[Federal Register Volume 80, Number 138 (Monday, July 20, 2015)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 42869-42959]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2015-17066]



[[Page 42869]]

Vol. 80

Monday,

No. 138

July 20, 2015

Part II





Environmental Protection Agency





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40 CFR Part 82





Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain 
Substitutes Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program; 
Final Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 80 , No. 138 / Monday, July 20, 2015 / Rules 
and Regulations

[[Page 42870]]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198; FRL-9926-55-OAR]
RIN 2060-AS18


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for 
Certain Substitutes Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy 
Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action changes the status from acceptable to 
unacceptable; acceptable, subject to use conditions; or acceptable, 
subject to narrowed use limits for a number of substitutes, pursuant to 
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Significant New Alternatives 
Policy program. We make these changes based on information showing that 
other substitutes are available for the same uses that pose lower risk 
overall to human health and the environment. Specifically, this action 
changes the listing status for certain hydrofluorocarbons in various 
end-uses in the aerosols, refrigeration and air conditioning, and foam 
blowing sectors. This action also changes the status from acceptable to 
unacceptable for certain hydrochlorofluorocarbons 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.

DATES: This rule is effective on August 19, 2015.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198. All documents in the docket are listed in the 
index. Although listed in the index, some information is not publicly 
available, i.e., Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other 
information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other 
material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed in the electronic 
docket and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly 
available docket materials are available either electronically or in 
hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 
1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room 
is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding 
legal holidays. The telephone number for the Public Reading Room is 
(202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation 
Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Margaret Sheppard, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Mail Code 6205J, 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number (202) 343-9163; fax number (202) 
343-2338, email address: [email protected]. Notices and 
rulemakings under EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) 
program are available on EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web site at 
www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regs.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. General Information
    A. Executive Summary
    B. Does this action apply to me?
    C. What acronyms and abbreviations are used in the preamble?
II. How does the SNAP program work?
    A. What are the statutory requirements and authority for the 
SNAP program?
    B. What are EPA's regulations implementing CAA section 612?
    C. How do the regulations for the SNAP program work?
    D. What are the guiding principles of the SNAP program?
    E. What are EPA's criteria for evaluating substitutes under the 
SNAP program?
    F. How are SNAP determinations updated?
    G. What does EPA consider in deciding whether to modify the 
listing status of an alternative?
    H. Where can I get additional information about the SNAP 
program?
III. What actions and information related to greenhouse gases have 
bearing on this final action to modify prior SNAP determinations?
IV. What petitions has EPA received requesting a change in listing 
status for HFCs?
    A. Summary of Petitions
    B. How This Action Relates to the Climate Action Plan and 
Petitions
V. What is EPA's final action concerning the HFCs addressed in this 
rule?
    A. Aerosols
    1. Background
    2. What is EPA finalizing concerning aerosols?
    (a) What other alternatives are available?
    (1) Aerosols With Flammability and Vapor Pressure Constraints
    (2) Aerosols for Specific Medical Uses
    (b) When will the listings change?
    3. How is EPA responding to comments about this end-use?
    (a) Timeline
    (b) Sell-Through period
    (c) Use conditions
    (d) HFC Consumption and Climate Impact of Aerosols
    (e) Small Business Impacts
    (f) Imports
    B. MVAC Systems for Newly Manufactured Light-Duty Motor Vehicles
    1. Background
    2. What is EPA finalizing regarding MVAC systems for newly 
manufactured light-duty motor vehicles?
    (a) HFC-134a
    (b) Refrigerant Blends
    3. MVAC Servicing
    4. Would this action affect EPA's LD GHG Rule?
    5. How will the change of status apply to exports of MVAC 
systems?
    (a) SNAP Interpretation
    (b) Narrowed Use Limit for MVAC
    6. How is EPA responding to comments concerning this end-use?
    (a) Timeline
    (b) Interaction With EPA's LD GHG Rule
    (c) Environmental Impacts
    (d) Cost Impacts of Rule
    (e) Servicing and Retrofits
    (f) Refrigerant Blends for Retrofits of MVAC Systems
    (g) Use Conditions for HFC-134a
    (h) Flexibility for Exports
    C. Retail Food Refrigeration and Vending Machines
    1. Background
    (a) Overview of SNAP End-Uses, End-Use Categories, and Commonly-
Used Refrigerants
    (b) Terms and Coverage
    (c) The Terms ``New'' and ``Retrofit'' and How They Apply to 
Servicing
    2. What is EPA finalizing for retail food refrigeration 
(supermarket systems)?
    (a) New Supermarket Systems
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (b) Retrofit Supermarket Systems
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (c) How is EPA responding to comments on retail food 
refrigeration (supermarket systems)?
    3. What is EPA finalizing for retail food refrigeration (remote 
condensing units)?
    (a) New Remote Condensing Units
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (b) Retrofit Remote Condensing Units
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (c) How is EPA responding to comments on retail food 
refrigeration (remote condensing units)?
    4. What is EPA finalizing for retail food refrigeration (stand-
alone equipment)?
    (a) New Stand-Alone Equipment
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (b) Retrofit Stand-Alone Equipment
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?

[[Page 42871]]

    (c) How is EPA responding to comments on retail food 
refrigeration (stand-alone equipment)?
    5. What is EPA finalizing for vending machines?
    (a) New Vending Machines
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (b) Retrofit Vending Machines
    (1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (2) When will the status change?
    (c) How is EPA responding to comments on vending machines?
    6. General Comments on the Retail Food Refrigeration and Vending 
Machine End-Uses
    (a) Specific Numerical Limits for GWP
    (b) Comments and Responses Concerning Small Businesses
    (c) Suggestion Regarding Education and Training
    7. Energy Efficiency Considerations
    D. Foam Blowing Agents
    1. Background
    2. What is EPA finalizing for foam blowing agents?
    (a) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment?
    (b) When will the status change?
    (c) Military and Space- and Aeronautics-Related Applications
    (d) How will the requirements apply to exports and imports?
    3. How is EPA responding to comments concerning foam blowing 
end-uses?
    (a) Timeline
    (b) Foam Blowing Agents Changing Status and Other Alternatives
    (c) Environmental and Energy Impacts of Foam Blowing Agents
    (d) Cost Impacts
VI. What is EPA finalizing for the HCFCs addressed in this rule?
    A. What did EPA propose for HCFCs and what is being finalized in 
this rule?
    B. How is EPA responding to public comments concerning HCFCs?
VII. How is EPA responding to other public comments?
    A. Authority
    1. General Authority
    2. Second Generation Substitutes
    3. GWP Considerations
    4. Takings
    5. Montreal Protocol/International
    6. Absence of Petitions
    7. Application of Criteria for Review of Alternatives
    B. Cost and Economic Impacts of Proposed Status Changes
    1. Costs of Proposed Rule
    2. EPA's Cost Analysis and Small Business Impacts Screening 
Analysis
    C. Environmental Effects of Proposed Status Changes
    1. General Comments
    2. EPA's Benefits Analysis
    3. Energy Efficiency
    4. The Climate Action Plan
    D. Potential Exemptions
    E. Interactions With Other Rules
    F. Other Comments
VIII. Additional Analyses
IX. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act
    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act
    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With 
Indian Tribal Governments
    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From 
Environmental Health and Safety Risks
    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
    K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)
X. References

I. General Information

A. Executive Summary

    Under section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA reviews 
substitutes within a comparative risk framework. More specifically, 
section 612 provides that EPA must prohibit the use of a substitute 
where EPA has determined that there are other available substitutes 
that pose less overall risk to human health and the environment. Thus, 
EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, which 
implements section 612, does not provide a static list of alternatives 
but instead evolves the list as the EPA makes decisions informed by our 
overall understanding of the environmental and human health impacts as 
well as our current knowledge about available substitutes. In the more 
than twenty years since the initial SNAP rule was promulgated, EPA has 
modified the SNAP lists many times, most often by expanding the list of 
acceptable substitutes, but in some cases by prohibiting the use of 
substitutes previously listed as acceptable. Where EPA is determining 
whether to add a new substitute to the list, EPA compares the risk 
posed by that new substitute to the risks posed by other alternatives 
on the list and determines whether that specific new substitute poses 
more risk than already-listed alternatives for the same use. As the 
lists have expanded, EPA has not reviewed the lists in a broader manner 
to determine whether substitutes added to the lists early in the 
program pose more risk than substitutes that have more recently been 
added. EPA is now beginning this process.
    Global warming potential (GWP) is one of several criteria EPA 
considers in the overall evaluation of the alternatives under the SNAP 
program. The President's June 2013 Climate Action Plan (CAP) states 
that, ``to reduce emissions of HFCs, the United States can and will 
lead both through international diplomacy as well as domestic 
actions.'' Furthermore, the CAP states that EPA will ``use its 
authority through the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program to 
encourage private sector investment in low-emissions technology by 
identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals while prohibiting 
certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives.'' In our first 
effort to take a broader look at the SNAP lists, we have focused on 
those listed substitutes that have a high GWP relative to other 
alternatives in specific end-uses. In determining whether to change the 
status of these substitutes for particular end-uses, we performed a 
full comparative risk analysis, based on our criteria for review, with 
other available alternatives also listed as acceptable for these end-
uses.
    In an August 6, 2014, Federal Register Notice of Proposed 
Rulemaking (79 FR 46126), the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency 
(hereafter referred to as EPA or the Agency) proposed to change the 
status of certain substitutes \1\ that at that time were listed as 
acceptable under the SNAP program. After reviewing public comments and 
available information, in today's action, EPA is modifying the listings 
from acceptable to unacceptable; acceptable, subject to use conditions; 
or acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits for certain 
hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and HFC blends in various end-uses in the 
aerosols, foam blowing, and refrigeration and air conditioning sectors 
where other alternatives are available or potentially available that 
pose lower overall risk to human health and the environment. Per the 
guiding principles of the SNAP program, this action does not specify 
that any HFCs are unacceptable across all sectors and end-uses. 
Instead, in all cases, EPA considered the intersection between the 
specific HFC or HFC blend and the particular end-use and the 
availability of substitutes for those particular end-uses. EPA is also 
not specifying that, for any sector, the only acceptable substitutes 
are HFC-free. EPA recognizes that both fluorinated (e.g., HFCs, 
hydrofluoroolefins (HFOs)) and non-fluorinated (e.g., hydrocarbons 
(HCs)

[[Page 42872]]

and carbon dioxide (CO2)) substitutes may pose lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment, depending on the particular 
use. Instead, consistent with CAA section 612 as we have historically 
interpreted it under the SNAP program, EPA is making these 
modifications based on our evaluation of the substitutes addressed in 
this action using the SNAP criteria for evaluation and considering the 
current suite of other available and potentially available substitutes.
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    \1\ The terms ``substitutes'' and ``alternatives'' are used 
interchangeably.
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    On that basis, EPA is modifying the following listings by sector 
and end-use as of the dates indicated. EPA will continue to monitor the 
development and deployment of other alternatives as well as their 
uptake by industries affected by today's action. If EPA receives new 
information indicating that other alternatives will not be available by 
the change of status dates specified, EPA may propose further action to 
adjust the relevant dates.
    (1) Aerosols
     EPA is listing HFC-125 as unacceptable for use as an 
aerosol propellant as of January 1, 2016.
     EPA is listing HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, and blends of HFC-134a 
and HFC-227ea as unacceptable for use as aerosol propellants as of July 
20, 2016, except for those uses specifically listed as acceptable, 
subject to use conditions.
     EPA is listing HFC-227ea and blends of HFC-134a and HFC-
227ea as acceptable, subject to use conditions, as of July 20, 2016, 
for use in metered dose inhalers (MDIs) approved by the U.S. Food and 
Drug Administration (FDA).
     EPA is listing HFC-134a as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, as of July 20, 2016, until January 1, 2018, for the 
following specific uses:
    [cir] products for which new formulations require federal 
governmental review, including: EPA pesticide registration, military or 
space agency specifications, or FDA approval (aside from MDIs); and
    [cir] products for smoke detector functionality testing.
     EPA is listing HFC-134a as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions, as of July 20, 2016, for the following specific uses:
    [cir] cleaning products for removal of grease, flux and other soils 
from electrical equipment or electronics;
    [cir] refrigerant flushes;
    [cir] products for sensitivity testing of smoke detectors;
    [cir] sprays containing corrosion preventive compounds used in the 
maintenance of aircraft, electrical equipment or electronics, or 
military equipment;
    [cir] duster sprays specifically for removal of dust from 
photographic negatives, semiconductor chips, and specimens under 
electron microscopes or for use on energized electrical equipment;
    [cir] adhesives and sealants in large canisters;
    [cir] lubricants and freeze sprays for electrical equipment or 
electronics;
    [cir] sprays for aircraft maintenance;
    [cir] pesticides for use near electrical wires or in aircraft, in 
total release insecticide foggers, or in certified organic use 
pesticides for which EPA has specifically disallowed all other lower-
GWP propellants;
    [cir] mold release agents and mold cleaners;
    [cir] lubricants and cleaners for spinnerettes for synthetic 
fabrics;
    [cir] document preservation sprays;
    [cir] MDIs approved by the FDA for medical purposes;
    [cir] wound care sprays;
    [cir] topical coolant sprays for pain relief; and
    [cir] products for removing bandage adhesives from skin.
    (2) Refrigeration and air conditioning sector; Motor vehicle air 
conditioning (MVAC) systems for newly manufactured light-duty vehicles
    EPA is listing HFC-134a as unacceptable for newly manufactured 
light-duty motor vehicles beginning in Model Year (MY) 2021 except as 
allowed under a narrowed use limit for use in newly manufactured light-
duty vehicles destined for use in countries that do not have 
infrastructure in place for servicing with other acceptable 
refrigerants. This narrowed use limit will be in place through MY 2025. 
Beginning in MY 2026, HFC-134a will be unacceptable for use in all 
newly manufactured light-duty vehicles. EPA is also listing the use of 
certain refrigerant blends as unacceptable in newly manufactured light-
duty motor vehicles starting with MY 2017.
    (3) Refrigeration and air conditioning sector; Retail food 
refrigeration and vending machines
    EPA is listing a number of refrigerants as unacceptable in a number 
of retail food refrigeration categories and in the vending machines 
end-use, as follows:
     Retrofitted supermarket systems: R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, 
R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A as of July 20, 2016
     New supermarket systems: HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B, R-
421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A as of January 
1, 2017
     Retrofitted remote condensing units: R-404A, R-407B, R-
421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A as of July 20, 
2016
     New remote condensing units: HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B, R-
421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A as of January 
1, 2018
     Retrofitted vending machines: R-404A and R-507A as of July 
20, 2016
     New vending machines: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, KDD6, 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-426A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, 
RS-24 (2002 formulation), and SP34E as of January 1, 2019
     Retrofitted stand-alone retail food refrigeration 
equipment: R-404A and R-507A as of July 20, 2016
     New stand-alone medium-temperature units with a compressor 
capacity below 2,200 Btu/hr and not containing a flooded evaporator: 
FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/
1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, 
R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, 
R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 
(2003 formulation), SP34E, and THR-03 as of January 1, 2019
     New stand-alone medium-temperature units with a compressor 
capacity equal to or greater than 2,200 Btu/hr and stand-alone medium-
temperature units containing a flooded evaporator: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-
134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, 
R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, 
R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, 
R-438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), 
SP34E, and THR-03 as of January 1, 2020
     New stand-alone low-temperature units: HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-
125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, 
R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, 
R-422D, R-424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, and RS-44 (2003 
formulation) as of January 1, 2020
    We are also providing clarification on several questions identified 
during the comment period. Specifically, we are providing clarification 
of the terms we are using for the various end-use categories covered by 
this rule, including ``supermarket systems,'' ``remote condensing 
units,'' and ``stand-alone equipment.'' We are also providing 
clarification on certain types of equipment that do not fall within the 
categories and end-uses covered by this

