HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023
STATE OF HAWAII
A BILL FOR AN ACT
RELATING TO CLIMATE CHANGE MITIGATION.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:
SECTION 1. The legislature finds that hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) are chemicals commonly used in air conditioning, refrigeration, and insulating foam and as propellants. HFCs were designed to replace ozone depleting substances that were harming the planet's protective ozone layer. However, HFCs are now quickly building up in Earth's atmosphere, where they act as greenhouse gases that can have very high global warming potentials that are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide in contributing to climate change. If HFCs continue to be used, it is estimated that they could account for up to twenty per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
The legislature further finds that the United States Congress enacted the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act to limit HFC production and to phase out the use of HFCs by eighty-five per cent over the next fifteen years. This action will support the transition to refrigeration and air conditioning systems that use less damaging HFCs or suitable substitutes with zero to low potential for global warming. As part of the transition to low global warming potential alternative refrigerants, existing systems and their refrigerants must be carefully managed to minimize the impacts on the environment.
The legislature finds that California has implemented a successful refrigerant management program to monitor and reduce emissions of refrigerants with high global warming potential and ozone depleting substances. The California refrigerant management program requires registration, leak inspection, and leak repair requirements for their non-residential stationary appliances, including stationary refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems.
The legislature also finds that a similar state level refrigerant management program in Hawaii would support state greenhouse gas reduction goals and prevent leakage of these harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
Therefore, the purpose of this Act is to establish a Hawaii refrigerant management program designed to:
(1) Reduce emissions of high global warming potential refrigerants and any refrigerant that is an ozone depleting substance from operation of stationary, commercial, and industrial refrigeration equipment;
(2) Require registration and regular leak inspections and reporting for commercial and industrial stationary refrigeration systems that are not equipped with automatic leak detection;
(3) Exempt systems with de minimis charging capacity of high global warming potential refrigerant or ozone depleting substance refrigerant in a single system from registration, leak inspection, and reporting requirements; and
(4) Require service practices for the installation, servicing, repair, and disposal of stationary refrigeration and air conditioning systems that use high global warming potential or ozone depleting substance refrigerants.
SECTION 2. The Hawaii Revised Statutes is amended by adding a new chapter to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
refrigerant management – emissions reduction
§ -1 Definitions. As used in this chapter:
"Air conditioning system" means any stationary air conditioning equipment. "Air conditioning system" does not mean mobile air conditioning, including those used in motor vehicles, rail and trains, aircraft, watercraft, recreational vehicles, recreational trailers, and campers.
"Chlorofluorocarbon" or "CFC" means a class of greenhouse gases that are compounds consisting of chlorine, fluorine, and carbon.
"Department" means the department of health.
"High-GWP refrigerant" means a compound used as a heat transfer fluid or gas that is a chlorofluorocarbon, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon, a hydrofluorocarbon, a perfluorocarbon, or any compound or blend of compounds with global warming potential values that meet or exceed the global warming potential applicability thresholds established by the department.
"Hydrofluorocarbon" or "HFC" means a class of greenhouse gases that are saturated organic compounds containing hydrogen, fluorine, and carbon.
"Refrigeration system" or "refrigeration equipment" means any stationary device that is designed to contain and use refrigerant, including equipment used in retail food, cold storage, and industrial process refrigeration and cooling that does not use a chiller, ice rinks, and other refrigeration applications.
§ -2 Refrigerant management program; establishment; exemptions. (a) The department shall establish a refrigerant management program designed to reduce emissions of high-GWP refrigerants and ozone depleting substance refrigerants from activities or equipment responsible for significant volumes of such emissions, including the operation of stationary commercial and industrial large refrigeration systems and activities to install, service, repair, and dispose of stationary refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems.
(b) The refrigerant management program shall require regular leak inspections and reporting for stationary commercial and industrial refrigeration systems that are not equipped with automatic leak detection.
