COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 02, 2021 — Worthington Industries, Inc. [NYSE: WOR] today announced that it will file a petition for review with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (D.C. Circuit) on the final rule issued by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) entitled “Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs): Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program under the American Innovation and Manufacturing (AIM) Act.”
Worthington specifically petitioned for review the EPA’s ban on non-refillable cylinders used in the heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration (HVACR) industry. The filing with the court follows Worthington’s many unsuccessful attempts to engage the EPA in a constructive discussion about ways to address EPA’s smuggling concerns without resorting to an incredibly costly and unnecessary outright ban on the most commonly used refrigerant gas cylinder in the U.S.
“Worthington supports the AIM Act and its mission to phase down HFCs. As the last remaining manufacturer of non-refillable cylinders, our proposal to the EPA achieves three important goals: it keeps manufacturing jobs here, at home in Ohio and Kentucky; it offers an improved, cost-effective, lightweight cylinder for HVACR technicians; and it enables the EPA to protect the environment and safeguard against illegal smuggling,” said Worthington Industries President and CEO Andy Rose. “We file this suit reluctantly, as we would much prefer to work together toward a solution. But the EPA has given us no choice when it assumes authority not granted by Congress, makes policy without objective data and analysis, ignores concerns raised from industry and refuses to consider alternatives.” Rose continued, “We urge the EPA to grant our reconsideration petition and undertake rulemaking to overturn the ban and accept our reasonable compromise.”
On Nov. 10, 2021, Worthington submitted a petition for reconsideration to the EPA that includes an updated, fully recyclable cylinder that remains lightweight, adds environmental safety technology to address venting issues and will deter smuggling of banned substances through reliance on domestic production capacity. Worthington’s alternatives help keep American jobs in America, protect the environment, prioritize HVACR workers and minimize disruption and costs to the industry.
On Oct. 5, 2021, EPA posted a final rule Phasedown of Hydrofluorocarbons: Establishing the Allowance Allocation and Trading Program Under the AIM Act that included a ban on non-refillable cylinders. The final rule effectively prohibits the sale of this cylinder as of Dec. 31, 2024, which is produced in Columbus, Ohio, and Paducah, Kentucky, by 500 hard-working, skilled American workers.
The AIM Act provided the EPA with authority to phase down HFC production and use, but nothing in the Act suggests that Congress gave the EPA authority to impose an outright ban on cylinders simply because they can contain HFCs. The AIM Act does not even mention cylinders. Moreover, the EPA did not address these concerns with the Agency’s authority or any other stakeholder concerns it received regarding the ban’s infeasibility or the direct harm to HVACR 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.
Worthington Industries is the only domestic manufacturer of non-refillable steel cylinders used throughout the United States by the HVACR industry to safely store and transport refrigerant gases. These cylinders have been the target of significant market manipulation by foreign sources over the past four years. The International Trade Commission and the U.S. Department of Commerce imposed sanctions on this behavior as recently as April 2021.
About Worthington Industries
Worthington Industries (NYSE:WOR) is a leading industrial manufacturing company pursuing its vision to be the transformative partner to its customers, a positive force for its communities and earn exceptional returns for its shareholders. For over six decades, the Company has been delivering innovative solutions to customers spanning industries such as automotive, energy, retail and construction. Worthington is North America’s premier value-added steel processor and producer of laser welded solutions and electrical steel laminations that provide lightweighting, safety critical and emission reducing components to the mobility market. Through on-board fueling systems and gas containment solutions, Worthington serves the growing global hydrogen ecosystem. The Company’s focus on innovation and manufacturing expertise extends to market-leading consumer products in tools, outdoor living and celebrations categories, sold under brand names, Coleman®, Bernzomatic®, Balloon Time®, Mag Torch®, Well-X-Trol®, General®, Garden-Weasel®, Pactool International® and Hawkeye™; as well as market leading building products, including water systems, heating & cooling solutions, architectural and acoustical grid ceilings and metal framing and accessories.
Headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, Worthington operates 58 facilities in 16 states and nine countries, sells into over 90 countries and employs approximately 9,500 people. Founded in 1955, the Company follows a people-first philosophy with earning money for its shareholders as its first corporate goal. Relentlessly finding new ways to drive progress and transform, Worthington is committed to providing better solutions for customers and bettering the communities where it operates by reducing waste, supporting community-based non-profits and developing the next generations of makers.
Safe Harbor Statement
Worthington Industries wishes to take advantage of the Safe Harbor provisions included in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 (the “Act"). Statements by Worthington Industries which are not historical information constitute "forward looking statements" within the meaning of the Act. All forward-looking statements are subject to risks and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ from those projected. Factors that could cause actual results to differ materially include risks, uncertainties and impacts described from time to time in Worthington Industries’ filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including those related to COVID-19 and the various actions taken in connection therewith, which could also heighten other risks.
SONYA L. HIGGINBOTHAM
VP, CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS AND BRAND MANAGEMENT
614.438.7391 | [email protected]
MARCUS A. ROGIER
TREASURER AND INVESTOR RELATIONS OFFICER
614.840.4663 | [email protected]
200 Old Wilson Bridge Rd. | Columbus, Ohio 43085