[[Page 42873]]

rule, including blast chillers, certain ice makers, very-low 
temperature refrigeration equipment, and equipment that dispenses 
chilled beverage or food (e.g., soft-serve ice cream) via a nozzle. 
Finally, we are also providing clarification regarding our use of the 
terms ``new'' and ``retrofit'' and how those terms relate to service of 
existing equipment.
    (4) Foams
    EPA is listing a number of foam blowing agents unacceptable in each 
foams end-use excluding rigid PU spray foam, except as allowed under a 
narrowed use limit for military or space- and aeronautics-related 
applications. For military or space- and aeronautics-related 
applications, we are changing the listing status to acceptable, subject 
to a narrowed use limit, as of the status change date for the remainder 
of each end-use (January 1 of 2017, 2019, 2020 or 2021) and then to 
unacceptable as of January 1, 2022. We are not taking final action on 
rigid PU spray foam at this time. The unacceptable listing for all 
other end-uses is as follows:
     Rigid polyurethane (PU) appliance foam: HFC-134a, HFC-
245fa, HFC-365mfc and blends thereof; Formacel TI, and Formacel Z-6, as 
of January 1, 2020
     Rigid PU commercial refrigeration and sandwich panels: 
HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and blends thereof; Formacel TI, and 
Formacel Z-6, as of January 1, 2020
     Rigid PU slabstock and other: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-
365mfc and blends thereof; Formacel TI, and Formacel Z-6, as of January 
1, 2019
     Rigid PU and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock: HFC-
134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc and blends thereof; as of January 1, 2017
     Flexible PU: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and blends 
thereof; as of January 1, 2017
     Integral skin PU: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and 
blends thereof; Formacel TI, and Formacel Z-6, as of January 1, 2017
     Polystyrene extruded sheet: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-
365mfc, and blends thereof; Formacel TI, and Formacel Z-6, as of 
January 1, 2017
     Polystyrene extruded boardstock and billet (XPS): HFC-
134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and blends thereof; Formacel TI, Formacel 
B, and Formacel Z-6, as of January 1, 2021
     Polyolefin: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and blends 
thereof; Formacel TI, and Formacel Z-6, as of January 1, 2020
     Phenolic insulation board and bunstock: HFC-143a, HFC-
134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc, and blends thereof; as of January 1, 2017
     Rigid PU marine flotation foam: HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-
365mfc and blends thereof; Formacel TI, and Formacel Z-6, as of January 
1, 2020
    While EPA proposed and requested comments on interpreting the SNAP 
unacceptability determinations to apply to the import of foam products 
that retain the blowing agents (i.e., closed cell foams), EPA is not 
finalizing that change in this rulemaking.
    (5) Hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs)
    As proposed, EPA is also modifying the listings for HCFC-141b, 
HCFC-142b, and HCFC-22, as well as blends that contain these substances 
in aerosols, foam blowing agents, fire suppression and explosion 
protection agents, sterilants, and adhesives, coatings and inks. These 
modifications align the SNAP listings with other parts of the 
stratospheric protection program, specifically section 605 and the 
implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 82 subpart A and section 610 
and the implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 82 subpart C. The 
modified listings will apply 60 days following publication of this 
final rule.
    (6) Overview of public comments
    EPA received over 7,500 comments on the proposed rule. EPA 
requested and received comments on the proposed listing decisions as 
well as the proposed change of status dates. As noted in response to 
comments throughout this document, the decision on modifying each 
listing is based on the SNAP program's comparative risk framework. This 
includes information concerning whether there are alternatives 
available with lower overall risk to human health and the environment 
for the end-uses considered. As part of our consideration of the 
availability of those alternatives, we considered all available 
information, including information provided during the public comment 
period, and information claimed as confidential and provided during 
meetings, regarding technical challenges that may affect the time at 
which the alternatives can be used safely and used consistent with 
other requirements such as testing and code compliance obligations. We 
grouped comments together and responded to the issues raised by the 
comments in the sections that follow, or in a separate response to 
comments document which is included in the docket for this rule (EPA, 
2015a). This final rule reflects some changes to our proposal, based on 
information and data received during the public comment period.
    The sections that follow describe EPA's final action for each of 
the three sectors covered in this rulemaking--aerosols; foam blowing; 
and refrigeration and air-conditioning, including commercial 
refrigeration and motor vehicle air conditioning. For the end-uses 
addressed within each sector we explain the change of status 
determination and the dates when the change of status will apply. EPA 
has updated documentation for this rule including market 
characterizations, analyses of costs associated with sector 
transitions, estimated benefits associated with the transition to other 
alternatives, and potential small business 
impacts.2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 These documents are 
available in the docket. EPA provided separate market characterizations 
by sector for the proposed rule but is providing a single document 
consolidating this information, and updated to reflect information 
received during the public comment period, for this final action. The 
emissions avoided from this final rule are estimated to be 26 to 31 
million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (MMTCO2eq) 
in 2020. The avoided emissions are estimated to be 54 to 64 
MMTCO2eq in 2025 and 78 to 101 MMTCO2eq in 2030 
(EPA, 2015b).
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    \2\ ICF, 2014a. Market Characterization of the U.S. Aerosols 
Industry. May 2014.
    \3\ ICF, 2014b. Market Characterization of the U.S. Foams 
Industry. May 2014.
    \4\ ICF, 2014c. Market Characterization of the U.S. Commercial 
Refrigeration Industry. May 2014.
    \5\ ICF, 2014d. Market Characterization of the Motor Vehicle Air 
Conditioning Industry. May 2014.
    \6\ ICF, 2014f. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Options To Change Listing Status of High-GWP 
Alternatives. June 2014.
    \7\ EPA, 2014a. Climate Benefits of the SNAP Program Status 
Change Rule. June 2014.
    \8\ ICF, 2014g. Revised Preliminary Cost Analysis for Regulatory 
Options To Change Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives. June 
2014.
    \9\ ICF, 2015a. Market Characterization of the U.S. Motor 
Vehicle Air Conditioning Industry, U.S. Foams Industry, U.S. 
Aerosols Industry, and U.S. Commercial Refrigeration Industry. July 
2015
    \10\ ICF, 2015b. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives--
Revised. July 2015.
    \11\ EPA, 2015b. Climate Benefits of the SNAP Program Status 
Change Rule. July 2015.
    \12\ ICF, 2015c. Revised Cost Analysis for Regulatory Changes to 
the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives. July 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Does this action apply to me?

    Potential entities that may be affected by this final rule include:

[[Page 42874]]



  Table 1--Potentially Regulated Entities by North American Industrial
                   Classification System (NAICS) Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Description of
            Category               NAICS Code       regulated entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Industry.......................          238220  Plumbing, Heating, and
                                                  Air Conditioning
                                                  Contractors.
Industry.......................          324191  Petroleum Lubricating
                                                  Oil and Grease
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          325199  All Other Basic Organic
                                                  Chemical
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          325412  Pharmaceutical
                                                  Preparation
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          325510  Paint and Coating
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          325520  Adhesive Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          325612  Polishes and Other
                                                  Sanitation Goods.
Industry.......................          325620  Toilet Preparation
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          325998  All Other Miscellaneous
                                                  Chemical Product and
                                                  Preparation
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          326140  Polystyrene Foam
                                                  Product Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          326150  Urethane and Other Foam
                                                  Product (except
                                                  Polystyrene)
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          333415  Air Conditioning and
                                                  Warm Air Heating
                                                  Equipment and
                                                  Commercial and
                                                  Industrial
                                                  Refrigeration
                                                  Equipment
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          336211  Motor Vehicle Body
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................            3363  Motor Vehicle Parts
                                                  Manufacturing.
Industry.......................          336611  Ship Building and
                                                  Repairing.
Industry.......................          336612  Boat Building.
Industry.......................          339113  Surgical Appliance and
                                                  Supplies
                                                  Manufacturing.
Retail.........................          423620  Household Appliances,
                                                  Electric Housewares,
                                                  and Consumer
                                                  Electronics Merchant
                                                  Wholesalers.
Retail.........................          423740  Refrigeration Equipment
                                                  and Supplies Merchant
                                                  Wholesalers.
Retail.........................           44511  Supermarkets and Other
                                                  Grocery (except
                                                  Convenience) Stores.
Retail.........................          445110  Supermarkets and Other
                                                  Grocery (except
                                                  Convenience) Stores.
Retail.........................          445120  Convenience Stores.
Retail.........................           44521  Meat Markets.
Retail.........................           44522  Fish and Seafood
                                                  Markets.
Retail.........................           44523  Fruit and Vegetable
                                                  Markets.
Retail.........................          445291  Baked Goods Stores.
Retail.........................          445292  Confectionary and Nut
                                                  Stores.
Retail.........................          445299  All Other Specialty
                                                  Food Stores.
Retail.........................            4453  Beer, Wine, and Liquor
                                                  Stores.
Retail.........................          446110  Pharmacies and Drug
                                                  Stores.
Retail.........................           44711  Gasoline Stations with
                                                  Convenience Stores.
Retail.........................          452910  Warehouse Clubs and
                                                  Supercenters.
Retail.........................          452990  All Other General
                                                  Merchandise Stores.
Services.......................           72111  Hotels (except Casino
                                                  Hotels) and Motels.
Services.......................           72112  Casino Hotels.
Retail.........................           72241  Drinking Places
                                                  (Alcoholic Beverages).
Retail.........................          722513  Limited-Service
                                                  Restaurants.
Retail.........................          722514  Cafeterias, Grill
                                                  Buffets, and Buffets.
Retail.........................          722515  Snack and Nonalcoholic
                                                  Beverage Bars
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather a guide 
regarding entities likely to use the substitute whose use is regulated 
by this action. If you have any questions about whether this action 
applies to a particular entity, consult the person listed in the above 
section, FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

C. What acronyms and abbreviations are used in the preamble?

    Below is a list of acronyms and abbreviations used in the preamble 
of this document:

AAM--Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers
ACGIH--American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists
AGC--Asahi Glass Company
AHAM--Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers
AHRI-- Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute
AIHA--American Industrial Hygiene Association
The Alliance--Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy
ARPI--Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute
ASHRAE--American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-
Conditioning Engineers
CAA--Clean Air Act
CAP--Climate Action Plan
CARB--California Air Resource Board
CAS Reg. No.--Chemical Abstracts Service Registry Identification 
Number
CBI--Confidential Business Information
CFC--Chlorofluorocarbon
CFESA--Commercial Food Equipment Service Association
CFR--Code of Federal Regulations
CH4--Methane
CO2--Carbon Dioxide
CO2eq--Carbon dioxide equivalent
CRA--Congressional Review Act
CSPA--Consumer Specialty Products Association
DME--Dimethyl ether
DoD--United States Department of Defense
DOE--United States Department of Energy
DX--Direct expansion
EIA--Environmental Investigation Agency-US
EO--Executive Order
EPA--United States Environmental Protection Agency
EU--European Union
FDA--United States Food and Drug Administration
FM--Factory Mutual
FMI--Food Marketing Institute
FR--Federal Register
GHG--Greenhouse Gas
Global Automakers--Association of Global Automakers
GWP--Global Warming Potential
HC--Hydrocarbon
HCFC--Hydrochlorofluorocarbon
HFC--Hydrofluorocarbon
HFO--Hydrofluoroolefin
ICF--ICF International, Inc.
IGSD--Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development
IPAC--International Pharmaceutical Aerosol Consortium
IPCC--Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
LCCP-- Life Cycle Climate Performance
LD GHG--Light-Duty Greenhouse Gas

[[Page 42875]]

MAC Directive--Directive on Mobile Air Conditioning
MDI--Metered Dose Inhaler
Mexichem--Mexichem Fluor, Inc.
MMTCO2eq--Million Metric Tons of Carbon Dioxide equivalent
MVAC--Motor vehicle air conditioning
MY--Model Year
N2--Nitrogen
N2O--Nitrous Oxide
NAA--National Aerosol Association
NADA--National Automobile Dealers Association
NAICS--North American Industrial Classification System
NAFEM--North American Association of Food Equipment Manufacturers
NAM--National Association of Manufacturers
NAMA--National Automatic Merchandising Association
NASA--National Aeronautics and Space Administration
NFPA--National Fire Protection Association
NHTSA--National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
NIOSH--United States National Institute for Occupational Safety and 
Health
NMMA--National Marine Manufacturers Association
NPRM--Notice of proposed rulemaking
NRA--National Restaurant Association
NRDC--Natural Resources Defense Council
NSF--National Sanitation Foundation
NTTAA--National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
OEM--Original Equipment Manufacturer
ODP--Ozone Depletion Potential
ODS--Ozone-depleting Substance
OMB--United States Office of Management and Budget
OSHA--United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
PEL--Permissible Exposure Limit
PFC--Perfluorocarbons
PU--Polyurethane
RCRA--Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
REACH--Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of 
Chemicals
RfC--Reference Concentration
RRR--Recovery, Recycling and Recharging
RSC--Radiator Specialty Company
RSES--Refrigeration Service Engineers Society
SIP--State Implementation Plan
SAE ICCC--SAE International's Interior Climate Control Committee
SF6--Sulfur Hexafluoride
SBREFA--Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
SISNOSE--Significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities
SNAP--Significant New Alternatives Policy
SRES--Special Report on Emissions Scenarios
TEAP--Technical and Economic Assessment Panel
TEWI--Total Equivalent Warming Impact
TLV--Threshold Limit Value
TXV--Thermostatic Expansion Valve
UL--Underwriters Laboratories, Inc.
UMRA--Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
UNEP--United Nations Environmental Programme
VOC--Volatile Organic Compounds
WEEL--Workplace Environmental Exposure Limit
XPS--Extruded Polystyrene Boardstock and Billet
XPSA--Extruded Polystyrene Association

II. How does the SNAP program work?

A. What are the statutory requirements and authority for the SNAP 
program?

    CAA section 612 requires EPA to develop a program for evaluating 
alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (ODS). This program is known 
as the SNAP program. The major provisions of section 612 are:
1. Rulemaking
    Section 612(c) requires EPA to promulgate rules making it unlawful 
to replace any class I (chlorofluorocarbon, halon, carbon 
tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, 
hydrobromofluorocarbon, and chlorobromomethane) or class II (HCFC) 
substance with any substitute that the Administrator determines may 
present adverse effects to human health or the environment where the 
Administrator has identified an alternative that (1) reduces the 
overall risk to human health and the environment and (2) is currently 
or potentially available.
2. Listing of Unacceptable/Acceptable Substitutes
    Section 612(c) requires EPA to publish a list of the substitutes 
that it finds to be unacceptable for specific uses and to publish a 
corresponding list of acceptable substitutes for specific uses. The 
list of ``acceptable'' substitutes is found at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/lists and the lists of ``unacceptable,'' ``acceptable subject to use 
conditions,'' and ``acceptable subject to narrowed use limits'' 
substitutes are found in the appendices to 40 CFR part 82 subpart G.
3. Petition Process
    Section 612(d) grants the right to any person to petition EPA to 
add a substance to, or delete a substance from, the lists published in 
accordance with section 612(c). The Agency has 90 days to grant or deny 
a petition. Where the Agency grants the petition, EPA must publish the 
revised lists within an additional six months.
4. 90-Day Notification
    Section 612(e) directs EPA to require any person who produces a 
chemical substitute for a class I substance to notify the Agency not 
less than 90 days before new or existing chemicals are introduced into 
interstate commerce for significant new uses as substitutes for a class 
I substance. The producer must also provide the Agency with the 
producer's unpublished health and safety studies on such substitutes.
5. Outreach
    Section 612(b)(1) states that the Administrator shall seek to 
maximize the use of federal research facilities and resources to assist 
users of class I and II substances in identifying and developing 
alternatives to the use of such substances in key commercial 
applications.
6. Clearinghouse
    Section 612(b)(4) requires the Agency to set up a public 
clearinghouse of alternative chemicals, product substitutes, and 
alternative manufacturing processes that are available for products and 
manufacturing processes which use class I and II substances.

B. What are EPA's regulations implementing CAA section 612?

    On March 18, 1994, EPA published the initial SNAP rule (59 FR 
13044) which established the process for administering the SNAP program 
and issued EPA's first lists identifying acceptable and unacceptable 
substitutes in major industrial use sectors (40 CFR part 82, subpart 
G). These sectors are the following: Refrigeration and air 
conditioning; foam blowing; solvents cleaning; fire suppression and 
explosion protection; sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings and 
inks; and tobacco expansion. These sectors comprise the principal 
industrial sectors that historically consumed the largest volumes of 
ODS.

C. How do the regulations for the SNAP program work?

    Under the SNAP regulations, anyone who produces a substitute to 
replace a class I or II ODS in one of the eight major industrial use 
sectors must provide the Agency with notice and the required health and 
safety information on the substitute at least 90 days before 
introducing it into interstate commerce for significant new use as an 
alternative. 40 CFR 82.176(a). While this requirement typically applies 
to chemical manufacturers as the person likely to be planning to 
introduce the substitute into interstate commerce,\13\ it

[[Page 42876]]

may also apply to importers, formulators, equipment manufacturers, or 
end users \14\ when they are responsible for introducing a substitute 
into commerce. The 90-day SNAP review process begins once EPA receives 
the submission and determines that the submission includes complete and 
adequate data. 40 CFR 82.180(a). The CAA and the SNAP regulations, 40 
CFR 82.174(a), prohibit use of a substitute earlier than 90 days after 
a complete submission has been provided to the Agency.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \13\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.104 ``interstate commerce'' means 
the distribution or transportation of any product between one state, 
territory, possession or the District of Columbia, and another 
state, territory, possession or the District of Columbia, or the 
sale, use or manufacture of any product in more than one state, 
territory, possession or District of Columbia. The entry points for 
which a product is introduced into interstate commerce are the 
release of a product from the facility in which the product was 
manufactured, the entry into a warehouse from which the domestic 
manufacturer releases the product for sale or distribution, and at 
the site of United States Customs clearance.
    \14\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.172 ``end-use'' means processes or 
classes of specific applications within major industrial sectors 
where a substitute is used to replace an ozone-depleting substance.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency has identified four possible decision categories for 
substitute submissions: Acceptable; acceptable, subject to use 
conditions; acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits; and 
unacceptable.\15\ 40 CFR 82.180(b). Use conditions and narrowed use 
limits are both considered ``use restrictions'' and are explained 
below. Substitutes that are deemed acceptable without use conditions 
can be used for all applications within the relevant end-uses within 
the sector and without limits under SNAP on how they may be used. 
Substitutes that are acceptable subject to use restrictions may be used 
only in accordance with those restrictions. Substitutes that are found 
to be unacceptable may not be used after the date specified in the 
rulemaking adding such substitute to the list of unacceptable 
substitutes.\16\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \15\ The SNAP regulations also include ``pending,'' referring to 
submissions for which EPA has not reached a determination, under 
this provision.
    \16\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.172, ``use'' means any use of a 
substitute for a Class I or Class II ozone-depleting compound, 
including but not limited to use in a manufacturing process or 
product, in consumption by the end-user, or in intermediate uses, 
such as formulation or packaging for other subsequent uses. This 
definition of use encompasses manufacturing process of products both 
for domestic use and for export. Substitutes manufactured within the 
United States exclusively for export are subject to SNAP 
requirements since the definition of use in the rule includes use in 
the manufacturing process, which occurs within the United States.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    After reviewing a substitute, the Agency may determine that a 
substitute is acceptable only if certain conditions in the way that the 
substitute is used are met to ensure risks to human health and the 
environment are not significantly greater than other available 
substitutes. EPA describes such substitutes as ``acceptable subject to 
use conditions.'' Entities that use these substitutes without meeting 
the associated use conditions are in violation of section 612 of the 
CAA and EPA's SNAP regulations. 40 CFR 82.174(c).
    For some substitutes, the Agency may permit a narrow range of use 
within an end-use or sector. For example, the Agency may limit the use 
of a substitute to certain end-uses or specific applications within an 
industry sector. The Agency requires a user of a narrowed use 
substitute to demonstrate that no other acceptable substitutes are 
available for their specific application. EPA describes these 
substitutes as ``acceptable subject to narrowed use limits.'' A person 
using a substitute that is acceptable subject to narrowed use limits in 
applications and end-uses that are not consistent with the narrowed use 
limit is using these substitutes in violation of section 612 of the CAA 
and EPA's SNAP regulations. 40 CFR 82.174(c).
    The section 612 mandate for EPA to prohibit the use of a substitute 
that may present risk to human health or the environment where a lower 
risk alternative is available or potentially available \17\ provides 
EPA with the authority to change the listing status of a particular 
substitute if such a change is justified by new information or changed 
circumstance. The Agency publishes its SNAP program decisions in the 
Federal Register. EPA uses notice-and-comment rulemaking to place any 
alternative on the list of prohibited substitutes, to list a substitute 
as acceptable only subject to use conditions or narrowed use limits, or 
to remove a substitute from either the list of prohibited or acceptable 
substitutes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \17\ In addition to acceptable commercially available 
substitutes, the SNAP program may consider potentially available 
substitutes. The SNAP program's definition of ``potentially 
available '' is ``any alternative for which adequate health, safety, 
and environmental data, as required for the SNAP notification 
process, exist to make a determination of acceptability, and which 
the Agency reasonably believes to be technically feasible, even if 
not all testing has yet been completed and the alternative is not 
yet produced or sold.'' (40 CFR 82.172)
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In contrast, EPA publishes ``notices of acceptability'' to notify 
the public of substitutes that are deemed acceptable with no 
restrictions. As described in the preamble to the rule initially 
implementing the SNAP program (59 FR 13044; March 18, 1994), EPA does 
not believe that rulemaking procedures are necessary to list 
substitutes that are acceptable without restrictions because such 
listings neither impose any sanction nor prevent anyone from using a 
substitute.
    Many SNAP listings include ``comments'' or ``further information'' 
to provide additional information on substitutes. Since this additional 
information is not part of the regulatory decision, these statements 
are not binding for use of the substitute under the SNAP program. 
However, regulatory requirements so listed are binding under other 
regulatory programs (e.g., worker protection regulations promulgated by 
the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)). The 
``further information'' classification does not necessarily include all 
other legal obligations pertaining to the use of the substitute. While 
the items listed are not legally binding under the SNAP program, EPA 
encourages users of substitutes to apply all statements in the 
``further information'' column in their use of these substitutes. In 
many instances, the information simply refers to sound operating 
practices that have already been identified in existing industry and/or 
building codes or standards. Thus, many of the statements, if adopted, 
would not require the affected user to make significant changes in 
existing operating practices.