(c) A commercial and industrial refrigeration system with a de minimis charging capacity in a single system shall be exempt from the registration, leak inspection, and reporting requirements of this chapter.
(d) Refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems that use refrigerants with a global warming potential less than the global warming potential thresholds established by the department and that are not ozone depleting substances shall be exempt from the registration, leak inspection, and reporting requirements of this chapter.
(e) The refrigerant management program shall require service practices for the installation, servicing, repair, and disposal of stationary refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems.
(f) The department may require compliance with this chapter no earlier than January 1, 2025.
(g) The department may exempt refrigeration systems associated with de minimis emissions from the requirements of this chapter.
§ -3 Rules. (a) The department shall adopt rules in accordance with chapter 91 necessary for the purposes of this chapter.
(b) The rules shall apply to operations that utilize high-GWP refrigerants and refrigerants that are ozone depleting substances.
(c) The rules shall include the following:
(1) Establishment of:
(A) De minimis charging capacity level;
(B) Global warming potential threshold values; and
(C) Leak rate thresholds;
(2) Annual registration requirements for each owner or operator of a stationary commercial and industrial refrigeration system that utilizes a high-GWP refrigerant or ozone depletion substance refrigerant and exceeds the de minimis charging capacity level;
(3) Refrigerant leak detection, monitoring, and reporting requirements for stationary commercial and industrial refrigeration systems that utilize a high-GWP refrigerant or ozone depletion substance refrigerant and exceed the de minimis charging capacity level;
(4) Requirements for reporting leaks above the applicable leak rate threshold and submitting the leak repair verification test results, or submitting a retrofit or retirement plan, including a timeline for the retrofit or retirement and disposal of retired refrigeration equipment;
(5) Record retention requirements for owners and operators of facilities and technicians servicing equipment that contain and use refrigerant;
(6) Service practices for the installation, servicing, repair, and disposal of stationary appliances, including stationary refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems; and
(7) Implementation and enforcement of the refrigerant management program, including penalties for violations of this chapter.
(d) The department may establish by rule annual fees that adequately cover the direct and indirect costs to develop, support, and administer the refrigerant management program."
SECTION 3. Chapter 107, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding two new sections to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:
"§107- State building code; hydrofluorocarbons; update. When adopting, amending, or updating the codes and standards identified in section 107-25, the council shall establish codes and standards that are consistent with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with hydrofluorocarbons.
§107- Refrigerant use. Notwithstanding any other law to the contrary, no law, rule, ordinance, or code, including the state building code, shall prohibit or limit the use of a refrigerant designated as acceptable for use pursuant to title 42 United States Code section 7671k; provided that any equipment containing the refrigerant is listed and installed in accordance with appropriate safety standards and use conditions."
SECTION 4. There is appropriated out of the general revenues of the State of Hawaii the sum of $ or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2023-2024 and the same sum or so much thereof as may be necessary for fiscal year 2024-2025 for the establishment of a refrigerant management program to reduce emissions of hydrofluorocarbon refrigerants and chlorofluorocarbon cooling agents from activities or equipment responsible for significant volumes of such emissions.
The sums appropriated shall be expended by the department of health for the purposes of this Act.
SECTION 5. New statutory material is underscored.
SECTION 6. This Act shall take effect on July 1, 3000.
Refrigerant Management Program; High Global Warming Potential Refrigerants; Ozone Depletion Substances; Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction; State Building Code; Appropriation
Requires the department of health to establish a refrigerant management program to reduce emissions of high global warming potential refrigerants and any refrigerant that is an ozone depleting substance from stationary, commercial, and industrial refrigeration systems and air conditioning systems and adopt rules for the regulation of the use of such refrigerants. Requires the state building code council to establish codes and standards consistent with the goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions associated with hydrofluorocarbons when updating the state building code. Specifies that no law, rule, ordinance, or code, including the state building code, shall prohibit or limit the use of a refrigerant deemed acceptable under federal law. Appropriates funds. Effective 7/1/3000. (HD1)
The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.