EPA webinar with CGF still on

EPA webinar with CGF still on

GreenChill webinar with Consumer Goods Forum will take place February 28, as planned; check website for updates on others.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) confirmed that a webinar hosted by its GreenChill Partnership – titled “Efforts to Reduce Refrigerant Emissions through the Consumer Goods Forum” – will take place as originally scheduled on February 28, 2017, despite reports last month that the Trump Administration would review the EPA’s upcoming webinar schedule and decide which ones would go forward.

The presenters will include Ignacio Gavilan, sustainability director of the Paris-based Consumer Goods Forum, an association of the world’s largest retailers and consumer goods brands.

Asked whether the GreenChill Partnership’s other eight webinars scheduled through August 2017 would also be held as planned, the EPA’s Office of Public Affairs advised checking its website “for updates on these webinars.” The webinars all relate to the HVAC&R industry, including some addressing natural refrigerants, including: “IIAR’s Resources for Using NH3 and CO2” (April 18); “ASHRAE-Coordinated Research on Alternative Refrigerants” (July 18); and “ORNL’s Experiences Conducting Life-Cycle Climate Performance Tests on Commercial Refrigeration Systems” (August 8).

According to an article in The Huffington Post in January, the EPA’s webinar review is being conducted by a “Beach Team,” described as “staffers for the new administration working at various agencies while new leadership is put in place.” Scott Pruitt, the nominee to head the EPA, is still undergoing confirmation hearings in the Senate.

In addition to vetting the EPA’s webinar schedule, communication restrictions include a ban on the following: press releases to external audiences, blog messages, social media communications, and new website content. In addition, external speaking engagements through February would be reviewed. The restrictions were effective immediately and would remain in effect until further notice.

An article last week in ClimateCentral.org reported that information on federal climate plans created under the Obama administration have been taken off the EPA’s website.