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Faster phaseout for chlorofluorocarbons endorsed by U.S. frozen food group.

More proposals for substitutes expected at Halon Alternatives Conference in Washington, with effects on global warming as ozone depletion crucial.

Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) are going to be phased out sooner than anyone could have guessed a few years ago, and the search for alternatives is getting more intense.

Refrigeration industry people were scheduled to hear the latest Sept. 29-Oct. 1 at the 1992 International CFC and Halon Alternatives Conference at the Hilton in Washington, D.C.

Amidst the increasing likelihood that the CFC phaseout will be advanced to Jan. 1, 1996, the search for alternatives is going to be complicated by the Global Warming treaty signed recently in Rio de Janeiro.

That the handwriting is on the wall for CFCs, and even for some hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) proposed as substitutes, is indicated by an endorsement from the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI) to a petition calling on the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to accelerate the phaseout.

1996 Ban Seen

Production of CFCs for new equipment should be banned as of Jan. 1, 1996, AFFI says, and long-lived HCFCs should also be phased out on an accelerated schedule. The only CFCs produced between 1996 and 2000 should be for existing equipment, the organization said. Output should be reduced to 50% of 1985 levels next year, 40% in 1994 and 25% in 1995, AFFI said.

The Washington conference on CFCs and halons is sponsored by the Alliance for Responsible CFC Policy, an industry group, in cooperation with the EPA, Environment Canada, the United Nations Environment Programme and the International Chamber of Commerce. Last year's conference drew papers from as far off as China, as well as from industrial land and universities in the United States.

Impact of the Global Warming treaty was to have been among the important focal points of this year's conference, because the refrigeration industry and other users of CFCs will have to pay even more attention to the Global Warming Potential (GWP) of alternative chemicals, as well as to their Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP). ODP and GWP numbers are routinely cited in studies of HCFCs, hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other potential refrigerants.

There are other issues this year: under the Clean Air Act in the United States, the industry will somehow have to certify 600,000 service contractors within a year from now to deal with leaks in CFC equipment and remove CFCs from equipment that is being phased out. Besides commercial refrigeration equipment, the industry has to deal with the problem of 80,000 building air conditioning systems, 130 million motor vehicle air conditioning systems and other technology now dependent on CFCs.

In addition to sponsoring the conference, the Alliance is behind that petition for an earlier phaseout of CFCs and long-lived HCFCs (the latter by 2020). "The reduction schedule for CFCs reflects the best judgment of industry of what can be accomplished if we encourage the development of alternative compounds," AFFI stated in a letter to EPA Administrator William Reilly in support of the petition. The letter also suggested that the EPA offer "some assurances of reasonable economic life for the alternative compounds, processes or technologies."

Pressure in Europe

Controversy in Brazil over a treaty on biodiversity which the US refused to sign deflected attention from the CFC issue, which hardly came up except in relation to global warming. Pressures are rising in Europe to eliminate CFCs immediately, and perhaps to ban HCFCs so soon that it wouldn't be worthwhile to produce them. Yet a lot of refrigeration equipment designed for CFCs is still being manufactured, in both Europe and the US.

CFC Facts for Retailers Today, Tomorrow for Cold Stores

An educational program on the phase out of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) for retailers has been developed by the American Frozen Food Institute (AFFI).

A key component of the program is CFC Facts, a newsletter that will give retailers up-to-date information on both technological and legislative developments on the CFC issue.

"We want to help make the transition away from CFCs as painless and cost efficient as possible," explained AFFI President Steven C. Anderson. "Addressing the retailers is a step in the right direction."

CFC Facts made its debut as an insert on the May-June issue of AFFI's Frozen Food Report. It will be issued hereafter on an as-needed basis, and distributed to about 2,000 retailers, large and small. CFC educational efforts will later be extended to warehousing and distribution operations.
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Title Annotation:Warehousing World; includes related article; American Frozen Food Institute
Publication:Quick Frozen Foods International
Date:Oct 1, 1992
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