Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Confusion Abounds Surrounding HCFC Rulemakings

Phone lines are jammed within our industry as everyone continues to struggle to understand the EPA's recently proposed rulemakings for the next steps in the phaseout of R-22. While everyone in the industry who read the pre-charged ban rule interprets it as saying that the sale or distribution of 22-using equipment after Jan. 1, 2010 is prohibited, there may be reason to believe that is not the EPA's intention.

The HCFC allocation rule, page 70, states the EPA's intent to define residential split systems condensing units, commercial refrigeration, and industrial process equipment as "manufactured" when finally assembled and the refrigeration charge is completed. This would indicate that equipment used for the repair of existing systems could be sold and installed after January 1, 2010.

We're working to get definitive answers to these questions and apparent inconsistencies. In the meantime, I'm expecting most of our industry to put decisions relating to R-22 equipment and components on hold for at least a few weeks until there is more certainty about what can be made, inventoried, and sold and where it can be installed.

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