Protect the Environment From Ozone-Depleting Chemicals

Target: Andrew R. Wheeler, Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency

Goal: Reverse decision to relax regulations on harmful, ozone-depleting chemicals.

A new EPA rule relaxes regulation of harmful refrigerant chemicals known to significantly contribute to global warming and ozone depletion. This rule cuts back on the requirement of owners and operators of refrigeration equipment to have leak detection and maintenance programs for hydrofluorocarbons (HFC’s), chemicals known as “climate super-pollutants.”

This signifies yet another EPA rollback under the Trump administration that intends to ease the financial burden on industry and put the environment further at risk. The rule change is estimated to save businesses and industries 24 million dollars a year, while emitting atmospheric pollutants equivalent to the carbon dioxide emissions of one million cars, according to the Natural Resources Defense Council. This deregulation applies to a large portion of the country’s commercial sector, from agriculture, to the manufacturing of food and beverage products, to petrochemicals, electronics, and much more.

While carbon dioxide lives in the atmosphere much longer than HFC’s, which remain between 15 and 30 years, HFC’s impact on climate change can be hundreds to thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide, according to the Climate and Clean Air Coalition.

Massachusetts and California, along with Washington D.C. and fifteen other states, do not agree with the EPA’s decision to rollback regulations. They led an argument, saying “The states strongly oppose any EPA action that unlawfully licenses industry to emit more ozone- and climate-damaging chemicals at the expense of humans and the environment’s health…” Sign below to demand that the EPA reverse their decision to rollback regulation of HFC’s and instead work to phase out the harmful chemicals completely.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Mr. Wheeler,

Your decision to relax regulations on harmful refrigerant chemicals is a dramatic contrast to the work that many countries and states have done to get rid of HFCs completely.

The Montreal Protocol, the 1987 treaty to regulate ozone-depleting chemicals, now requires the phase out of HFCs by 2030. 93 countries and the European Union have signed this treaty, though the United States has yet to comply. It is clear that the global community is working to rid of these harmful chemicals, and I am confused as to why you would not do the same.

As you know, HFCs contribute significantly to climate change and ozone-depletion. In the age of the climate crisis, we cannot continue to give potentially lethal financial advantages to industries that pollute our environment and jeopardize human health. I demand that you reverse your decision to cut back on industry regulation of HFCs and instead work to phase out these harmful chemicals completely.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Karen Murphy


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