The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has proposed to ban R134a in new vehicles and most HFC refrigerants from road and marine transport refrigeration from 2025.
Under the proposal, a GWP limit of 150 will be placed on automotive air-conditioning systems and a GWP limit of 700 on transport refrigeration systems. If approved, the rules will come under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act and will apply to equipment made in the United States, as well as imports.
R134a will be effectively banned from light and medium passenger vehicles, heavy-duty pick-up trucks, heavy-duty vans and off-highway vehicles.
A raft of high-GWP HFCs and refrigerant blends will be banned from road and marine transport refrigeration systems, including the widely used R404a. Similar bans will apply to most stationary equipment, which depending on category will have a GWP limit of between 150 and 700.
This legislation empowers the EPA to manage the United States HFC phase-down in line with Kigali Amendment commitments to an 85 per cent cut in national HFC production and consumption by 2036.
Also among the EPA’s responsibilities under the AIM Act are increasing refrigerant reclamation and preventing the release of refrigerant from equipment, while the sector-based GWP restrictions in this proposal play to the EPA’s role in helping the transition to low-GWP technologies.
It is proposed that the manufacture and import of products containing restricted HFCs are banned by January 1, 2025, followed by a ban on the sale, distribution, and export of products containing restricted by January 1, 2026, estimated to reduce CO2-equivalent emissions by 903 million tonnes by 2050.