Prohibitions on Certain HFCs in Refrigeration, Chillers, Aerosol Propellants and Foam End-Uses

Chiller

On December 20, 2020, the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) promulgated amendment 310 CMR 7.76 under the Air Pollution Control regulations 310 CMR 7.00. This amendment regulates certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) used in the following end-uses: refrigeration, air conditioning/chillers, aerosol propellants, and foam. HFCs are a class of greenhouse gases that are saturated organic compounds containing hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon, and are commonly found in the listed end-uses. The ultimate goal of this regulation is to achieve greenhouse gas emissions reductions in the state of Massachusetts.

The regulation prohibits those in Massachusetts who sell, lease, rent, offer for sale, install, use or manufacture any product or equipment that uses or will use a prohibited HFC substance in the specific end-uses listed in 310 CMR 7.76(6) unless an exemption is provided for the end-use as listed in 310 CMR 7.76(7).

Prohibitions phase in over the time period from January 1, 2021 to January 1, 2024 based on the end-use sector. However, please note the following:

  • Products or equipment manufactured prior to the applicable effective date of the prohibitions (including foam systems not yet applied on site) may be sold, imported, exported, distributed, installed, and used on or after the effective date of prohibition;

  • The regulation does not require a person that acquired a product or equipment containing a prohibited substance prior to an effective date of prohibition to cease use of that product or equipment;

  • Existing functional products and equipment are not required to be replaced under the regulation, and can continue to be used, serviced, and repaired. However, several circumstances would subject existing products and equipment to the regulation:

    • Retrofitting: If existing equipment is retrofitted (replacement of one type of refrigerant with a different type of refrigerant), it cannot be retrofitted to use a refrigerant that is prohibited on the day of the retrofit.
    • Expansion: Equipment that is expanded by the addition of components to increase system capacity after the effective date of prohibition would be considered new and subject to the regulation. If existing equipment is expanded, it cannot be expanded to use a refrigerant that is prohibited on the day of expansion.
    • Cumulative replacement: Products or equipment replaced or cumulatively replaced, such that the cumulative capital cost of replacement exceeds 50% of the capital cost of replacing the whole system, would be considered new and subject to the regulation.

Furthermore, the regulation requires manufacturers to label applicable end-use products to enable buyers to ensure they purchase compliant products. Manufacturers of applicable end-use products and equipment are required to maintain records for five years that demonstrate that the product or equipment does not contain the prohibited HFCs or that the product or equipment is exempt from the prohibitions.

 

CAPPACIO Environmental Engineering, Inc. is here to listen to your needs and provide guidance on this new amendment. Please contact Christine Silverman at csilverman@capaccio.com for help in assessing potential impacts to your company or to discuss with you our EHS-Dashboard™ which can be used to efficiently track records and inventory HFCs and other chemicals to alert you of approaching regulatory triggers.