WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s acting administrator, Bob Perciasepe, signed off on the final rule governing the allocation of R-22 through 2014, allowing more of the refrigerant than was previously expected.
“The rule allows for millions of pounds more R-22 than was available in 2012,” said refrigerant consultant Ted Gartland, principal, E. Gartland & Associates, Mendon, N.Y., in an email communication. “Suffice it to say that the markets for virgin refrigerant and recovered refrigerants will likely change.”
The rule stipulated that 62.7 million pounds of R-22 would be allowed in 2013 and 51 million pounds in 2014; it retroactively allowed 55.4 million pounds in 2012.
Gartland noted that R-22 is still slated for phaseout in 2020 under the international Montreal Protocol agreement. “We don’t know what 2015 will bring. If the industry is over supplied, it could give the government incentive to slash future production & consumption allowances,” he added. As a result, he advised retailers to “stay the course, conduct your retrofits and lower your leak rates.”
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