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Global Climate Change DigestArchives of the
Global Climate Change Digest

A Guide to Information on Greenhouse Gases and Ozone Depletion
Published July 1988 through June 1999



Item #d88sep3

The Natural Resources Defense Council, as part of its long-standing push for stronger CFC regulation, has promised a court challenge of the Environmental Protection Agency's final ruling on CFC and halon production (see previous item), maintaining that the rule (and the Montreal protocol) are insufficient to protect the ozone layer and public health. In addition to meeting the commitment of the United States to the protocol, EPA's August 1 ruling fulfilled the settlement of an earlier suit brought by NRDC in the U.S. District Court of the District of Columbia, which sought to compel EPA to set regulations under Section 157(b) of the Clean Air Act. Section 157(b) imposes a legal obligation on EPA to regulate domestic CFCs and halons to the extent required to protect the stratosphere, not just to the extent required by an international agreement such as the protocol. The EPA has opposed unilateral restrictions on production by the United States, arguing that it is important to get the Montreal protocol in place as soon as possible. Since April 1988, EPA administrator Lee Thomas has been urging the United Nations Environmental Program to hasten the 1990 assessment of the protocol's effectiveness, even as early as this October when an international meeting on the protocol will occur in the Netherlands. The NRDC cites three developments since the September 1987 signing of the protocol that add to the urgency for unilateral action. Most recent is the March 1988 report concluding there is worldwide ozone depletion and CFCs are involved, issued by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Ozone Trends Panel (see Global Climate Change Digest, NEWS, July 1988). Other developments are the determination that CFCs cause the Antarctic ozone hole, and the realization of the role of CFCs as greenhouse gases.

For further information on NRDC's position on the protocol or EPA's regulations, see "The Politics of the Ozone Layer" (Issues in Sci. & Technol., 4(3), 86-92, Spring 1988) by NRDC attorney David Doniger. (Reprints available for $2 from NRDC, 122 E. 42nd St., New York NY 10168). See also "CFC Production Cuts: EPA Rules Already Under Attack," P. Zurer, Chem. Eng. News, Aug. 8, 1988, p. 4.

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