WASHINGTON - The HVACR industry remains on track to deal with a significant reduction in the production of HCFC-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 seems to be moving to make it tougher to want 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” seems to allow the 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 the Sale or Distribution of Pre-Charged Appliances” states 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 seems 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 held hearings on the two proposed rules on Jan. 7. EPA is also accepting comments on the proposed rules. Comments on “Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import, and Export” may be submitted on or before March 9, 2009. A fact sheet on the proposed rule, including information on how to submit comments, is available at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Factsheet2010nprm.html. Comments on “Ban on Sale or Distribution of Pre-Charged Appliances” may be submitted on or before Feb. 6, 2009. A fact sheet on the proposed rule, including information on how to submit comments, is available at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Factsheetprecharged.html.
The NEWSwill continue to cover developments as warranted. Also, the Feb. 2 issue ofThe NEWSwill include a special focus on government mandates and will provide a detailed analysis of the latest proposed rulings.
For more information, visit www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/.