Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) refrigerants, once thought beneficial for the environment, are now better understood to have a detrimental impact on the ozone. CARB’s California Senate Bill 1383 set the goal to reduce emissions from HFC refrigerants to 40 percent below 2013 levels by the year 2030.
While that’s great for the environment, it does create potential obstacles for the foodservice industry. It’s important for businesses to educate themselves on CARB regulations to ensure their equipment and practices are up to date.
What is CARB?
CARB is the acronym that stands for California Air Resources Board. The board is in charge of monitoring and improving air quality in California. CARB also works toward solutions to climate change, while factoring in economic implications. The board is made up of government-appointed members, most of whom serve in staggered six-year terms.
How Regulations in California May Impact Your Business
Companies that require foodservice refrigeration were issued new environmental regulations from CARB effective January 1, 2022. Previous HFC refrigerants for commercial and industrial refrigeration are no longer permitted at new and fully remodeled facilities. For equipment requiring more than 50 pounds of refrigerant, the new regulation requires refrigerants below 150 GWP (global warming potential). Refrigerants must now also be non-fluorinated and free from ammonia and carbon dioxide.
Additionally, industrial process refrigeration facilities that opt for new equipment must use refrigerants below 2,200, and cold storage facilities with new equipment are required to come in below 1,500 GWP.
Existing foodservice facilities must either come in under 1,400 GWP or reduce their GHGP (Greenhouse Gas Protocol) by 55 percent below 2019 levels by 2030.
Other Regulations You Should Stay Up To Date On
The Clean Air Act of 1990 ensured the EPA’s responsibility to identify which substances harm the ozone and pose a threat to human health. The EPA SNAP 23 (Significant New Alternatives Policy) program, in accordance with section 612 of the Clean Air Act, lists both acceptable and unacceptable substances for major industrial use.
This list limits the use of foam blowing agent blends containing HFCs. It also provides 9 substitutes for refrigeration and air conditioning.
Foodservice businesses should also be aware that EPA Section 608 was revised on February 26, 2020. This update withdrew the 2016 extension for leak repair provisions to appliances using HFCs.
Just before that, the American Innovation in Manufacturing Act (AIM) was passed on December 27, 2020. The AIM Act requires the EPA to reduce the production and consumption of listed HFCs, manage these HFCs and their substitutes, and help smoothly transition out of their use and into updated technologies.
A great resource that lists information state by state is the Air-Conditioning, Heating, & Refrigeration Institute, or AHRI. They also provide a list of resources on refrigerants and environmental concerns.
How RDT Eco-Smart Can Help
RDT has been a leader in refrigeration design technologies for over 50 years. Our experts are well-versed in CARB regulations and can create eco-friendly solutions for businesses, or update current systems to become compliant.
The Eco-Smart System from RDT reduces energy use, which not only helps the environment but reduces costs. It also streamlines operations by allowing users to monitor and control settings online via smartphone, computer, or tablet. Additionally, Eco-Smart was designed for easy installation, whether it’s a brand new refrigeration system or an upgrade to an existing system.