“Loophole” in the US HCFC-22 phase-out plan

Five of the leading US air-conditioning manufacturers - Carrier, Daikin/McQuay, Trane, Johnson Controls and Lennox - wrote on August 15, 2011 to the EPA calling for an amendment to the Final Rule published at the end of 2009 which "bans the sale or distribution of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances containing HCFC-22, HCFC-142b, or blends containing one or both of these controlled substances as the refrigerant". "While the Appliance Rule bans the sale and distribution of appliances that are precharged with HCFC-22 at the time they are manufactured or imported into the US, EPA did not apply the same prohibition to appliance components that are uncharged," say the companies. "Instead, the Appliance Rule allows major components of an air conditioner or refrigeration unit to be shipped "dry" or with a holding charge containing an inert gas and then charged with refrigerants on-site. This situation creates a gaping loophole in the Appliance Rule and allows the continued widespread use of HCFC-22."
According to industry estimates, the R22 units are being offered to homeowners and businesses with failed units as a low cost option to replacement. As a result, R22 units still account for 10-20% of all sales in the US.