ARLINGTON, Va. — The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy has submitted a petition for rulemaking to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that seeks to include HFCs under the provisions of Title VI, Section 608 of the Clean Air Act intended to reduce refrigerant gas emissions. Including HFCs under Section 608 would reduce the emissions of these refrigerants that provide safe and effective air conditioning and refrigeration but are also greenhouse gases. Section 608 already includes requirements for CFCs and HCFCs.
The Alliance estimates that the inclusion of HFCs under Section 608 could reduce HFC emissions by 15-20 percent in the United States. The primary goal of Section 608 is to minimize the loss of refrigerant to the atmosphere by improving the practices utilized during the servicing of air conditioning and refrigeration equipment. It sets certain leak and recovery standards and requires enhanced certification of equipment and technicians.
“The extension of the 608 rules to HFCs provides a significant short-term step for reducing HFC emissions and will contribute overall to a much more successful refrigerant management program,” said Kevin Fay, the Alliance’s executive director. “As a result, the Alliance is actively supporting the transition to new alternative low- and lower-global warming potential refrigerants, as well as better refrigerant management. The Alliance believes that grouping HFCs with CFCs and HCFCs, already covered by Section 608, can help manage this transition, while significantly contributing to the control of the emission of refrigerants.”
Section 608 was originally designed to addresses the release into the atmosphere of CFC refrigerants from air conditioning and refrigeration systems, because of their potential to contribute to ozone layer depletion. The industry has moved from CFCs to HCFCs to HFCs, reducing the impacts on ozone depletion and climate change with each transition. However, concern has been expressed that the projected global growth in the use of HFCs could be a significant contributor to climate change if not better managed.
A coalition of businesses which produce or use refrigerants, the Alliance represents its members in domestic and international discussions regarding atmospheric protection and climate change mitigation. For more information, visit www.alliancepolicy.org.
Publication date: 2/17/2014