It is just one more effort to help readers through the maze and haze of this ever-changing sector of our industry.
In fact, we gave those responding to our questions until just a couple of weeks before the material appears in print so their responses could be as up to date as possible.
One challenge in dealing with the topic is that refrigerants are now immersed in a massive array of regulations that span a wide range of governmental bodies from the local to the international level and an equally wide range of agencies within any one level.
Then there are "conversation starters," proposals to one government agency that in turn uses that as the basis for another proposal to another government agency. There are also "directives" (whatever that means), and even "final regulations" (although "final" may not be final). And such legal mumbo jumbo could encompass the manufacturer or user of refrigerants, as well as the handling of said products.
Tough SleddingFrom time to time, I receive material from governmental agencies and environmental groups in Europe designed to provide accurate information on what's happening over there. Every effort is made to describe developments correctly, which can make for some mind-numbing phrasing.
Consider the following three items, quoted word for word:
The report that those quotes were drawn from goes on for eight pages. Having followed developments in Europe for a number of years now, I am able to offer a general idea as to what all the above is about. In its simplest form, some governments in some countries in Europe are pushing to phase out HFCs in their countries because of the greenhouse issue.
But broader-based agencies and governmental groups are trying to get all of Europe on the same page - and that is preserving the use of HFCs for as long as possible, and certainly not getting rid of them until viable alternatives are available - even if no one is ready to define "viable."
All of this is by way of saying that we at The News make every effort to tell you how the refrigerant issue impacts you as contractors and technicians. It is just that it is often difficult to figure out what those who have a say in such matters are saying.
Peter Powell is refrigeration editor. He can be reached at 847-622-7260, 847-622-7266 (fax), or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Publication date: 01/12/2004