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The Division of Air Quality is committed to openness and transparency as it updates and amends state Air Quality Regulations and related state implementation plans. This page provides information on items under development.
Division of Air Quality
The Division of Air Quality is developing regulations for the use and manufacturing of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), as directed by Governor John Carney and supported by House Concurrent Resolution 60, passed by the Delaware General Assembly on June 30, 2019.
A Public Hearing was held on April 23, 2020.
Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances in air-conditioning, refrigeration, foam-blowing, solvents, and aerosols. Emissions of HFCs are growing at a rate of eight percent per year. This regulation will address the critical need to phase down the use of HFCs, which are high global warming potential (GWP) gases that are hundreds to thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide (CO2) in contributing to climate change per unit of mass.
A court ruling has limited the U.S. EPA’s ability to require replacement of HFCs under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rules. Although legal actions have been initiated to defend the SNAP rules in court, state action is required to maintain the HFC prohibitions schedule, in line with the vacated SNAP rules.
Refrigerants with lower global warming potential are available at equivalent cost. They are commonly used in stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment. The industry was already working to comply with EPA replacement regulations and generally supports uniform nationwide rules.
This regulation development process started with DNREC Start Action Notice 2019-08.
Note: The final Regulations on Proposed Prohibitions on Use of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons in Specific End-Uses (“HFC Regs”) have been delayed. The effective date of the HFC Regs will not be Jan. 1, 2021. The new proposed effective date will be included in the final regulations that will be published in the Register of Regulations.
The Division of Air Quality is amending Sections 26.0 and 36.0 of the Control of Volatile Organic Compound Emissions Regulations (7 DE Admin. Code 1124).
Section 26.0 regulates “Gasoline Dispensing Facility Stage I Vapor Recovery.” It is commonly referred to in Delaware as The Stage I Rule.
Section 36.0 regulates “Vapor Emission Control at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities” and is commonly referred to as The Stage II rule.
The objectives of the amendments are (1) to phase out Stage II vapor recovery systems at Delaware gasoline dispensing facilities (GDFs), and (2) to set up effective controls on vapor emission from GDFs’ gasoline underground storage tanks (USTs) after phasing out Stage II systems.
The changes also include a revision to the Delaware State Implementation Plan (SIP), entitled “Decommissioning Stage II Vapor Recovery Systems and Requiring Stage I Enhanced Vapor Recovery Systems at Gasoline Dispensing Facilities.”
This regulatory amendment process started with DNREC Start Action Notice 2018-07.
Solvent cleaning is the process of using solvents to remove contaminants from various plastic, metal or other substrates (surfaces). The following businesses may use solvent cleaning and drying in their operations: vehicle sales and servicing locations; machine shops; and manufacturers and servicers of electronic, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and other mobile equipment.
The objective of these amendments is to adopt certain provisions from the Ozone Transport Commission 2012 model rule for solvent degreasing. These amendments will reduce emissions of volatile organic compounds from solvent cleaning operations.
This regulatory amendment process started with DNREC Start Action Notice 2019-05.