It is said that every story has two sides, and two recent conversations I had with estimable members of the refrigeration industry vividly illustrated that. Both of these gentlemen have been involved in the industry for a long time -- one on the supplier side and one on the contracting side. The topic of both conversations was the ruling by a United States court of appeals that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) cannot ban the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. The topic was the same, but the conversations were very different.
In a nutshell, the court ruled in favor of Mexichem and Arkema, which had petitioned for a review of a 2015 EPA rule that in effect called for a massive phasedown of HFCs under Section 612 because HFCs are greenhouse gases linked to climate change. The court ruled that Section 612 only applies to ozone-depleting substances – which HFCs are not. The ruling struck down an Obama Administration executive order under which EPA sought to reduce HFC emissions under its Significant New Alternatives Policy Program (SNAP) program (which is included in Section 612).