Wednesday, January 9, 2013

EPA Issues Temporary R-22 Waiver

This afternoon the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a No Action Assurance Letter to the manufacturers and importers of R-22, which now allows for the production and importation of the refrigerant. Because the regulation responsible for governing the allocation of R-22 has not been finalized, manufacturers and importers were unable to make or bring new product into the United States (effective January 1, 2013), until this letter was received or the rule was finalized. This No Action Assurance Letter is valid until December 31, 2013 or until the R-22 Allocation rule is finalized by the EPA, whichever comes first.

It had been anticipated that the No Action Assurance Letter would limit importation and production of R-22 to approximately 45 million pounds in 2013, as proposed in the Allocation rule, however the letter issued today allows for roughly 39 million pounds to be produced or imported. This difference of approximately 6 million pounds would allow for potential recoupment of lost allocation rights by Arkema and Solvay, who were found to have been improperly denied allocation rights in a previous period.

What Distributors Need to Know Today: Your suppliers can once again produce and import R-22, albeit at levels slightly lower than had been anticipated. An additional 6 million pounds of R-22 is likely to be allowed upon completion of the Allocation rule (approximately April 1, 2013), although it is not yet clear how those rights would be divided amongst companies. HARDI will continue to update members as developments occur.

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