The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a proposed rulemaking, detailing how it plans to ban the use of many HFCs in new air conditioners and commercial refrigeration equipment. Specifically, the rulemaking proposes to:
- Restrict the use of HFCs in specific sectors or subsectors in which they are used;
- Establish a process for submitting technology transitions petitions;
- Establish recordkeeping and reporting requirements; and
- Address certain other elements related to the effective implementation of subsection (i) of the AIM Act.
On December 30, 2022, at 11 a.m. Eastern time, EPA will host a virtual hearing using Microsoft Teams to accept oral comments from any interested person on the proposed rule and related support documents. Participants must register in order to attend the online hearing.
To recap, EPA’s rulemaking calls for a 700 GWP limit for most new comfort cooling equipment, including chillers, starting January 1, 2025. This means that R-410A would no longer be allowed for use in new equipment as of that date. VRF systems would have until January 1, 2026 to comply with the restrictions.
The rule also proposes a 150 or 300 GWP limit for most new commercial refrigeration equipment used in supermarkets and convenience stores, also starting in 2025. This means many popular commercial refrigeration refrigerants, such as R-404A, R-448A, and R-449A, would no longer be available in new equipment as of that date.
At the hearing, each stakeholder who wishes to provide oral comments on the proposed rule will be allotted up to five minutes to speak. EPA will not respond to comments or questions, other than procedural questions during the hearing.
The 45-day public comment period for this proposed rule will close on Monday, January 30, 2023. The public docket can be viewed at www.regulations.gov by searching for docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2021-0643. For more information on the rule and how to comment, visit www.epa.gov/climate-hfcs-reduction.