In reaction to appeals court ruling, a public workshop on Oct. 24 will look at continuing EPA’s HFC delistings for stationary refrigeration and air conditioning end uses in California.
Pamela Gupta, CARB
The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a public workshop on October 24 to discuss beginning a rulemaking process to adopt into state regulations the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule prohibitions of HFCs in stationary refrigeration and air conditioning end uses.
The workshop will also further evaluate the proposed HFC mitigation strategies identified in CARB’s adopted Short Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Strategy for potential future rulemakings.
The rulemaking to adopt the SNAP program’s bans on HFCs is in response to a U.S. Court of Appeals 2-1 panel ruling on August 8 that the EPA cannot require companies to replace HFCs designated for HVAC&R equipment with low-GWP substances under the SNAP program.
The EPA has not so far responded to the ruling, but on September 22 the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and refrigerant manufacturers Chemours and Honeywell asked the full federal appeals court in Washington, D.C., to rehear and reverse the panel’s ruling. In addition, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra has filed an amicus brief supporting the requests for review on behalf of the people of California, CARB, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and a coalition of 10 attorneys general.
“Although CARB is actively defending these [SNAP rules] in court, and believes that the federal program is the preferred path to achieve these reductions, it must consider state law alternatives as well in order to reach state [HFC] reduction targets,” said CARB in a notice of public workshop last week, authored by Michael FitzGibbon, chief, Atmospheric Science and Climate Strategies Branch Research Division.
CARB will only consider stationary refrigeration and air conditioning end uses in the proposed regulation, though additional sectors, such as residential refrigerator-freezers and motor-vehicle air-conditioning, could be addressed separately.
CARB is required under California statute SB 1383 to reduce HFCs by 40% below 2013 baseline levels by 2030. To that end, in March of 2017, the agency approved its SLCP Strategy for reducing emissions of SCLPs (which include HFCs) in California. The SLCP Strategy anticipated California could rely on federal rules to meet a large portion of SB 1383’s HFC reduction goals – an assumption undermined by the court ruling on HFCs.
CARB’s public workshop will be held on October 24, 2017 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at the CalEPA Headquarters Building, 2nd Floor, Sierra Hearing Room, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, Calif., 95814. In addition, a live video/audio webcast will be available beginning at 10:00 AM on October 24, 2017 at https://video.calepa.ca.gov/. During the workshop, the webcast audience may submit questions and comments using the following E-mail address: email@example.com.
For questions or requests regarding a disability-related reasonable accommodation for the workshop or a request for workshop documents in an alternate format (e.g. Braille, large print) or another language, contact Angel Melendez at (916) 323-4916 as soon as possible, but no later than five business days before the workshop. TTY/TDD/Speech-to Speech users may dial 7-1-1 for the California Relay Service.
Stakeholders can stay current on regulatory developments, future meetings, and timelines by signing up for the list-serve and visiting CARB’s website at: https://www.arb.ca.gov/cc/shortlived/shortlived.htm. The meeting agenda, staff presentation, draft regulatory language, and any other related materials will be posted to the website prior to the workshop. Stakeholders can sign up for the list-serve at: https://public.govdelivery.com/accounts/CARB/subscriber/new?topic_id=CARB_9.
In addition, CARB invites comments on the proposed approaches, which can be submitted to Glenn Gallagher at (916) 327-8041 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Pamela Gupta at (916) 327-0604 or email@example.com, or mailed to the California Air Resources Board, Research Division, 1001 I Street, Sacramento, CA 95814.
“Although CARB is actively defending these [SNAP rules] in court, and believes that the federal program is the preferred path to achieve these reductions, it must consider state law alternatives as well in order to reach state [HFC] reduction targets."
– CARB in a notice of public workshop authored by Michael FitzGibbon