California setting the pace once again!

The California Air Resources Board today adopted the nation’s first comprehensive regulation to reduce potent greenhouse gases from commercial and industrial refrigeration systems.

The following is an excerpt from the Board’s press release:

“The rule will reduce greenhouse gas emissions of 8.1 million metric tons of CO2e in 2020. That is equivalent to removing about 1.4 million cars from the road for a year.

Gases used as refrigerants trap heat in the atmosphere at rates thousands of times that of carbon dioxide. A leak of only 1.5 pounds of the most commonly-used refrigerant (referred to as R-22) is the equivalent of releasing a metric ton of carbon dioxide (CO2e). The rule addresses the single largest source in the state of high-potency greenhouse gases by requiring refrigerant leak inspection and repair of large commercial and industrial refrigeration systems.

The regulations apply only to large commercial and industrial systems that use more than 50 pounds of refrigerant for a single unit, roughly the equivalent of the refrigerant found in 100 household refrigerators. This means the rule applies primarily to supermarkets, food and beverage processors, cold storage warehouses, and industrial cooling processes. It does not apply to most bars, restaurants, liquor stores, and office buildings. The rule also does not apply to systems that use ammonia or carbon dioxide as the refrigerant.”

So despite its economic woes, California is once again setting the pace for the rest of the country and the world to follow. It was California that started the cap-and-trade system (RECLAIM) and the Risk Management Plan.

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