The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Washington, has announced a direct final rule on the accelerated phase-out regulations of substances that deplete the ozone layer. The action is made possible under the authority of Title VI of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and reflects the Montreal Protocol's reductions in production and consumption of Class I, Group VI-controlled substances, including methyl bromide, for 2001 and subsequent calendar years.

As of January 1, 2001, EPA mandates a 50% reduction in baseline levels of the controlled substances. A 70% reduction in baseline level will be required by January 1, 2003.

The deadline for complete phase-out of Class I, Group VI-controlled substances is January 1, 2005. Phase-out and phase-down levels and dates are required statutorily and cannot be altered.