News & Features
EPA Proposes New Acceptable Alternative Refrigerants

On July 9, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a notice of proposed rulemaking (NOPR) in the Federal Register to list a number of flammable refrigerants as acceptable substitutes (subject to use conditions) for ozone-depleting substances in several end-uses. This NOPR is a direct response to President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, which calls on the agency to use its authority under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program to identify and approve climate-friendly alternatives while prohibiting certain uses of the most harmful chemicals. More specifically, EPA is proposing to list R-170 (ethane), R-600a (isobutane), R-290 (propane), R-32, and R-441A as acceptable (subject to use conditions) substitute refrigerants in certain refrigeration and air conditioning end-uses. The NOPR also proposes to exempt the new hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes from Clean Air Act Section 608’s prohibition on venting, release, or disposal. EPA will accept comments until September 8.