HomeWashington Letter2021 ▶ CLIMATE CHANGE

EPA Issues Proposed Rule to Phase-Down Use of HFCs

This week, the Environmental Protection Agency issued a proposed rule to phase down - not phase out -   the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs and HFAs) from the U.S. market.  HFCs/HFAs are powerful greenhouse gases with global warming potential that is hundreds to thousands of times more powerful than CO2.  When fully implemented in 2036, the rule is expected to cut the production and importation of HFC/HFA use by 85 percent from current levels.

In addition to its industrial use, HFAs are commonly used propellants for respiratory medications, including metered dose inhalers.

The EPA’s action was required by the bipartisan American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 which directed the Agency to issue a proposed rule on HFC/HFA reduction in May of 2021 with a final rule issued by September of 2021.

The legislation recognized several HFC/HFA essential use categories – including metered dose inhaler propellants for respiratory medications – and has created specific allowances for those uses.   While it is expected that the proposed rule will spur innovation in alternative MDI propellants, the rule is not expected to result in supply shortages for MDI propellent or MDI medications.


Last Reviewed: May 2021