Revision processes for DOE/EPA regulations expected to begin soon 

Now that the Unified Agenda of Regulatory and Deregulatory Actions that identified the near- and long-term regulatory actions of U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has been published, NAFEM is closely watching for DOE activity around the following categories:

  1. Commercial refrigeration equipment – Requests for information on whether to amend the current energy standards and test procedures.
  2. Automatic commercial ice makers – A request for information on whether to amend the current energy standards and test procedures, and a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) on whether amendments to the current test procedures are warranted.
  3. Walk-in coolers/walk-in freezers – Requests for information on whether to amend the test procedures and current energy standards.

NAFEM also is awaiting DOE NOPRs on:

  • Regulations for certain commercial and industrial equipment covered under the Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA);
  • A proposal to update the test procedure waiver decision-making process; and
  • Revised procedures for issuing guidance documents.

Also in the Unified Agenda, EPA communicated its intent to issue NOPRs to address three Significant New Alternatives Policy program (SNAP) issues related to allowable refrigerants.

The Administrative Procedure Act of 1946 outlines the processes agencies must follow when writing and revising regulations. The agency first proposes a rule or standard and invites public comment through a NOPR published in the Federal Register. The public is then invited to submit comments during a 30 – 120-day period. Once the comment period closes, the agency reviews the feedback, finalizes and publishes the final rule. The entire process can take a year or more, although it sometimes moves more quickly.