Photo 179458266 © David Spates |
Refrigerant Charging 649b0793c9616

DC Court to EPA: "YOU'RE Out of Order!"

June 27, 2023
Technicians will be spared extreme physical challenges and all will be spared from a draconian tracking system.

Alexandria, VA (June 22, 2023) - In what is a major victory for the HVACR contracting industry, The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled in favor of a lawsuit that had been brought by ACCA, Heating, Air Conditioning & Refrigeration Distributors International (HARDI), Pluming-Heating-Cooling Contractors National Association (PHCC) and Worthington Industries, a manufacturer of refillable and disposable cylinders, by striking down provisions of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) allocation rule that would ban the use of non-refillable cylinders and require QR code tracking of refrigerant cylinders. The Court's final opinion on the lawsuit can be read here

"ACCA is thrilled that the Courts sided with us in the lawsuit on the disposable cylinder ban and QR code tracking," saidBarton
James, ACCA president & CEO. "We knew the EPA was overstepping its authority with this ban and tracking method, so partnering with other leading trade associations to fight against it was an easy decision. With this big win, contractors will not have to wastefully spend money on new equipment when there is already an option available that works with their current setup. ACCA is proud of this win, and we will continue to fight for contractors to be able to run profitable businesses without burdensome regulations."

Forcing contractors and distributors to revert to the use and handling of non-refillable refrigerant cylinders would have imposed severe burdens on business operations, as well as physical and possible health hazards to all person who handle them, due to the much greater weight of those cylinders. Additionally, tracking the circuitous route cylinders take from contractor to recycling centers and back again would have required extra time and costs on business owners.  

HARDI sources reported, the lawsuit argued that EPA lacked the legal authority to implement the refillable cylinder and QR-code rules. Judge Justin Walker noted, “We agree. The EPA has not identified a provision of the AIM Act giving it the authority to require refillable cylinders or a QR-code tracking system.”         

The EPA is allowed to appeal the decision.

For more information about ACCA, ACCA's advocacy efforts, or the EPA lawsuit win, please contact Melissa Broadus, ACCA director of member communications and committee liaison, at [email protected] or (703) 824-8842.

About the Author

Terry McIver | Content Director - CB

A career publishing professional, Terence 'Terry' McIver has served three diverse industry publications in varying degrees of responsibility since 1987, and worked in marketing communications for a major U.S. corporation.He joined the staff of Contracting Business magazine in April 2005.

As director of content for Contracting Business, he produces daily content and feature articles for CB's 38,000 print subscribers and many more Internet visitors. He has written hundreds, if not two or three, pieces of news, features and contractor profile articles for CB's audience of quality HVACR contractors. He can also be found covering HVACR industry events or visiting with manufacturers and contractors. He also has significant experience in trade show planning.