D. What are the guiding principles of the SNAP program?

    The seven guiding principles of the SNAP program, elaborated in the 
preamble to the initial SNAP rule and consistent with section 612, are 
discussed below.
     Evaluate substitutes within a comparative risk framework
    The SNAP program evaluates the risk of alternative compounds 
compared to available or potentially available substitutes to the ozone 
depleting compounds which they are intended to replace. The risk 
factors that are considered include ozone depletion potential as well 
as flammability, toxicity, occupational health and safety, and 
contributions to climate change and other environmental factors.
     Do not require that substitutes be risk free to be found 
acceptable
    Substitutes found to be acceptable must not pose significantly 
greater risk than other substitutes, but they do not have to be risk 
free. A key goal of the SNAP program is to promote the use of 
substitutes that minimize risks to human health and the environment 
relative to other alternatives. In some cases, this approach may 
involve designating a substitute acceptable even though the compound 
may pose a risk of some type, provided its use does not pose 
significantly greater risk than other alternatives.
     Restrict those substitutes that are significantly worse

[[Page 42877]]

    EPA does not intend to restrict a substitute if it has only 
marginally greater risk. Drawing fine distinctions would be extremely 
difficult. The Agency also does not want to intercede in the market's 
choice of substitutes by listing as unacceptable all but a few 
substitutes for each end-use, and does not intend to do so unless a 
substitute has been proposed or is being used that is clearly more 
harmful to human health or the environment than other available or 
potentially available alternatives.
     Evaluate risks by use
    Central to SNAP's evaluations is the intersection between the 
characteristics of the substitute itself and its specific end-use 
application. Section 612 requires that substitutes be evaluated by use. 
Environmental and human health exposures can vary significantly 
depending on the particular application of a substitute. Thus, the risk 
characterizations must be designed to represent differences in the 
environmental and human health effects associated with diverse uses. 
This approach cannot, however, imply fundamental tradeoffs with respect 
to different types of risk to either the environment or to human 
health.
     Provide the regulated community with information as soon 
as possible
    The Agency recognizes the need to provide the regulated community 
with information on the acceptability of various substitutes as soon as 
possible. To do so, EPA issues notices or determinations of 
acceptability and rules identifying substitutes as unacceptable, 
acceptable to use conditions or acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits in the Federal Register. In addition, we maintain lists of 
acceptable and unacceptable alternatives on our Web site, www.epa.gov/ozone/snap.
     Do not endorse products manufactured by specific companies
    The Agency does not issue company-specific product endorsements. In 
many cases, the Agency may base its analysis on data received on 
individual products, but the addition of a substitute to the acceptable 
list based on that analysis does not represent an endorsement of that 
company's products.
     Defer to other environmental regulations when warranted
    In some cases, EPA and other federal agencies have developed 
extensive regulations under other sections of the CAA or other statutes 
that address potential environmental or human health effects that may 
result from the use of alternatives to class I and class II substances. 
For example, use of some substitutes may in some cases entail increased 
use of chemicals that contribute to tropospheric air pollution. The 
SNAP program takes existing regulations under other programs into 
account when reviewing substitutes.

E. What are EPA's criteria for evaluating substitutes under the SNAP 
program?

    EPA applies the same criteria for determining whether a substitute 
is acceptable or unacceptable. These criteria, which can be found at 
Sec.  82.180(a)(7), include atmospheric effects and related health and 
environmental effects, ecosystem risks, consumer risks, flammability, 
and cost and availability of the substitute. To enable EPA to assess 
these criteria, we require submitters to include various information 
including ozone depletion potential (ODP), GWP, toxicity, flammability, 
and the potential for human exposure.
    When evaluating potential substitutes, EPA evaluates these criteria 
in the following groupings:
     Atmospheric effects--The SNAP program evaluates the 
potential contributions to both ozone depletion and climate change. The 
SNAP program considers the ozone depletion potential and the 100-year 
integrated GWP of compounds to assess atmospheric effects.
     Exposure assessments--The SNAP program uses exposure 
assessments to estimate concentration levels of substitutes to which 
workers, consumers, the general population, and the environment may be 
exposed over a determined period of time. These assessments are based 
on personal monitoring data or area sampling data if available. 
Exposure assessments may be conducted for many types of releases 
including:
    (1) Releases in the workplace and in homes;
    (2) Releases to ambient air and surface water;
    (3) Releases from the management of solid wastes.
     Toxicity data--The SNAP program uses toxicity data to 
assess the possible health and environmental effects of exposure to 
substitutes. We use broad health-based criteria such as:
    (1) Permissible Exposure Limits (PELs) for occupational exposure;
    (2) Inhalation reference concentrations (RfCs) for non-carcinogenic 
effects on the general population;
    (3) Cancer slope factors for carcinogenic risk to members of the 
general population.
    When considering risks in the workplace, if OSHA has not issued a 
PEL for a compound, EPA then considers Recommended Exposure Limits from 
the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), 
Workplace Environmental Exposure Limits (WEELs) set by the American 
Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), or threshold limit values (TLVs) 
set by the American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists 
(ACGIH). If limits for occupational exposure or exposure to the general 
population are not already established, then EPA derives these values 
following the Agency's peer reviewed guidelines. Exposure information 
is combined with toxicity information to explore any basis for concern. 
Toxicity data are used with existing EPA guidelines to develop health-
based limits for interim use in these risk characterizations.
     Flammability--The SNAP program examines flammability as a 
safety concern for workers and consumers. EPA assesses flammability 
risk using data on:
    (1) Flash point and flammability limits (e.g. American Society of 
Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) 
flammability/combustibility classifications);
    (2) Data on testing of blends with flammable components;
    (3) Test data on flammability in consumer applications conducted by 
independent laboratories; and
    (4) Information on flammability risk mitigation techniques.
     Other environmental impacts--The SNAP program also 
examines other potential environmental impacts like ecotoxicity and 
local air quality impacts. A compound that is likely to be discharged 
to water may be evaluated for impacts on aquatic life. Some substitutes 
are volatile organic compounds (VOC). EPA also notes whenever a 
potential substitute is considered a hazardous or toxic air pollutant 
(under CAA sections 112(b) and 202(l)) or hazardous waste under the 
Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) subtitle C regulations.
    Over the past twenty years, the menu of substitutes has become much 
broader and a great deal of new information has been developed on many 
substitutes. Because the overall goal of the SNAP program is to ensure 
that substitutes listed as acceptable do not pose significantly greater 
risk to human health and the environment than other available 
substitutes, the SNAP criteria should be informed by our current 
overall understanding of environmental and human health impacts and our 
experience with and current knowledge about available and potentially 
available

[[Page 42878]]

substitutes. Over time, the range of substitutes reviewed by SNAP has 
changed, and, at the same time, scientific approaches have evolved to 
more accurately assess the potential environmental and human health 
impacts of these chemicals and alternative technologies.

F. How are SNAP determinations updated?

    Three mechanisms exist for modifying the list of SNAP 
determinations. First, under section 612(d), the Agency must review and 
either grant or deny petitions to add or delete substances from the 
SNAP list of acceptable or unacceptable substitutes. That provision 
allows any person to petition the Administrator to add a substance to 
the list of acceptable or unacceptable substitutes or to remove a 
substance from either list. The second means is through the 
notifications which must be submitted to EPA 90 days before 
introduction of a substitute into interstate commerce for significant 
new use as an alternative to a class I or class II substance. These 90-
day notifications are required by section 612(e) of the CAA for 
producers of substitutes to class I substances for new uses and, in all 
other cases, by EPA regulations issued under sections 114 and 301 of 
the Act to implement section 612(c).
    Finally, since the inception of the SNAP program, we have 
interpreted the section 612 mandate to find substitutes acceptable or 
unacceptable to include the authority to act on our own to add or 
remove a substance from the SNAP lists. In determining whether to add 
or remove a substance from the SNAP lists, we consider whether there 
are other available substitutes that pose lower overall risk to human 
health and the environment. In determining whether to modify a listing 
of a substitute we undertake the same consideration, but do so in the 
light of new data not considered at the time of our original listing 
decision, including information on new substitutes and new information 
on substitutes previously reviewed.

G. What does EPA consider in deciding whether to modify the listing 
status of an alternative?

    As described in this document and elsewhere, including in the 
initial SNAP rule published in the Federal Register on March 18, 1994 
(59 FR 13044), CAA section 612 requires EPA to list as unacceptable any 
substitute substance where it finds that there are other substitutes 
currently or potentially available that reduce overall risk to human 
health and the environment.
    The initial SNAP rule included submission requirements and 
presented the environmental and health risk factors that the SNAP 
program considers in its comparative risk framework. Environmental and 
human health exposures can vary significantly depending on the 
particular application of a substitute; therefore, EPA makes decisions 
based on the particular end-use where a substitute is to be used. EPA 
has, in many cases, found certain substitutes acceptable only for 
limited end-uses or subject to use restrictions.
    It has now been over twenty years since the initial SNAP rule was 
promulgated. In that period, the menu of available alternatives has 
expanded greatly and now includes many substitutes with diverse 
characteristics and varying effects on human health and the 
environment. When the SNAP program began, the number of substitutes 
available for consideration was, for many end-uses, somewhat limited. 
While the SNAP program's initial comparative assessments of overall 
risk to human health and the environment were rigorous, often there 
were few substitutes upon which to apply the comparative assessment. 
The immediacy of the class I phaseout often meant that SNAP listed 
class II ODS (i.e., HCFCs) as acceptable, recognizing that they too 
would be phased out and were only an interim solution. Other Title VI 
provisions such as the section 610 Nonessential Products Ban and the 
section 605 Use Restriction made clear that a listing under the SNAP 
program could not convey permanence.
    Since EPA issued the initial SNAP rule in 1994, the Agency has 
issued 19 rules and 30 notices that generally expand the menu of 
options for all SNAP sectors and end-uses. Comparisons today apply to a 
broader range of options--both chemical and non-chemical--than was 
available at the inception of the SNAP program. Industry experience 
with these substitutes has also grown during the history of the 
program. This varies by sector and by end-use.
    In addition to an expanding menu of substitutes, developments over 
the past 20 years have improved our understanding of global 
environmental issues. With regard to that information, our review of 
substitutes in this rule includes comparative assessments that consider 
our evolving understanding of a variety of factors, including climate 
change. GWPs and climate effects are not new elements in our evaluation 
framework, but as is the case with all of our review criteria, the 
amount and quality of information has expanded.
    To the extent possible, EPA's ongoing management of the SNAP 
program considers new information and improved understanding of the 
risk to the environment and human health. EPA previously has taken 
several actions revising listing determinations from acceptable or 
acceptable with use conditions to unacceptable based on information 
made available to EPA after a listing was issued. For example, on 
January 26, 1999, EPA listed the refrigerant blend known by the trade 
name MT-31 as unacceptable for all refrigeration and air conditioning 
end-uses. EPA previously listed this blend as an acceptable substitute 
in various end-uses within the refrigeration and air conditioning 
sector (June 3, 1997; 62 FR 30275). Based on new information about the 
toxicity of one of the chemicals in the blend, EPA subsequently removed 
MT-31 from the list of acceptable substitutes and listed it as 
unacceptable in all refrigeration and air conditioning end-uses 
(January 26, 1999; 64 FR 3861).
    Another example of EPA revising a listing determination occurred in 
2007 when EPA listed HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as unacceptable for use in 
the foam sector (March 28, 2007; 72 FR 14432). These HCFCs, which are 
ozone depleting and subject to a global production phaseout, were 
initially listed as acceptable substitutes since they had a lower ODP 
than the substances they were replacing and there were no other 
available substitutes that posed lower overall risk at the time of 
EPA's listing decision. HCFCs offered a path forward for some sectors 
and end-uses at a time when substitutes were far more limited. In light 
of the expanded availability of other substitutes with lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment in specific foam end-uses, and 
taking into account the 2010 class II ODS phase-down step, EPA changed 
the listing for these HCFCs in relevant end-uses from acceptable to 
unacceptable. In that rule, EPA noted that continued use of these HCFCs 
would contribute to unnecessary depletion of the ozone layer and delay 
the transition to substitutes that pose lower overall risk to human 
health and the environment. EPA established a change of status date 
that recognized that existing users needed time to adjust their 
manufacturing processes to safely accommodate the use of other 
substitutes.

H. Where can I get additional information about the SNAP program?

    For copies of the comprehensive SNAP lists of substitutes or 
additional information on SNAP, refer to EPA's Web site at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap.

[[Page 42879]]

For more information on the Agency's process for administering the SNAP 
program or criteria for evaluation of substitutes, refer to the initial 
SNAP rule published March 18, 1994 (59 FR 13044), codified at 40 CFR 
part 82, subpart G. A complete chronology of SNAP decisions and the 
appropriate citations are found at www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/chron.html.

III. What actions and information related to greenhouse gases have 
bearing on this final action to modify prior SNAP determinations?

    GWP is one of several criteria EPA considers in the overall 
evaluation of alternatives under the SNAP program. During the past two 
decades, the general science on climate change and the potential 
contributions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) such as HFCs to climate change 
have become better understood.
    On December 7, 2009, at 74 FR 66496, the Administrator issued two 
distinct findings regarding GHGs \18\ under section 202(a) of the CAA:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \18\ The relevant scientific and technical information 
summarized to support the Endangerment Finding and the Cause or 
Contribute Finding can be found at: www.epa.gov/climatechange/Downloads/endangerment/Endangerment_TSD.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

     Endangerment Finding: The current and projected 
concentrations of the six key well-mixed greenhouse gases in the 
atmosphere--CO2, methane (CH4), nitrous oxide 
(N2O), HFCs, perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur 
hexafluoride (SF6)--threaten the public health and welfare 
of current and future generations.
     Cause or Contribute Finding: The combined emissions of 
these well-mixed greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles and new motor 
vehicle engines contribute to the greenhouse gas pollution which 
threatens public health and welfare.
    Like the ODS they replace, HFCs are potent GHGs.\19\ Although they 
represent a small fraction of the current total volume of GHG 
emissions, their warming impact is very strong. The most commonly used 
HFC is HFC-134a. HFC-134a is 1,430 times more damaging to the climate 
system than carbon dioxide. HFC emissions are projected to increase 
substantially and at an increasing rate over the next several decades 
if left unregulated. In the United States, emissions of HFCs are 
increasing more quickly than those of any other GHGs, and globally they 
are increasing 10-15% annually.\20\ At that rate, emissions are 
projected to double by 2020 and triple by 2030.\21\ HFCs are rapidly 
accumulating in the atmosphere. The atmospheric concentration of HFC-
134a, the most abundant HFC, has increased by about 10% per year from 
2006 to 2012, and the concentrations of HFC-143a and HFC-125 have risen 
over 13% and 16% per year from 2007-2011, respectively.22 23
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \19\ IPCC/TEAP (2005) Special Report: Safeguarding the Ozone 
Layer and the Global Climate System: Issues Related to 
Hydrofluorocarbons and Perfluorocarbons (Cambridge Univ Press, New 
York).
    \20\ UNEP 2011. HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and 
the Ozone Layer. United Nations Environment Programme.
    \21\ Akerman, Nancy H. Hydrofluorocarbons and Climate Change: 
Summaries of Recent Scientific and Papers, 2013.
    \22\ Montzka, S.A.: HFCs in the Atmosphere: Concentrations, 
Emissions and Impacts, ASHRAE/NIST Conference 2012.
    \23\ NOAA data at ftp://ftp.cmdl.noaa.gov/hats/hfcs/.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Annual global emissions of HFCs are projected to rise to about 6.4 
to 9.9 Gt CO2eq in 2050,\24\ which is comparable to the drop 
in annual GHG emissions from ODS of 8.0 GtCO2eq between 1988 
and 2010 (UNEP, 2011). By 2050, the buildup of HFCs in the atmosphere 
is projected to increase radiative forcing by up to 0.4 W 
m-2. This increase may be as much as one-fifth to one-
quarter of the expected increase in radiative forcing due to the 
buildup of CO2 since 2000, according to the 
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's (IPCC's) Special Report on 
Emissions Scenarios (SRES) (UNEP, 2011). To appreciate the significance 
of the effect of projected HFC emissions within the context of all 
GHGs, HFCs would be equivalent to 5 to 12% of the CO2 
emissions in 2050 based on the IPCC's highest CO2 emissions 
scenario and equivalent to 27 to 69% of CO2 emissions based 
on the IPCC's lowest CO2 emissions pathway.25 26 
Additional information concerning the peer-reviewed scientific 
literature and emission scenarios is available in the docket for this 
rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \24\ Velders, G.J.M., D.W. Fahey, J.S. Daniel, M. McFarland, 
S.O. Andersen (2009) The large contribution of projected HFC 
emissions to future climate forcing. Proceedings of the National 
Academy of Sciences USA 106: 10949-10954.
    \25\ HFCs: A Critical Link in Protecting Climate and the Ozone 
Layer. United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), 2011, 36pp
    \26\ IPCC, 2013: Annex II: Climate System Scenario Tables 
[Prather, M., G. Flato, P. Friedlingstein, C. Jones, J.-F. Lamarque, 
H. Liao and P. Rasch (eds.)]. In: Climate Change 2013: The Physical 
Science Basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fifth 
Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 
[Stocker, T.F., D. Qin, G.-K. Plattner, M. Tignor, S.K. Allen, J. 
Boschung, A. Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. 
Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, 
NY, USA.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

