The Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) is working in several ways to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from sources outside the energy sector. Fluorinated gases – used in refrigeration systems, high-voltage electrical equipment and semiconductor manufacturing – are a particular focus. Although these gases are emitted in relatively small quantities, they can have a climate change impact that is thousands of times greater than carbon dioxide (CO2) on a per-ton basis.
MassDEP is specifically working to address:
Stationary Equipment Refrigerants
Commercial refrigeration and air conditioning systems contain hydrofluorocarbons that leak from equipment over time and contribute to climate change. An existing state policy seeks to minimize these emissions through facility registration, leak detection and repair, and system retrofit and replacement.
310 CMR 7.72: Final Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions from Gas-Insulated Switchgear Regulation, April 2014
MassDEP is addressing these sources through regulations that require utilities to comply with an emissions rate ceiling that would be lowered over time.
Combustion of Plastics in Solid Waste Incinerators
MassDEP is working to reduce GHG emissions from burning plastic material by increasing the amount of plastic that is diverted from disposal. Strategies to accomplish this goal include MassDEP support of municipal pay-as-you-throw and single-stream recycling programs, and a proposed expansion of the Bottle Bill to include non-carbonated beverage containers.