ARB controls use of potent chemicals that contribute to global warming
“These chemicals, though used in small quantities, pose a danger to the planet because they have such a high capacity to trap atmospheric heat,” said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols. “We developed these regulations in concert with the industries that use them. They are cost-efficient ways of fighting climate change that will promote the use of less damaging alternatives.”
A single pound of the greenhouse gases addressed in the regulations traps heat in the atmosphere at levels ranging from 6,500 to 23,900 times the ability of a single pound of carbon dioxide. A pound of sulfur hexafluoride released into the atmosphere has the same amount of heat-trapping potential as 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide or driving 25,000 miles – the equivalent of circling the globe.
The semiconductor regulation sets new maximum allowable
greenhouse gas emission limits for the use of a variety of greenhouse gases
from the manufacture of computer chips and related operations. The regulation, which also requires
additional reporting and record-keeping of the controlled gases, is estimated
to cost approximately $21 to prevent the equivalent of a single ton of carbon
dioxide from entering the atmosphere.
Approximately 85 operations, mostly based in the
The second regulation directly regulates the use of sulfur hexafluoride, the most potent of the fluorinated gases, in applications other than for electric utilities and computer chip manufacture such as magnesium casting and where it is used as a cover gas during production. Designed to phase out the use of the gas (except in certain exempted applications) over several years, the regulation has an estimated cost per metric ton of carbon dioxide equivalent reduced of approximately $2.
The regulations are part of a series of discrete early
actions as called for under AB 32,
The regulations taken together are estimated to prevent the equivalent of the carbon dioxide emissions from 56,000 cars driven for a year in 2020.
The Air Resources Board is a department of the California Environmental
Protection Agency. ARB’s mission is to
promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through
effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects
on the economy. The ARB oversees all air
pollution control efforts in