HVAC News Roundup – July 2020
Thanks for joining our commercial HVAC news roundup for July 2020.
A lot has happened in this month, including an update from the U.S. EPA about enforcement; regulatory developments and changes in California; and new school reopening guidancee from ASHRAE.
Let’s get started. #HVACNewsRoundup.
EPA Temporary Enforcement Policy Ends Soon
The U.S. EPA recently issued a memorandum on a termination addendum to the COVID-19 Implications for EPA’s Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Program, the agency’s COVID-19 temporary enforcement policy.
This memorandum, which you can view in full here, announced August 31st as the termination date of the temporary enforcement policy.
The temporary policy “terminates in its entirety at 11:59 PM Eastern Daylight Saving Time, August 31.” As a result, now is a good time to review your environmental compliance obligations, particularly your facility’s refrigerant management program, and ensure that you and your team are in compliance.
This update is not the only one we have on the EPA for July.
There’s also a news release from EPA Region 1 on its initiative to continue to improve safety of ammonia refrigeration facilities in New England as well as the comment period closing for the proposed SNAP Rule 23.
EPA Region 1 Helps Ammonia Refrigeration Facilities Improve GDC Compliance
On July 23, 2020, EPA Region 1 issued a news release on its efforts to improve compliance with the General Duty Clause (GDC) for small ammonia refrigeration systems in New England.
It states, “Facilities that fail to comply with the requirements put facility personnel, employees of adjacent businesses, emergency responders, and the local population and environment at risk of harm from such releases.”
As such, this news release serves as a reminder to ensure that your facility is in compliance with applicable EPA regulations, such as the GDC or RMP regulations. While anhydrous ammonia is an effective refrigerant, it is also very toxic and can put people at risk by injury or death if released.
Comment Period for Proposed SNAP Rule 23 Closes
Also this month, the comment period for the proposed SNAP Rule 23 closed.
This proposed rulemaking would expand the mildly flammable refrigerants, or A2Ls, acceptability under the EPA SNAP Program. Get all the details in our post here.
With these three topics concludes the happenings for the month at the federal level.
Let’s move on now to what happened at the state level, particularly and especially regulatory developments and changes in California.
CARB Holds Public Workshop on Proposed Amendments to HFC Regulation
On July 22, 2020, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a public workshop on proposed amendments to limit high-GWP refrigerants in new stationary and air-conditioning equipment.
Such amendments include GWP limits for new stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning.
- GWP Limit of 150 for New Stationary Refrigeration Systems — CARB is proposing to add a GWP limit of 150 on new stationary refrigeration systems containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant in new facilities starting January 1, 2022.
- Company-Wide Emissions Reduction Targets for Retail Food — The proposal also includes company-wide emissions reduction targets for retail food businesses by 2030.
- GWP Limit of 750 for New Air Conditioning Systems — It is proposing to add a GWP limit of 750 for new stationary air conditioning systems starting January 1, 2023.
These amendments are being scrutinized currently by industry stakeholders.
Our refrigerant geeks here at Trakref will continue to monitor this development as it further solidifies. The CARB staff is expected to present the proposed amendments for a CARB Board Hearing in December 2020.
HVAC/R 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:
ASHRAE Provides Reopening Guidance to Schools
With the fall academic year encroaching upon us, ASHRAE has released new reopening guidance for schools. The guide includes information on equipment and system specific checks and verifications; new/modified facility design recommendations; filtration upgrades; and operational procedures.
Comment Period for UL Standard 60335-2-89 Closes
There are numerous proposed changes to UL 60335-2-89 Standard, which pertains to safety requirements for commercial refrigerating appliances. Notably, the charge size limits for A3 and A2L refrigerants may be increased.
The comments period for the proposed changes closed on July 24, 2020.
Hydrocarbons21 explains, “After the comments period, UL will review the comments, make adjustments to the standard, and release it for another public comment period before a standard technical panel (STP) votes on the final version.
NASRC Releases New Natural Refrigerant Technology Library
The North American Sustainable Refrigeration Council (NASRC) has released a new Natural Refrigerant Technology Library, which contains free on-demand presentations displaying natural refrigerant technology solutions for supermarkets.
SCAQMD Rule 1415 Registration Process Moves Online
The SCAQMD Rule 1415 registration process is moving online. Yes, facilities with regulated air-conditioning systems by the SCAQMD Rule 1415 should be aware that beginning August 1, 2020, electronic registrations will be required.
Kigali Amendment Reaches Milestone of 100 Ratifications
The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol has reached an important milestone: 100 ratifications. Both Romania and Liberia ratified the Kigali Amendment in July.
Well, that concludes the commercial HVAC News Round for July 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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With an extensive background in HVAC/R public affairs and communications, Elizabeth Ortlieb serves as the Content Strategist & Policy Analyst for Trakref, where she tracks policy trends and provides updates to multi-level stakeholders. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org