The EPA ban on refrigerant cylinders is currently being challenged. Do you know the details? Read this post now to get caught up with what’s going on with the non-refillable refrigerant cylinders ban in the AIM Act.
Important June 20, 2023 Update: On Tuesday, June 20, 2023, the D.C. Circuit struck down these provisions that require refillable cylinders and a QR-code based tracking system.**
EPA Cylinder Ban Overview
The EPA cylinder ban is found in the first rulemaking under the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act (AIM) Act of 2020, otherwise known as the new HFC phasedown law in the United States, which phases down HFC refrigerants over the next 15 years.
In phasing down HFC refrigerants over the next 15 years, the AIM Act directs the EPA to address those HFCs in three ways:
- Phase down production and consumption
- Maximize reclamation and minimize releases from equipment
- Facilitate the transition to next-generation technologies through sector-based restrictions.
The first rulemaking under the AIM Act focuses on #1, phasing down production and consumption. Where it gets complicated, and what you might not be aware of, is the enforcement of that allowance allocation and trading system.
This is where the EPA ban on refrigerant cylinders comes into play. Yes, more specifically, there are certain provisions in this first rulemaking of the AIM Act that called for a ban on the use of nonrefillable refrigerant cylinders and required the use of electronic tracking of HFC containers. Otherwise known as the “EPA cylinder ban.”
These provisions—most notably, the EPA non-refillable cylinder ban—have been challenged by several industry groups, including ACCA, HARDI, among others. The future of the EPA ban on refrigerant cylinders appears to be up in the air. It’s not the first time this industry has seen a contentious lawsuit on refrigerant regulations. Update: A federal appeals court struck down this portion of the AIM Act on Tues., June 20th.
What is the EPA’s cylinder ban?
Here’s a brief overview of what the EPA cylinder ban called for and when. In essence, the EPA established a two-stage approach for transitioning to refillable cylinders:
- Compliance date of January 1, 2025 — For importing or filling disposable cylinders
- Compliance date of January 1, 2027 — For prohibiting the sale and distribution of disposable cylinders
The EPA’s authority to prohibit disposable cylinders has been challenged and struck down by a federal appeals court as of June 20, 2023. Several industry groups filed a lawsuit to challenge the refrigerant cylinder ban and the QR code tracking requirement.
Oversight and Accountability Committee Requests Information from the U.S. EPA on the EPA Ban on Refrigerant Cylinders – February 2023
As of February 2023, this issue in the AIM Act has escalated. According to the CoolingPost.com, a United States House of Representatives committed has “requested documents and communications, as well as a staff-level briefing from the EPA, regarding its actions.”
D.C. Circuit Strikes Down Refillable Cylinder and QR-Code Tracking Requirements – June 2023
After a contentious few months, it’s breaking news that on Tuesday, June 20th, 2023, a federal appeals court struck down these requirements. Stay tuned as this develops.
Learn the Latest on the EPA Ban on Refrigerant Cylinders in our Next Refrigerant Briefing
If you guys were at my last Refrigerant Briefing at the 2023 AHR Expo, I discussed the cylinder ban issue. I will be posting that recorded version, soon. Please connect with me on LinkedIn to learn more: https://www.linkedin.com/in/elizabeth-ortlieb/.
Many HVAC-R stakeholders of all shapes and sizes are asking the question “What’s the EPA cylinder ban?” If you aren’t familiar with it now, you might want to get caught up, as this change could effect the industry for years to come.
We’re monitoring this one closely, and you can check back here to see the latest updates. Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below. Register for my next Refrigerant Briefing event.
We hope you found this blog article useful. At Alpyne Strategy, we’re leading industrial & HVAC marketing, PR, and public affairs. As you may already know, the refrigerant regulatory landscape is becoming more complex, and we are here to help you navigate these issues with custom solutions and strategies for your HVAC business.
Proudly family-owned and operated and headquartered in Murfreesboro, TN, Alpyne Strategy provides marketing solutions for the industrial world.
**The information provided in this blog article does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Instead, all information, content, and materials available in this webinar are for general informational purposes only.