The Trump Administration has issued a regulatory freeze, and Moratorium impacts pending walk-in coolers, portable a/c, commercial boiler standards.
Traditionally, outgoing presidential administrations have been known to submit a flood of regulations prior to the end of their presidential terms. As was the case for President Barack Obama’s administration, which, on Dec. 28, 2016, submitted its final batch of five efficiency rules concerning walk-in coolers, portable air conditioners, commercial boilers, uninterruptable power supplies, and pool pumps. Throughout his two terms in office, Obama was not shy when it came to submitting regulations as he submitted 557 regulations during his eight years, which was many more than George W. Bush, who introduced 358 regulations during his two terms.
Each of these regulations endured a 45-day review period, which completed Feb. 11, before they could be published in the Federal Register. However, these regulations have been put in limbo as President Donald Trump issued a freeze on four of the five regulations on Jan. 20.
White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, issued a memorandum declaring a government-wide freeze on new or pending regulations. The HVAC industry has generally reacted positively to this news, feeling that this freeze gives HVAC organizations more time to explain to the administration why these regulations should not be published.
Priebus’s memorandum was quickly published on Trump’s first day in office, where he stated, in sum:
Send no regulations to the Federal Register after noon on Jan. 20 until a department or agency head appointed or designated by the president reviews and approves the regulation;
For regulations that have been sent to the Federal Register, but not yet published, immediately withdraw them (subject to the exceptions described in the memo and consistent with Federal Register procedures); and
For regulations that have been published in the Federal Register but have not taken effect, temporarily postpone their effective date for 60 days for the purpose of reviewing questions of fact, law, and policy (and possible further review).
“This memorandum was praised by HVAC organizations who disliked the pending five regulations the former President submitted shortly before leaving office,” stated representatives with Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI) in a written statement. “The Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute applauds the action taken by White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, directing agencies to refrain from submitting regulations for publication in the Federal Register until they have been reviewed by incoming administration staff; withdrawing those that have been submitted to the Federal Register but not yet published; and, when possible, extending existing comment periods for rules under development.”
Many in the industry believe this hold grants time for stakeholders to further discuss the regulations and installation problems that resulted from past efficiency rules.