EPA moves to loosen emissions rules on planet-warming HFCs

Just a week after proposing to lift limits on methane pollution, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is looking to roll back emissions rules on other potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons, or HFCs. On Wednesday, the agency proposed rescinding an Obama-era rule that would have cut leakage of HFCs in large industrial-sized refrigerators and air conditioners—think chilly factories, supermarkets, ice rinks, etc. If finalized, the reversal would let such facilities off the hook for basic leak-prevention and repair measures, as well as public reporting. HFCs have hundreds to thousands of times the planet-warming power of carbon dioxide, and the EPA estimates annual leaks from the rollback would be akin to the annual climate pollution from 642,000 more passenger cars. The good news: States are working independently to phase out these compounds as part of a larger effort against what NRDC's David Doniger calls the Trump administration’s “climate vandalism.”

Related Content