EPA Grants Petitions to Transition Technologies Away from HFCs

Washington DC – Today the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) responded to a series of petitions requesting certain sectors be required to transition away from using most hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in newly manufactured products. EPA granted or partially granted multiple petitions, including the petition submitted by EIA that calls on EPA to replicate HFC regulations recently finalized in California. Other petitions submitted by the California Air Resources Board and other states, and the International Institute for Ammonia Refrigeration call for a similar approach.

“We are joined by states, industry, and other environmental groups in calling for the strongest feasible limits on HFCs in new cooling products,” said Christina Starr, Senior Policy Analyst with EIA. “Some industry stakeholders hope for more lax standards that leave the door open to a wider range of new HFC chemicals than needed, but California has truly set the bar for our federal government to meet.”

EPA’s review and response to the petitions follows a process prescribed under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act, which now gives EPA up to two years to propose and finalize a technology transition rulemaking. EPA’s letter to EIA granting our petition from Administrator Michael Regan states, “The EPA intends to move swiftly to develop a proposal and will continue to engage with stakeholders as we proceed.”

“As with its recently finalized allowance rulemaking, EPA must continue to demonstrate climate ambition and urgency. These technology transition rulemakings, which will truly shape the future of the cooling industry not just here in the United States but around the world, must send a clear signal that the cooling industry can no longer rely on unnecessary highly planet-warming gases,” said Avipsa Mahapatra, EIA Climate Campaign Lead.

The new rules will be the technological goal posts setting the global warming potential (GWP) limits above which substances will be prohibited. The EIA and other similar petitions request a 150 GWP limit threshold for most refrigeration including supermarkets and ice rinks, and a 750 GWP limit for air conditioning. Other petitions also call for immediately reinstating previous limits finalized under the Obama Administration.

Today’s EPA’s notice granting the petitions is available here.

Contact: Avipsa Mahapatra, Climate Campaign Lead, EIA-US [email protected]