The 2010 HCFC Regulations
In December 2009, EPA published two rules that together restrict the availability and use of HCFCs (including R-22) in 2010. One rule allocates allowances for the production and import of HCFCs. The other rule bans the sale or distribution (including import and export) of pre-charged air-conditioning and refrigeration products and components containing HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b.
- 2010 HCFC Allocation Rule (242 KB, 38 pp., About PDF)
- Pre-Charged Appliances Rule (163 KB, 19 pp., About PDF)
- Frequently Asked Questions Concerning the HCFC Phaseout
2010 HCFC Allocation Rule
The first rule sets HCFC production and import limits for the
period 2010-2014 in order to meet the 2010
phasedown caps under the Montreal Protocol. Over the 5 control periods (each
calendar year is a control period), this rule allocates HCFC
allowances totaling 12,355 ozone-depleting potential (ODP)-weighted metric
tons for consumption and 11,621 ODP tons for production.
This rule issues fewer HCFC-22
allocations each year between 2010-2014. This decrease reflects the declining
demand projected for HCFC-22. Existing regulations allow
production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b after January 1, 2010, only to service
equipment manufactured before January 1, 2010, i.e. existing equipment. EPA is also
and production allowances for HCFC-123, HCFC-124, HCFC-225ca, and HCFC-225cb. In addition, the allocation rule amends the regulatory provisions concerning allowances
for HCFC production for developing countries’ basic domestic needs.
Finally, the rule includes a restriction on HCFC use, as detailed below.
EPA issues allowances to specific companies, and continues to provide flexibility by allowing EPA-approved trades of allowances between HCFCs and between companies.
Pre-Charged Appliances Rule
The second rule complements the 2010 HCFC Allocation rule. The
Pre-Charged Appliances rule bans the sale or distribution of
pre-charged air-conditioning and refrigeration products and components
containing HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, or blends containing one or both of these
substances, beginning January 1, 2010. The ban applies to
appliances and components manufactured on or after January 1, 2010, but not
to appliances or components manufactured before that date. While the 2010
Allocation Rule, along with existing requirements at 40 CFR 82.16(c), has the effect of prohibiting U.S. manufacturers from charging
newly-manufactured appliances with virgin HCFC-22 or
HCFC-142b beginning January 1, 2010, the Pre-Charged Appliances rule affects
the sale and distribution of products that are charged with HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b
before entering the United States.
Regulating the sale of pre-charged appliances is warranted. On average, about 9.5
million pre-charged air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances (such as
window air-conditioners, upright freezers, and refrigerators) were imported
into the United States each year between 2006 and 2008. Considered together with pre-charged
appliances that were manufactured domestically, they represent a concern for
ozone layer recovery.
The Pre-Charged Appliances rule applies the same restrictions for appliances to pre-charged components, such as line-sets and pre-charged condensing units. When sold charged with refrigerants, these components present the same concerns as the pre-charged appliances.
How Would the Rules Work Together?
The two rules contain some important terms that affect their applicability.
“Appliance” means any device which contains and uses a refrigerant and which is used for household or commercial purposes, including any air-conditioner, refrigerator, chiller, or freezer. Components such as condensing units, line sets, and thermostatic expansion valves are not considered “appliances.”
“Manufactured prior to January 1, 2010” for an appliance, means the date upon which the appliance’s refrigerant circuit is complete, the appliance can function, the appliance holds a full refrigerant charge, and the appliance is ready for use for its intended purposes. For a pre-charged appliance component, this means the date that such component is completely produced by the original equipment manufacture, charged with refrigerant, and is ready for initial sale or distribution in interstate commerce.
“Interstate commerce” means the product’s entire distribution chain up to and including the point of sale to the ultimate consumer. It includes the sale or distribution of imported products within the United States, as well as the sale or distribution of products intended for export.
Starting January 1, 2010, the two rules will have the following effects on the sale, distribution, and installation of air-conditioning and refrigeration products charged with HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, or blends containing one or both of these substances:
Sale and distribution of appliances pre-charged with HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b is allowed for self-contained, factory-charged appliances such as pre-charged window units, packaged terminal air-conditioners (PTACs), and some commercial refrigeration units, if manufactured before January 1, 2010. The pre-charged appliance rule does not prohibit sale and distribution of pre-2010 inventory (i.e., stockpiled inventories).
Sale and distribution of appliances pre-charged with HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b is not allowed for self-contained, factory-charged appliances such as pre-charged window units, packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs), and some commercial refrigeration units, if manufactured on or after January 1, 2010. This prohibition, which is contained in the pre-charged appliance rule, applies regardless of when the refrigerant was produced and whether it is virgin or reclaimed. Under the allocation rule, neither stockpiled HCFC-22 produced prior to January 1, 2010, nor new HCFC-22 produced after that date can be used to manufacture new appliances on or after January 1, 2010.
Sale and distribution of appliance components pre-charged with HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b is allowed if the components (e.g. condensing units, line sets, and coils that are charged with refrigerant) were manufactured before January 1, 2010. The pre-charged appliance rule does not prohibit sale and distribution of pre-2010 inventory (i.e., stockpiled inventories).
Pre-charged components manufactured before January 1, 2010, may be used to service appliances manufactured before January 1, 2010, but may not be assembled to create new appliances unless there is no use of virgin HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b, in the components or otherwise. The allocation rule prohibits use of virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b in manufacturing new appliances.
There is no exemption from the pre-charged appliance rule for the sale or distribution of pre-charged appliances and pre-charged components that are charged with reclaimed HCFC-22 or HCFC-142b refrigerant. In other words, the provisions banning sale and distribution apply equally regardless of whether the appliances or components contain virgin or reclaimed refrigerant.
Under the allocation rule, virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b may only be used to service existing appliances. Virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b may not be used to manufacture new pre-charged appliances or appliance components. Virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b also may not be used to charge new appliances assembled onsite on or after January 1, 2010, though new appliances (not pre-charged) may be charged with reclaimed refrigerant.
EPA is providing an exception to the allocation rule that allows virgin HCFC-22 to be used in the onsite “manufacture” of appliances for a particular project between January 1, 2010, and December 31, 2011, if the components have been specified for use at that project under a building permit or contract dated before January 1, 2010.
Under the allocation rule, HCFC-22 produced prior to January 1, 2010, may be used until January 1, 2015, for the manufacture of thermostatic expansion valves (TXVs) and medical equipment.
The sale and distribution of used appliances is not affected by either rule.
What Are the Alternatives to HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b?
The Significant New Alternatives Policy program has identified a number of alternatives by industrial sector and end use.