Bill Memo: Extended Producer Responsibility for Refrigerants
Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are present in many common household appliances and pose an imminent threat to our environment. This legislation would hold producers accountable for managing refrigerant waste from appliances at the end of their useful life. We have already seen the benefits of EPR policy In New York City, and a statewide EPR policy would reduce ozone depleting substances in the atmosphere, reduce refrigerant contamination from landfills, and cut costs for the state.
In 2022, the Climate Action Council finalized their scoping plan with detailed policy recommendations for implementing the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. It specifically recommends an Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) policy for refrigerant manufacturers, which is what this legislation seeks to accomplish. Manufacturers of refrigerant containing appliances will be required to establish collection and recycling programs which will protect our environment from harmful refrigerant waste and greenhouse gas emissions.
Large household appliances such as air conditioners, refrigerators, freezers, and dehumidifiers contain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). These substances are both ozone depleting and greenhouse gases that are thousands of times more damaging than carbon and methane. When these appliances are not disposed of properly, the materials are released into the atmosphere, contributing to the climate crisis.
There are currently no statewide EPR programs in place for producers of these appliances, so they are typically disposed of in landfills where they contaminate the air, land, and water. Rather than treating these materials as conventional waste, EPR programs can recycle them, which would protect our natural resources and save municipalities revenue by shifting the responsibility to producers. In 2014, New York City enacted the first ever EPR law to safely manage refrigerant appliances. Over time, manufacturers collected more than 90,000 products and saved the city more than $1.3 million.
Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Substantial Benefit
Memo #: 36