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Worthington calls for rethink on disposable cylinder ban

USA: Refrigerant cylinder manufacturer Worthington Industries has called on the US EPA to rescind the forthcoming ban on disposable, non-refillable cylinders.

The Ohio-based company has filed a petition for partial administrative reconsideration, asking the agency to rescind the ban on non-refillable cylinders which was included as part of the EPA’s final rule to implement the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act. The AIM Act, signed into law in late 2020, was bipartisan legislation aimed solely at phasing down the production and consumption of specific hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). 

The US final rule effectively prohibits the sale of disposable cylinder after December 31, 2024.

Non-refillable disposable cylinders have been banned in a number of countries, including the EU, Canada and Australia, due to the “heel” of refrigerant that is inevitably left behind when disposed of. Cheap and untraceable, they are also seen as the container of choice for the refrigerant smuggler. 

Worthington maintains that the EPA did not address its concerns regarding the ban’s infeasibility and direct harm to HVAC technicians who often work in elevated, cramped spaces and because of the ban, will be forced to carry cylinders that are four times heavier, likely increasing injuries. 

The company’s petition includes an updated, fully recyclable lightweight cylinder that adds environmental safety technology to address venting issues and will deter smuggling of banned substances through reliance on domestic production capacity.  

Worthington is the only US manufacturer of non-refillable steel cylinders, which are produced at its facilities in Columbus, Ohio and Paducah, Kentucky.

“Worthington supports the AIM Act and its mission to phase down HFCs, but banning non-refillable cylinders as part of the phase down is an unnecessary restriction that puts American jobs at risk, reduces US manufacturing competitiveness and does virtually nothing to protect the environment,” said Worthington Industries president and CEO Andy Rose.  

Related stories:

Worthington accuses China of refrigerant cylinder dumping27 March 2020
USA: Refrigerant cylinder manufacturer Worthington Industries has filed petitions alleging that Chinese manufacturers are dumping non-refillable steel cylinders on the US market. Read more…

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