John Canalis | Press-Telegraph
Following President Barack Obama’s directive to allow states to regulate harmful emissions, state Sen. Jenny Oropeza said Tuesday that she has introduced legislation that would reduce the use of a greenhouse gas commonly used in manufacturing.
Senate Bill 104 would allow the California Air Resources Board to regulate nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3. The bill is in the state Senate’s Rules Committee awaiting policy committee assignment.
“There is no question climate change is having a devastating effect on the earth’s environment,” Oropeza said. “Even if by some miracle we could stop the release of harmful emissions, it would take years before we could halt the damage that has been done.”
NF3 previously was thought to be harmless until studies at UC Irvine and UC San Diego suggested otherwise.
UCI scientists concluded NF3 has a global-warming potential 17,000 times greater than carbon dioxide and can remain in the atmosphere for centuries.
UCSD found that a larger amount of NF3 has been released into the air than previously believed and concluded that the quantity of the gas in the atmosphere is growing.
“The harmful effects of NF3 are only now being fully understood, as it was not widely used before the 1990 s,” Oropeza said. “California must get ahead of this threat and once again lead the way to protect our environment.”