UPDATE: EPA invites industry to comment on new SNAP proposal

By hydrocarbons21.com team, May 25, 2016, 14:39 2 minute reading

The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has extended the public comment period for a proposed rule listing propane as an acceptable refrigerant in commercial refrigeration applications such as ice machines, water coolers and very low-temperature refrigeration equipment by 14 days. The public comment period now runs until 16 June.

The EPA’s move gives stakeholders more time to assess and post their reaction to the proposed rule.

With the proposed new SNAP rule, first published on 29 March, the agency is aiming to expand the list of acceptable alternatives and ban the use of certain gases that considerably contribute to climate change. The EPA’s SNAP proposal demonstrates the United States’ commitment to reducing the production and consumption of harmful HFCs.

“This new proposal would reduce the use and emissions of some of the most harmful HFCs, which are thousands of times more potent than carbon dioxide, and approves safer, more climate-friendly alternatives to protect public health and our environment,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy at the time.

“In support of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, this action will not only result in significant reductions of harmful greenhouse gases, but it expands the options for safer alternatives available on the market.”

New acceptable refrigerants

The new proposal lists the following new substances as acceptable:

  • R290 in new commercial ice machines, new water coolers, and new very low temperature refrigeration equipment.
  • HFO-1234yf in motor vehicle air conditioning in medium-duty passenger vehicles, heavy-duty vehicles and vans.

Furthermore, the EPA also proposes to exempt R290 from the Clean Air Act’s restricting venting, release, or disposal, in refrigeration applications specified in the proposal, on the basis of present evidence that neither the venting, release nor disposal of R290 poses a threat to the environment.

Unacceptable uses

The new SNAP proposal lists the following substances as unacceptable:

  • All A3 refrigerants (all hydrocarbons) for retrofit residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps – unitary split air conditioning and heat pumps
  • Propylene and R-443A for new residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps, cold storage warehouses, centrifugal chillers, and positive displacement chillers In addition, the EPA has announced changes of listing status for certain high GWP fluorinated gases.

Some HFCs, including R-404A, R-410A, R-134a, R407C and other F-gases, will not be acceptable in certain end-uses, such as:

  • For new centrifugal chillers and new positive displacement chillers, as of 1 January 2024.
  • For new cold storage warehouses, as of 1 January 2023.
  • For new retail food refrigeration (refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment)
  • and new household refrigerators and freezers, as of 1 January 2021.

Next steps

All interested stakeholders still have a chance to submit their comments until the deadline expires on 16 June 2016.

Further information on how to submit your input can be found here: https://www.regulations.gov/#!documentDetail;D=EPA-HQ-OAR-2015-0663-0044

By hydrocarbons21.com team (@hydrocarbons21)

May 25, 2016, 14:39

Related stories

Sign up to our Newsletter

Fill in the details below