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HCFCs NEWS ARCHIVE - 2008

This section presents news and HCFC-22 molecule
current information related to HCFCs,
drawn from diverse sources woldwide. It is part of the HCFC Help Centre, which provides technical, policy and other information to support the transition to non-HCFC alternatives.

Let us know if you have any additional news articles, press releases and other media reports about HCFCs - including the source and the url - that we can add to the list.

This compilation would serve as an archive for future reference. Please send any suggestions to samira.degobert@unep.org

Thank you!

GLOBAL

The United States Environmental Protection Agency Recognizes Velders, Andersen, Daniel, Fahey & McFarland For Research Excellence
Learn more about The EPA's Science and Technological Achievement Awards (STAA), at : http://es.epa.gov/ncer/staa/about_staa.html

Illegal Trade in Banned Gases Could Flourish, Warns Agency
A BLACK market in banned ozone-depleting gases could thrive following their Europe-wide phase-out, the Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA) has warned.
A recent summit in Brussels, Belgium, convened by EIA has brought together representatives from the chemicals industry, World Customs Organisation, the European Commission, United Nations Environment Programme, and customs and ozone officers from all over Europe to discuss and take action against the increased threat of illegal trade in ozone depleting substances.
Experts from the chemicals industry warned that many European companies are unprepared for the ban on the use of virgin hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs). Under revised EC regulations only reclaimed and recovered HCFCs will be permitted when servicing equipment after 1st Jan 2010.
"The sense of urgency among end users is low due to two factors- confusing deadlines coupled with the false hope that reclaimed HCFCs will be plentiful and easy to obtain. Users should immediately plan to retrofit /refit their installations to use alternatives or accelerate their transition plans to new systems." Said Pascal Faidy Head of European Sales and Marketing for DuPont
EIA is concerned that the stage is set for a repetition of the illegal smuggling of CFCs which occurred in Europe during the late nineties. Despite strict regulations in Europe demand for CFCs remained high. EIA investigations at the time revealed that large quantities of contraband CFCs were being smuggled into Europe from China, where CFCs were freely and cheaply available.
A 2005 survey commissioned by the Carbon Trust found that 70% of UK businesses have at least one refrigeration or air-conditioning system running on HCFCs, indicating that demand is high. Once virgin HCFCs are banned in 2010, there may be a temptation to mislabel them as recovered HCFC.
"Europe needs to learn from past errors by tightening up enforcement of ODS imports and carrying out an accurate assessment of current HCFC stockpiles" said Julian Newman, EIA Campaigns Director.
Large seizures of illegally smuggled HCFCs have already begun to occur in the United States. In October, Customs and Border Protection officers in South Carolina intercepted 11,400 cylinders of HCFC-22 with a domestic value of close to $1,000,000.
The summit also highlighted the need for good communication between enforcement officers and chemical companies in the fight against illegal trade. Recommendations from the meeting included the establishment of industry focal points, which enforcement officers can contact for information exchange.
Source:: Environmental Investigation Agency (EIA),
http://www.eia-international.org/
cgi/news/news.cgi?t=template&a=501&source=

Trends Analysis: Consumption and Production of Ozone Depleting Substances in Developing Countries presents updated information for CFCs, Halons, and Methyl Bromide. For the first time, it also includes an analysis of the HCFC consumption and production trends in developing countries.
Source: UNEP DTIE OzonAction, January 2009

 
AFRICA
Survey to Prepare for HCFC Phase-out Underway
WINDHOEK - The National Ozone Unit is conducting a survey of all sectors that use hydrochlorofluoro-carbons (HCFC).
Source: NewEra.com, 19 January 2009 - by Wezi Tjaronda
 
LATIN AMERICA AND CARIBBEAN
No article currently available, Please submit
 
 
NORTH AMERICA
 
BP Products to Pay Nearly $180 Million to Settle Clean Air Violations at Texas City Refinery
A copy of the consent decree is available on the Justice Department Web site at http://www.usdoj.gov/enrd/Consent_Decrees.html
Source: PR News Wire, Quoting : U.S. Department of Justice
 
