Colorado’s HFC Refrigerant Rules

Colorado’s HFC Refrigerant Rules

If you’re looking to make decisions about a store or restaurant’s refrigeration and/or air-conditioning equipment in the near-term in Colorado, then you should be aware of the new Colorado HFC regulation, which contains phase out dates.

While numerous states now have their own HFC regulations, what makes Colorado differentiating from some of them is the fact that these HFC requirements affect manufacturers and end-users. This means that business, such as supermarkets, grocery stores, cold storage warehouses, and restaurants, may need to comply with this new law.

As such, in this post, we’re going to explain the requirements for the Colorado HFC regulation; how they could change refrigerant usage trends; and how they could impact your operational planning over the next several years.

Colorado’s New Regulation 22

In May of 2020, the Colorado Air Quality Control Commission adopted Regulation 22, a new rulemaking that has greenhouse gas (GHG) reporting and emission reduction requirements. The latter half of the regulation—the emission reduction requirements—impact certain refrigeration and air-conditioning (RAC) equipment.

Before delving into the details of those HFC requirements a part of Regulation 22, here’s some important background information to know about the regulation’s purpose and why it was unanimously adopted by the State of Colorado.

Background

The State of Colorado is a member of the U.S. Climate Alliance, and each member state makes several commitments, one of which is to reduce GHG emissions by at least 26-28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025.

HFC refrigerants are an important part of these GHG emission reduction efforts. That’s because HFC refrigerants are a fast growing source of GHGs in states, like Colorado, and in the world (i.e., increasing 10-15% a year globally).

And so thus HFC requirements are a focal point of Regulation 22. Now, Regulation 22 has two main parts: GHG reporting (Part A) and GHG emission reduction requirements (Part B).

The HFC requirements are found in the second part on GHG emission reduction requirements, Part B.

 

HFC Emission Reduction Requirements

The HFC reduction rule, Part B, is meant to reduce HFC emissions in the State of Colorado; it contains the HFC requirements and phase out dates, akin to EPA SNAP Rules 20 and 21, that pertain to their use and manufacturing.

Applicability

It applies to “any person, who on or after June 1, 2020, sells, offers for sale, leases, rents, installs, uses, or manufactures in the State of Colorado for any product or equipment that uses or will use a prohibited substances.”

Notice, the word use here, signifying that this regulation not only impacts certain manufacturers but also certain end-users.

“Use” Includes Consumption by End-Users

Indeed, if we look to I.B.49, you will find the word use defined.

“‘Use’ means any utilization of any substances, including but not limited to utilization in a manufacturing process or product in the State of Colorado, consumption by the end-users in the State of Colorado.” (I.B.49.)

This definition of use aligns with the federal EPA SNAP Program‘s definition at 40 CFR 82.172. Keeping this in mind, let’s now delve into specifics of the HFC prohibitions

 

Prohibition Dates

For the refrigeration and air-conditioning end-uses categories, Tables 1 and 2, respectively, provide the prohibited substances by end-use and the effective dates; such a format mirrors the prohibitions found in EPA SNAP Rules 20 and 21.

The dates of prohibition do not correspond exactly to the dates found in EPA SNAP Rules 20 and 21. Some have been pushed back later and changed.

Nonetheless, the effective dates shouldn’t be too surprising if you were following the federal EPA SNAP Program’s Rules 20 and 21 and the corresponding EPA SNAP Lawsuit.

 

Refrigeration

Table 1

End-Use Prohibited HFCs Date of Prohibition
Cold Storage
Warehouses (New)
HFC-227ea, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-423A, R-424A, R428A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition Jan. 1, 2023

(same date found in SNAP Rule 21)

Household
Refrigerators &
Freezers (New)
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-03 Jan. 1, 2022*
Household
Refrigerators &
Freezers—
Compact (New)
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-03 Jan. 1, 2021*
Household
Refrigerators &
Freezers—Built-in
(New)
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-03 Jan. 1, 2023*
Supermarket
Systems (Retrofit)
R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R428A, R-434A, R-507A Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP Rule 20)

Supermarket
Systems (New)
HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, R-507A Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP Rule 20)

Remote
Condensing Units
(Retrofit)
R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R428A, R-434A, R-507A Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP Rule 20)

Remote
Condensing Units
(New)
HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, R-507A Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP Rule 20)

Stand-alone Units
(Retrofit)
R-404A, R-507A Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP Rule 20)

Stand-alone
Medium Temperature Units
(New)
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003
formulation), SP34E, THR-03
Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP Rule 20)

Stand-alone Low Temperature Units
(New)
HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-428A, R434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 formulation) Jan. 1, 2021

(later than SNAP 20)

Refrigerated Food
Processing &
Dispensing
Equipment (New)
HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/ 290/ 134a/ 600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 formulation) Jan. 1, 2021

(same date found in SNAP Rule 21)

The cold storage warehouse (new) and refrigerated food processing & dispensing equipment (new) end-uses have the same date of prohibitions as originally found in SNAP Rule 21. For the most part, the other the end-uses in Table 1 have later dates of prohibition than that found in SNAP Rules 20 and 21.

*Unlike SNAP Rule 21, the household refrigerators & freezers end-use has been separated into three parts:

  • compact — 2021
  • non-compact or built-in — 2022
  • built-in — 2023.

The State of California utilizes the same segmentation and effective dates for this end-use in the CARB HFC rulemaking.

 

Air-Conditioning

Table 2

End-Use Prohibited HFCs Date of Prohibition
Centrifugal Chillers (New) FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, HFC-236fa,
HFC245fa, R-125/ 134a/ 600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/ 290/
134a/ 600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-410A,R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D,R-423A, R-424A, R-434A,R438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), THR-03
Jan. 1, 2024

(same date as SNAP Rule 21)

Positive Displacement Chillers (New) FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R125/
134a/ 600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/ 290/ 134a/ 600a
(55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-410A, R-410B, R417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-434A, R-437A, R438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), SP34E, THR-03
Jan. 1, 2024

(same date as SNAP Rule 21)

The air-conditioning end-uses listed in Table 2 have the same date of prohibitions (i.e., Jan. 1, 2024) as originally found in SNAP Rule 21. (It should be noted that manufacturers of positive displacement chillers have an alternative compliance option, which we go into more detail below.)

 

Important Caveats for End-Users and Manufacturers

After looking over the HFC prohibitions for the refrigeration and air-conditioning end-use categories, you’re probably wondering what this means for your operational planning, so here’s some important caveats and takeaways to pay attention to now.

Effective Dates Are Not Retroactive

For one, the regulation makes the following clear: If a person acquired a product or equipment containing a prohibited substance prior to the applicable date of prohibition, one does not have to cease use of that product or equipment. The same is true for products or equipment manufactured. (See I.c.2.a of the regulation.)

Manufacturers of Positive Displacement Chillers Have Alternative Compliance

Second, unlike SNAP Rules 20 and 21, there is an alternative compliance option for a manufacturer of positive displacement chillers in the State of Colorado. (See I.C.3.)

 

Ensure to Plan Accordingly 

Well, that concludes the requirements of the Colorado HFC regulation. Ultimately, it’s important to ensure that you and your team aren’t caught off guard by these new requirements, and therefore plan accordingly and wisely.

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