On May 19, 2021, EPA issued a proposed rule, “Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act” (86 FR 27150). This proposed rule, under the AIM Act of 2020, is related to the establishment of an HFC allowance allocation and trading program. The 45-day public comment period for this proposed rule will close on July 6, 2021.

On June 3, 2021, EPA will host a virtual hearing to accept oral comments from any interested person on the proposed rule and related support documents (e.g., regulatory impact analysis). Each stakeholder who wishes to provide oral comments on the proposed rule will be allotted up to five minutes to speak. EPA will not respond to comments or questions, other than procedural questions, during the June 3, 2021 virtual public hearing.

This proposed rule is the first regulation under the AIM Act to address HFCs, which are gases commonly used in refrigerators, air conditioners, and other applications. This rulemaking proposes to:

  • Establish the HFC production and consumption baselines based on historical data;
  • Establish the allowance allocation program to phase down HFC production and consumption;
  • Determine an initial methodology to allocating allowances and allowing for the transfer of those allowances;
  • Establish provisions for the international transfer of allowances;
  • Establish requirements to support compliance with phasing down HFC production and consumption;
  • Establish recordkeeping and reporting requirements;
  • Release certain data to provide transparency and support implementation of the program; and
  • Address certain other elements related to the effective implementation of the AIM Act.

In addition to the proposed provisions, EPA is seeking advance input on how the Agency may alter its determination of company-specific allocations in later years. EPA is considering these issues, and therefore is seeking public input on them, but is not making any particular proposal in relation to them, and therefore will not finalize any requirements on these topics before issuing a notice of proposed rulemaking and requesting public comment.

Comments on this notice of proposed rulemaking must be received on or before July 6, 2021, although it is recommended to send comments on or before June 18, 2021. More information on the EPA public hearing can be found at: www.epa.gov/climate-hfcs-reduction.

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