WASHINGTON - A week after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a hearing on two newly proposed R-22 rules - “Adjustments to the Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import, and Export” and “Ban on Sale or Distribution of Pre-Charged Appliances” - the federal agency has already issued a clarification of the rules.
According to Charlie McCrudden, director of government relations for the Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA), EPA released a fact sheet that “attempts to clear up the uncertainty over what kind of R-22 equipment and parts could be sold on or after Jan. 1, 2010.”
McCrudden said, “In a nutshell, the rules would:
• Allow the sale of window air conditioners, packaged terminal air conditioners, and some commercial refrigeration units after Jan. 1, 2010, if they were manufactured before Jan. 1, 2010. Stockpiling of this equipment is allowed under the rule.
• Allow the sale of pre-charged appliance components and parts manufactured (in the traditional sense), such as condensing units, line sets, and expansion valves, used for servicing as long as they were manufactured before Jan. 1, 2010. Stockpiling of this equipment is allowed under the rule.
• Ban the sale and installation on or after Jan. 1, 2010, of pre-charged R-22 air conditioners (such as split systems) and refrigeration appliances that require field charging. Contractors are advised not to stockpile this equipment.
• Permit servicing and repair work that requires the refrigeration loop to be opened and closed. There was a question as to whether this activity would be banned because it could be interpreted as ‘manufacturing’ after the Jan. 1, 2010 deadline.”
In effect, said McCrudden, “While the EPA fact sheet clarifies some of the flaws with the rules as originally proposed, there are still outstanding issues to be resolved.”
A complete copy of EPA’s clarifying information can be found online at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/rulesoverview.html.
Comments are still being accepted on the proposed rules. Comments on the “Adjustments to the Allowance System” rule must be submitted by March 9, 2009. A fact sheet that includes information on how to submit comments is available at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Factsheet2010nprm.html. Comments on the “Pre-Charged Appliances” rule must be submitted by Feb. 6, 2009. A fact sheet that includes information on how to submit comments is available at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Factsheetprecharged.html.