• U.S.

Environment: Ozone Deadline

1 minute read

Faced with the most alarming report yet on the state of the earth’s ozone layer, President Bush declared last week that the U.S. will halt production of ozone-destroying chemicals by the end of 1995. That’s four years sooner than an international treaty dictates, but not as fast as environmentalists would like. “It’s a modest improvement but by no means aggressive,” says Liz Cook of Friends of the Earth in Washington.

The change won’t faze major manufacturers of chlorofluorocarbons, the main chemical culprits in the ozone-destruction scenario. Such firms have already developed ozone-friendlier substances, and can take the new deadline in stride. The real burden, both technical and financial, will fall on makers of CFC-reliant appliances like refrigerators and air-conditioning systems. They will be under pressure to quickly modify their products to accommodate the substitute chemicals — a process destined to make such appliances more costly to consumers.

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