NPPD signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the EPA in July 2000, to become partners in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Sulfur Hexafluoride (SF6) Partnership for Electric Power Systems. This is a voluntary partnership to reduce SF6 emissions. SF6 is a gas that is used in circuit breakers and other switchgear as an effective electrical insulator. SF6 is also a very strong greenhouse gas, many times more effective at trapping infrared radiation than carbon dioxide. SF6 is not currently regulated by the EPA.
NPPD’s participation in the partnership required NPPD to establish a policy for proper handling of SF6, which includes a commitment to recycle SF6, and to establish a maintenance program and equipment replacement strategy. The policy also ensures that only trained personnel handle SF6. NPPD established an emission reduction goal, annually inventories SF6 emissions, and submits an annual emission report to the EPA.