Colorado, Virginia join efforts to phase down HFCs

Colorado and Virginia have joined California, Vermont, Washington and New Jersey in regulating the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), in the absence of federal regulations.

Colorado’s Air Quality Control Commission approved prohibitions that mirror the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rules 20 and 21. The state followed a model rule published by the U.S. Climate Alliance.

As reported in NAFEM’s January 2020 Advocacy Update, governors from 24 states and Puerto Rico formed the U.S. Climate Alliance in response to President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement. The bipartisan coalition committed to reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Virginia approved a law requiring its Air Pollution Control Board to adopt similar HFC restrictions. Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island have pledged to do the same.

At the same time, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environmental and Public Works is reviewing comments from NAFEM and others on the federal American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act that will uniformly phase down the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) across all states over the next 15 years. In its comments, NAFEM said “The Act helps our industry maintain its technology leadership, which in turn helps American manufacturers expand their share of the global market.”

According to the Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI), the AIM Act supports a transition to next-generation refrigerant technology. More information is available in its presentation on the changing refrigeration landscape and a companion fact sheet.