Notice of Data Availability Relevant to the United States Hydrofluorocarbon Baselines and Mandatory Allocations
This Notice of Data Availability (NODA) is related to an upcoming hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown rule under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act of 2020. This NODA provides the total annual HFC production and consumption between 2011 and 2013 as currently reported to EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP), as well as the list of companies that reported data for those years. The notice identifies possible data gaps and requests comment on areas where additional information could improve the Agency’s data on HFC consumption and production in the United States for those three years. This notice also provides the Agency’s preliminary information on HFC use in applications listed in the AIM Act as eligible for the full quantity of allowances necessary, based on projected, current, and historical trends.
The AIM Act, which was included in the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021, directs EPA to phase down production and consumption of HFCs in the United States by 85 percent over the next 15 years. It sets the stage for the United States’ ambitious agenda to lead domestically and serve as an example abroad to tackle potent climate pollutants such as HFCs. A global HFC phasedown is expected to avoid up to 0.5° Celsius of global warming by 2100.
Questions and Answers Regarding the NODA
What are HFCs?
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are intentionally manufactured fluorinated greenhouse gases used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances. These chemicals have no known natural sources.
What information is included in this notice of data availability (NODA)?
EPA is releasing (1) Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program (GHGRP) data from 2011-2013 related to the production, import, export, and destruction of HFCs; (2) a list of companies who reported production, import, export, and destruction of HFCs to the GHGRP for 2011-2013; and (3) preliminary information on HFC use in applications that would receive application-specific allocations under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act.
Why are we using 2011-2013 data specifically and not more recent years?
The AIM Act specifies that the production and consumption baselines are equal to the sum of (1) the average annual quantity of all HFCs regulated under the Act that were produced or consumed, respectively, in the United States during the period beginning on January 1, 2011 and ending on December 31, 2013; (2) the quantity equal to the sum of 15 percent of the production or consumption, respectively, of hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) in calendar year 1989; and (3) 0.42 percent of the production or consumption, respectively, of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) in calendar year 1989.
Why is EPA releasing HFC production, import, export and destruction data through this NODA?
The AIM Act requires EPA to issue a final rule 270 days after enactment (by September 23, 2021) to phase down HFC production and consumption under the AIM Act. One key element of this upcoming rule will be the establishment of U.S. baselines for HFC production and consumption. To help inform the development of that baseline, EPA is requesting comments on data that are relevant to HFC production and consumption in 2011-2013. Given the timing, EPA is seeking comment on these data as early as possible. EPA expects that commenters will help the Agency identify and address data gaps.
Does this NODA provide a list of future HFC allowance holders?
No. The list of companies in the NODA is provided solely as an illustration of the sources of the net supply data currently in GHGRP for the years 2011, 2012, and 2013. The list of companies should not be interpreted as any indication concerning future Agency decisions about the companies that will be allocated allowances pursuant to AIM Act regulations.
How can I get HFC allowances?
EPA is not taking comment through this NODA on how allowances will be distributed or who should get allowances. EPA is developing a proposed rule related to allocation of allowances under the AIM Act and will provide an opportunity for public comments.
What information does EPA want?
If you have information relevant to the production and consumption of HFCs in 2011-2013, please review the NODA and submit comments by the public comment deadline of February 25th, 2021.
Is EPA planning opportunities for companies to ask questions?
EPA is planning stakeholder meetings prior to issuing a proposed rule that will outline the Agency’s approach to calculating HFC production and consumption baselines, allocating allowances in furtherance of the HFC phasedown, and defining applications for application-specific allocations. Information on planned stakeholder meetings will be posted at www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection.
What should I do if I produced, imported, exported or destroyed HFCs during 2011 through 2013?
If you have valid information on the production, import, export, or destruction of HFCs in 2011-2013, please review the NODA and submit comments by the deadline of February 25th, 2021. HFC suppliers who were subject to EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program from 2011 through 2013, that did not submit an annual report for one or more of those years, and would now like to submit their supply data for those corresponding years should visit this page.
Note that if your facility is subject to GHGRP and failed to provide a timely annual report, your facility may be out of compliance with 40 CFR Part 98 and the Clean Air Act.
What should I do if I currently produce or import HFCs?
Under the AIM Act, no person shall produce or import regulated HFCs unless that person has a corresponding quantity of production and/or consumption allowances. EPA is working to establish an HFC allowance allocation and trading program that will begin restricting the production and import of HFCs starting January 1, 2022. EPA encourages producers and importers to review and comment on the NODA by the deadline of February 25th, 2021. The Agency is also planning stakeholder meetings prior to issuing a proposed rule that will outline the Agency’s approach to calculating HFC production and consumption baselines, allocating allowances in furtherance of the HFC phasedown, and defining applications for application-specific allocations. Interested stakeholders are encouraged to participate in the relevant stakeholder meetings related to this rule, as well as submit comments on the proposed rule once it is published.
Where can I submit confidential data related to my HFC production or import?
Please reach out to the individual identified in the “FOR FUTHER INFORMATION CONTACT” section of the NODA.
What applications does the AIM Act list for receiving full allocations during the first five years?
- A propellant in metered dose inhalers;
- Defense sprays;
- Structural composite preformed polyurethane foam for marine use and trailer use;
- The etching of semiconductor material or wafers and the cleaning of chemical vapor deposition chambers within the semiconductor manufacturing sector;
- Mission-critical military end uses, such as armored vehicle engine and shipboard fire suppression systems and systems used in deployable and expeditionary applications; and
- On board aerospace fire suppression.
When are comments due?
Comments are due on February 25th, 2021.
Will EPA be seeking feedback from stakeholders on how to set up an HFC allocation and trading program?
Yes. EPA is planning to hold stakeholder meetings in late February and March. The Agency will also be seeking public comment through a notice and comment rulemaking that will outline the Agency’s approach to calculating HFC production and consumption baselines, allocating allowances in furtherance of the HFC phasedown, and defining applications for application-specific allocations. Information will be provided at www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection.
When will EPA issue other AIM Act regulations?
The AIM Act was enacted December 27, 2020, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2021. Since the Act requires that an allowance allocation and trading program be established within 270 days of enactment, EPA has begun work on the implementing regulations for these sections of the Act. Information on other AIM Act regulations will be provided at www.epa.gov/ozone-layer-protection.
Has EPA released additional HFC data collected by the GHGRP?
EPA has released net supply of AIM-listed HFCs (excluding HFC-23) reported to GHGRP in years 2011-2019. For more information please visit the Fluorinated Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Supplies Reported to the GHGRP web area.