COLUMBUS, OH — Worthington Industries, Inc. announced Nov. 10 that it has filed a petition for partial administrative reconsideration with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The petition asks the agency to rescind the ban on non-refillable cylinders which was included as part of its final rule to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. The AIM Act, signed into law in late 2020, was bipartisan legislation aimed solely at phasing down the production and consumption of specific hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
“Worthington supports the AIM Act and its mission to phase down HFCs, but banning non-refillable cylinders as part of the phase down is an unnecessary restriction that puts American jobs at risk, reduces U.S. manufacturing competitiveness, and does virtually nothing to protect the environment,” said Worthington Industries President and CEO Andy Rose. “We hope the EPA will accept our petition, rescind the ban and work with us to employ Worthington’s innovative solutions to address the agency’s concerns about smuggling and heel emissions,” Rose continued, “Supporting the petition will help restore the important balance achieved in the AIM Act to address climate change and support American manufacturing.”
Worthington’s petition includes an updated, fully recyclable cylinder that remains lightweight, adds environmental safety technology to address venting issues, and will deter smuggling of banned substances through reliance on domestic production capacity. Worthington’s alternatives help keep American jobs in America, protects the environment, prioritizes HVAC workers, and minimizes disruption and costs to the HVAC industry.
Worthington strongly opposes the ban on non-refillable cylinders. The AIM Act provides no explicit legal authority to the EPA to implement the ban. EPA did not address concerns submitted to the agency demonstrating the ban’s infeasibility and direct harm to HVAC technicians who often work in elevated, cramped spaces and because of the ban, will be forced to carry cylinders that are four times heavier, likely increasing injuries.
EPA rationalized the cylinder ban in its rule based on (1) preventing HFC gas venting and leakage; and (2) the ease of identifying the cylinder to keep out illegal HFC imports. These concerns are shared by Worthington Industries. Short of an outright ban on the cylinder, however, Worthington has developed a much simpler solution to address these issues which is the basis for the petition.