MDE Working to Phase Out Hydrofluorocarbons and Reduce Methane Emissions

The Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) is proposing regulations to phase out the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and reduce methane emissions.

In an effort to meet requirements outlined in Maryland’s Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act (GGRA), MDE is proposing regulations designed to reduce hydrofluorocarbons 25 percent anually by 2030. The regulations will phase out certain HFCs, thereby encouraging lower emission producing alternatives. Hydrofluorocarbons are commonly used in refrigeration, air conditioning, and aerosol sprays.

Additionally, MDE is proposing new regulations at energy facilities to reduce methane emissions, potentially preventing up to 5,000 metric tons of methane emissions per year. This will be acheived through new detection, testing, repair, reporting and record keeping requirements for gas facilities.

“This is an important and necessary step in our ongoing efforts to reach Maryland’s greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Governor Larry Hogan. “Our administration is committed to climate leadership by preventing pollution and partnering with other states to make critical progress in protecting and preserving our environment.”

“These fast-acting super-pollutants are a major threat to our climate progress and deserve to be phased out at the state and federal level,” said Maryland Department of the Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles. “Our balanced approach continues to seek out market-based solutions that benefit our environment and complement – not compete with – industry-led initiatives.”

From the press release:

Traditionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulated the use of HFCs under a federal Clean Air Act program. However, after two HFC rules issued by the EPA stalled due to legal challenges, states began their own initiatives. MDE’s proposed regulations would reduce HFC emissions by adopting the stalled federal prohibitions for air conditioning and refrigeration equipment, aerosol propellants and foam uses.

For more information view the press release.