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EPA proposes plan to prohibit chemicals used in refrigeration and air conditioning

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The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed to prohibit the use of certain hydrofluorocarbons in aerosols, motor vehicle air conditioning, retail food refrigeration and vending machines and foam blowing, the agency announced July 10.

The proposal, which is the agency’s second action aimed at reducing HFC emissions under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, is estimated to reduce greenhouse gases by up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, the EPA stated in the news release.

“President Obama called on us to take action against potent greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Today, we are issuing a new proposal that builds on the innovative work businesses across the country have already made to reduce and replace some of the most harmful chemicals with safer, more climate-friendly alternatives that are available and on the market today,” EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy said in a statement. “This action will not only result in significant reductions of harmful greenhouse gases, but it will also encourage businesses to continue bringing safer alternatives to market.”

Today’s proposal complements an earlier action EPA proposed to expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives for refrigeration and air conditioning under its Significant New Alternatives Policy, or SNAP, Program.

EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.