SNAP Action — On September 26, 2016, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the final rule Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: New Listings of Substitutes; Changes of Listing Status; and Reinterpretation of Unacceptability for Closed Cell Foam Products under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program; and Revision of Clean Air Act Section 608’s Venting Prohibition for Propane. In support of the President’s Climate Action Plan, this rule under EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program expands the list of acceptable substitutes in the refrigeration and air conditioning (AC), and fire suppression sectors; lists unacceptable substitutes in specific end-uses in the refrigeration and AC sector; and changes the status of a number of substitutes that were previously listed as acceptable in the refrigeration and AC, and foam blowing sectors. The EPA is also listing propane as acceptable, subject to use conditions, as a refrigerant in certain new equipment and exempting it in these end-uses from the venting prohibition under CAA. Additionally, the EPA is applying the existing listing decisions for foam blowing agents to closed cell foam products and products containing closed cell foam. In each instance where the EPA is listing a new substitute as unacceptable or is changing the status of a substitute from acceptable to unacceptable, the EPA has determined that there are other alternatives that pose lower overall risk to human health and/or the environment. This rule results in environmental benefits up to 7 million metric tons of CO2-equivalent (MMTCO2eq) in 2025, equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of more than one million homes.
An advance copy of the final rule (Rule 21) is available at www.epa.gov/snap/snap-regulations which will be updated once the final rule is published in the Federal Register. To view the public docket in the Federal Register, visit www.regulations.gov and search for docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663.
608 Action — On September 26, 2016, EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy signed the final rule Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Update to the Refrigerant Management Requirements under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. This final rule strengthens the refrigerant management program under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act and extends the regulations to non-ozone depleting substitutes such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). This action lowers the leak rate at which large air conditioning and refrigeration appliances must be repaired and incorporates industry best practices such as verifying repairs and conducting regular leak inspections on leaking appliances. EPA estimates the ODS and HFC emissions avoided from this rule to be 114 ozone depletion potential-weighted metric tons and more than 7.3 MMTCO2eq annually.
An advance copy of the final rule is available at www.epa.gov/section608/revised-section-608-refrigerant-management-regulations which will be updated once the final rule is published in the Federal Register. To view the public docket in the Federal Register, visit www.regulations.gov and search for docket number EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0453.