HVAC News Roundup – September 2020
Thanks for joining our commercial HVAC news roundup for September 2020.
A lot happened in this month, including New York finalizing its HFC phase out; the EPA announcing a settlement with Hawaii’s largest refrigerated food warehouse; and more.
Let’s get started. #HVACNewsRoundup.
State of New York Finalizes HFC Refrigerant Regulations
The State of New York’s Department of Environment announced on September 23, 2020, that its HFC regulations, 6 NYCRR Part 494, were finalized and filed with the Department of State. The new regulations are anticipated to appear in the October 14, 2020 State Register, and they will take effect 30 days from them being posted.
Essentially, the regulations are set to go into effect over the next four years, and the HFC prohibitions apply to various refrigeration and air-conditioning end-uses. Popular HFC refrigerants impacted include HFC-134a; R-404A; R-407C; R-410A; and more.
If you would like to see the list of prohibitions, check out our handy and free NY HFC phase out chart here.
EPA Settles with Hawaii’s Largest Refrigerated Food Warehouse
In a press release dated September 28, the EPA announced a settlement with Unicold Corporation “to resolve alleged violations of the federal Clean Air Act at Unicold’s cold storage and distribution facility in Honolulu, Hawaii.”
An inspection conducted by the EPA in 2019 found the organization’s industrial anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system in violation of the Clean Air Act’s Risk Management Plan regulations; for instance, several issues were spotted including a deficient written management system and “failing to … document an appropriate response compliance audit and process hazard analysis findings.”
As you may recall, in August’s Roundup, there was another case concerning anhydrous ammonia refrigeration system, in which the EPA is suing the two companies liable for nearly $1 million for clean-up work conducted at the facility in June 2016.
Trakref Celebrates World Ozone Day
On September 16, Trakref celebrated the International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer (World Ozone Day). This year’s theme was marking the 35 years of the Vienna Convention.
Many refrigerants in use have ozone-depleting potential (ODP); in fact, it’s why refrigerant management is considered a top climate change challenge. As such, this day reminds of us of the importance of managing refrigerants and preventing unnecessary venting into the atmosphere.
With this in mind, you may want to check out our research report on the private environmental governance to climate change and the case of refrigerants.
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:
Several More Countries Ratify the Kigali Amendment
In this past month alone, several countries have ratified the Kigali Amendment, including Nicaragua, Botswana, and Liechtenstein.
U.S. Moves Closer to HFC Phase Down
A Senate committee has agreed to a revised amendment to the American Energy Innovation Act that would authorize a 15-year phase down of HFCs. With this, the U.S. moves closer to an HFC phase down at the national level.
Italian Authorities Seize Nearly 4 Tonnes of Illegal Refrigerant
The Cooling Post reported that nearly 4 tonnes of illegal refrigerant, including R-32, R-404A, R-410A, and R-22, were seized by Italian customs officers at the port of Livorno. The shipment was comprised of “300 illegal non-refillable cylinders of Chinese origin.”
This is but another news alert of an illegal refrigerant seizure that has happened recently and highlights the importance of knowing the origin of your refrigerant materials and cylinders. Our refrigerant compliance tracking app, Trakref V3, or our free refrigerant tracking app, Trakref Pro, can help you track the origin of materials.
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How do you use Trakref? Show us, and you could win a free Fieldpiece SRL8 refrigerant leak detector!
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The best photo submission wins a free Fieldpiece SRL8 refrigerant leak detector! You’re probably thinking what’s the catch? There’s no catch—Since we offer a free refrigerant tracking app, there’s also no requirement to purchase to participate.
Well, that concludes the commercial HVAC News Round for September 2020. As always, thanks for joining us, and be sure to tune in next month for the latest commercial HVAC News Roundup.
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