The Stratospheric Protection Division
EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division (SPD) runs regulatory and voluntary programs that protect the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer and educate the public about sun safety. We care about ozone depletion because a thinner ozone layer allows more harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation to reach the Earth’s surface. Our programs to protect the ozone layer include requirements under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and the Clean Air Act. SPD runs the regulatory program to phase out the production and import of ozone-depleting substances in the U.S. and guides the transition to non-ozone depleting substitutes. Over the past several decades, SPD and its partners have made significant strides to protect the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, the environment, and people’s health. However, healing the ozone layer will take many more years.
The mission of the Stratospheric Protection Division is to heal the Earth’s Stratospheric Ozone Layer and reduce incidence of related human health damages, like skin cancer. We accomplish this through domestic regulation, international engagement, voluntary programs, education, and outreach. Domestically and internationally, we promote the transition from ozone-depleting substances towards alternatives that do not create other forms of atmospheric damage, like interference with the Earth’s climate system. While the ozone layer remains damaged, we can help create sustained sun-safe behaviors among Americans, especially children.
- Heal the ozone layer
- Complete the phaseout of ozone-depleting substances using innovative and flexible regulatory approaches
- Promote safe alternatives
- Find safe and viable alternatives to ozone-depleting substances with our partners that are safe for the ozone layer and also provide benefits for climate change
- Reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances during maintenance and disposal of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment
- Protect human health by preventing skin cancers, cataracts, and impaired immune systems
- Educate the public on how to avoid the harmful health effects of overexposure to UV radiation
- Our regulatory programs phase out the production and import of ozone-depleting chemicals under the Clean Air Act.
- Our Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program reviews substitutes for ozone-depleting substances
- We develop and implement voluntary programs that reduce emissions of substances harmful to the ozone layer and that are also gasses with high global warming potentials
- We provide regulations and guidance to reduce the use and emissions of ozone-depleting substances during maintenance and disposal of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment
- Our SunWise Program provides information on sun safety, including a ZIP Code searchable UV Index.
- We also oversee and coordinate international technology transfer and infrastructure building programs, including programs related to both ozone layer protection and climate change.
- The Clean Air Markets Division (CAMD) is responsible for monitoring and reducing emissions from utilities,
- The Climate Protection Partnerships Division (CPPD) runs energy efficiency partnership programs, and
- The Climate Change Division (CCD) is responsible for climate science and policy issues.
Note: SPD works to prevent skin cancer and to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. Ground-level ozone is involved in other air quality issues. Please visit the appropriate site for more information on these topics: