HVAC Breaking News / Standards & Legislation

Aug. 21, 2013: Court Orders Briefing in Regional Standards Lawsuit

Proposed Settlement Between DOE and APGA Still Pending

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued an order on Aug. 19 requesting that parties involved in the ongoing regional standards lawsuit agree to a briefing schedule within 30 days. Specifically, the court asked for briefings on three issues: The settlement agreement between the American Public Gas Association (APGA) and the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE); Heating, Air-conditioning, and Refrigeration Distributors International’s (HARDI’s) motion to continue the lawsuit; and the merits of the lawsuit itself.

The court also denied a motion filed in May by APGA and supported by DOE and other petitioners asking the court to deny a request from HARDI to substitute as petitioner in the case.

Jon Melchi, director of government affairs at HARDI, said they are pleased with Monday’s order and hope to be able to challenge the DOE’s whole direct final rule (DFR) in court.

“The DOE’s direct final rule is crafted with major breaks in protocol and procedure, and the DOE should start over and do it the right way,” Melchi said. “We’re pleased that the court has again decided to allow us to present our case before it.”

Meanwhile, several parties in the lawsuit — including Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), DOE, and APGA — have pushed back against HARDI’s request and expressed a desire for the case to be resolved as soon as possible.

“In a sense, we’re starting over at the beginning,” said Charlie McCrudden, vice president of government relations at ACCA. “The order sidetracks the possibility of a quick resolution to this case that was sought in the previous motion.”

David Calabrese, AHRI's general counsel and senior vice president, public policy, said his organization’s members also want a resolution soon.

“We don’t want to delay the issue any further,” he said. “We just want this resolved and done so we can move on.”

For more information on the regional standards lawsuit, visit http://bit.ly/ZOxWfp.

Publication date: 8/19/2013

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