PHCC Joins Industry Lawsuit Against EPA

By Mark Valentini:

PHCC has joined alongside HARDI (Heating, Air-conditioning and Refrigeration Distributors International) and Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) as petitioners in a lawsuit in Federal court (DC Circuit) against the EPA in their rulemaking to ban one-time use cylinders for refrigerants as part of its broader phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Under the rulemaking, EPA seeks to require refrigerant cylinders be recyclable and tracked using a QR code system. The rulemaking puts undue responsibility on contractors and distributors to manage the tracking of these cylinders amongst other issues. PHCC filed comments with the EPA voicing our concerns back in July (see here), ergo we have an established position on this matter.

The lawsuit essentially does the following:

1. Challenges EPA authority: This goes beyond their statutory authority and/or have an overly broad interpretation of what their authority is in this regard under the AIM Act.

2. Argues that the rule is arbitrary and capricious in that it is irrational to expect distributors and contractors to keep track of product to this extent.

3. Argues that this is beyond the intent of Congress when it passed the AIM Act. Customs and Border Protection already ensure that illegal product does not enter the market. Also, the intent of the AIM Act was to put the onus on manufacturers for reporting and it was not meant to trickle down to the bottom of the distribution chain the way EPA intends it.