum Corp., Procter & Gamble, and Weyerhaeuser

The bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing Act has been introduced in the Senate (S.2754) and the House (HR.5544).


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is an international nonprofit environmental organization with more than 3 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, MT, and Beijing. Visit us at NRDC.org and follow us on Twitter @NRDC.​


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