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EPA Gives Awards for Reducing Emissions

Release Date: 11/28/2006
Contact Information: Roxanne Smith, (202) 564-4355 / smith.roxanne@epa.gov

(11/28/06) As part of its efforts to reduce emissions from sulfur hexafluoride (SF6), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency presented awards to three companies for phasing out or replacing SF6 in its processes. SF6 is the most potent greenhouse gas and is nearly 24,000 times as effective at trapping heat in the atmosphere as an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide.

Lunt Manufacturing in Schaumburg, Ill., conducted trials of three promising alternative melt protection technologies. Tokai Rika in Aichi, Japan reduced its SF6 emissions by 80 percent since 2000 by optimizing its melt protection systems and using a new technology. By replacing equipment and training employees, Southern California Edison in Irvine, Calif., prevented 109,129 lbs of SF6 from entering the atmosphere from 1999 to 2005, the equivalent to annual emissions from 250,000 cars.

EPA maintains active partnership programs with the two largest U.S. SF6 emission sources, electric utilities and the magnesium industry. EPA's partnerships are reducing SF6
emissions by implementing cost-effective improvements to industrial processes, with SF6 emissions expected to remain below 1990 levels beyond the year 2010. The magnesium industry has committed to phasing out SF6 emissions by the end of 2010.

Information on EPA's SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for the Magnesium Industry: epa.gov/magnesium-sf6/

Information on the SF6 Emission Reduction Partnership for Electric Power Systems: epa.gov/electricpower-sf6/