SAN FRANCISCOCalifornia's Air Resources Board (ARB) said Thursday (Feb. 26) it adopted regulations to control, and in some cases phase out, chemicals used in semiconductor manufacturing and other industries.
The regulations set new maximum allowable greenhouse gas emission limits for the use of a variety of gases used in chip making. Roughly 85 operations, mostly in the Silicon Valley, will be affected by these regulations, the ARB said.
The regulations, aimed at reducing gases thought to contribute to global warming, require additional reporting and record-keeping of the controlled gases.
One of the regulations passed Thursday aims to directly regulateand eventually phase out the use of sulfur hexafluoride, except in certain exempted applications.
According to the ARB, a pound of sulfur hexafluoride released into the atmosphere has the same amount of heat-trapping potential as 10 metric tons of carbon dioxide or driving 25,000 miles.
"These chemicals, though used in small quantities, pose a danger to the planet because they have such a high capacity to trap atmospheric heat," said ARB Chairman Mary Nichols, in a statement.
Nichols said the regulations are "cost-efficient ways of fighting climate change" and were developed in conjunction with the industries that use the gases.