The Legislature finds and declares the following:
For the first time in human history, the use and disposal of certain manmade products are actively destroying a layer of the earth’s atmosphere without which human life cannot continue to exist.
These products, known as chlorofluorocarbons and halons, have already begun to deplete the ozone layer which protects human and other life forms from cancer-causing ultraviolet radiation. Above California, the ozone shield has been depleted about 3 percent over the last 20 years.
On January 1, 1989, a 24-nation agreement (the Montreal Protocol) became effective, calling for the reduction in use of most CFCs and halons, and the Environmental Protection Agency has issued regulations designed to freeze production of these products at current levels.
The Montreal Protocol was amended in 1990 calling for a reduction of CFC manufacturing to 50 percent of 1986 levels by 1995, further reduction to 15 percent of 1986 levels by 1997, and complete elimination by the year 2000. Due to the severity of the ozone depletion problem, however, this phaseout schedule is to be reviewed in 1992 with the objective of accelerating it still further.
It is essential to the health and safety of all Californians to take such steps as are necessary to further decrease and halt the destruction of the ozone layer by CFCs and halons.
The Legislature further finds and declares the following:
CFCs and halons contribute actively to global warming trends which could dramatically affect the economy and stability of California, including the flooding of coastal lands, loss of crop winters, and destruction of coastal wetlands and forests.
Twenty-five percent of the total amount of CFCs produced every year in the United States are needlessly released into the atmosphere through mobile air-conditioning servicing, maintenance, and leaking.
CFC-12 accounts for 46 percent of California’s contribution to ozone depletion from CFCs. Emissions from mobile air-conditioners are estimated to account for 27 percent of all of California’s CFC-12 emissions.
Actions required by the federal Clean Air Act amendments of 1990 (Public Law 101-549) will result in programs which require the recycling of CFCs used as refrigerants in existing motor vehicles and stationary systems, beginning in 1992. The severity of the ozone depletion problem, however, compels us to shift to the use of alternative refrigerants as soon as possible.
Most vehicle manufacturers have indicated that they can equip a portion or all of their vehicle fleets with an alternative refrigerant by the mid- to late 1990s, if alternative products successfully complete toxicity testing by the Environmental Protection Agency by 1992.
It is the intent of the Legislature by the enactment of this part to phase out the use of CFC-based refrigerants in mobile air-conditioning systems by banning the sale of any new automobile, truck, or other motor vehicle in California which utilizes CFC-based refrigerants after January 1, 1995, except as otherwise specified in subdivision (b) of Section 44473.