US EPA near final rules on SNAP and further HFC restrictions
Two major rulings from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are expected to be released in the next two to four weeks, according to Drusilla Hufford, director of the EPA’s Stratospheric Protection Division.
Speaking Tuesday at the Food Marketing Institute’s Energy & Store Development Conference in New Orleans, Hufford said that the proposed rule issued under the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) programme in April “is very close to a final rulemaking – two to four weeks.”
Among the changes in the proposed rule, which covers the refrigeration and air conditioning, foam blowing and fire suppression sectors: propane would be an acceptable refrigerant – and exempt from venting prohibition – in commercial ice machines and new water coolers; and a range of refrigerants – including R404A, R407A, R410A and R507A – would be delisted for new cold storage warehouses as of Jan. 1, 2023.
Hufford also said that proposed updates to Section 608 of the Clean Air Act were “two to four weeks from completion.” The changes, proposed last November, would include: expanding the regulations to include HFCs (they now cover ozone-depleting refrigerants); reduce the annual leak trigger rate (requiring that repairs be made) from 35% of charge to 20%); and add leak repair verification procedures. The changes would cost the industry an estimated $63 million but save it $52 million in reduced refrigerant purchases.