SOUTH EAST ASIA AND PACIFIC
No article currently available, Please submit
 
 
SOUTH ASIA
> HCFC Consumption and Challenges in China
China current consumption of HCFCs is approximately 63% of the total consumption and about 88% of the total production of Article 5 countries. In the past few years, the HCFCs consumption in China has been increasing at average annual rate of more than 20% and it is expected to continue grow under the unconstrained scenario. This will impose huge challenges to China to meet with its compliance commitments with the Montreal Protocol. Added to this, it is the challenges to slow down the growth rate and then reverse the growth trend, which will be the first priority for the Government of China.
To address such challenges within next 3 years, the Government of China is planning to adopt three parallel but well-connected strategies:
1) To initiate policy intervention to control establishment of HCFC based production facilities and control the expansion of production capacity of the existing facilities;
2)To develop and implement demonstration/investment projects in various sectors within the guidelines of the Executive Committee, which serve as leading examples for other peers to follow; and
3) To outreach the HCFC phase-out challenge and promote awareness on HCFC phase-out among the local authorities at various levels, end-users of the HCFC based equipment, and the general public.
In the past decade and more, China has been using very effectively public campaigns on the emerging challenge of ozone layer depletion and facilitating the ozone depletion substance (ODS) phase-out through various approaches, especially taking the opportunity of celebrating the World Environment Day and the International Ozone Day. However, due to the fact that HCFCs have been used as alternatives for the phase-out of CFCs, HCFCs based equipment used to be considered as “Green” products.
Furthermore, with the intended promotion of HCFCs products, some local manufacturers’ misleading advisement/ introduction has increased more confusion of HCFCs and other ODSs. There are some new sectors using HCFCs which were never involved in the ODS phase-out before, for example, Expanded Polystyrene (XPS, foam used as insulation)) and room air conditioner. The end-users of such products haven’t been informed of HCFCs issues and the availability of HCFC-free products/equipment's. Raising awareness of broad end-users has been approved as an effective measure to push the manufacturer to adopt non-HCFC technology; therefore, it would slow down the growth of the HCFCs consumption.
For general information on UNEP is doing, please visit the website: http://www.unep.fr/ozonaction/
For China ozone layer relevant information, you may like to visit http://www.ozone.org.cn/ (Chinese version)
 

WEST ASIA

World ‘must find alternatives to harmful gases’
SOURCE:TradeArabia News Service, 11 May 2009.
http://www.tradearabia.com/news/newsdetails.asp?Sn=ENV&artid=161110
> Bahrain Drive to Curb Toxic Emissions
SOURCE:TradeArabia News Service Manama, 8 April 2009 http://www.tradearabia.com/news/newsdetails.asp?Sn=ENV&artid=159330
 
