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New England state governors back HFC refrigerant limits

USA: The New England states of Maine, Massachusetts and Rhode Island have submitted bipartisan legislation that directs the US EPA to limit the use HFCs where safer alternatives are available.

Legislation proposed by Governor Janet Mills of Maine – An Act to Restrict the Use of Hydrofluorocarbons – directs the Department of Environmental Protection to implement rulemaking that establishes “a reasonable and orderly transition to products and equipment that use climate-friendly alternative to HFCs”, where alternatives are available, and sets a time-table for that transition, beginning in 2021.

The expected rules will be substantially consistent with those being developed by Massachusetts and Rhode Island as well as other United States Climate Alliance states. 

“With safer alternatives now available, the gradual phase out of these super pollutants makes sense for consumers, businesses, and our environment, Governor Mills said. “I am proud to join with other governors from the US Climate Alliance in taking this step. Our actions show that, regardless of what happens – or doesn’t happen – in Washington, states can forge important progress in fighting climate change.”

Rhode Island Governor Gina M Raimondo urged the use of “every tool at our disposal” to take “urgent action” on climate change. “In the absence of federal leadership, I’m proud to stand with governors on both sides of the aisle who recognise the dangers of HFCs,” she said.

The sentiments were echoed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker, who said the move “would bring Massachusetts closer to achieving its ambitious greenhouse gas reduction targets”.

“For the Commonwealth to meet our goal to reach net-zero emissions by 2050, we will need to act to curb high-emitting sources like HFCs, and this plan represents a great opportunity to combat climate change and preserve our environment,” he said.

These latest announcements bring the tally to 15 states that have enacted similar HFC legislation so far. Another eight states are tackling HFCs under existing laws or pending bills – Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Oregon, and Pennsylvania.

Related stories:

Maryland joins US HFC phase out move13 September 2018
USA: Maryland has joined New York and California in pursuing measures to phase out the use of HFC refrigerants. Read more…

New York to phase out HFC refrigerants – 11 September 2018
USA: New York has announced it will follow California and adopt regulations to phase out the use of HFC refrigerants. Read more…

California votes to restrict HFC use – 31 August 2018
USA: California has voted to pass the California Cooling Act which will restrict the use of high GWP HFC refrigerants and other HFC compounds. Read more…

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