A Website has been set up to allow browsers to report what they consider illegally sold HCFC-22. “If someone offers you an incredible deal on R-22, it likely is too good to be true,” is part of the statement on the home page of www.klexserve.com/catch22 for its Catch-22 Compliance Line.

The statement goes on to say, “Don’t help perpetrate a crime and put yourself in jeopardy at the same time.” Browsers are directed to a link asking for the submitter’s name, address, and phone number - although the submitter does not have to provide that info - and then asks for details about the possible illegal refrigerant.

“Buying and selling R-22 is a regulated activity,” the site said. “Only those authorized under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act can do so. Companies with authorized allowances given by the EPA want to make sure that the R-22 market is a level playing field for all participants. Buying and selling R-22 is a regulated activity, and only those authorized under the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Air Act can do so.”

The site asks for details on the refrigerant in question as well as where and when it was purchased.

At the site, Klexserve is described as “the legal process outsourcing entity of the Kochhar Group, a leading and pre-eminent Indian group specialized in providing diversified services of global and international standards to multinational corporations and their Indian subsidiaries, including several Fortune 500 companies based out of North America, Europe, Canada and Japan.” The site does not make clear whom Kochhar is outsourcing for in this case, although the refrigerant manufacturer Honeywell issued a press release on Feb. 18 saying it “has provided financial support for the Website.” Other refrigerant manufacturers are doing the same, it has been reported.

In its press release, Honeywell said, “the Website (is) aimed at curtailing unauthorized sale or purchase of R-22. The Website allows users to report suspected sale or purchase of the refrigerant, providing information so that authorities can investigate further.”

DuPont issued a statement on Feb. 19, saying, “DuPont has joined forces with other major industry manufacturers to simplify the reporting of R-22 buying and selling activity that is not in compliance with federal rules and regulations. Those who illegally transact R-22 in the U.S. are subject to seizures of the product, large fines and, as evidenced in the recent smuggling operation in Florida, prison sentences. Protect yourself by knowing your refrigerant source. Report known or suspected cases of illegal R-22 activity.”

The site also has a phone number, (866) 506-6134.

Publication date:03/15/2010