EPA’s New Refrigeration Leak-Rate Rule Expected This Year

Dave Godwin, environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, said the agency expects that its proposed revision of its leak-rate regulation for supermarket refrigeration will be released later this year.

ORLANDO, Fla. — Dave Godwin, environmental engineer for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Washington, said the agency expects that its proposed revision of its leak-rate regulation for supermarket refrigeration will be released later this year. He provided this update Tuesday at the Food Marketing Institute’s Energy & Technical Services Conference here. Currently, food retailers must address and report any annual leak rate of 35% or greater in refrigeration systems; Godwin said the rate will be lowered, though he declined to be specific. “We do realize the industry is waiting for this rule, and we’re trying our best,” he said. Godwin said that a proposed rule for R-22 refrigerant supplier allowances and a definition of new equipment is also expected from the agency this year, and a final rule should arrive in 2009. EPA is also planning to release a proposed ban on the sales and distribution of equipment — such as soft-drink dispensers used at checkout lanes — that is pre-charged with R-22. He acknowledged that the presidential election could affect the delivery date of these rules.

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