In February of 2020, the Baker-Polito administration announced that Massachusetts would be joining the U.S. Climate Alliance, which now includes 25 states and territories. As part of this announcement, Governor Charlie Baker indicated that Massachusetts would be enacting state specific regulations to prohibit the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in certain end uses within the state due to their high global warming potential. HFCs such as R-134a, R-407C, and R-410A are commonly used in refrigerant systems, air conditioners, aerosols, and foams. On September 30, 2020, Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection (MassDEP) released its proposed HFC rule, 310 CMR 7.76, which introduces Prohibitions on Use of Certain Hydrofluorocarbons in Refrigeration, Chillers, Aerosol Propellants, and Foam End-Uses. Massachusetts is one of the first states to release draft HFC standards. Other states that have developed draft regulations include California, Delaware, and New York.
The proposed regulation prohibits the sale, lease, rental, offer for sale, installation , use, or manufacture by manufacturers, distributors, vendors, and other entities of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in refrigeration equipment, air conditioning chillers, aerosol propellants, and foams that are manufactured or used in Massachusetts. The rule does not require currently functioning equipment to be replaced or altered. The proposed regulation requires manufacturers of applicable equipment to provide a disclosure statement to end-users and to maintain records for five years. The prohibitions would become effective on various dates starting on January 1, 2021 to January 1, 2024. The effective dates are dependent on the end use sector and on corresponding dates set out in US EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) rules 20 and 21. More details on the proposed rule are available on MassDEP's website.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, MassDEP will hold a public hearing for the proposed HFC rule via conference call on October 23, 2020 at 10 AM (EDT). The conference call details are below:
You can also dial in using your phone:
United States: +1 571.317.3122
Access Code: 334-496-989
Written comments for the proposed regulation must be submitted by 5 PM on November 3, 2020. All comments must be submitted by email to email@example.com or by mail to:
Emily Lamb, MassDEP
One Winter Street, 6th Floor
Boston, MA 02108.