ARLINGTON, Va. — The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) hosted a roundtable discussion on September 26, 2019, between officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and ACCA members, to discuss the refrigerant reclamation industry.

The roundtable discussion focused on educating policy makers about refrigerant reclamation issues and was not related to any pending regulations or rule makings. ACCA has an excellent working relationship with officials from the EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division and regularly meets with them to discuss issues impacting contractors.

During this discussion, ACCA members advocated for more government funding for consumer education programs.

“Consumers need to be responsible for which refrigerants are being used in their HVAC systems,” said Lanny Huffman, ACCA vice chairman of the board and president of Hickory Sheet Metal. “The EPA should be funding education programs to warn consumers about the efficiency degradations, environmental hazards, and the safety concerns of mixing refrigerants. ACCA, HVAC contractors, and consumer need to share in the responsibility of how refrigerants are handled.”

“ACCA members are environmentally conscious and do not vent refrigerants,” said ACCA president and CEO Bart James. “It is becoming more and more of a financial burden to recover mixed gases because it costs so much to separate them. While it’s a financial burden today, it will be a safety issue in the near future as we transition to A2L mildly flammable refrigerants. We have to solve the issue of mixed gases or else consumers and contractors will be in danger from unscrupulous actors who do not make safety a priority.”

ACCA plans to hold additional educational programs with policy makers to ensure they understand how contractors are impacted by regulatory and legislative issues. 

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