California enacts HFC refrigerant bans

California enacts HFC refrigerant bans

The state of California has today enacted unilateral prohibitions on high‑global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons.

The California Cooling Act affects new and retrofit equipment. Manufacturers cannot sell equipment using prohibited refrigerants that are manufactured after January 1, 2019. It is based on the vacated US EPA SNAP Rule 20 and 21, with the exception of motor vehicle air-conditioning. It prohibits high GWP HFC refrigerants, such as R404A and R507A, in supermarket systems, condensing units, and self-contained units.

In addition to prohibiting specific high-GWP HFCs, the California Cooling Act also establishes an incentive programme for early adoption of low-GWP technology in refrigeration systems.

The original EPA SNAP rules were rolled back after the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’ decided that the EPA could not use a section of the Clean Air Act to target HFCs.

California voted to pass the California Cooling Act in August last year. It is expected to reduce HFC emissions by up to 17 million tonnes CO2 equivalent annually by 2030.