Fluoride Action Network

California: Sulfur hexafluoride regulations and associated requirements

Source: California Air Resources Board | June 18th, 2013
Industry type: Greenhouse/Ozone Gases

Sulfur hexafluoride, SF6, is the most potent greenhouse gas among the fluorinated gases. In implementing the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32), the Air Resources Board (ARB) has adopted three measures regulating the use of sulfur hexafluoride in California. These three separate measures regulate use of SF6 in three separate areas:

Semiconductor Applications

Electric Utility Applications (Gas Insulated Switchgear)

Non-Electricity and Non-Semiconductor Applications

The current notice is being sent as a reminder to SF6 users in non-electricity and non-semiconductor applications that use, possession, and sale of sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) in the State of California, are with very few exceptions prohibited under Regulation for Reducing Sulfur Hexafluoride Emissions, sections 95340 to 95346, title 17, California Code of Regulations, as approved by the California Air Resources Board in February 2009. Examples of prohibited uses include but are not limited to: underground storage tank and distribution system leak testing, most laboratory fume hood testing, airborne tracer testing, and as a cover gas during magnesium casting.

Section 95341(a) of the regulation explicitly identifies a specific list of uses as exempt from the prohibition. Section 95341(b) of the regulation allows some uses to be granted temporary or permanent exemption from the prohibition through promulgation of an Executive Order by the ARB. To receive an exemption through Executive Order, users must submit an application demonstrating grounds for the exemption that are consistent with the grounds identified in the regulation.

If you are using SF6 for any prohibited purpose without a valid exemption from the California Air Resources Board, you are in violation of this regulation and subject to enforcement actions, penalties and fines as provided under Enforcement, section 95344 title 17, California Code of Regulations.

If you are purchasing or using SF6 in California, then section 95345 of the regulation describes record keeping and reporting requirements based on your particular use.

If you are distributing SF6, then distributors located outside of California must report all sales to entities within the state, and distributors based in California are required to report all sales of SF6 within and outside of California. These sales include, but are not limited to, businesses in the semiconductor industry, the electricity sector, and exempt applications.

For further information, please visit: http://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/sf6nonelec/sf6nonelec.htm

The regulatory language is included on this website under the Past Events heading.

If you have any questions, please contact Winston Potts, Air Resources Engineer, at wpotts@arb.ca.gov or Ariel Fideldy, Air Resources Technician at afideldy@arb.ca.gov.