IV. What petitions has EPA received requesting a change in listing 
status for HFCs?

A. Summary of Petitions

    EPA received three petitions requesting EPA to modify certain 
acceptability listings of HFC-134a and HFC-134a blends. These petitions 
are more fully described in the notice of proposed rulemaking (NPRM). 
The first petition was submitted on May 7, 2010, by Natural Resources 
Defense Council (NRDC) on behalf of NRDC, the Institute for Governance 
and Sustainable Development (IGSD), and the Environmental Investigation 
Agency-US (EIA). The petition requested that EPA remove HFC-134a from 
the list of acceptable substitutes in multiple end-uses and move it to 
the list of unacceptable substitutes in those end-uses. In support of 
their petition, the petitioners identified other substitutes that they 
claimed were available for use in those end-uses and they claimed these 
other substitutes present much lower risks to human health and 
environment than HFC-134a.
    On February 14, 2011, EPA found the petition complete for MVAC in 
new passenger cars and light-duty vehicles and determined it was 
incomplete for other uses of HFC-134a. EPA noted in its response that, 
at a future date, the Agency would initiate a notice-and-comment 
rulemaking in response to the one complete aspect of the petition, 
noting in particular that EPA would evaluate and take comment on many 
factors, including, but not limited to, the timeframe for introduction 
of newer substitutes for MVAC systems into the automotive market and 
potential lead time for manufacturers of motor vehicles to accommodate 
such substitutes.
    On April 26, 2012, EPA received a second petition submitted by EIA. 
EIA stated that, in light of the comparative nature of the SNAP 
program's evaluation of substitutes and given that other acceptable 
substitutes are on the market or soon to be available, EPA should 
remove HFC-134a and HFC-134a blends from the list of acceptable 
substitutes for uses where EPA found chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and 
HCFCs to be nonessential under section 610 of the Act. EIA also 
requested that the schedule for moving HFC-134a and HFC-134a blends 
from the list of acceptable to unacceptable substitutes be based on the 
``most rapidly feasible transitions to one or more of the'' acceptable 
substitutes for each use. The petitioner noted that initial approvals 
of HFC-134a for a number of end-uses occurred in the 1990s and were 
based

[[Page 42880]]

on the assessment made then that 1) HFC-134a does not contribute to 
ozone depletion; 2) HFC-134a's GWP and atmospheric lifetime were close 
to those of other substitutes that had been determined to be acceptable 
for the end-uses; and 3) HFC-134a is not flammable, and its toxicity is 
low.\27\ The petitioner stated that the analysis used in the listing 
decisions may have been appropriate in the 1990s but was no longer so 
today given the range of other available or potentially available 
substitutes at present.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \27\ See, e.g., 60 FR at 31097.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    On August 7, 2012, EPA notified the petitioner that this petition 
was incomplete. EPA and the petitioner have exchanged further 
correspondence that can be found in the docket.
    A third petition was filed on April 27, 2012, by NRDC, EIA and 
IGSD. They requested that EPA:
     Remove HFC-134a from the list of acceptable substitutes 
for CFC-12 in household refrigerators and freezers and stand-alone 
retail food refrigerators and freezers;
     Restrict the sales of SNAP-listed refrigerants to all 
except certified technicians with access to service tools required 
under existing EPA regulations;
     Adopt a standardized procedure to determine the speed of 
transition from obsolete high-GWP HFCs to next-generation alternatives 
and substitutes;
     Remove, in addition to HFC-134a, all other refrigerants 
with 100-year GWPs greater than 150 from the acceptable list for 
household refrigerators and freezers and stand-alone retail food 
refrigerators and freezers.
    On August 7, 2013, EPA found this petition to be incomplete. EPA 
and the petitioner have exchanged further correspondence that can be 
found in the docket.

B. How This Action Relates to the Climate Action Plan and Petitions

    This action is consistent with a provision in the President's CAP 
announced June 2013: Moving forward, the Environmental Protection 
Agency will use its authority through the Significant New Alternatives 
Policy Program to encourage private sector investment in low-emissions 
technology by identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals 
while prohibiting certain uses of the most harmful chemical 
alternatives.
    The CAP further states: ``to reduce emissions of HFCs, the United 
States can and will lead both through international diplomacy as well 
as domestic actions.'' This rule is also consistent with that call for 
leadership through domestic actions. As regards international 
leadership, for the past five years, the United States, Canada, and 
Mexico have proposed an amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase 
down the production and consumption of HFCs. Global benefits of the 
amendment proposal would yield significant reductions of over 90 
gigatons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq) through 2050.
    This action also addresses certain aspects of the three petitions 
referred to above. First, this action responds to the one aspect of the 
three petitions that EPA found complete, namely petitioners' request 
that EPA change the listing of HFC-134a from acceptable to unacceptable 
in new MVAC systems. (See section V.B.) Second, regarding the remaining 
aspects of the three petitions, which EPA found to be incomplete, EPA 
has independently acquired sufficient information to address certain 
other requests made by the petitioners. EPA's action in this final rule 
may be considered responsive to certain aspects of those petitions such 
as: Changing the listing of certain HFCs used in specific aerosol uses 
from acceptable to unacceptable or acceptable, subject to use 
conditions; changing the listing of certain HFCs used in specific foams 
end-uses from acceptable to unacceptable for most uses; changing the 
listing of HFC-134a from acceptable to unacceptable for new stand-alone 
retail food refrigerators and freezers; and changing the listing of a 
number of refrigerant blends with higher GWPs from acceptable to 
unacceptable for new and retrofit stand-alone retail food refrigerators 
and freezers. Specifically, as explained in more detail in the sector-
specific sections of this document, we are revising the listings for 
substitutes in the aerosols, foams, and refrigeration and air 
conditioning sectors that pose significantly greater overall risk to 
human health and the environment as compared with other available or 
potentially available substitutes in the specified end-uses.
    Throughout the process of our discussions with the regulated 
community, we have sought to convey our continued understanding of the 
role that certainty plays in enabling the robust development and uptake 
of alternatives. Unfortunately, some of the key strengths of the SNAP 
program, such as its chemical and end-use specific consideration, its 
multi-criteria basis for action, and its petition process, tend to 
militate against some measures that could provide more certainty, such 
as setting specific numerical criteria for environmental evaluations 
(e.g., all compounds with GWP greater than 150). That being said, we 
believe that the action we are taking today, and future action we may 
take, does provide additional certainty in the specific cases 
addressed. In addition, we remain committed to continuing to actively 
seek stakeholder views and to share our thinking at the earliest moment 
practicable on any future actions, as part of our commitment to provide 
greater certainty to producers and consumers in SNAP-regulated 
industrial sectors.

V. What is EPA's final action concerning the HFCs addressed in this 
rule?

A. Aerosols

1. Background
    The SNAP program provides listings for two aerosol end-uses: 
Propellants and solvents. Aerosols typically use a liquefied or 
compressed gas to propel active ingredients in liquid, paste, or powder 
form. In the case of duster sprays used to blow dust and contaminants 
off of surfaces, the propellant is also itself the active ingredient. 
Some aerosols also contain a solvent, which may be used in 
manufacturing, maintenance and repair to clean off oil, grease, and 
other soils.
    Historically, a variety of propellants and solvents have been 
available to formulators. HCs (e.g., propane, isobutane) and compressed 
gases (e.g., CO2, N2, N2O, and 
compressed air) have long been used as propellants. Prior to 1978, the 
aerosol industry predominantly used CFCs. In 1978, in response to 
evidence regarding depletion of the earth's ozone layer, the United 
States banned CFC propellants, with few exceptions.
    Many consumer products that previously used CFC propellants were 
reformulated or replaced with a variety of alternatives, including not-
in-kind substitutes, such as pump sprays or solid and roll-on 
deodorants. Aerosol propellant substitutes included HCFCs, HCs, HFCs, 
compressed gases, and oxygenated organic compounds. However, since the 
1990s HCFCs have been controlled substances under the Montreal Protocol 
and subject to regulation under the CAA, as amended in 1990, including 
a phaseout of production and import under section 605(b)-(c) and use 
restrictions under section 605(a).
2. What is EPA finalizing concerning aerosols?
    For aerosol propellants, EPA proposed to list, as of January 1, 
2016:
     HFC-125 as unacceptable;

[[Page 42881]]

     HFC-134a as acceptable, subject to use conditions, 
allowing its use only in specific types of technical and medical 
aerosols (e.g., MDIs) and
     HFC-227ea as acceptable, subject to use conditions, 
allowing its use only in MDIs.\28\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \28\ EPA did not explicitly state in our proposal whether blends 
of HFC-134a and HFC-227ea would also be acceptable subject to use 
conditions. However, in general in the SNAP program, blends of 
acceptable aerosol propellants are also acceptable and do not 
require separate approval.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Today's action changes the status of HFC-125; HFC-227ea; blends of 
HFC-134a and HFC-227ea; and HFC-134a, as follows:
     We are changing the status of the aerosol propellant HFC-
125 from acceptable to unacceptable as of January 1, 2016.
     We are changing the status of HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, and 
blends of HFC-134a and HFC-227ea from acceptable to unacceptable for 
use as aerosol propellants as of July 20, 2016 except for those uses 
specifically listed as acceptable, subject to use conditions.
     We are changing the status of the aerosol propellant HFC-
227ea and for blends of HFC-227ea and HFC-134a from acceptable to 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, as of July 20, 2016, for use in 
MDIs approved by FDA.
     We are changing the status of the aerosol propellant HFC-
134a from acceptable to acceptable, subject to use conditions, as of 
July 20, 2016, until January 1, 2018, for the following specific uses: 
Products for which new formulations require federal governmental 
review, including: EPA pesticide registration, military (U.S. 
Department of Defense (DoD)) or space agency (National Aeronautics and 
Space Administration (NASA)) specifications, or FDA approval (aside 
from MDIs); and products for smoke detector functionality testing.
     We are changing the status of the aerosol propellant HFC-
134a from acceptable to acceptable, subject to use conditions as of 
July 20, 2016, for the following specific uses: Cleaning products for 
removal of grease, flux and other soils from electrical equipment or 
electronics; refrigerant flushes; products for sensitivity testing of 
smoke detectors; lubricants and freeze sprays for electrical equipment 
or electronics; sprays for aircraft maintenance; sprays containing 
corrosion preventive compounds used in the maintenance of aircraft, 
electrical equipment or electronics, or military equipment; pesticides 
for use near electrical wires, in aircraft, in total release 
insecticide foggers, or in certified organic use pesticides for which 
EPA has specifically disallowed all other lower-GWP propellants; mold 
release agents and mold cleaners; lubricants and cleaners for 
spinnerettes for synthetic fabrics; duster sprays specifically for use 
on removal of dust from photographic negatives, semiconductor chips, 
specimens under electron microscopes, and energized electrical 
equipment; adhesives and sealants in large canisters; document 
preservation sprays; MDIs approved by FDA for medical purposes,\29\ 
wound care sprays; topical coolant sprays for pain relief; and products 
for removing bandage adhesives from skin.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \29\ Includes veterinary purposes.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The change of status determinations for aerosols are summarized in 
the following table:

                                Table 2--Change of Status Decisions for Aerosols
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                     Uses that are acceptable,
              End-use                    Substitutes              Decision           subject to use conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Propellants.......................  HFC-125..............  Unacceptable as of     None.
                                                            January 1, 2016.
Propellants.......................  HFC-134a.............  Unacceptable as of     From July 20, 2016 to January
                                                            July 20, 2016 except   1, 2018: Products for smoke
                                                            for uses listed as     detector functionality
                                                            acceptable, subject    testing; products for which
                                                            to use conditions.     new formulations require
                                                                                   governmental review,
                                                                                   including: EPA pesticide
                                                                                   registration, military or
                                                                                   space agency specifications,
                                                                                   or FDA approval (other than
                                                                                   MDIs).
                                                                                  As of July 20, 2016: Cleaning
                                                                                   products for removal of
                                                                                   grease, flux and other soils
                                                                                   from electrical equipment;
                                                                                   refrigerant flushes; products
                                                                                   for sensitivity testing of
                                                                                   smoke detectors; lubricants
                                                                                   and freeze sprays for
                                                                                   electrical equipment or
                                                                                   electronics; sprays for
                                                                                   aircraft maintenance; sprays
                                                                                   containing corrosion
                                                                                   preventive compounds used in
                                                                                   the maintenance of aircraft,
                                                                                   electrical equipment or
                                                                                   electronics, or military
                                                                                   equipment; pesticides for use
                                                                                   near electrical wires, in
                                                                                   aircraft, in total release
                                                                                   insecticide foggers, or in
                                                                                   certified organic use
                                                                                   pesticides for which EPA has
                                                                                   specifically disallowed all
                                                                                   other lower-GWP propellants;
                                                                                   mold release agents and mold
                                                                                   cleaners; lubricants and
                                                                                   cleaners for spinnerettes for
                                                                                   synthetic fabrics; duster
                                                                                   sprays specifically for
                                                                                   removal of dust from
                                                                                   photographic negatives,
                                                                                   semiconductor chips,
                                                                                   specimens under electron
                                                                                   microscopes, and energized
                                                                                   electrical equipment;
                                                                                   adhesives and sealants in
                                                                                   large canisters; document
                                                                                   preservation sprays; FDA-
                                                                                   approved MDIs for medical
                                                                                   purposes; wound care sprays;
                                                                                   topical coolant sprays for
                                                                                   pain relief; and products for
                                                                                   removing bandage adhesives
                                                                                   from skin.
Propellants.......................  HFC-227ea and blends   Unacceptable as of     As of July 20, 2016: FDA-
                                     of HFC-227ea and HFC-  July 20, 2016 except   approved MDIs for medical
                                     134a.                  for uses listed as     purposes.
                                                            acceptable, subject
                                                            to use conditions.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 42882]]

(a) What other alternatives are available?
    EPA is changing the listing decisions for HFC-125, HFC-134a, HFC-
227ea, and blends of HFC-134a and HFC-227ea, with some exceptions, 
because, as discussed in more detail in this section, for the uses for 
which we are listing these substitutes as unacceptable, alternatives 
(i.e., chemical compounds and technological options) are available or 
potentially available that reduce the overall risk to human health and 
the environment. Other substitutes listed as acceptable propellants 
include HFC-152a, HFO-1234ze(E), butane, propane, isobutane, 
CO2 and other compressed gases, and dimethyl ether (DME). In 
addition, technological options include not-in-kind alternatives such 
as finger/trigger pumps, powder formulations, sticks, rollers, brushes, 
and wipes. These alternatives have GWPs ranging from zero to 124 
compared with HFC-134a's GWP of 1,430, HFC-227ea's GWP of 3,220 and 
HFC-125's GWP of 3,500.\30\ All of these alternatives, both the ones 
remaining acceptable and those for which we are changing the listing, 
have an ODP of zero, are relatively low in toxicity, and are capable of 
remaining below their respective exposure limits when used as aerosol 
propellants. In addition to GWP, some of the other environmental and 
health attributes that the SNAP program considers that differ for these 
alternatives include impacts on local air quality and flammability. For 
example, butane, propane, isobutane, and DME are VOC as well as being 
flammable. Butane, propane, isobutane, and DME are not excluded from 
the definition of VOC under CAA regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) 
addressing the development of state implementation plans (SIPs) to 
attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards. Thus, 
these propellants are subject to federal, state, and local regulation 
that may prevent their use as a propellant in aerosols in some states 
and counties that have nonattainment areas for ground-level ozone and 
restrict their use under this action. HFC-125, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, 
HFC-152a, HFO-1234ze(E), and the compressed gas CO2 are 
exempted from the definition of VOC under these regulations and their 
use is expected to have negligible impact on ground-level ozone levels. 
As well as HFC-152a, HFO-1234ze(E), and CO2, compressed 
N2 and not-in-kind alternatives are not VOC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \30\ GWP values cited in this final rule are from the IPCC 
Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) unless stated otherwise. Where no GWP 
is listed in AR4, GWP values shall be determined consistent with the 
calculations and analysis presented in AR4 and referenced materials.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The aerosols industry is generally familiar with how to address 
flammability risks. The aerosols industry has been using flammable 
compounds, including flammable propellants, for decades, consistent 
with OSHA requirements addressing flammability. There may be greater 
flammability risks for some specific uses of aerosol products because 
of their use in situations where there is a source of heat or 
electrical energy that could cause a fire (e.g., use on energized 
electrical equipment). Concerns with flammability occur more with 
industrial products, often referred to as ``technical aerosols.'' For 
further discussion on consumer aerosols, technical aerosols, and 
medical aerosols, see the NPRM at 79 FR 46136 through 46138 (August 6, 
2014).
    There are a number of alternatives with GWPs lower than the GWPs 
for the substitutes that we are listing as unacceptable and that are 
not defined as VOC for purposes of SIPs, including: HFC-152a with a GWP 
of 124, HFO-1234ze(E) with a GWP of 6, and CO2 with a GWP of 
1. CO2 and HFO-1234ze(E) are nonflammable under ambient 
temperature conditions, while HFC-152a is flammable, but less so than 
hydrocarbons or DME. All three have GWPs significantly lower than those 
of the HFCs for which we are changing the listing (range of GWPs from 
1,430 to 3,500 for HFC-134a, HFC-227ea and HFC-125).
(1) Aerosols With Flammability and Vapor Pressure Constraints
    Aerosols for industrial and commercial uses often require 
nonflammability and in some cases, specific vapor pressure criteria. 
For example, nonflammable aerosols are needed for use on energized 
electrical circuits, where sparking can create a fire or explosion 
hazard. Of the different alternatives that have previously been listed 
as acceptable, the nonflammable options at room temperature include 
HFC-125, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, HFO-1234ze(E), compressed gases including 
CO2 and N2, and not-in-kind products. At slightly 
higher temperatures (30 [deg]C or 85 [deg]F), HFO-1234ze(E) exhibits 
lower and higher flammability limits, and thus in theory could catch 
fire under specific conditions of concentration and applied energy. 
Some aerosol product formulators have expressed concern that the lower 
vapor pressure of HFO-1234ze(E) and the significantly higher vapor 
pressure of CO2 and other compressed gases may not provide 
adequate performance in propelling the contents of a can for technical 
aerosols or may exceed Department of Transportation pressure 
requirements under elevated temperatures (ITW Polymers Sealants, 2014). 
For comparison, the vapor pressures of HFO-1234ze(E), HFC-134a, and 
CO2 at 20 [deg]C are 422 kPa, 655 kPa, and 5,776 kPa, 
respectively.
    Based on the information available today, EPA believes it cannot 
list HFC-134a as unacceptable for all aerosol uses. Thus, we are 
creating a use condition that would restrict use of HFC-134a to 
specific uses for which alternatives are not currently or potentially 
available.
    Both HFC-227ea and HFC-125 have significantly higher GWPs than HFC-
134a (HFC-227ea's GWP is 3220 and HFC-125's GWP is 3500) or other 
substitutes that could be potentially used where flammability is a 
concern, and there is not a significantly different level of risk based 
on the other factors that we consider. Thus, EPA has determined that 
HFC-227ea and HFC-125 pose significantly more risk than other available 
substitutes and EPA is changing their listing from acceptable to 
unacceptable in most uses where HFC-134a may be used to mitigate 
flammability risks. We note that we are not aware of any use of HFC-
227ea or of HFC-125 in industrial aerosols to mitigate flammability 
risks.
(2) Aerosols for Specific Medical Uses
    For medical aerosols, there are special needs to address safety and 
toxicity. Furthermore, in order for a substitute to be available for 
use in medical devices, the device using the substitute must first be 
reviewed and approved by the FDA.
    FDA has approved medications for use in MDIs using HFC-134a, HFC-
227ea, and blends of these two HFCs as propellants. No medications have 
been approved for use in MDIs using other propellants. Although some 
dry powder inhalers that are not-in-kind substitutes are approved by 
FDA, these alternatives do not work for some situations. Thus, we 
cannot conclude that there are other alternatives available for use in 
MDIs that pose lower risk than HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, or blends of these 
two. In addition, it is our understanding that because of differences 
in the solubility of water in HFC-134a and HFC-227ea, there are some 
medications that are sensitive to the presence of water for which only 
HFC-227ea may be used in an MDI.
    For other medical uses, EPA is aware of medical aerosols that 
currently are using hydrocarbons or DME as the propellant, as well as 
not-in-kind

