The California legislature recently voted to pass the California Cooling Act (Senate Bill 1013), which has a goal of reducing HFC emissions by 40 percent by 2030. Essentially, SB 1013 preserves the targets for reducing HFCs that were set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the Obama Administration but voided by a federal court last year. The bill calls for the legislature to develop an incentive program that will speed the replacement of high GWP compounds used in refrigerators, chillers, and air conditioners with alternatives that have lower GWP.

Following the passage of SB 1013, several other states announced that they, too, were going to implement laws that would reduce the use of HFCs. New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo was up first, announcing that he was directing the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to create regulations that would phase out the use of HFCs. These regulations would prohibit specific substances for use in new consumer products, new equipment, and equipment that is retrofitted after the compliance dates, including commercial and residential food refrigeration equipment and commercial air conditioning equipment. The phaseout will be implemented from 2020 to 2024, and the DEC will seek input on this proposal prior to proceeding with a formal rulemaking, with the intent of finalizing a rule in 2019.

Maryland was next, with Governor Larry Hogan announcing that the state’s Department of the Environment will develop regulations to phase out the use of certain HFCs in specific products and equipment. The Department of the Environment intends to develop regulations similar to those in California, which would phase out the use of certain HFCs in foam products and in refrigeration equipment in retail establishments such as supermarkets. Governor Hogan had previously signed into law the Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Act of 2016, which requires reductions of greenhouse gases in Maryland by 40 percent by 2030.

Connecticut then followed suit, with Governor Dannel Malloy, announcing that he directed the state’s Department of Energy and Environmental Protection (DEEP) to also develop regulations that will phase out the use of HFCs. DEEP is to begin the rulemaking process to develop regulations to adopt the 2015 and 2016 changes to the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rules regarding HFCs over the next few months.

Publication date: 10/3/2018

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