ARLINGTON, Va. — In testimony before the House Small Business Committee, Viktor Anderson, chief engineer for Muskegon, Michigan-based Structural Concepts, a commercial refrigeration manufacturer and member of the Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), said that, left unchecked, the inability or unwillingness of the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to coordinate their rulemakings around energy efficiency and environmental goals will “devastate” the HVACR industry.

Anderson noted that with DOE rulemakings setting new energy efficiency levels for commercial refrigeration equipment, and EPA rulemakings on allowable refrigerants being issued irrespective of one another, small businesses such as his have to spend inordinate amounts of money and time to comply with a seemingly endless series of rulemakings — to the point where “we could potentially be redesigning our products every two to three years for more than 12 years in a row.”

Anderson also said that in issuing its final rule setting energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment, which goes into effect in 2017, DOE did not abide by the provisions of Executive Order 13563, which requires agencies to “tailor its regulations to impose the least burden on society.” A concurrently issued memorandum requires agencies to comply with the Regulatory Flexibility Act, which requires agencies to examine the impacts of regulations on small businesses and seriously consider how to reduce regulatory burdens for small businesses.

Furthermore, Anderson noted that DOE’s own analysis of the commercial refrigeration rule found that “the average small manufacturer is expected to face capital conversion costs that are nearly five times typical annual capital expenditures.”

Anderson asked the committee to conduct appropriate oversight on DOE and EPA, stating that “with its never-ending wave of new rules and ever-more-stringent standards, the administration is threatening our ability to do business, provide jobs, and provide critical products to American consumers.”

Publication date: 3/23/2015

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