April at-a-glance … environment

AHRI develops nationwide HFC phase-down recommendation for refrigeration equipment with NAFEM and others

The Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) petitioned the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the phase down of ozone-depleting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) for refrigeration equipment under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. AHRI has been working with NAFEM and other stakeholders on its proposal to facilitate the transition to next-generation technologies required under the Act. In its petition, AHRI asked EPA to establish transition dates for new refrigeration equipment, along with maximum global warming potential (GWP) limits, as follows:

Product Category
(New Equipment1)
AR4 GWP LimitTransition Date
Standalone/Self-contained Refrigeration SystemsSNAP Rules 20/21 ProhibitionsJanuary 1, 2022
Remote Refrigeration Systems (> 50 lbs refrigerant charge)1500January 1, 2022
Remote Refrigeration Systems (<= 50 lbs refrigerant charge)2200January 1, 2022
Industrial and Processing Refrigeration (w/o chillers)1500January 1, 2022
ACIM (> 50 lbs refrigerant charge)2200January 1, 2022
Transport Refrigeration2200January 1, 2023
Exceptions: ACIM < 50lbs charge, Medical, Scientific and Research Applications

The proposed limits align with those in nine states that have adopted rules based on EPA’s significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule 20 and Rule 21. These nine states account for approximately 30 percent of the commercial market for the impacted products.

AHRI, NAFEM and the other petitioners requested urgent promulgation of the proposed limits, rather than a drawn-out negotiated rulemaking process, to ensure sufficient time for the transition.

Once a final EPA rule covering the phase down of HFCs takes effect, state laws will be preempted for five years, with another five-year preemption possible. The new regulations will not impact the use of HFCs in existing refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment or constrict aftermarket supplies of HFCs for servicing existing equipment.

Delaware HFC reductions begin Sept. 1

A reminder that Delaware’s new HFC phase-down regulations take effect Sept. 1. NAFEM successfully advocated for several revisions, including postponing the effective date, for the regulations that address HFCs used in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment, aerosols and foams.