Recently one of our clients released an article that outlines the phase-out of R22 refrigerant starting January 2020 and the environmental reason behind it. Below is the full article:
As a result of the Montreal Protocol of 1987, Canada committed to reducing the emission of Ozone- Depleting Substances (ODSs) through the control of production and consumption of a number chemicals used in the manufacture of aerosol sprays, blowing agents for foams and packing materials, solvents, and refrigerants. Since the Montreal Protocol was signed, it has been amended several times to include the phase-out of additional substances and to advance some of their phase-out schedule dates.
Canada initially implemented the Ozone Depleting Substances Regulation, 1998 as a response to the Montreal Protocol. In 2016, by way of the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) were added to the list of prohibited substances, not because they are an ODS, but due to their potent greenhouse gas characteristics. HFCs have been frequently used in air conditioning systems and as refrigerants in place of the older Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) such as R-12 and Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) such as R-21. The prohibition of HFCs is meant to strengthen the Montreal Protocol’s role in positively affecting climate change by reducing consumption of HFCs by 85% by 2036.
The Ozone Depleting Substances Regulation was subsequently repealed and replaced by the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations, made under the authority of the Canadian
Environmental Protection Act, 1999 and came into force on December 29, 2016. The new regulations include prohibitions on the import, export, manufacture, sale, and use of Methyl Bromide and HCFCs. The rule also requires that permits be obtained for the import, export, and manufacture of HFCs and that reports on these activities be submitted. The Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations also included the introduction of a permitting and reporting system for HFCs and the prohibition of the import of refrigerant that contains HCFCs and HFCs in non-refillable containers.
The purpose of the Ozone-depleting Substances and Halocarbon Alternatives Regulations (the Regulations) is to control the export, import, manufacture, sale and specific uses of ozone-depleting substances and products containing or designed to contain them. The Regulations also control the import, export, and manufacturing of HFCs by requiring a permit for each of these activities and submission of an annual report.
The Regulation applies to substances whether existing alone or in a mixture that are set out in Schedule 1 of the Regulation are specified on the List of Toxic Substances in Schedule 1, and products containing or designed to contain those substances. A phase-out schedule, by equipment type, is provided in Schedule 1.1 of the regulation. Copies of Schedule 1 and 1.1 are attached to this memorandum for reference. Environment Canada Regulations regarding the phase of HCFC take effect on January 1st, 2020. For example, HVAC systems that use R22 refrigerant, which is an HCFC, cannot be recharged if a leak occurs.
Production and import of R22 will be continually reduced by law until 2020 when all production and import of HCFCs will be banned. However, an exemption will allow the import and manufacture of HCFC-123 for the servicing of existing equipment in the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector to continue until 2030. In addition to the Federal regulations, additional phase-out requirements for CFCs and HCFCs were established in some provinces. Please refer to the specific needs of your Provincial jurisdiction (available through the Compliance section of EnviroLink), or contact the Environmental Affairs Department for more information as it relates to specific provincial requirements. In areas with an absence of Provincial regulations, the Federal regulations apply to Morguard properties in Canada.