EPA confirms two rules to reduce HFC emissions
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has confirmed two rules that will see bans on a number of HFC refrigerants and a tightening of leak rate rules to reduce HFC emissions.
High-GWP refrigerants R404A and R507A are among a number of refrigerants to be banned in new retail food refrigeration from January 1st, 2021, with both also being banned in new cold storage warehouses from January 1st, 2023. R134a will be banned in new domestic fridges and freezers from January 1st, 2021. R134a, R407C and R410A notably will be banned in new centrifugal and positive displacement chillers as of January 1st, 2024. A full breakdown of this new rule, part of the SNAP Program, can be consulted here.
A second new rule strengthens refrigerant management practices under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act and extends the regulations to include HFCs. This includes a prohibition on venting of HFCs and HFC-blend refrigerants into the atmosphere during servicing or disposing of equipment at the end of life use. HFCs will also be subject to substantially lower maximum leak rate thresholds that trigger the duty to repair refrigeration equipment containing over 50 lbs (22.7 kg) of refrigerant.