Featured News - Current News - Archived News - News Categories

Chairs Andres, Wydysh Submit Comments Opposing HFC Regulations

by Niagara County Public Information Office
Tue, Mar 19th 2024 02:00 pm

Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh and Legislator Rich Andres, Chairman of the Economic Development Committee, today submitted comments to state Office of Climate Change opposing amendments to Part 494 Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Standards and Reporting.  These new rules would go well beyond federal guidelines and have a negative impact on any business that relies on refrigeration, particularly in the grocery industry.


“I can’t believe how oblivious the state is to consider an action that will undoubtedly raise the cost of groceries on every family in New York State,” said Legislator Andres.  “Every person who walks out of a grocery store is shocked and angered about the price of butter, milk and other basics and the state seems determined to make it worse. Do they not understand when they impose higher costs in the grocery supply chain, those cost are ultimately paid for by consumers?  And worse than that, these rules will force many small grocery and convenience stores to go out of business, creating more food deserts across the state. 

As currently written, the new regulations would impose unrealistic and costly prohibitions on the use of HFC refrigerants and would adversely impact the residents and businesses by imposing aggressive and near-term restrictions on equipment prior to its end of life.  The proposed amendments would force grocers, schools, hotels, restaurants and retail establishments to replace or retrofit existing equipment, regardless of its age, performance, or remaining service life, with alternative refrigerants that are not readily available, not proven to be safer or higher performing, and not compatible with current infrastructure. 

“What is particularly maddening is that the federal government already has a timetable for phasing out certain HFCs that applies equally to everyone across the country and provides ample time for businesses to make the necessary changes,” said Chairman Wydysh.  “New York usurping federal guidelines will have no appreciable impact on climate change, but this is really about those who want to virtue-signal on how green they are, regardless of its impact on regular citizens.”

Both legislators said these rules will also impact residential HVAC and air conditioners in cars as well.

“First it was going after your gas furnace, now its air conditioning in your home and car,” said Andres.  “The state seems determined to keep us all cold in the winter and hot in the summer.  Is it any wonder the great exodus of residents out of New York continues?”

The full text of the letter can be read here.