[[Page 42883]]

alternatives for uses such as antifungals, calamine sprays, freeze 
sprays for wart removal, and liquid bandages (ICF, 2014a). However, EPA 
does not have information that alternatives other than HFC-134a are 
available and are approved by FDA as propellants in wound care sprays; 
topical coolant sprays for pain relief; and products for removing 
bandage adhesives from skin.
    The available substitutes for medical devices are limited to those 
approved by FDA, and the available substitutes differ by the type of 
product and medical conditions treated. For these reasons, we are 
listing HFC-134a, HFC-227ea and blends of HFC-134a and HFC-227ea as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, for specific uses for which 
other alternatives that pose lower overall risk to human health and the 
environment are not currently or potentially available. The use 
conditions limit use of HFC-227ea and blends of HFC-227ea and HFC-134a 
to MDIs approved by FDA and limit use of HFC-134a to MDIs approved by 
FDA and the other medical uses listed above.
    HFC-125 has a GWP of 3,500, which is higher than the GWP of all 
other alternatives that are available for use as aerosol propellants 
(HFC-227ea has a GWP of 3,220; HFC-134a has a GWP of 1,430; HFO-
1234ze(E) has a GWP of 6). Like HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, CO2 and 
HFO-1234ze(E), it is VOC-exempt, nonflammable and low in toxicity. We 
are not aware of any medical or other aerosols currently using HFC-125, 
or of any FDA approval for aerosols using HFC-125. For these reasons, 
we have determined that there are other available substitutes that pose 
lower overall risks to human health and the environment in this use and 
we are changing the listing of HFC-125 from acceptable to unacceptable.
    For more information on the environmental and health properties of 
the different aerosol substitutes, please see the proposed rule at 79 
FR 46137-46138 and a technical support document that provides the 
additional Federal Register citations (EPA, 2015d) in the docket.
(b) When will the listings change?
    On or after January 1, 2016, aerosol products may not be 
manufactured with HFC-125 and on or after July 20, 2016, aerosol 
products may not be manufactured with HFC-134a or HFC-227ea, or blends 
thereof except for the specific uses allowed under the use conditions. 
In addition, as of January 1, 2018, HFC-134a will be unacceptable for 
certain uses, and aerosol products for those uses may not be 
manufactured with HFC-134a as of that date:
     Products for which new formulations require U.S. federal 
government review, including: EPA pesticide registration, military or 
space agency specifications, and FDA approval (aside from MDIs); and
     products for functional testing of smoke detectors.
    In the case of HFC-125, EPA is unaware of any products using HFC-
125, and no public commenters mentioned the existence of such products 
or requested a date other than the proposed date of January 1, 2016.
    We are setting July 20, 2016, as the date on which the status of 
HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, and blends thereof will change to unacceptable, or 
to acceptable, subject to use conditions, for certain specific uses. 
For those uses that would no longer be allowed as of July 20, 2016, 
this timeframe will allow formulators and packagers of aerosols to make 
the necessary changes. (ICF, 2014a; Honeywell, 2014a). A number of 
formulators have already been testing, and in many cases introducing, 
new formulations with alternatives that remain listed acceptable. This 
timing will provide affected aerosol manufacturers and packagers 
sufficient time to change and test formulations and, to the extent 
necessary, to change the equipment in their factories.
    For two aerosol uses, continued use of HFC-134a will be allowed 
under the use conditions until January 1, 2018. EPA is providing this 
longer transition time for these two uses because of additional safety 
precautions and approvals outside of the control of the aerosol 
formulator that must be addressed before transitioning. The first 
category is those that must undergo specific federal governmental 
reviews: EPA pesticide registration under the Federal Insecticide, 
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act, military or space agency 
specifications, and FDA approval. The second category is aerosol 
products for functional testing of smoke detectors, which have National 
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 72 requirements adopted in building 
codes. These types of aerosols must be tested not only for performance 
but also reviewed by third parties for compliance with regulatory or 
code requirements or military specifications. Given both the safety 
implications of insufficient testing and the additional time required 
for third-party testing and/or governmental approval that is not 
required for other aerosol formulations, we have determined that 
alternatives that reduce overall risk will not be available for these 
uses until January 1, 2018.
    As of the change of status dates, products cannot be manufactured 
with HFC-134a or HFC-227ea or blends thereof except for the aerosol 
product types that are listed under the use conditions. Products 
manufactured prior to the change of status date may still be sold, 
imported, exported, and used by the end-user after that date. As 
discussed below in the responses to comment, restricting use of 
aerosols by the end-user, as well as restricting the sale of previously 
manufactured aerosols, may disrupt the market and may not result in 
environmental benefits.
3. How is EPA responding to comments about this end-use?
(a) Timeline
    Comment: EPA received comments from a number of commenters on the 
status change date of HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, and HFC-125 as an aerosol 
propellant. Members of the aerosol industry proposed alternate years 
ranging from 2018 to 2021, always in reference to HFC-134a or to 
``technical'' aerosols. Reasons provided for these dates included 
aligning with the European Union's (EU) timeline of January 1, 2018; a 
need for at least one to two more years to complete reformulation and 
all testing required; and additional time of two to five years to 
complete approval processes: e.g., Underwriters Laboratories (UL) 
approvals to meet NFPA requirements, EPA pesticide registration or 
testing for conformance with military specifications. Members of the 
aerosol industry also suggested that January 1, 2016, is too soon to 
transition away from HFC-134a because of the need for coordination with 
other regulatory requirements, because of business considerations 
including the timing of the need for budgeting for capital 
expenditures, developing and implementing worker education, negotiating 
contracts between aerosol formulators and retailers, and for technical 
reasons such as stability issues with HFO-1234ze(E), one of the 
alternatives that remains acceptable for use. NRDC and IGSD stated that 
EPA must maintain its 2016 timeline for transition to ensure that 
important climate reductions are realized.
    Response: In determining when alternatives that reduce overall risk 
will be available for use, EPA considers technical constraints on the 
use of other alternatives, including when other alternatives may be 
used consistent with safety requirements. Unlike some end-uses, such as 
some of the refrigeration end-uses, there are a much wider variety

[[Page 42884]]

of uses with a much broader range of considerations under the aerosol 
propellant end-use. While there are exceptions, as we address in this 
action, for most of these wide-ranging uses, we do not anticipate 
significant hurdles to transitioning to alternatives. Based on 
information provided by the manufacturer of HFO-1234ze(E), a number of 
their customers have been able to develop and introduce aerosol 
products using HFO-1234ze(E) in a matter of months rather than years. 
Except in limited cases, as discussed below, commenters requesting a 
longer transition period did not provide concrete support for why more 
time for specific uses is needed, resting only on general statements 
that time is needed for ``formulation'' and ``testing.'' Based on the 
information available showing that manufacturers have been able to 
transition relatively quickly, but also recognizing that there may be 
some variation in the time needed for specific uses, we are 
establishing a change of status date of July 20, 2016--roughly seven 
months later than the proposed date of January 1, 2016. This will allow 
approximately one year from the time this rule is issued in which 
manufacturers should be able to address their generalized testing and 
reformulation concerns. Also, HFC-134a remains acceptable, subject to 
use conditions, for many uses, reducing the number of products for 
which companies must reformulate, test, and transition to other 
alternatives.
    For certain aerosol products using HFC-134a that must go through a 
federal government or other third-party approval process for new 
formulations, we are establishing a change of status date of January 1, 
2018. These products include those needing EPA pesticide registration, 
testing to U.S. military or space agency specifications, and FDA 
approval (aside from MDIs). In addition, we are establishing a change 
of status date of January 1, 2018, for a product that requires 
extensive testing to NFPA standards, specifically for smoke detector 
functional testing. Based on information received during the public 
comment period, we have determined that for these specific uses, 
alternatives that pose less risk are not available until these testing 
and registration processes are complete.
    EPA disagrees that we should align the timelines in this rule with 
the EU timelines. The EU regulations rely upon different authority than 
the SNAP program, and reflect the European context. We believe it is 
appropriate for EPA decisions to base timelines upon when alternatives 
that reduce overall risk are available in the United States.
    Comment: National Aerosol Association (NAA), Radiator Specialty 
Company (RSC), LPS Laboratories, Consumer Specialty Products 
Association (CSPA), and Aeropres commented that there is currently no 
industry consensus on the safe handling of HFO-1234ze(E) (and ``any 
alternative products'') in aerosol plants. CSPA states that the CSPA 
Aerosol Propellants Safety Manual will need to be updated to include 
new propellants like HFO-1234ze(E), and that the consensus guidelines 
will then be used to assure that fire and building codes are updated to 
properly cover new propellants. The commenter also states that while 
they seek consensus on updating their safety manual, companies are able 
to proceed using the guidance provided by the supplier, but many CSPA 
members prefer to await industry consensus standards. LPS Laboratories 
comments that applicable codes need to be updated before other 
alternatives can be used and suggests that a January 1, 2018, date for 
listing HFC-134a as unacceptable is more appropriate.
    Response: In the absence of industry consensus guidance, a number 
of aerosol formulators are already manufacturing products safely using 
HFO-1234ze(E) relying upon safety guidelines developed by the chemical 
producer. No commenters raised, and we are unaware of, any specific 
safety concerns that are not addressed in this guidance issued by the 
chemical producer. CSPA mentioned updating fire and building codes 
using the consensus guidelines, but did not state how these are related 
and also indicated that some companies have been able to move ahead 
without updates to fire and building codes based upon the guidance. For 
that reason, we do not believe there is a basis for determining that 
HFO-1234ze(E) is not available for safe use until January 1, 2018, as 
suggested by commenters.
(b) Sell-Through Period
    Comment: Honeywell stated that there should be a limited sell-
through period to prevent stranded inventories for aerosol products, 
while avoiding delays in the transition to low-GWP substitutes. The 
commenter suggested that EPA prohibit the sale, import and export of 
aerosol products manufactured with unacceptable substitutes by no later 
than January 1, 2017. The commenter also suggested that the sell-
through period should apply only to products that were manufactured 
prior to January 1, 2016, and that have entered the distribution 
channel.
    Response: EPA disagrees with the commenter's suggestion that a 
limited sell-through period would be sufficient. Based on past 
experience with implementing a limited sell-through period for certain 
kinds of aerosols containing CFCs and with implementing an unlimited 
sell-through period for other aerosols, we found that a limited sell-
through can result in market disruption and can strand inventory. 
Further, a limited sell-through period does not necessarily preclude 
emissions of HFCs to the environment because while manufacturers and 
distributors would need to dispose of stranded inventory, there is no 
current requirement prohibiting venting of the contents to the 
atmosphere (unlike for refrigeration or MVAC). In this rule, we allow 
new cars or new stand-alone refrigeration equipment manufactured with 
HFC-134a before the change of status date to be used and serviced after 
the change of status date to avoid market disruption, creation of 
stranded inventory, and perverse incentives for releasing refrigerant 
to the environment; a closely analogous treatment for aerosols is to 
allow manufacturers and distributors to sell and end users to use 
aerosol products manufactured before the relevant change of status 
date. Finally, because of the relatively short period from issuance of 
EPA's final rule to the compliance date, we do not expect that there 
will be a large accumulation of inventory. Accordingly, this rule 
allows for an unlimited sell-through and use period for covered aerosol 
products manufactured before the change of status date.
(c) Use Conditions
    Comment: Honeywell, the producer of HFO-1234ze(E), stated that 
there are either commercially available products or shelf-ready 
products that have not yet been commercialized that do not contain HFC-
134a for some of the uses for which EPA proposed to change the status 
of HFC-134a, to acceptable, subject to use conditions, including 
cleaning products for electronics, sprays for aircraft maintenance, and 
dusters.
    Response: EPA agrees, and we note that the uses identified in the 
use conditions encompass a variety of highly specific uses. While 
products without one of these substitutes or a blend of these 
substitutes might be used in one specific use, this does not hold true 
for the entire range of uses in the use category. In particular, this 
is the case for uses where flammability is of concern, such as for 
electronics cleaning and specialty dusters that are used on high-
voltage equipment. In the future, additional testing may indicate that 
other alternatives, such as HFO-1234ze(E), can be used safely even

[[Page 42885]]

under conditions where flammability is of concern, but the information 
available to date is not currently sufficient. Thus, we agree with 
other commenters from the aerosol industry, such as CSPA, that HFC-134a 
continues to be necessary in specific uses where other alternatives 
that pose less overall risk to human health and the environment are not 
available.
    Comment: Arkema asked whether EPA is proposing that HFC-227ea 
continue to be acceptable for MDIs because of ``the volumes or a record 
of unique suitability for a particular purpose,'' when HFC-134a might 
pose lower overall risk compared to HFC-227ea, since its GWP is less 
than half that of HFC-227ea.
    Response: Arkema's comment seems to suggest that we should list 
HFC-227ea as unacceptable for use in MDIs, because it has a higher GWP 
than HFC-134a; we disagree. Although the GWP for HFC-227ea is 
significantly higher than that for HFC-134a, our understanding is that 
there are technical reasons why HFC-134a may not perform adequately as 
a propellant in MDIs using certain kinds of medications. For example, 
because some medications could react or degrade in the presence of 
moisture, and water is much more soluble in HFC-134a than in HFC-227ea, 
further technical work is needed to determine if HFC-134a is able to 
serve as a propellant in all MDIs. Currently, it is our understanding 
that for those types of medications, there are no alternatives to HFC-
227ea that pose lower overall risk to human health and the environment.
    Comment: The International Pharmaceutical Aerosol Consortium (IPAC) 
and Mexichem Fluor, Inc. (Mexichem) suggested using the same language 
for the listing for MDIs for HFC-227ea as for HFC-134a. IPAC, Mexichem, 
and King & Spaulding suggested revising the language to apply to a 
wider group of medical uses, including the treatment of conditions or 
diseases of other organs (for example diabetes) where aerosols can be 
used for systemic delivery through the lung or nose, or that HFC-134a 
and HFC-227ea should be allowed for any medical MDI that has been FDA-
approved regardless of disease condition treated. One of the commenters 
also stated it should be made clear that blends of HFC-134a and HFC-
227ea are also acceptable for such use.
    Response: EPA agrees with the commenters that the lists of medical 
conditions treated with MDIs should be consistent for HFC-134a and HFC-
227ea. Additionally, we agree that the language should more clearly 
specify our intent, which is to cover all MDI uses for which FDA has 
approved HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, or blends of these HFCs. This would 
include the wider group of medical uses suggested by King & Spaulding, 
including the treatment of conditions or diseases of other organs (for 
example diabetes) where aerosols can be used for systemic delivery 
through the lung or nose. It is our understanding that HFC-134a and 
HFC-227ea are the only available alternatives for MDIs approved by FDA, 
with dry powder inhalers as an additional possible not-in-kind 
alternative in limited cases. Thus, we believe that there are no other 
alternatives available or potentially available for all MDIs approved 
by FDA that pose less risk overall to human health and the environment. 
We have revised the wording of the regulatory listing decision to make 
clear that the use condition for HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, and blends of 
HFC-134a and HFC-227ea applies to all MDIs approved by FDA.
    Comment: HSI (Fire & Safety Group, LLC), Honeywell, DuPont, and EIA 
commented that there are available alternatives and there is sufficient 
supply of these alternatives to support EPA's proposed change of status 
decisions for the aerosol propellants end-use.
    Response: EPA agrees with the commenters that, for the most part, 
there is a sufficient supply of alternatives that will support a 
transition away from the substitutes that we have concluded provide a 
greater risk to human health and the environment. However, as discussed 
in more detail above and in response to other comments, in some 
specific cases we received information that demonstrates the existence 
of technological challenges that support a later date for the change in 
status. In those cases, we are providing a later date.
    Comment: Commenters in the aerosol industry commented on situations 
where some alternatives other than HFC-134a are not effective or 
feasible. NAA commented that if CO2 were feasible, it would 
already be used. LPS Laboratories commented that formulators must 
consider chemical compatibility with formulations; for example, 
CO2 cannot be used with water-based formulations due to the 
formation of carbonic acid. LPS Laboratories commented that nitrogen 
has very limited uses due to its lack of solubility and the substantial 
pressure drop that occurs as the product is used.
    Response: EPA recognizes that not all alternative propellants work 
in every particular formulation. The commenters have described specific 
situations where CO2 and nitrogen may not be appropriate 
propellants. However, other alternatives are also listed as acceptable. 
HFO-1234ze(E) and HFC-152a have some physical similarities with HFC-
134a and the commenters do not claim that these other alternatives are 
not available.
    Comment: NRDC and IGSD urged the Agency to deny any requests in the 
aerosols sector for additional exemptions.
    Response: EPA has considered the comments and information submitted 
during the comment period and is adding a limited number of uses to the 
use conditions that would allow continued use of HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, 
or blends thereof for the reasons provided elsewhere in this preamble.
    Comment: Honeywell, NAA, and CSPA commented on the nonflammability 
of HFO-1234ze(E). NAA indicated that HFO-1234ze(E) was found to be 
nonflammable by a number of standard tests (e.g., ASTM E-681) and 
aerosol flammability test methods (e.g., flame extension, enclosed 
space ignition), as well as by a non-standard test including a test 
that found no ignition up to temperatures greater than 900 [deg]F. 
Honeywell commented that while it is accurate to say that HFO-1234ze(E) 
may exhibit vapor flame limits at elevated temperatures, that is only 
one of many properties that must be taken into consideration when 
characterizing HFO-1234ze(E) and its usefulness in formulating 
nonflammable aerosol products. This commenter also provided additional 
information about other tests on the flammability of HFO-1234ze(E). 
CSPA said that there is still some concern about the potential for 
flammability at higher ambient temperatures, and that CSPA member 
product marketers, formulators and manufacturers are working to assure 
that specific products in various categories can be formulated, 
manufactured and used safely and effectively.
    Response: Based on the information available to EPA at this time, 
we agree that HFO-1234ze(E) is nonflammable in most situations that 
aerosols will be used. However, we have not seen results of testing 
that cover all of the types of products for which there are concerns 
about the need for a nonflammable aerosol propellant, such as aerosol 
products used on energized circuits or other electrical equipment. For 
other uses, where we have evidence of product-specific testing on HFO-

