The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declined on Tuesday to extend the proposed effective date of the status change of certain refrigerants used in refrigeration equipment and liquid chillers under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The decision affects chemical producers, some manufacturers and some end-users of equipment and products using refrigerants, fire suppressants and foam blowing agents.

The SNAP program implements section 612 of the amended Clean Air Act of 1990, which requires the EPA to evaluate substitutes for the ozone-depleting substances to reduce overall risk to human health and the environment.

Under the EPA’s Final Rule 21 – Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Significant New Alternatives Policy Program New and Changed Listings — a number of substances are listed as acceptable, subject to use conditions; several substances are listed as unacceptable; and the listing status for certain substances was modified from acceptable to unacceptable or acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits. The fact sheet shows a number of refrigerants will not be allowed any longer, 30 days after publication of final rule (September 26). Here are some highlights:

  • Refrigerants used in cold storage warehouses (new) –  substitutes HFC-227ea, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-423A, R-424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A and RS-44 (2003 composition) are unacceptable as of January 1, 2023.
  • Positive displacement chillers (new) – FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/134a/600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition), SP34E and THR-03 are unacceptable, except as otherwise allowed under a narrowed use limit, as of January 1, 2024.
  • Centrifugal chillers (new) – FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, HFC-236fa, HFC-245fa, R-125/134a/600a (28.1/70/1.9), R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407C, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-423A, R-424A, R-434A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-44 (2003 composition) and THR-03 are unacceptable, except as otherwise allowed under a narrowed use limit, as of January 1, 2024.

Click here for the EPA’s Fact Sheet.