India Bans Import of Harmful Hydrochlorofluorocarbon that Depletes the Ozone Layer

Prohibition will be in effect from January 1, 2020


The Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate Change (MoEF & CC) has issued a notification that mentions that the issuance of the license for the import of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-141b will be prohibited from January 1, 2020.

This move comes after the ministry amended a set of regulations and renamed it as ‘Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2019.

HCFC comprises inert compounds of carbon, hydrogen, and fluorine, and it is used instead of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) as it is less destructive to the ozone layer.

The new regulations will come into effect from the date of their final publication in the official gazette.

According to the notification, the manufacturing of pre-blended polyols, which has been categorized under group VI of ozone-depleting substance, will phase-out from January 1, 2020.

Meanwhile, pre-polymers include pre-blended polyols that contain substances listed in Group VI of the regulations that will be banned after six months from the execution of these newly-amended regulations.

Under the Environment (Protection) Act, 1986 (29 of 1986), the central government made the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulations and Control) Rules, 2000, which was notified on July 19, 2000.

The ministry states that the amendment has been made to enforce the phase-out of Group VI substances used in the manufacture of all other foam products, including discontinuous sandwich panels, as stated in the Ozone Depleting Substances (Regulation and Control) Amendment Rules, 2014.

Since its publication in July 2000, the regulations have been amended six times, and the last amendment was issued in March 2014.

In April 2019, Mercom reported that air pollution caused nearly 4.9 million deaths in 2017 with India and China, accounting for 1.2 million each, which was the highest in the world.

Previously, India launched the National Clean Air Program (NCAP) to battle the increasing level of pollutants in the air. It is a five-year action plan with 2019 as the first year.

In its effort to reduce pollution, the Ministry of Power also proposed a ₹835 billion (~$11.70 billion) plan to meet the cost of development of Flue Gas Desulfurization to improve air quality and to conform to new norms notified by the MoEF & CC for power plants.

Image credit: Janak Bhatta [CC BY-SA]


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