California’s newly approved regulations on refrigerants provide a blueprint for next steps to reduce new HFC use in supermarkets, ice rinks, the air conditioning sector and more, as well as launching a refrigerant management program to increase refrigerant recovery, reclamation, & reuse (“R4”). “This regulation sets a higher bar for other states and the Biden Administration to follow,” said Christina Starr, EIA Senior Policy Analyst.
If NY joins California and a coalition of other leading states on HFCs, it can set the stage for stronger federal and international measures to bring F-gas policies in line with reaching net-zero emissions by mid-century.
FEDERAL AIM ACT ON HFCS PASSES IN STIMULUS BILL
The new spending bill passed in Congress in December 2020 includes a phasedown of HFC production and use by 85 percent over 15 years. The bill also includes some additional regulations to improve refrigerant management through increasing recovery, reclamation and improved servicing, repair, and disposal practices, as well as a three-year grant program for small businesses, allocating $5 million annually toward increasing recovery and reclamation of refrigerants at end-of-life.
This is a major step forward on HFCs, but there is much work to do. Earlier this year the New York State DEC already took similar steps to phase out HFCs, and while these requirements will now apply throughout the country, stricter phase down requirements and incentives are needed.