July at-a-glance … environment 

NAFEM urges coordination with EPA, state and local codes in DOE HFC reductions

In its July 6 comments to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), NAFEM urged the agency to fully consider the impacts and timing associated with its hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown on regulatory authorities outside of the EPA. “We urged EPA to closely coordinate with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to ensure that EPA does not impact refrigerant usage and availability in a way that impacts the energy efficiency of equipment subject to enforceable Energy Policy and Conservation Act (EPCA) standards,” said NAFEM’s Vice President, Regulatory & Technical Affairs Charlie Souhrada, CFSP. “The two programs – reducing the use of HFCs and reducing energy consumption – should not conflict.”

NAFEM also pointed out to EPA that some HFC alternatives include flammable refrigerants prohibited by state and local building codes. “EPA should work with states and localities to ensure its efforts do not create market impacts, equipment shortages or other unintended consequences,” NAFEM recommended in its comments.

EU evaluating additional F-gases reductions

To further control emissions from fluorinated greenhouse gases (F-gases), the European Union (EU) is reviewing its current F-gas Regulation. Already, the EU’s F-gas emissions will be cut by two-thirds by 2030 compared with 2014 levels by limiting the total amount of F-gases that can be used in the EU, banning F-gases in many new types of equipment and preventing F-gas emissions. A proposal for new F-gas regulations is expected to be ready by the end of the year. According to EPA, F-gases include “the most potent and longest-lasting greenhouse gases emitted by human activities.”