Manufacturers are eager to work with the Environmental Protection Agency on phasing out and replacing hydrofluorocarbons, a key refrigerant compound, in order to mitigate climate change, but they need realistic phasedown timelines and assurances regarding replacements, the NAM told the agency this week.
What’s going on: Manufacturers have been at the forefront of the movement to replace HFCs with more environmentally friendly alternatives, NAM Senior Director of Energy and Resources Policy Nile Elam told the EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation Monday.
- To help them comply with the NAM-supported American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020, which mandates the HFC phasedown, manufacturers require “continued coordination and transparency” when it comes to alternatives.
- These include hydrofluoroolefins, or HFOs, which “utilize chemistries related to poly- and perfluoroalkyl compounds,” or PFAS. The EPA is considering listing some PFAS substances as hazardous.
- “[I]t is imperative that any outlook regarding HFC phasedowns are done in [a way] complementary to similar PFAS actions that do not inadvertently limit implementation of certain HFOs,” said Elam.
Why it’s important: Without coordination between the EPA and manufacturing stakeholders, the HFC phasedown “may be derailed” and “successful market alternatives” could be undermined.
The last word: Said Elam, “Agency collaboration with all relevant industrial sectors, with a keen focus on achievable timelines and forecasting potential market challenges, is key towards avoiding unintended consequences to lifesaving healthcare processes, agriculture and mining production, unique commercial refrigerant systems and much more.”