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Global Climate Change Digest

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

Reducing SF6 Emissions (JUNE 1999)

Item #d99jun35

In an April press release, the USEPA announced that it was joining 48 electric utilities and local governments in a new partnership to reduce emissions of the greenhouse gas sulfur hexafluoride (SF6). SF6 is used in a variety of applications, including insulating material in electrical transmission and distribution equipment such as circuit breakers. SF6 has been recently identified by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as a persistent and potent greenhouse gas. Electric power systems that join the partnership agree to come up with a technically and economically feasible emission reductions goal within 18 months, to estimate their emissions of SF6, to establish a strategy for replacing older pieces of equipment, to implement SF6 recycling, to ensure that only knowledgeable workers handle SF6, and to submit annual progress reports. EPA will be a clearinghouse for technical information on successful strategies to reduce emissions, serve as a repository for data on the emissions reduction achievements of the partners, and work to obtain commitments from all electric power system operators to join the Partnership.

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