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Baker Administration Planning Rule To Ban Hydrofluorocarbons

A state regulation expected this spring would ban the use of greenhouse gas-producing hydrofluorocarbons, which are used in certain aerosols, air conditioners and chillers, refrigeration units and foams.

The Baker administration announced its plans Tuesday, saying similar efforts were underway in Rhode Island and Maine and would place Massachusetts "in line with 16 other states adopting comparable" regulations or legislation.

In a statement, Maine Gov. Janet Mills said safer alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons are available and "the gradual phase out of these super pollutants makes sense for consumers, businesses, and our environment."

The Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs estimated that HFC emissions in the state reached 3.69 metric tons of carbon-dioxide-equivalent in 2018, and without intervention are on track to reach 5 metric tons by 2030. The office plans to develop a draft regulation in the spring.

"HFCs impact the climate at many times the rate of carbon dioxide, so cutting emissions from these potent pollutants will lead to immediate benefits," Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito said in a statement.

The Senate on Jan. 30 passed a bill calling for a pricing system aimed at reducing carbon emissions.

A similar bill filed by former Rep. Jennifer Benson (H 2810) has not surfaced yet in the House, which agreed to give the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Energy and Utilities until June 4 to work on that bill. The committee had faced a biennial bill-reporting deadline of Feb. 5. Formal sessions end July 31.

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