HVAC News Roundup – October 2020

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HVAC News Roundup – October 2020

A lot happened in this month, including the EPA pre-publishing a new SNAP Notice and several states, including Washington, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Maryland, having updates in regards to their HFC refrigerant regulations for environmental sustainability.

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Thanks for joining our commercial HVAC news roundup for October 2020.

A lot happened in this month, including the EPA pre-publishing a new SNAP Notice and several states, including Washington, Massachusetts, Colorado, and Maryland, having updates in regards to their HFC refrigerant regulations for environmental sustainability.

All of this will affect how you approach compliance, sustainability, ESG reporting, and sustainability audit questions.

Let’s get started. 


EPA SNAP Program Expands List of Acceptability 

The U.S. EPA SNAP Program has pre-published a new Notice—namely, Notice 36.

This Notice expands the list of acceptable substitute refrigerants in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sectors. 

Specifically, the prepublication version of Notice 36 lists as acceptable additional substitutes for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning sectors. 

The following new substitute refrigerants are listed as acceptable in the various different end-uses:

  • HCFO-1233zd(E) in industrial process refrigeration (new and retrofit equipment); and
  • R-515B in centrifugal and positive displacement chillers and industrial process air conditioning (new equipment).

It’s important to note that these listing decisions do not prejudge EPA’s listings of these substitutes for other end-uses. We will be on the lookout for when this Notice is published in the Federal Registrar.

This SNAP Notice 36 comes shortly after the proposed SNAP Rule 23, which the EPA published in June of 2020.


Several States Further Solidify HFC Phase Down

In the past month, several states, including Colorado, Massachusetts, Maryland, and Washington, have provided updates in regards to their HFC refrigerant regulations. These regulations are meant to decrease companies’ environmental footprint, so they have an impact on corporate sustainability initiatives. 


On September 30, 2020, the state of Colorado made its Greenhouse Gas Pollution Reduction Roadmap available as a draft for public review. 

Notably, the Roadmap mentions a Refrigerant Management Program, in which emissions reductions could be possible. It also “assumes no reductions by 2025 due to rulemaking and program implementation timing.”

You can learn more about the GHG Pollution Reduction Roadmap on the Energy Office of Colorado’s website here.


On September 30, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) published its proposed regulation 310 CMR 7.76 Prohibitions on Use of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons in Refrigeration, Chillers, Aerosol Propellants, and Foam End-Uses.

This proposed regulation would prohibit the use of certain HFCs in R-AC equipment. Prohibited use would include selling, leasing, renting, offering for sale, installing or manufacturing HFC-containing equipment in specific end uses.

You can read the proposed regulation in full on MassDEP’s website


On October 23, 2020, Maryland published its HFC refrigerant regulation in the Maryland Register as a Notice of Final Action (NFA). 

Maryland’s new regulation mirrors that of the EPA SNAP Program; however, it does not include all end-use restrictions found in SNAP Rules 20 and 21, such as MVAC and residential A/C. 

On November 6, the regulation will be available for download here, and we will provide an update accordingly.


The State of Washington’s Department of Ecology has adopted a fifth emergency rule, Chapter 173-443 WAC, Hydrofluorocabon (HFCs) that requires manufacturers, importers, and distributers to notify Ecology about their products and equipment containing HFCs.

The emergency rule will be in effect for up to 120 days starting October 20, 2020, and it will expire when the permanent rule, Chapter 173-443 WAC, becomes effective.

You can view the emergency rule language here.


HVACR and Refrigerant Management News Across the Globe

As you can see, a lot has happened this month when you consider all the stories above. Here’s a few other things that caught our eye:


More Countries Ratify the Kigali Amendment

In this past month alone, several more countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment, including Bolivia, Malaysia, San Marino, and Russia. As you may recall, the Kigali Amendment reached the 100th ratification milestone in July of 2020. 


India Bans Split Air Conditioner Imports

In a move to boost domestic manufacturing, the Indian government issued a notification that bans the import of certain units with specific shipment codes. 


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Well, that concludes the commercial HVAC News Round for October 2020. As always, thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in next month for the latest commercial HVAC News Roundup.

And if you’re looking for a better refrigerant tracking solution, get in touch with Trakref today. We’re a software corporation that has been in the regulatory compliance software and environmental compliance calendar software space for years. An an environmental software provider, we make sure our refrigerant tracking capabilities are there to keep you in compliance with whatever updates in the HVAC/R world come our way. Get in touch with one of our Refrigerant Geeks today.

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