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Delaware to eliminate HFCs to confront Climate Change

HCR 60 supports Governor Carney’s directive to create regulations.

Governor John Carney has directed the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control to propose regulations by March 2020 that will eliminate the use of dangerous hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in Delaware. HFCs are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances in air conditioning, refrigeration, foam-blowing, solvents, and aerosols, but they are significantly more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change.

Representative Debra Heffernan, Senator Nicole Poore, and Senator Stephanie Hansen introduced House Concurrent Resolution 60supporting the regulations, joining Governor Carney to confront the impact of HFCs on climate change in our state and region:

“Delaware is already feeling the effects of climate change. We are the lowest-lying state in the country, and our sea level is rising at twice the global average. This is a real threat that we need to confront together, and it’s not just about the environmental impact in our state. Any changes in weather patterns jeopardize Delaware’s $8 billion agricultural industry and our $3.4 billion tourism economy. For the sake of our economy and our environment, it’s crucial we continue to address climate change with urgency,” said Governor Carney. “As Delaware continues our fight against climate change, my administration is moving toward eliminating hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) as an increasingly harmful element to our state and our environment. HFCs are growing in the atmosphere at a rate of 8 percent a year and can be hundreds of times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. That’s why I have directed the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control (DNREC) to begin developing regulations that address HFC use in Delaware. We’re proud to have the support of members of the General Assembly in this effort, and I want to thank Representative Heffernan, Senator Poore, and Senator Hansen for their partnership on this issue.”

“We see the impacts of climate change nearly every single day, with stifling air pollution, rising flood waters and unpredictable, severe weather and climate events. When we have a chance to stand strong and combat this global threat head-on, we need to take it,” said Representative Debra Heffernan, the prime sponsor of HCR 60. “Man-made hydrofluorocarbons are damaging to our environment and quality of life, and they need to be regulated. I’m proud to stand with Governor Carney and DNREC on this issue, and work toward guidelines to regulate the production and consumption of this extremely dangerous substance for the benefit of all Delawareans.”

“Protecting the health of every Delawarean is incredibly important to all of us and that includes the impact we are having on our environment,” said Senator Nicole Poore. “As a small state, we can’t reverse climate change alone. But we are eager to join with our neighbors to take a collective approach to improving our air quality and reversing sea level rise. Working together, we can make a real difference and this resolution is one, small step in the right direction.”

“When it comes to battling climate change, we must explore every tool available to us,” said Senator Stephanie Hansen. “HFCs were once hailed as more environmentally-friendly alternatives but new technologies being developed across the country and here in Delaware will allow us to further reduce the negative impact that these types of substances can have on our world. That’s an opportunity we must embrace and I look forward to working with DNREC once these regulations are developed.”