ACHRNEWS

Jan. 5, 2009: EPA Proposes Tighter R-22 Refrigerant Regulations

January 5, 2009

WASHINGTON - The HVACR industry is getting ready to deal with a significant reduction in the production of the HCFC refrigerant R-22 starting in 2010. But that 75 percent reduction from 1996 levels may be even greater based on refrigerant-related rules being proposed by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

At the same time, the EPA also appears to be moving to make it tougher to deal with any new R-22 equipment as of 2010.

The proposed “Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import, and Export” appears to allow to EPA to go beyond the 75 percent target effective Jan. 1, 2010. The ruling also provides production allocations for various refrigerant manufacturers, ending some uncertainty in that matter.

The proposed “Ban on Sale or Distribution of Pre-Charged Appliances” says that as of Jan. 1, 2010 it will be illegal to import, produce, or sell R-22 for use in new equipment or pre-charged into such equipment. In effect, the ruling appears to say that if a contractor buys a product as of Jan. 1, 2010 that needs R-22, the charging would have to be done with existing recovered, recycled, and/or reclaimed R-22 - or R-22 alternatives - rather than virgin R-22.

EPA is accepting comments on the proposed “Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import, and Export” rule on or before March 9, 2009. EPA is also holding a hearing on the proposed rule on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, from 1 to 4 p.m. The hearing will be held at 1310 L Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, in room 154. A fact sheet on the proposed rule is available at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Factsheet2010nprm.html.

EPA is accepting comments on the proposed “Ban on Sale or Distribution of Pre-Charged Appliances” rule on or before Feb. 6, 2009. EPA is also holding a hearing on the proposed rule on Wednesday, Jan. 7, 2009, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The hearing will be held at 1310 L Street, N.W., Washington, DC 20005, in room 154. A fact sheet on the proposed rule is available at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Factsheetprecharged.html.

Publication date: 01/05/2009