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Ozone-depleting substances being phased out in U.S.

Real Estate Report
By Lauren Bunting | Jul 20, 2017

(July 21, 2017) In the United States, ozone-depleting substances (ODS) are regulated as class I or class II controlled substances. Class I substances have a higher ozone depletion potential and have been completely phased out in the United States. With a few exceptions, this means no one can produce or import class I substances.

Class II substances are all hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), which are transitional substitutes for many class I substances. New production and import of most HCFCs will be phased out by 2020. The most common HCFC in use today is HCFC-22 or R-22, a refrigerant still used in existing air conditioners and refrigeration equipment.

This phase-down began in October 2014, following the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) identifying R22 refrigerant as contributing to ozone depletion.

By 2016, production of heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) units that use R22 refrigerant was stopped. By 2020, the EPA requires that the production of R22 refrigerant end as well.

Homeowners will be affected because HCFCs are used in a wide variety of applications, including refrigeration, air conditioning, foam blowing, solvents, aerosols, and fire suppression. Although there are currently 34 HCFCs that are subject to the phase-out, only a few are commonly used. Historically, the most widely used include R-22 (usually as a refrigerant), HCFC-141b (as a solvent and foam-blowing agent), and HCFC-142b (as a foam-blowing agent and component in refrigerant blends). With this phase-out, the cost of R-22 will continue to steadily rise.

United States action to meet the phase-out schedule is as follows:

2015: No production or import of any other HCFCs, except as refrigerants in equipment manufactured before Jan. 1, 2020.

2020: No production or import of HCFC-142b and HCFC-22 (or R-22).

2030: No production or import of any HCFCs

–Lauren Bunting is a licensed Associate Broker with Bunting Realty, Inc. in Berlin.

Search local listings at http://www.laurenbunting.com

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