Refrigeration / Refrigerants & Reclaim

The EPA Cracks Down on Illegal R-22 Importation and Sale

Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy logoThe Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy, an industry coalition, said in November 2012 the United States government successfully concluded 11 criminal and civil cases related to HCFC-22 refrigerant smuggling over the last two years. The alliance said that individuals and companies were found guilty of various crimes related to the illegal importation or sale of over 3.3 million pounds of R-22, fined over $1.5 million, required to forfeit proceeds of almost $2.7 million, and received jail and probation amounting to over 26 years.

“The U.S. government is very serious about tracking down those who illegally import or sell HCFC-22. Anyone devising illegal schemes to import or sell this refrigerant is on notice that the U.S. will arrest and convict you,” said Dave Stirpe, alliance executive director.

Only Buy Legal R-22

Stirpe went on to say that the alliance cautions industry and the public to be certain that their R-22 refrigerant purchases are legal, and to report any offers to buy illegally imported refrigerants to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). R-22 refrigerant may be legally produced domestically and imported into the U.S. provided that EPA-issued quota allowances are expended. Anyone importing HCFCs without legal allowances is in violation of federal law. R-22 is generally used to service and maintain existing commercial air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Newly produced equipment generally relies on HFCs and other refrigerants.

"Purchasers of the illegal refrigerant are at risk,” Stirpe said. “The government may confiscate any illegally imported refrigerant, even if it has been passed down through the marketplace, and it may prosecute purchasers who knowingly buy illegal material. Consumers should also be wary of the refrigerant since some of the imported material has been found to be of poor quality, or it could be counterfeit.”

He went on to say that purchasers of imported R-22 should verify that their importer is an authorized EPA baseline consumption allowance holder, or was involved in a subsequent legal trade of consumption allowances. An EPA list of baseline consumption allowance holders can be found at

Some other points made by the alliance about importation and purchase of R-22:

• The recipient of a trade can show a letter from EPA acknowledging the approval of the trade.

• Purchasers who question the legitimacy of an HCFC-22 importer should request a copy of the EPA approval letter from the seller.

• Importers of used HCFCs must follow EPA petition process requirements listed at

• Violations should be reported at, and may be done so anonymously.

Publication date: 3/18/2013

Did you enjoy this article? Click here to subscribe to The NEWS Magazine

You must login or register in order to post a comment.



Image Galleries

2015 ACCA Conference

Images from the 2015 ACCA Conference in Grapevine, Texas. Posted on April 8, 2015.


NEWSMakers: Mark Crockett
Mark Crockett vice president, Crockett Facilities Services, explains the importance of technician training, the value of being a top minority-owned company in the U.S., current projects the company is managing, and much more. Posted on April 24.
More Podcasts


NEWS 04-20-15 cover

2015 April 20

Check out the weekly edition of The NEWS today!

Table Of Contents Subscribe

Global Warming

Do you believe in man-made global warming?
View Results Poll Archive


2015 National Plumbing & HVAC Estimator

Every plumbing and HVAC estimator can use the cost estimates in this practical manual!

More Products

Clear Seas Research


Clear Seas ResearchWith access to over one million professionals and more than 60 industry-specific publications, Clear Seas Research offers relevant insights from those who know your industry best. Let us customize a market research solution that exceeds your marketing goals.


Magazine image
Register today for complete access to Get full access to the latest features, Extra Edition, and more.


facebook icontwitter iconyoutube iconLinkedIn i con