EUROPE
> Revision of the EU ODS Regulation Approved by the Parliament
The EU Parliament has agreed on the compromise reached with the Council on the Revision of the EU ODS Regulation. The new legislation bans the use of virgin HCFCs from 2010 while allowing the use of recycled HCFCs under certain conditions until the end of 2014.
The production of HCFCs for export - mainly to developing countries where the phase out is lagging by about ten years - would be limited to 35 % of their 1997 level in 2010, to 14 % in 2014, to 7 % in 2017 and fully stopped from 1 January 2020. Only laboratory and scientific purposes will have exemptions.
Emissions of ODS contained in refrigeration equipment and in building insulation foams should be avoided by tightening leakage control and provisions on end-of life recovery and destruction.
The revision aims to improve implementation of the Regulation by clarifying some of its provisions, such as those on exemptions and derogations o the use of ODS, and the conditions under which they can be imported and exported.
It also strengthens the measures on the illegal trade and introduces measures to prevent the dumping of ODS - or obsolete equipment relying on them - in developing countries.
By reducing ODS emissions, as these are also greenhouse gases, as well as benefiting the ozone layer, the Revised Regulation will avoid emissions equivalent to more than 100 million tonnes CO2/year.
Read More >>> http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdfs/news/expert/infopress/20090324IPR52499/20090324IPR52499_en.pdf
> Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (EU)
MEPs approved a compromise between representatives of the EP and Council on a regulation updating the EU law on substances depleting the ozone layer. The new law brings EU legislation in line with developments of the Montreal protocol aiming at protecting the ozone layer, but goes beyond it, so that the EU will continue to lead by example. The deal does not only cover the marketing ban of certain substances but also substances contained in refrigerators and insulation material in buildings.
The Montreal Protocol, set in 1987, obliged the signatory countries to phase out ozone depleting substances according to a set timetable. The revision of the regulation, the EU's main instrument for implementing the Montreal Protocol, aims at simplifying the current legislation. Despite the good results achieved in recent years in the recovery of the ozone layer continued vigilance is required, also taking into account the impact of climate change since most of the substances have high global warming potential and are contributory factor towards increasing the temperature of the planet. Many ozone depleting substances (ODS) are greenhouse gases.
The agreement reached between representatives of Parliament and Council strengthens the Commissions proposal and ensures that the EU can go beyond the Montreal protocol and lead by example.
The compromise achieved will not only help against the destructive effects of UV radiation, but also against climate change.
The revised regulation (the achieved compromise) will clarify some of its provisions, such as those on exemptions and derogations to the use of ozone-depleting substances, and the conditions under which they can be imported and exported. It aligns the EU law with latest international agreements, but goes in some parts beyond it.
Already under the existing EU legislation the production and placing on the market of the most damaging ozone-depleting substances is banned, while the EU is going further than the Montreal protocol by banning or setting limits on certain uses of these substances. Exceptions exist for the use of several ODS, which will be further limited according to the achieved compromise.
Deadlines for the phasing out of hydro chlorofluorocarbons
The phasing out of the production of hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) will be brought forward for 5 years and shall be achieved by the end of 2019. MEPs achieved that the production of HCFC's has to be further decreased during the period 2017-2019: it should fall to 7% in relation to 1997 levels.
Deadline for phasing our Methyl bromide
Further environmental and health benefits will be gained through a reduction and the ultimately phase out by 18 March 2010 of the use of methyl bromide (used as a pesticide), which until then can be used only for preventing the introduction and spread of pests through international trade (quarantine and pre-shipment applications)
Substances contained in refrigerators and buildings
Although most of the harmful substances are no longer produced and used in new equipment, thousands of tonnes are contained in existing refrigeration equipments and insulation
material in buildings. The compromise therefore lists responsibilities for undertakings to prevent the substances from being released into the atmosphere to prevent further damage to the ozone layer. It
also tightens up the provisions on recovery and destruction of these substances Furthermore, the Commission shall make available at the latest by the 1st of January 2010 a list of products and equipment which might contain or rely on controlled substances in order to reduce them and ultimately to phase them out.
Background
The ozone layer is a layer of gas in the upper atmosphere which shields life on earth from harmful ultraviolet rays from the sun. In the 1970s scientists discovered that some chemicals could deplete the ozone layer and
in the 1980s the so-called ozone hole was discovered above the Antarctic.
Increased UV radiation can damage ecosystems and have an adverse impact on human health, leading to skin cancer and cataract problems. The EU regulation on the ozone layer is the European main instrument for the implementation of the provisions of the Montreal Protocol. It bans the production and placing on the market of the most damaging ozone-depleting substances and sets limits on certain uses
of these substances. 191 countries have signed the Montreal Protocol.
The legislative report was adopted with 667 votes in favour, 13 against and 10 abstentions.
CONTACT : Constanze BECKERHOFF envi-press@europarl.europa.eu
Richard FREEDMAN press-EN@europarl.europa.eu
To read the Adopted Texts >>> http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/getDoc.do?language=EN&type=TA&reference=20090325&secondRef=TOC
SOURCE: European Parliament, http://www.europarl.europa.eu/pdfs/news/expert/infopress/20090324IPR52499/20090324IPR52499_en.pdf
> Global Fluorocarbon Producers Forum (GFPF1) Funds Halocarbon Measurements in the Atmosphere
Brussels, December 2008 The Global Fluorocarbon Producers' Forum (GFPF) is pleased to announce that it is among those governments and industry associations who will sponsor the initiative to establish a central calibration laboratory for halocarbons as part of the multi-national Advanced Global Atmospheric Gases Experiment (AGAGE).
By doing so GFPF is promoting the gathering of solid scientific and independent data on which to base sound policies. The collection of such data will encourage steps to reduce emissions of fluorinated (F)-gases and, in particular, to help make the implementation of the EU Regulation of F-gases a success.
"We are strongly committed, in particular, to put in place all the measures necessary to reach the high level of maintenance, containment and leakage control required to make the F-gas Regulation a success. One convincing way to prove that its aim to reduce emissions can be achieved is through the monitoring of the F-gases emissions; declared the chairman of the Environmental Managers group of GFPF, Mr. Tim Vink.
The AGAGE operates a network of globally distributed stations conducting real-time measurements of chlorofluorocarbons CFCs, hydrochlorofluorocarbons HCFCs and hydrofluorocarbons HFCs, including all major natural and anthropogenic halocarbons.
The frequent measurements (12-18 per day) provide the basis for calculating regional emissions, such as those from Europe or East Asia, and this new calibration laboratory will help upgrade their accuracy.
Note: the location of measuring stations, funding organizations, and summaries of published data are available at: http://agage.eas.gatech.edu/
1 Arkema, Solvay Fluor, Japan Fluorocarbon Manufacturers Association, Dupont Fluoroproducts, Honeywell, Ineos Fluor.
Contact : the GFPF secretariat, Mrs. Véronique Garny vga@cefic.be
Source: CEFIC, http://www.cefic.org/
> Retail Industry Must 'Act Now or Risk Meltdown' Over Banned Refrigerant
Source: The Retail Bulletin, 5 January 2009
 
PACIFIC ISLANDS COUNTRIES 
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