HVAC News Roundup: Top 10 Stories of 2018

December 6, 2018 / by Ted Atwood

Ted Atwood

Thanks for joining our hvac news roundup of 2018. 

We've been closely following the top HVAC news stories all year long, and we're excited to share with you our pick of the top 10 stories of 2018. 

Let’s get started ↘️. #HVACNewsRoundup

 

HVAC News Roundup: The Top 10 Stories of 2018

 

1. Court Rejects Petition to Retain HFC Bans

Original article: Court rejects petition to retain HFC bans. Author: Cooling Post (@CoolingPost)

If you're looking for a good primer on the ruling, check out this article.

On Jan. 27, The Cooling Post reported that the the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia denied to hear an appeal of the Mexichem Fluor, Inc., v. EPA decision made on August 8, 2017. 


 

2. Here's What You're Missing from the Court Decision on HFC Bans

Original article: Here's What You're Missing from the Court Decision on HFC bans. 

In one of Trakref's most popular articles of the year, we discuss what the HFC court decision could mean for your operations and what you may be missing. 


 

3. EPA SNAP Publishes New Guidance Document After HFC Court Ruling, So We Have Some Certainty (At Least for a While)

Original article: EPA SNAP Publishes New Guidance Document After HFC Court Ruling, So We Have Some Certainty (At Least for a While). 

On April 27, 2018, the EPA published a notification of guidance and stakeholder meeting concerning the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, particularly as it pertains to the HFC listings in SNAP Rule 20. 

Check out our article, which gives you the gist of this guidance document.


 

4. Notice of Public Hearing To Consider Proposed Regulation For Prohibitions On Use Of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons In Stationary Refrigeration And Foam End-Uses

Original article: High-Global Warming Potential Refrigerant Emissions Reductions Regulation. Author: California Air Resources Board (CARB).

On Jan. 30, CARB announced a public hearing to consider adopting new refrigerant regulations into its state program. 

So, on March 22, 2018, a public hearing was held to consider for adoption the proposed regulation for Prohibitions on Use of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons in Stationary Refrigeration and Foam End-Uses.

At this hearing, CARB approved for adoption the proposed new California refrigerant law on HFC bans. 

We've been closely following the new regulations ever since, which leads us to #5 on our list. 


 

5. Have You Heard? California Adopts New HFC Regulation

Original article: Have You Heard? California Adopts New HFC Regulation.

After the partial vacatur of SNAP Rule 20, California emerged as a key player by adopting a new HFC regulation.

This article provides a good intro to the activity in California that emerged earlier in the year. 


 

6. Proposed California Refrigerant Law to Ban HFCs in Some Refrigeration End-Uses

Original article: Proposed California Refrigerant Law to Ban HFCs in Some Refrigeration End-Uses.

If you're wanting a more in-depth look at the proposed California refrigerant law that adopts certain provisions of EPA SNAP into state law, see this article, too.


 

7. GOP senators push Trump to submit pollution treaty amendment for Senate approval

Original article: GOP senators push Trump to submit pollution treaty amendment for Senate approval. Author: The Hill (@thehill)

Thirteen Republican senators called for the Kigali Amendment to be sent to the U.S. Senate for consideration. This initiative is led by Senator John Kennedy and Senator Susan Collins, The Hill reported.

Essentially, these Senators have decided that ratifying the Kigali Amendment would be good for American industry and give the U.S. a competitive advantage

While we still don't know whether the U.S. will ratify Kigali or not, we do know there is growing support for it, and it will be interesting to see what happens. 

See also the site Let America Lead, which advocates for the U.S. to ratify Kigali because it's good for business


 

8. EPA Proposes to Revise Section 608 Refrigerant Management Regulations 

Original article: Revised Section 608 Refrigerant Management Regulations. Author: U.S. EPA.

The Section 608 Update, issued in Nov. 2016, extended leak repair provisions to appliances using non-exempt substitute refrigerants (e.g., HFCs). As you may already be aware, there are three compliance dates that come along with the update: Jan. 1, 2017; Jan. 1, 2018; and Jan. 1, 2019. 

Now, we are just a few months away from the third and final compliance date: Jan. 1, 2019, which is when the updated leak repair provisions take effect. 

But, here’s where things get complicated, and why we’ve included this story on our list. 

On Sept. 18, 2018, the EPA issued a proposed rule Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Revisions to the Refrigerant Management Program’s Extension to Substitutes, which would “rescind the leak repair and maintenance requirements at 40 CFR 82.157 for substitute refrigerants.”

It’s important to note that this does not affect requirements for ozone-depleting refrigerants. Also, this EPA web page states, "The 2016 rule and the compliance dates currently remain in effect."

If and when any changes become finalized, we will update our 2019 leak changes checklist accordingly, so you will be in the know 👍.

This proposal to rescind certain parts of the EPA 608 Update has caused industry upset, which leads us to #9: 

  


9. The EPA's Call for Comments Stirs Up the HVACR Industry

Original article: The EPA's Call for Comments Stirs Up the HVACR Industry. Author: Angela D. Harris, The Air Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration NEWS (@achrnews).

This is a great article that encapsulates the diverse industry reaction to the proposal (mentioned in #8). 

"Confusion, panic, even outrage has been expressed in blogs, e-newsletters, and some of the almost 200 comments on the EPA’s website. The concern about completely rescinding subpart F seems to boil down to four major issues: licensing, safety, effects on industry businesses, and the environment." Read more here.

We also weighed in on the issue here: Trakref Comments on EPA's Proposal to Revise Section 608 Update.


 

10. Numerous States Considering HFC Refrigerant Regulations

Original article: Numerous States Considering HFC Refrigerant Regulations. 

Now that HFC refrigerant regulations are up in the air at the federal level, numerous states are considering their own HFC refrigerant regulations, including California, Connecticut, Maryland, and New York.

Get all the details in this post.


 

Well, that concludes the top 10 hvac news stories of 2018.

It's been a very busy year for the HVAC/R industry, and our blog is here to keep you updated. We hope you liked our pick of the top stories for 2018. 👍

As always, thanks for joining.

We wish you Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

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Topics: HVAC News Roundups

Ted Atwood

Written by Ted Atwood

Ted is the President & CEO of Trakref, a cloud-based HVAC/R and refrigerant management software company that provides unprecedented solutions for commercial properties. He has spent more than 20 years in the HVAC/R industry, even owning and operating one of the nation’s largest refrigerant reclaim and recycling companies.