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EPA issues final rule prohibiting certain high-GWP HFCs as alternatives under SNAP

On July 2, 2015, the final rule Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program was signed by EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. In support of the President’s Climate Action Plan, this final rule under EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program changes the status of a number of substitutes that were previously listed as acceptable, based on information showing that other substitutes are available for the same uses that pose lower risk overall to human health and/or the environment.

Specifically, this action changes the listings from acceptable to unacceptable for certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and HFC-blends in various end-uses in the aerosols, refrigeration and air conditioning, and foam blowing sectors. This final rule also changes the status from acceptable to unacceptable for certain hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) being phased out of production under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer and Section 605(a) of the Clean Air Act.

In a separate notice, EPA is expanding the list of acceptable climate-friendly alternatives for use in the refrigeration and air conditioning; foam blowing; solvent cleaning; aerosols; and adhesives, coatings, and inks sectors, including a number of end-uses addressed by today’s rulemaking.

An advance copy of the rule (Rule 20) is available at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regulations.html, which will be updated once the final rule is published in the Federal Register. The notice (Notice 30) expanding the options for acceptable climate-friendly alternatives is available at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regulations.html#notices.

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