[[Page 42886]]

1234ze(E) showing nonflammability (e.g., tire inflators), we have 
concluded that the flammability risks of HFO-1234ze(E) are not a 
significant concern.
    Comment: Several commenters discussed flammability concerns for 
tire inflators, with some suggesting that they should be added as a use 
for which HFC-134a is acceptable, subject to use conditions, others 
suggesting a later change of status date, and others supporting the 
proposal. NAA and RSC stated that due to past accidents traced to 
flammability of tire inflators, it is necessary to test all aspects of 
the inflators to ensure that there are no flammability issues with HFO-
1234ze(E). RSC and Honeywell commented on the specific testing required 
to ensure that new tire inflators using HFO-1234ze(E) are nonflammable, 
because of the possibility of ignition sources such as application of a 
torch to the rim of the tire or sparking from metal tools contacting a 
steel belt during tire repair. ITW Global Tire Repair commented that 
previous Aerosol Tire Inflators were flammable and there were several 
accidents in which tire repair professionals were injured when a spark 
ignited the product. This commenter also stated that EPA should not 
dismiss the need for a nonflammable product because other aspects of 
motor vehicles are flammable; tires and wheels have not been designed 
and engineered to contain flammable products, unlike many other 
flammable products in motor vehicles. CSPA referred to a March, 1999 
recall from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) 
recall for 32 million units of an aerosol tire inflator due to injuries 
caused by the product's flammability. Mexichem comments HFO-1234ze(E) 
requires further evaluation before implementation for emergency tire 
inflators and sealers because of its flammability and uncertainty 
regarding its compatibility with sealants. Honeywell, the manufacturer 
of HFO-1234ze(E), commented that third-party testing of aerosol tire 
inflators using HFO-1234ze(E) found them to be nonflammable.
    Response: We acknowledge that there have been reports of accidents 
associated with use of flammable tire inflators in the past, 
particularly affecting tire repair professionals. Not all manufacturers 
of tire inflators agree that a nonflammable propellant is necessary, 
given there are tire inflators using hydrocarbons already on the 
market. Although HFO-1234ze(E) can ignite under higher temperature 
conditions using the standard test ASTM E 681, a relevant question is 
whether data indicate that an aerosol tire inflator using HFO-1234ze(E) 
would be flammable under the pressure, temperature, and likely ignition 
sources specific to this use. This will ensure a relevant risk 
comparison and will not compare to other flammable substances used in 
other parts of a motor vehicle. One manufacturer of aerosol tire 
inflators has tested a formulation using HFO-1234ze(E) and has found it 
is nonflammable under the conditions that exist for use of a tire 
inflator (RSC, 2014). Therefore, other alternatives are available 
besides HFC-134a that sufficiently mitigate flammability risks for this 
use. Concerning RSC's suggestion for a change of status date of January 
1, 2018, to give sufficient time for additional testing, the commenter 
provided insufficient information on the types of testing or timeframes 
involved to warrant providing additional time. Further, in this final 
rule, we are providing roughly an additional seven months beyond the 
date in the proposal to meet commenters' general comments about 
requiring additional time for testing. Based on the information 
available, HFO-1234ze(E) is an option that other manufacturers of 
aerosol tire inflators are using to formulate products that are not 
flammable under the conditions expected for that use.
    Comment: Commenters from the aerosol industry requested that EPA 
include additional uses for which HFC-134a is acceptable, subject to 
use conditions. These uses include certain aerosols used for testing 
smoke detector sensitivity and ``emergency safety horns exclusively 
used for marine emergency situations and/or industrial emergencies and 
evacuations.'' Reasons cited include allowing time for developing and 
approving new smoke detector sensitivity testing equipment and the need 
for nonflammability because emergency safety horns function where 
flames or other ignition sources are present. An environmental group 
states that it disagrees with comments that request continued use of 
HFC-134a in freeze sprays, tissue freezes, portable safety horns and 
personal defense sprays, as these applications can use other lower-GWP 
alternatives such as dimethyl ether, HFO-1234ze(E), and CO2.
    Response: For aerosols used for smoke detector sensitivity testing, 
EPA received information from a manufacturer of such products that this 
use requires redesign of equipment for testing smoke detectors, and not 
just reformulation of the aerosol. This information indicates that the 
equipment for such testing is designed based on the vapor pressure of 
HFC-134a and would not work with another propellant. Therefore, we are 
adding aerosols for sensitivity testing of smoke detectors to the list 
of use conditions.
    For portable safety horns, personal defense sprays, and freeze 
sprays for wastes (as opposed to electronic freeze sprays), there are 
other alternatives that are available or potentially available that 
reduce overall risk to human health and the environment. Products using 
HFO-1234ze(E) already exist or are in development for these uses. EPA 
received no information indicating that alternatives other than HFC-
125, HFC-134a or HFC-227ea, or blends thereof, cannot be safely used in 
tissue freeze sprays.
    Comment: ITW Polymers Sealants requested that EPA either clarify 
that canister adhesives and sealants are not considered to be aerosols, 
or else that EPA add this use to the list of use conditions for HFC-
134a. ITW Polymers Sealants provided information indicating that 
flammability of the propellant is of concern in the fabrication 
facilities with this use, and that use of hydrocarbon propellants would 
exceed VOC limits set for these products in many areas of the country. 
The commenter also indicated that HFO-1234ze(E), CO2, and 
N2, the only other propellants that would address 
flammability concerns for this use besides HFC-134a, have vapor 
pressures outside of the range that would provide sufficient 
performance. In the absence of sufficient vapor pressure, as with HFO-
1234ze(E), the commenter claims that there will be performance problems 
such as lower bond strength or bumps and mounds in furniture surfaces; 
with the higher pressure propellants N2 and CO2, 
the commenter states that these will result in exceeding Department of 
Transportation internal pressure limits at elevated temperatures.
    Response: We do consider canister adhesives and sealants to be 
aerosols because they are pressurized containers and they use a 
propellant, as opposed to solely mechanical means, to expel the other 
ingredients of the formulation from the container. The information 
provided by the commenter on vapor pressure concerns is plausible, 
based on the relative vapor pressures of the different propellants. It 
is possible for fabrication facilities to use flammable adhesives and 
propellants safely, but it would require time to make the necessary 
upgrades to address these risks. It is also of concern that in VOC 
nonattainment areas, large amounts of hydrocarbons in these large 
canister adhesive containers would cause canister adhesives and 
sealants to exceed their VOC limits. Of the

[[Page 42887]]

available propellant options that are not VOC or are exempted from the 
definition of VOC--HFC-134a, HFO-1234ze(E), CO2, and 
N2--to date, only HFC-134a has been shown to be in a 
pressure range that provides sufficient performance. Thus, it is likely 
that HFC-134a is the only available propellant for canister adhesives 
and sealants in many areas of the country. Therefore, this final rule 
adds adhesives and sealants in large canisters to the list of uses 
where HFC-134a is acceptable, subject to use conditions.
    Comment: A number of members of the aerosol industry requested that 
EPA consider adding aerosols for use on energized electrical equipment 
as a use for which HFC-134a is acceptable, subject to use conditions. 
Specific products mentioned include dusters for use on live electric 
circuits, contact cleaners for energized circuits, mold cleaners, and 
electronic freeze sprays.
    Response: EPA agrees that, given the high temperatures and high 
electrical energy present on energized electrical equipment, it is 
necessary to retain the option of a propellant that remains 
nonflammable at high temperatures. As described elsewhere in the 
preamble, compressed gases such as CO2 and N2 may 
be nonflammable but are not appropriate in some situations, due to 
pressure drop-off and reactions with other formulation ingredients. 
HFO-1234ze(E) is nonflammable in many situations, but it is not yet 
clear if it remains nonflammable in the presence of the high 
temperatures and high electrical energy in the specific uses mentioned 
by the commenters. If additional information becomes available showing 
that HFO-1234ze(E) remains nonflammable in such situations, we may 
revisit this decision in the future. In this final rule, we are adding 
mold cleaners, electronic freeze sprays, and dusters for use on 
energized electrical circuits to the list of aerosol products that may 
continue to use HFC-134a under the use conditions. We consider 
electrical contact cleaners for energized electrical equipment to be 
part of the use ``cleaning products for removal of grease, flux and 
other soils from electrical equipment or electronics'' and therefore 
covered by the use condition.
    Comment: MicroCare, a company specializing in cleaning, and 
Traulsen, a manufacturer of commercial refrigeration equipment, request 
that refrigeration system flushes be added to the use condition 
specifying which end-uses may still use HFC-134a. They explain that 
after removing refrigerant and flushing any oils or particulates left, 
the lines are brazed, soldered or welded back together at high 
temperatures well above the level at which HFO-1234ze(E) becomes 
flammable (e.g., above 1,995 [deg]C).
    CSPA stated that it should be clarified that ``Cleaning products 
for removal of grease, flux, and other soils from electrical equipment 
or electronics'' includes cleaners for refrigeration coils because of 
similar requirements for nonflammability. NAA stated that its members 
did not reach consensus on whether refrigerant flushes should be added 
to the acceptable list. This commenter states that it is common 
practice in the industry to remove flushing agents from lines and 
blowing them dry with nitrogen or compressed air after flushing, which 
eliminates risks posed by welding lines after flushing.
    Response: Because of the extremely high temperatures cited by 
MicroCare and Traulsen that may be present in a refrigerant line after 
flushing, EPA agrees that it is necessary to have a nonflammable 
propellant available for refrigerant flushes. The term ``refrigerant 
flushes'' also refers to cleaners for refrigerant coils. Although 
nitrogen can be used to purge refrigerant lines to remove refrigerant 
flushes prior to brazing or welding, it is not clear that this is a 
universal practice in the industry. Therefore, we are adding 
refrigerant flushes to the use condition specifying uses that may 
continue to use HFC-134a.
    Comment: SAE International and Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers 
(AAM) commented that there are aerosol products available for servicing 
MVAC systems which contain additives in a can propelled by HFC-134a 
which the commenters believe should be acceptable, subject to use 
conditions. The commenters stated that the use of propellants other 
than HFC-134a could cause technical problems, could contaminate 
refrigerant so that EPA-approved Recovery, Recycling and Recharging 
(RRR) equipment cannot be used, or could be incompatible with SAE 
standards if the propellant goes into the MVAC systems.
    Response: EPA considers an aerosol can containing HFC-134a used to 
recharge an MVAC system to fall under the MVAC end-use and not the 
aerosol propellant end-use. Under the SNAP lists for the MVAC end-use, 
HFC-134a remains an acceptable substitute for servicing existing 
systems. An aerosol can containing HFC-134a refrigerant and oil or leak 
sealant, which is used to inject oil or repair leaks and to then 
recharge MVAC systems, would also fit in the MVAC end-use and remains 
acceptable for use on existing systems. These cans must have the unique 
fittings required by SNAP for HFC-134a as a motor vehicle air 
conditioner refrigerant. However, an aerosol can primarily intended to 
inject additives, e.g., dye, rather than to add HFC-134a as a 
refrigerant would be considered an aerosol, and use of HFC-134a as the 
propellant would not be allowed as of July 20, 2016, under this final 
rule. We do not consider this type of product to fit under the 
commenter's request for products for servicing. Further, we disagree 
with the commenter that it is necessary to have a propellant that is 
the same as the refrigerant used in MVAC. We note that in the future, 
HFO-1234yf or other refrigerant substitutes will be used as a 
refrigerant in many vehicles; thus, in the future, automotive products 
will need to be formulated to include propellants other than HFC-134a, 
as well as formulated with propellants that are different from the 
refrigerant used in the MVAC system.
    Comment: DuPont recommended that EPA establish use conditions 
rather than narrowed use limits in implementing any changes of status 
for HFCs used in aerosols. The commenter stated that acceptable 
conditions of use are a relatively straightforward, self-implementing 
regulatory approach that would limit the burden on aerosol companies, 
most of which are small businesses, in complying with the changed 
status. DuPont commented that narrowed use limits are a much more 
administratively intensive approach for both the Agency and the 
regulated community, and would impose significant burdens on these 
small businesses, as well as on EPA.
    Response: We agree with the commenter that narrowed use limits are 
more administratively burdensome. We are establishing use conditions in 
the final rule.
(d) HFC Consumption and Climate Impact of Aerosols
    Comment: DuPont, Mexichem and the Consumer Specialty Products 
Association (CSPA) commented on the relatively small contribution of 
non-medical aerosols to HFC consumption, stating that it represents 
between 1 and 2% of all HFC consumption. A producer of tire inflators 
noted that tire inflators make up less than 0.2% of the current use of 
HFC-134a. Mexichem stated that the continued availability of HFC-134a 
for the small businesses and consumers that produce/rely on aerosol 
products, will make no appreciable difference to EPA's goal of reducing 
GHG emissions, because aerosol products account for only five percent 
of total HFC consumption, and of that portion, only

[[Page 42888]]

24% serve non-medical purposes. This commenter suggested that EPA 
should accommodate these uses through exemptions or a delay in the 
``de-listing'' of HFC-134a. In contrast, Honeywell mentions that its 
new technologies in the aerosol sector could reduce GHG emissions by 
more than 6 MMTCO2eq per year in 2016.
    Response: EPA agrees that the aerosol sector comprises a small 
portion of the total consumption of HFCs. However, we disagree that we 
should not change the status of HFCs for the aerosol propellant end-use 
because GHG emissions from that end-use are small. We note that any 
given end-use within the 50-some SNAP end-uses may be relatively small 
compared to the whole. Section 612(c) of the CAA directs EPA to publish 
lists of substitutes prohibited for specific uses and safe alternatives 
for specific uses. Thus, we make our decision by considering the 
overall risk to human health and the environment posed by the available 
or potentially available substitutes within each end-use, rather than 
comparing risks in different end-uses to each other. We disagree with 
the commenter's suggestion that EPA provide a later change of status 
date for aerosol uses because of their relatively low GHG emissions. 
Instead, EPA considers the time in which alternatives are available for 
use, which involves the feasibility of implementing alternatives with 
lower overall impacts on human health and the environment. EPA 
appreciates the information provided by one commenter that indicates 
that for the aerosol sector, the change in status for HFC-134a, HFC-
227ea, and HFC-125 could reduce GHG emissions by more than 6 
MMTCO2eq per year.
(e) Small Business Impacts
    Comment: Falcon Safety Products comments that they transitioned 
from HCFCs to HFCs in 1993, after which it began transitioning from 
HFC-134a (with a GWP of 1,430) to HFC-152a (with a GWP of 124) in 
compressed gas dusters, at a significant cost to its company, in terms 
of retooling and installing new gas tanks and filing lines. Falcon 
Safety Products supports the EPA's high-GWP emissions reduction 
efforts, but believes that they should not negatively impact small 
businesses or have a detrimental impact on the safety, affordability, 
or efficacy of its product categories. Falcon Safety Products comments 
that transitioning to HFO-1234ze(E) is very expensive for small 
businesses like itself, in terms of changing tanks, filling lines, and 
revising labels and marketing materials.
    Response: EPA did not propose and is not finalizing a change in 
status for HFC-152a in aerosols. See preamble section V.A.3 for EPA's 
status changes for HFCs in the aerosols sector, and supporting document 
Economic Impact Screening Analysis for Regulatory Options to Change 
Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives (ICF, 2014f; ICF, 2015b).
(f) Imports
    Comment: CSPA expressed concern about noncomplying products from 
offshore, which they state has been a large problem in the past. CSPA 
stated that for retail products, more time is needed to adjust 
contracts and to work with EPA to ensure that CSPA member complying 
products are not displaced by non-complying products from offshore.
    Response: For aerosol products, the rule applies to imported 
products as well as to manufacture of products in the United States. By 
providing a full year after finalization of the rule before a change of 
status is required for the HFCs covered by this action known to be in 
current use for aerosol product manufacture, there is now additional 
time to adjust contracts and work with retailers. EPA welcomes the 
suggestion that we should work together with the aerosol industry and 
retailers to avoid sale of non-complying products that might be 
imported.

