WASHINGTON — The long and winding path toward a comprehensive national HFC refrigerant phasedown has taken yet another turn, this time in the form of a procedural detour forced by the COVID-19 virus.

The Senate’s Committee on Environment and Public Works had intended to hold a March 25 legislative hearing for the standalone version of the phasedown language, the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2019 (AIM Act). However, the committee has chosen instead to conduct a safer if slightly more cumbersome public comment period to gather written testimony provide for some Q&A.

To begin, the public may submit testimony on the AIM Act through 4 p.m. on April 8. Interested parties should create a PDF form containing their comments and email the PDF to qfr@epw.senate.gov.

The committee specifies that “written testimony shall include a contact name, mailing address, email address, and phone number” and that submissions not including that information will be disregarded. Accepted testimony will be posted on the committee’s website.

The committee apparently intends to review that testimony, and members may in turn submit any follow-up questions by April 15. Those will be emailed to the relevant contacts who had submitted the original testimony.

Finally, those parties may send any answers back to their new penpals at Environment and Public Works no later than 4 p.m. on April 29. Those answers will be distributed to committee members, and the committee will share the full record of this process’ questions and answers on the website as well.

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