Proposed EPA rules would back a global agreement on halons

Proposed EPA rules would back a global agreement on halons

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is taking comments until February 8 on proposed rules that would restrict the production and use of halons. The chemicals, used in fire protection where sensitive electrical equipment would be damaged by water, have been linked to the depletion of the earth’s ozone layer.

The rules reiterate those set out in the Montreal Protocol, signed in September by 24 countries. The product of a conference convened by the United Nations Environmental Programme, the halon restrictions would go into effect three years after the signing countries ratify the protocol, which is to take place by January of 1989.

Thus, at the beginning of 1992, production and use of Halon 1211, 1301, and 2402 would have to return to 1986 levels. Those levels aren’t well documented yet, though. A companion EPA rule—one in final form which took effect immediately upon issuance last month—requires bulk producers, importers, and exporters to report their 1986 levels to the agency.

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