B. MVAC Systems for Newly Manufactured Light-Duty Motor Vehicles

1. Background
    MVAC systems cool passenger cars, light-duty trucks, buses, and 
rail vehicles. CFC-12 was the refrigerant historically used in the 
manufacture of MVAC systems. HFC-134a, along with a number of other 
substitutes, was found acceptable for use in light-duty vehicles in 
1994 and at the same time, CFC-12 was being phased out of production. 
By the mid-1990s, use of CFC-12 in manufacturing new light-duty 
vehicles ceased in the United States and manufacturers of light-duty 
vehicles uniformly decided to adopt HFC-134a for use in MVAC. Today, 
while MVAC systems in some older vehicles may still be using CFC-12, 
HFC-134a remains the dominant refrigerant used in light-duty vehicles 
worldwide. More recently, additional alternatives for MVAC have been 
listed as acceptable, subject to use conditions,\31\ including HFO-
1234yf, HFC-152a, and carbon dioxide (CO2 or R-744). 
Manufacturers are currently manufacturing or are actively developing 
light-duty models using HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2. The 
development of MVAC systems using lower-GWP refrigerants has been 
encouraged by MVAC refrigerant requirements in Europe, where the 
European Union Directive on Mobile Air Conditioning (MAC Directive) 
mandates transition to a refrigerant with a GWP below 150 by January 1, 
2017,\32\ and in the United States by the availability of credits under 
the Light-Duty Greenhouse Gas (LD GHG) Rule, described in further 
detail below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \31\ Listed at 40 CFR part 82, subpart G.
    \32\ Directive 2006/40/EC of the European Parliament and of the 
Council of 17 May 2006 (EU MAC Directive). This document is 
accessible at: eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/
LexUriServ.do?uri=CELEX:32006L0040:EN:HTML.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Neither HFC-134a nor any of the refrigerants listed more recently 
is ozone-depleting. HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2 have much 
lower GWPs than HFC-134a. HFO-1234yf has a GWP of 4, HFC-152a has a GWP 
of 124, and CO2 (by definition) has a GWP of 1 while HFC-
134a has a GWP of 1,430. HFC-134a and CO2 are nonflammable; 
HFO-1234yf and HFC-152a are flammable. All of the gaseous refrigerants 
can cause asphyxiation at high concentrations. CO2 
concentrations that could potentially result from refrigerant leaks 
into the passenger compartment without mitigation measures could reduce 
a driver's attentiveness and performance. HFC-134a and the three lower-
GWP alternatives are exempt from the definition of VOC under CAA 
regulations (see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs 
to attain and maintain the national ambient air quality standards. As 
discussed in the NPRM, EPA has created use conditions for HFC-134a, 
HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2 that establish unique fittings 
and labeling requirements, and where appropriate, mitigate flammability 
and toxicity risks.
    HFO-1234yf is being used in cars on the road today in the United 
States. At the time of the proposal for this rule, EPA was aware that 
HFO-1234yf was in use in MVAC systems in approximately nine \33\ models 
in the United States produced by several manufacturers of light-duty 
vehicles. EPA expects, and several commenters indicated that, 
additional models have or will be introduced using HFO-1234yf systems 
over the next several years. The results of a 2014 industry survey 
submitted by

[[Page 42889]]

AAM and the Association of Global Automakers (Global Automakers) as a 
public comment to this rule found that automobile manufacturers who 
responded to the survey had plans in place to transition 90% of light-
duty models sold in the United States by or before MY 2021.\34\ 
According to comments submitted by Honeywell, there are approximately 
28 different automobile brands selling around 60 different models 
designed to use HFO-1234yf globally.\35\ DuPont stated that more than 7 
million vehicles using HFO-1234yf are estimated to be on the road by 
the end of 2015 globally, and in addition to infrastructure being in 
place at vehicle assembly plants, equipment suppliers are already 
producing the under hood, in factory, and service equipment.\36\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \33\ Nelson, 2013. Gabe Nelson. Automakers' switch to new 
refrigerant will accelerate with EPA credits, European mandate. 
Automotive News. Available online at www.autonews.com/article/20131230/OEM01/312309996/warming-to-the-idea.
    \34\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0207 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0113.
    \35\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0170.
    \36\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0077.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While EPA was aware in the 1990s that CO2 might be a 
feasible alternative in this application, the state of research and 
development indicated that it was not yet available because a design 
had not yet been developed that would allow safe use in MVAC systems in 
light-duty vehicles. More than 20 years later, EPA is still not aware 
of current commercial use of CO2 in MVAC systems. However, 
significant research and development are occurring in order to design a 
system that will ensure CO2 can be used safely as an MVAC 
refrigerant. At least one global manufacturer of light-duty vehicles 
has announced its intention to commercialize vehicles that use 
CO2 as the MVAC refrigerant in the next five years, and 
perhaps as early as 2016.\37\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \37\ Daimler, 2014.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In 2008, EPA found HFC-152a acceptable subject to use conditions. 
MVAC systems using HFC-152a have not been commercialized to date; 
however, EPA is aware of a demonstration project in India with a major 
Indian motor vehicle manufacturer considering HFC-152a in secondary 
loop MVAC systems.\38\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \38\ Andersen et al., 2015. ``Secondary Loop Motor Vehicle Air 
Conditioning Systems (SL-MACs). Using Low-Global Warming Potential 
(GWP) Refrigerants in Leak-Tight Systems In Climates with High Fuel 
Prices and Long, Hot and Humid Cooling Seasons. Building on the 
Previous Success of Delphi, Fiat, General Motors, Volvo, Red Dot, 
SAE Cooperative Research Projects, And Other Engineering Groups.'' 
MACS Briefing, 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to the use and development of HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and 
CO2 MVAC systems, EPA is aware of ongoing research and 
development which could ultimately result in future listings of 
additional alternatives for light-duty MVAC systems. For example, since 
the publication of the proposed rule, the SNAP program received a new 
submission for another low-GWP alternative that is a blend with a GWP 
below 150.
    There are also several blend refrigerants that have been listed as 
acceptable or acceptable, subject to use conditions, since 1994, but 
that have never been developed for use in MVAC or used in manufacture 
of new vehicles. Today's action will change the status of these 
refrigerant blends to unacceptable as of MY 2017 for use in newly 
manufactured light-duty vehicles. These substitutes include HFC blends 
SP34E and R-426A (also known as RS-24) with GWPs of 1,380 and 1,508, 
respectively, and the HCFC blends, R-416A (also known as HCFC Blend 
Beta or FRIGC FR12), R-406A, R-414A (also known as HCFC Blend Xi or 
GHG-X4), R-414B (also known as HCFC Blend Omicron), HCFC Blend Delta 
(also known as Free Zone), Freeze 12, GHG-X5, and HCFC Blend Lambda 
(also known as GHG-HP), with GWPs ranging from 1,480 to 2,340 and ODPs 
ranging from 0.012 to 0.056. For simplicity, we refer to these 
substitutes as ``the refrigerant blends'' in the following discussion.
    As noted above, none of these are currently used by the original 
equipment manufacturers (OEMs) nor are we aware that any models are 
being developed for use with these substitutes. All of these 
refrigerant blends have GWPs that are significantly higher than the 
GWPs for HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2 and the blends 
containing HCFCs have ODPs ranging from 0.012 to 0.056. As discussed, 
there are alternatives with lower overall risk to human health and the 
environment that are available for this use.
2. What is EPA finalizing regarding MVAC systems for newly manufactured 
light-duty motor vehicles?
    The change of status determinations for MVAC are summarized in the 
following table:

              Table 3--Change of Status Decisions for MVAC
------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                 Substitutes            Decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Motor vehicle air             HFC-134a............  Unacceptable as of
 conditioning (new equipment                         Model Year (MY)
 in passenger cars and light-                        2021, except where
 duty trucks only).                                  allowed under a
                                                     narrowed use limit
                                                     through MY 2025.
                                                     Acceptable, subject
                                                     to narrowed use
                                                     limits, for
                                                     vehicles exported
                                                     to countries with
                                                     insufficient
                                                     servicing
                                                     infrastructure to
                                                     support other
                                                     alternatives, for
                                                     MY 2021 through MY
                                                     2025; Unacceptable
                                                     for all newly
                                                     manufactured
                                                     vehicles as of MY
                                                     2026.
Motor vehicle air             R-406A, R-414A (HCFC  Unacceptable as of
 conditioning (new equipment   Blend Xi, GHG-X4),    MY 2017.
 in passenger cars and light-  R-414B (HCFC Blend
 duty trucks only).            Omicron), HCFC
                               Blend Delta (Free
                               Zone), Freeze 12,
                               GHG-X5, HCFC Blend
                               Lambda (GHG-HP), R-
                               416A (FRIGC FR-12,
                               HCFC Blend Beta),
                               SP34E, R-426A (RS-
                               24, new
                               formulation).
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) HFC-134a
    In the August 6, 2014, proposal, EPA proposed to change the listing 
status of HFC-134a from acceptable to unacceptable for use in air 
conditioning systems in newly manufactured passenger cars and light-
duty trucks beginning in MY 2021.\39\ This final action adopts the 
proposed approach, but with one exception. Specifically, we are 
including a narrowed use limit for HFC-134a in MVAC systems of newly 
manufactured passenger cars and light-duty trucks destined for use in 
countries

[[Page 42890]]

that do not have infrastructure in place for servicing with other 
acceptable refrigerants. This narrowed use limit will be in place 
through MY 2025.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \39\ Because the MVAC system used is so closely related to 
vehicle design, we are using model years and not calendar years.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    This change of status applies to MVAC systems for passenger cars 
and light-duty trucks as defined at 40 CFR 86.1803-01, referred to 
jointly in this FRM as light-duty vehicles. As discussed in the NPRM 
and above, three alternatives currently on the SNAP list of substitutes 
that are acceptable, subject to use conditions--HFC-152a, 
CO2, and HFO-1234yf--are in use or under various stages of 
development and have significantly lower GWPs than HFC-134a. Use 
conditions for these substitutes mitigate flammability and toxicity 
risks, as relevant, and thus for the other factors EPA evaluates, there 
was not an appreciable difference in risk. Because HFC-134a has a 
significantly higher GWP than HFC-152a, CO2, and HFO-1234yf, 
and because the use conditions for these three refrigerants ensure that 
other risks are not appreciably higher than for HFC-134a, we are 
listing HFC-134a as unacceptable for use in MVAC systems in new light-
duty vehicles in MY 2021.
    Without the use conditions these other substitutes do not pose 
overall lower risk than HFC-134a. Thus, in deciding when the 
unacceptability determination should apply, we considered when it would 
be feasible for manufacturers to develop systems meeting the use 
conditions. We proposed MY 2021 while also requesting comment on MY 
2017, MY 2019 and MYs later than 2021. As explained in the NPRM, EPA 
considers MY 2021 the date by which automobile manufacturers will be 
able to redesign all vehicle models (including design of the MVAC 
systems) for use with a lower-GWP alternative, consistent with the use 
conditions.
    EPA previously considered the model year by which manufacturers of 
light-duty vehicles would be able to transition away from use of HFC-
134a in support of the greenhouse gas and fuel economy standards for MY 
2017-2025 light-duty vehicles issued jointly by EPA and NHTSA on August 
28, 2012.\40\ As part of that rulemaking, EPA established the 
availability of credits for the use of alternative refrigerants with 
lower GWPs than that of HFC-134a towards meeting the LD GHG standards. 
For today's action, EPA relied on the analysis conducted in support of 
the LD GHG standards for MYs 2017-2025. The analysis considered the 
practices used by the automobile manufacturing industry in introducing 
new technologies into their vehicles through manufacturing redesign 
changes and refresh cycles. For each vehicle model, manufacturers 
establish a product development cycle over which they plan any 
significant technological changes or ``redesigns'' to that vehicle. 
Between the major redesign model years, they may make only minor 
``refresh'' changes.\41\ At any point in time, a manufacturer may have 
some vehicles at or approaching a major redesign point and others that 
are earlier in their product cycle.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \40\ 77 FR 62624, 62807-810 (October 15, 2012); see also 75 FR 
25325, 25431-32 (May 7, 2010) (discussing the same issue for MY 
2012-2016 light-duty vehicles)
    \41\ See 77 FR 62712 and 75 FR 25407, 25451 for a more detailed 
discussion of this practice.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In developing the LD GHG standards, EPA assumed that the transition 
to alternative refrigerants would generally need to occur during 
manufacturer model redesigns because of changes to the system design 
that are needed to allow the safe use of these alternatives consistent 
with the regulatory use conditions.\42\ EPA used the overall typical 
industry redesign cycle of five model years to estimate how the 
expected industry-wide transition to new refrigerants might occur. 
Thus, EPA projected that the industry, in order to safely make use of 
the credits offered for use of lower-GWP refrigerants, would fully 
transition to these refrigerants over the time between MY 2017 and MY 
2021, beginning with 20 percent transition in MY 2017, to be followed 
by a 20 percent increase in substitution in each subsequent model year, 
completing transition in MY 2021.\43\ EPA continues to rely on the 
projections made in support of the LD GHG Rule as well as all other 
information currently available to the Agency to support the decision 
in this action that MY 2021 is the MY by which it will be feasible for 
manufacturers to safely, but expeditiously, transition MVAC systems for 
all light-duty vehicle models.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \42\ As previously noted, HFO-1234yf, CO2 and HFC-
152a are all listed as acceptable subject to use conditions and many 
of the use conditions address the design of systems to account for 
flammability or exposure.
    \43\ 77 FR 62720.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA proposed to modify the listing of HFC-134a to unacceptable as 
of MY 2021 for light-duty vehicles, and sought comment on MYs 2017, 
2019, and MYs later than 2021. Some commenters argued that full 
transition cannot occur until after MY 2021 because a limited number of 
models do not currently have plans in place to transition by MY 2021. 
For these models, commenters claimed that two full design cycles, which 
could take 10 years, will be necessary in order to transition. 
Commenters also provided information that the vehicle redesign is not 
``locked-in'' until two years before the model year. EPA understands 
that because MY 2016 vehicles are being produced in the 2015 calendar 
year, this means most manufacturers have ``locked-in'' their planned 
product designs for MY 2016 and MY 2017, or potentially even out to MY 
2018.\44\ EPA did not receive information on why manufacturers cannot 
redesign models that are not yet locked-in or why MVAC system redesign 
cannot occur during a product refresh for those models that are locked-
in. According to the 2014 survey of the automobile industry, 
manufacturers who participated in the study indicated that they already 
expect to have transitioned 90% of the fleet by MY 2021. We did not 
receive any information indicating it was not technically feasible to 
also transition the remaining 10% of models by MY 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \44\ Global Automakers, in their comments on the NPRM, stated, 
``These major model re-designs typically occur every five or six 
model years, and are staggered year-by-year so that the 
manufacturer's full product line is refreshed over time rather than 
all at once. Because of the need to lock in suppliers to support 
production well in advance, vehicle designs are usually locked in 
about two years before the model year.'' EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0207.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA expressly requested specific information supporting claims that 
a transition by MY 2021 would not be technically feasible because 
specific model vehicles cannot be redesigned to safely use alternative 
refrigerants by MY 2021. No such information was forthcoming. Although 
one manufacturer did provide information on the increase in cost to 
transition for a particular type of vehicle that was originally not 
planned for a refrigerant change by MY 2021,\45\ commenters did not 
submit specific information, confidential or otherwise, that showed it 
would not be technically feasible for any specific model vehicles to 
adjust their redesign cycle, switch refrigerants mid-cycle, or switch 
during a refresh. After thoroughly reviewing all of the information in 
the possession of the Agency, EPA did not find a technical basis for 
extending the change of status date beyond MY 2021. We believe the 
information in the record supports a conclusion that it is feasible for 
vehicles and the associated MVAC systems to be redesigned to safely use 
alternative refrigerants by MY 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \45\ As explained in more detail in the responses to comments, 
under the SNAP criteria for review in 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7), the only 
cost information that EPA considers as part of its SNAP review is 
the ``cost and availability of the substitute.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA also received comments on this rule requesting an earlier 
change of

[[Page 42891]]

