GreenChill Regulatory Context

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Phaseout of Ozone-Depleting Substances

The majority of more than 35,000 retail food establishments (such as supermarkets, grocery stores, supercenters, and wholesale clubs) in the United States use HCFC-22 (also known as R-22) as their primary refrigerant. HCFC-22 is an ozone-depleting substance (ODS), and it is subject to phaseout under the Montreal Protocol, an international treaty to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. EPA regulations under the Clean Air Act (CFR Part 82, Subpart A) lay out a schedule to phaseout the production and import of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) to meet the requirements of the Montreal Protocol.

  • On January 1, 2003, EPA limited how much and who could import/produce HCFC-22.
  • On January 1, 2010, production and import of virgin HCFC-22 was banned in the United States. Exceptions are available for servicing of equipment made before this date (the so-called “servicing tail”), for export, and for processes resulting in transformation or destruction of the substances.
  • On January 1, 2020, all production and import of virgin HCFC-22 will be banned, with exceptions for export and for processes resulting in transformation or destruction.

EPA also bans the import of used HCFC-22 without prior approval from both EPA and the government representing the country of export.

Leak Repairs

Under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, EPA has established mandatory leak repair requirements for refrigeration equipment that exceeds certain leak rates. Specifically, owners of supermarket refrigeration equipment that leaks more than 35% of its ODS refrigerant charge are subject to mandatory leak repair time lines and recordkeeping requirements. These regulatory requirements may include equipment retirement, equipment repair, or conversion to non-ODS refrigerants.

On December 15, 2010, EPA proposed amendments to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. The proposed amendments are published in the Federal Register and are open for public comment through February 14, 2011. You may review and submit comments on the proposed amendments in the public docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2003–0167. For instructions and tips on how to submit your comments on the proposed amendments, see the GreenChill Tips and Guidance on Submitting Official Comments.

Supermarket Industry R-22 Use

Ozone-Depleting Substance Alternatives

International actions related to the protection of stratospheric ozone: