Introduction to Washington State Refrigerant Regulations

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Introduction to Washington State Refrigerant Regulations

Over the past couple of years, Washington State refrigerant regulations have evolved and become more robust through new rules and requirements to help with environmental sustainability.

While the State of Washington is among numerous states that have recently adopted HFC initiatives, it also differentiates itself from the others in certain key areas, especially with the 2021 legislative changes, which include GWP limits and a proposed state refrigerant management program

This blog article will provide a brief overview of such requirements and what the refrigerant geeks recommend for compliance planning.

Let’s get started.


New Washington HFC Requirements 

In December 2020, the Washington State Department of Ecology (Ecology) adopted a new refrigerant rule—namely, Chapter 173-443 WAC—which sets the state’s HFC phasedown in place. Most HFCs are regulated. (Think SNAP Rules 20 & 21.) 

Jan 1., 2020-2024: Effective Dates

HFC restrictions go into effect with deadline dates from 2021 to 2024, depending on the product category. (Some product categories are exempt, including MVAC and HFCs used in certain medical devices.)

  • Jan. 1, 2020 — new supermarket refrigeration systems
  • Jan. 1, 2021 — new refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment, and compact residential refrigerators
  • Jan. 1, 2022 — new residential refrigerators, and new and existing vending machines
  • Jan. 1, 2023 — new uses in cold-storage warehouses and built-in residential refrigerators 
  • Jan. 1, 2024 — new uses in centrifugal and positive displacement industrial chillers

Once a deadline takes effect for a specific product category, a person may not offer any product or equipment for sale, lease, or rent, or install or otherwise cause any equipment or product to enter into commerce in Washington if that equipment or product uses a regulated HFC refrigerant. 

This part of Washington’s HFC requirements mostly impacts manufacturers and distributors. However, overtime, it can have a larger impact on operational planning for corporate sustainability and decreasing a facilities’ environmental footprint, so equipment owners and property managers should also pay heed. 

Even more so, when you consider the 2021 changes to these requirements

Learn more about Washington’s new HFC law in our next Compliance Open Mic on Thurs., June 10th at 1:30pm CST! 
Register Now  

2021 Changes to Washington’s HFC Law

That is, in May 2021, Washington expanded the HFC restrictions described above with House Bill (HB) 1050. Specifically, HB 1050 directs Ecology to: 

  1. Implement global warming potential (GWP) limits for HFCs used in certain equipment;
  2. Establish a refrigerant management program; and
  3. Establish a process for managing end-of-life and disposal of refrigerants. 

Of particular interest to the refrigerant geeks here at Trakref is point #2 which is about the state having its own refrigerant management program.

When this becomes law, Washington will be the second state in the country to have its own refrigerant management program behind California. 

As you can see, there are many new requirements in place and on the horizon in Washington. Importantly, in regards to the 2021 changes, the Ecology aims to begin work this summer

Our experienced team of refrigerant geeks are closely monitoring the regulatory developments in Washington State, and we recommend that you have a plan in-place, so that you and your team are prepared for compliance. It will also be important to report on any regulations and how you’re complying in future ESG reporting. 

It starts with knowing all the HVACR assets and refrigerants that you have at your site; keeping accurate (and legible) records; and having awareness of equipment status and movement for sustainability audit questions. 

Led by our Chief Refrigerant Geek Ted Atwood, we will go into more detail about these new Washington State refrigerant regulations next week at our Compliance Open Mic event on Thurs., June 10th at 1:30pm CST.

Learn more about Washington’s new HFC law in our next Compliance Open Mic on Thurs., June 10th at 1:30pm CST! 
Register Now  
Reserve your spot now to learn more, and get your questions answered about the latest in refrigerant tracking by the refrigerant geeks. As always, thanks for joining us here on our blog, and we hope to see you next week at the event.

And if you’re looking to get ahead of the game, 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. As an environmental software provider, we make sure our refrigerant capabilities will keep you in compliance with new regulations. Get in touch with one of our Refrigerant Geeks today.



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