status date based on the availability of alternative refrigerants and 
the fact that transition is already occurring in the United States and 
globally. The available information indicated that many of the models 
that have already transitioned are being sold in Europe rather than in 
the United States. There is no information showing that it is 
technically feasible for all or most models to transition to 
alternatives safely by MY 2017 or MY 2019, which begin in 2016 and 2018 
respectively. As discussed below in the responses to comments, MY 2021 
is the earliest year that we find provides sufficient time to 
transition refrigerant during vehicle redesign cycles or to plan a mid-
cycle transition to alternatives that ensures safety through compliance 
with SNAP use conditions.
    We also considered the supply of the alternative refrigerants in 
determining when alternatives would be available. At the time the 
light-duty GHG rule was promulgated, there was a concern about the 
potential supply of HFO-1234yf. Some commenters indicated that supply 
is still a concern, while others, including two producers of HFO-
1234yf, commented that there will be sufficient supply. Moreover, some 
automotive manufacturers are developing systems that can safely use 
other substitutes, including CO2, for which there is not a 
supply concern for the refrigerant. If some global light-duty motor 
vehicle manufacturers use CO2 or another acceptable 
alternative, additional volumes of HFO-1234yf that would have been used 
by those manufacturers will then become available. Based on all of the 
information before the Agency, EPA believes production plans for the 
refrigerants are in place to make available sufficient supply no later 
than MY 2021 to meet current and projected demand domestically as well 
as abroad, including, but not limited to, the EU.
    Based on information the Agency possessed at the time of the 
proposal and additional information submitted during the comment period 
regarding the technical feasibility of transitioning the fleet of 
light-duty vehicles and refrigerant supply, we conclude that MY 2021 
represents the time by which other alternative refrigerants that pose 
less overall risk than HFC-134a can be used in all light-duty vehicle 
models consistent with the use conditions. Thus, MY 2021 is the time at 
which those alternative refrigerants will be ``available'' within the 
meaning of CAA section 612(c)(2).
(b) Refrigerant Blends
    In today's action, EPA is also finalizing changes to the listing 
status of SP34E, R-426A, R-416A, R-406A, R-414A (also known as HCFC 
Blend Xi or GHG-X4), R-414B (also known as HCFC Blend Omicron), HCFC 
Blend Delta (also known as Free Zone), Freeze 12, GHG-X5, and HCFC 
Blend Lambda (also known as GHG-HP) from acceptable to unacceptable for 
use in newly manufactured light-duty motor vehicles beginning in MY 
2017, as proposed. The GWPs of HFC-152a, HFO-1234yf, and CO2 
are significantly lower than those of the refrigerant blends and all 
but two of these blends have ODPs, whereas HFC-152a, HFO-1234yf, and 
CO2 do not. Moreover, if used consistent with the 
established use conditions, the three lower-GWP refrigerants do not 
pose greater overall risk than any of the refrigerant blends. At the 
time of the proposal, EPA was not aware of current or projected future 
use of these refrigerant blends in any MVAC systems in newly 
manufactured light-duty vehicles. We did not receive any comments 
providing information suggesting current or projected use of these 
refrigerant blends in any newly-manufactured light-duty MVAC systems 
and received several comments supporting this aspect of the proposal. 
EPA is changing the listing status for the refrigerant blends to 
unacceptable for use in new light-duty vehicles as of MY 2017, the next 
model year in production after this rule is issued.
3. MVAC Servicing
    EPA did not propose and is not making any changes that would alter 
the ability to service existing motor vehicles designed to use HFC-134a 
or a refrigerant blend.\46\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \46\ EPA is also clarifying that thermostatic expansion valves 
(TXVs) are not impacted by today's action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    MVAC systems designed to use lower-GWP substitutes and installed in 
vehicles will need to be serviced. Some stakeholders and commenters 
have expressed a concern that the price differential between HFO-1234yf 
and HFC-134a provides an economic incentive to replace HFO-1234yf with 
HFC-134a during servicing.\47\ HFC-134a is listed, and will remain 
listed, as an acceptable refrigerant for retrofit of existing systems 
designed to use CFC-12, but because of the use restrictions for 
refrigerants listed as acceptable, it cannot be used as a retrofit for 
MVAC systems using other alternatives. Specifically, the SNAP listings 
for all MVAC refrigerants require the use of unique fittings for each 
alternative refrigerant. These fittings are found at attachment points 
on the car itself, on all recovery and recycling equipment, on can taps 
and other charging equipment, and on all refrigerant containers. The 
purpose of these fittings is to prevent cross-contamination. Using an 
adapter or deliberately modifying a fitting to use a different 
refrigerant is a violation of these use conditions. If used properly, 
the unique fittings will not allow for the introduction of HFC-134a 
refrigerant to an HFO-1234yf system. Furthermore, the SNAP regulations 
prohibit using a substitute refrigerant to `top-off' a system that uses 
another refrigerant and the SNAP use conditions for refrigerants in 
this end-use require that the original refrigerant be recovered, in 
accordance with regulations issued under section 609 of the CAA, prior 
to charging with a substitute (40 CFR 82.34). Thus, the SNAP use 
conditions prohibit adding a new refrigerant to the system without 
first recovering the refrigerant already in the system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \47\ See also 77 FR 62807.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For vehicles for which the manufacturer counts air conditioning 
credits toward its LD GHG compliance, the MVAC systems (or elements of 
those systems) are considered emission-related components as defined in 
40 CFR 86.1803. This designation includes provisions for emission-
related warranty, requirements that they operate properly for the 
specified useful life, as well as tampering restrictions. For example, 
if a manufacturer claims air conditioning credits for an MVAC system 
that uses a lower-GWP refrigerant on a particular vehicle as part of 
the LD GHG program, removing and replacing that refrigerant with any 
other refrigerant that has a higher GWP, including HFC-134a, would be 
considered tampering with an emission-related component under Title II 
of the CAA.
4. Would this action affect EPA's LD GHG Rule?
    In their comments, AAM stated that ``EPA should state clearly and 
unequivocally in the final rule that EPA is committed to continuing the 
A/C credits through MY 2025 and beyond.'' Global Automakers made a 
similar request. EPA in fact stated in the NPRM, and reiterates here, 
that nothing in this final rule changes the regulations establishing 
the availability of air conditioning refrigerant credits under the GHG 
standards for MY 2017-2025, found at 40 CFR 86.1865-12 and 1867-12. 
Those standards and credits are established by rule and EPA did not 
reopen that rule in this proceeding.

[[Page 42892]]

Thus, manufacturers can generate credits from use of lower-GWP 
alternative refrigerants through MY 2025, and the ability to generate 
and use those credits towards compliance with the LD GHG standards will 
not change under this final rule. \48\ We do note further, however, 
that the LD GHG standards do not require any specific means of 
compliance, so that manufacturers have the flexibility to either switch 
refrigerants or to comply with the standards by other means. If a 
manufacturer chooses to comply with the LD GHG standard by a strategy 
not involving refrigerant substitution, for MY 2021 and later vehicles, 
this final rule would still require the manufacturer to use refrigerant 
other than HFC-134a.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \48\ See 77 FR 62804-809.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

5. How will the change of status apply to exports of MVAC systems?
(a) SNAP Interpretation
    Under 40 CFR 82.174, no person may introduce a refrigerant 
substitute into interstate commerce without notifying EPA 90 days in 
advance. Our longstanding interpretation of this regulatory provision 
is that the notification requirement applies to products manufactured 
in the United States and exported. EPA has defined interstate commerce 
in our labeling regulations at 40 CFR 82.104(n) as: ``The distribution 
or transportation of any product between one state, territory, 
possession or the District of Columbia, and another state, territory, 
possession or the District of Columbia, or the sale, use or manufacture 
of any product in more than one state, territory, possession or the 
District of Columbia. The entry points for which the product is 
introduced into interstate commerce are the release of a product from 
the facility in which the product was manufactured, the entry into a 
warehouse from which the domestic manufacturer releases the product for 
sale or distribution, and at the site of United States Customs 
clearance.'' While this definition appears in EPA's labeling 
regulations, EPA's practice is to use it for purposes of the SNAP 
program as well. See e.g., 76 FR 78846, December 20, 2011 (``This 
definition applies to any appliances produced in the United States, 
including appliances that will be exported.'')
    In addition, under the SNAP regulations EPA regulates ``use'' in 
the United States and ``use'' is defined at 40 CFR 82.172 to include 
``use in a manufacturing process or product, in consumption by the end 
user, or in intermediate uses, such as formulation or packaging for 
other subsequent uses.'' Charging a MVAC system with refrigerant during 
the manufacturing of a vehicle in the United States is considered a 
``use'' under the SNAP program. This is consistent with our statement 
in the initial SNAP rule that ``Substitutes manufactured within the 
U.S. exclusively for export are subject to SNAP since the definition of 
use in the rule includes use in the manufacturing process, which occurs 
within the United States.'' (59 FR 13052; March 18, 1994)
(b) Narrowed Use Limit for MVAC
    Based on comments received, we understand that certain countries to 
which vehicles are exported do not, and may not for some period of 
time, have in place the infrastructure for servicing MVAC systems with 
flammable refrigerants. Because this raises concerns with the safe 
usage of HFC-152a and HFO-1234yf, we have determined that there may be 
circumstances in which alternatives that pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment will not be available for MVAC systems 
in those vehicles by MY 2021. Therefore, EPA is providing a narrowed 
use limit for MVAC systems that applies to vehicles being exported to 
countries that do not have infrastructure to service vehicles 
containing the alternatives found to pose less overall risk.
    Under a narrowed use limit, the manufacturer needs to ascertain 
that these other alternatives are not technically feasible because of 
the lack of infrastructure for servicing with the alternative 
refrigerants and document the results of their analysis. See 40 CFR 
82.180(b)(3). Users are not required to report the results of their 
investigations to EPA, but must retain the documentation in their files 
for the purpose of demonstrating compliance.
    Documentation should include descriptions of:
     Products in which the substitute is needed;
     Substitutes examined and rejected for the destined 
country;
     Reason for rejection of other alternatives; and
     Anticipated date other substitutes will be available and 
projected time for switching.
    Based on the comments received, EPA does not anticipate that a 
significant number of countries will lack the necessary infrastructure 
needed to service MVAC systems with the alternatives for which the 
equipment is designed by MY 2021. Also, based on the comments received, 
we do not believe that an extensive additional amount of time will be 
needed before the necessary infrastructure is in place. Therefore, 
under this final rule, the narrowed use limit will no longer be 
available beginning with MY 2026 vehicles.
6. How is EPA responding to comments concerning this end-use?
(a) Timeline
    Comment: EPA received several comments on the current and projected 
pace of adoption of alternative refrigerants. Several commenters stated 
that transition to HFO-1234yf is already occurring. Honeywell commented 
that there are approximately 28 different automobile brands selling 
around 60 different models designed to use HFO-1234yf globally and that 
more than a dozen models are being manufactured by U.S. manufacturers. 
Other commenters provided similar statistics. One of these commenters, 
DuPont, estimated that globally, more than 7 million vehicles using 
alternatives other than HFC-134a will be on the road by the end of 
2015. They also commented that in addition to infrastructure being in 
place at vehicle assembly plants, equipment suppliers are already 
producing the under-hood, in-factory, and service equipment necessary 
for the transition.
    AAM and Global Automakers ``conducted an industry survey to create 
a `non-confidential' blinded summary of individual manufacturer 
refrigerant changeover plans.'' \49\ Ten automobile manufacturers, 
representing 85% of light-duty vehicles sold in the United States in MY 
2013, submitted information. The survey found that out of 139 vehicle 
platforms, manufacturers currently plan to transition 90% of the models 
by MY 2021.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \49\ EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0207 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0113
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Response: EPA recognizes some manufacturers have already 
transitioned to use of HFO-1234yf in a limited number of models. In the 
United States the transition began in a small number of MY 2013 
vehicles, and increased in MY 2014 \50\ and MY 2015. As of the 
beginning of 2015, the U.S. fleet was continuing on a trajectory that 
we expect to achieve 20% adoption by MY 2017, which aligns with EPA's 
projection in the supporting documents for the light-duty GHG rule.\51\ 
While adoption is occurring in the United States, most of the estimated 
7 million vehicles mentioned by DuPont are in Europe where the EU MAC 
Directive

[[Page 42893]]

mandates transition to refrigerant with a GWP below 150 by January 1, 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \50\ Nelson, 2013.
    \51\ 77 FR 62720.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The Agency recognizes and appreciates the factual information 
supplied by the commenters, including the information shared as a 
result of the 2014 industry-led survey conducted by AAM and Global 
Automakers. EPA's responses to the comments submitted by AAM and Global 
Automakers within the context of the survey are provided below. EPA 
relied on all of the information in our possession as we made our 
decision on the change of status for HFC-134a.
    Comment: Several commenters noted that the transition from CFC-12 
to HFC-134a was achieved in about three to four model years and claimed 
that the transition from HFC-134a to lower-GWP alternatives could also 
happen in the same timeframe.
    Response: Regarding the comments suggesting that the current 
transition could occur in a similar period of time to the transition 
from CFC-12 to HFC-134a for MVAC, EPA disagrees because the system 
changes required for this transition are more extensive than those 
required for the transition from CFC-12 to HFC-134a. It is EPA's 
understanding, as confirmed by comments, such as those from the 
automobile associations, that many models will need to transition 
during a redesign cycle.
    EPA understands that many model types will require hardware changes 
that normally occur during a redesign, unlike the transition from CFC-
12 to HFC-134a. HFO-1234yf has a slightly lower cooling efficiency than 
that of HFC-134a; offsetting this efficiency difference usually 
requires hardware changes, specifically the incorporation of an 
internal heat exchanger and potentially other system adjustments, which 
in some cases could result in changes to overall air conditioning 
system design and layout. CO2 MVAC systems will require 
significantly more hardware changes, which in many cases is expected to 
result in changes to the system design and layout. This transition 
contrasts with the case of the transition in the 1990s from CFC-12 to 
HFC-134a, where the systems did not require changes to the components 
of the MVAC system, besides the fittings, allowing manufacturers to 
switch many vehicles mid-cycle. Some models were already being 
manufactured using HFC-134a as early as 1992, with a significant 
proportion already being manufactured with HFC-134a by the time that 
EPA listed it as acceptable in the initial SNAP rule (59 FR 13044; 
March 18, 1994).
    Comment: EPA received several comments related to the proposed time 
for changing the listing status of HFC-134a in MVAC. Several commenters 
support accelerating the proposed transition to earlier than MY 2021, 
and recommended implementation dates of MYs 2017, 2018, and 2019. Many 
cited the progression of transition in the EU, as well as the 
transition already seen in the United States as a result of EPA's LD 
GHG Rule in support of an earlier transition timeframe. Honeywell, a 
producer of HFO-1234yf, commented ``that given manufacturers' 
experience in the EU and United States there is already an 
understanding and capability to transition vehicles for U.S. car 
production'' and they recommended a transition date of MY 2018. DuPont, 
another producer of HFO-1234yf, stated ``there are no technology, 
supply or engineering barriers to rapid transition'' and recommended a 
transition date of MY 2019. EIA commented that there is no reason to 
delay the change in status and recommended MY 2017 as the 
implementation date. Two commenters, NRDC and IGSD, jointly commented 
that EPA should adopt MY 2017, a deadline that would be set based on 
the leaders in the industry that are already using safer chemicals, 
rather than the laggards. Effective Altruism at the University of 
Maryland commented that HFC-134a should be listed as unacceptable as of 
January 2017, and the California Air Resource Board (CARB) commented 
that MY 2018 is a reasonable timeframe for the unacceptable listing to 
apply.
    Some commenters stated that aligning with the EU transition by 
January 1, 2017, will signal to the international community that the 
United States is taking steps to ``promote the rapid deployment of 
climate-friendly and safe alternatives in motor vehicle air 
conditioning'' as agreed to in the Leaders' statement at the G-7 Summit 
in June 2014. Some commenters suggested an accelerated transition date 
is needed to achieve the President's environmental goals, and would 
have a significant trickle-down effect in other markets around the 
world, specifically commenting that selecting MY 2017 would encourage 
Japan to ``set the same global motor vehicle air-conditioning phaseout 
schedule for HFC-134a.'' Also, NRDC and IGSD commented that ``matching 
the MY 2017 European schedule is protecting against American automakers 
finding themselves unprepared when other markets close their doors to 
automobiles made with HFC-134a.'' Some commenters stated that the 
transition can be achieved by an earlier date and that greater 
environmental benefits would be achieved with an earlier transition. 
These commenters stated that MY 2021 would not provide benefits beyond 
those achieved under ``business as usual.''
    Response: EPA agrees with the commenters that suggested that an 
earlier transition year would result in greater environmental benefits 
to the extent that it would result in earlier reduction of use of HFC-
134a in MVAC. However, in considering whether other listed alternatives 
are available that pose lower overall risk, EPA needs to consider 
whether there are any technical challenges that would prevent use of 
those alternatives consistent with the use conditions which are 
necessary to ensure that they pose lower risk than HFC-134a. EPA does 
not agree that a safe, smooth transition in compliance with the use 
conditions required for the lower-GWP alternatives can be made for all 
vehicles prior to MY 2021 in the United States. This is based on the 
need to transition most vehicles during redesign cycles, which in many 
cases requires hardware changes, as discussed above. EPA has also 
considered the potential benefits to aligning our domestic transition 
to the EU's, in light of the fact that the transition to MVAC systems 
using one of the three alternatives began earlier than we predicted, 
and in light of the adequate supply of alternatives. Based on our 
current understanding and the information provided by commenters, 
especially the automobile manufacturers, the Agency has concluded that 
MY 2021 is the earliest date by which all model vehicles can be safely 
transitioned to lower-GWP alternatives in accordance with the use 
conditions.
    We note that even though we are establishing MY 2021 as the date by 
which HFC-134a will be unacceptable,\52\ EPA expects health and safety 
benefits will be realized sooner, as manufacturers will be designing 
new models each year using lower-GWP refrigerants for MVAC. The 
benefits analysis provided with the NPRM (EPA, 2014) and the analysis 
associated with this final action (EPA, 2015b) use a ``business as 
usual'' scenario that assumes a transition in refrigerant for MVAC will 
occur for vehicles manufactured and sold in the United States, in order 
to be consistent with the LD GHG Rule, and that assumes no regulatory 
action, and thus no benefits, under SNAP. However, our analysis of

[[Page 42894]]

the effects of a change of status for MVAC as of MY 2021 shows some 
benefits beyond the ``business as usual'' scenario, reflecting the use 
of lower-GWP refrigerants in exported vehicles.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \52\ As noted elsewhere, we are creating a narrowed use limit 
for vehicles exported to countries without adequate facilities for 
servicing vehicles with the other acceptable alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    While not relevant to EPA's decision regarding the appropriate date 
for changing the status of HFC-134a for use in MVAC, EPA also agrees 
its action to change the status of HFC-134a will send a valuable signal 
to the international community regarding the continued use of high-GWP 
alternatives.
    Comment: NRDC and IGSD suggested that EPA set a status change date 
as of MY 2017, and address any sub-sectors that have problems meeting a 
transition date earlier than MY 2021 through a narrowed use limit. EIA 
recommended transition in MY 2017 and suggested EPA grant a limited 
exemption until MY 2021 for companies who publicly pledge to convert to 
CO2 systems.
    Response: EPA is not finalizing today's rule with a change of 
status for HFC-134a as of MY 2017, as recommended by these commenters. 
As discussed above, it is our understanding that because of the 
necessary changes to hardware, manufacturers will need to transition 
most vehicles during a redesign cycle. Although in some cases where 
less extensive hardware changes are required, it will be possible to 
transition mid-cycle, it is not reasonable to expect that most 
manufacturers will be able to do so. Achieving a transition by MY 2017, 
approximately one year from now, would not be feasible for any 
manufacturers that had not already started transition planning before 
issuance of the NPRM, and in such a circumstance, we do not consider it 
reasonable to require compliance based on actions that would have been 
necessary before issuance of the NPRM. Rather than setting a change of 
status date that we expect manufacturers may have difficulty meeting, 
we are setting the change of status date at the earliest model year by 
which the best information indicates that all model vehicles can be 
safely transitioned to lower-GWP alternatives in accordance with the 
use conditions.
    Concerning EIA's suggestion for a limited exemption until MY 2021 
for companies who publicly pledge to convert to CO2 systems, 
because we have set MY 2021 as the status change date for all vehicles, 
there is no need for an exemption related to adoption of CO2 
MVAC systems.
    Comment: A private citizen commented in support of a MY 2021 change 
of status.
    Response: EPA is finalizing a MY 2021 transition date for the 
reasons previously stated.
    Comment: Several commenters supported transition in MY 2025 or 
later, including AAM, Global Automakers, NADA and Mexichem. The 
majority of these commenters stated that reengineering and system 
design requirements for alternative refrigerants require significant 
lead time and necessitate transition during a vehicle redesign cycle. 
Commenters stated that two full design cycles lasting beyond MY 2021 
may be necessary in order to complete the transition due to timing of 
publication of the proposed status change rule, and the relationship of 
that to where manufacturers are in the redesign cycle for each model. 
Global Automakers commented that the vehicle redesign cycle is usually 
locked in about two years before the model year. Commenters supporting 
a transition date of MY 2025 or later also commented that a later date 
would align with the existing LD GHG Rule with no measurable 
environmental impact at stake, and address supply concerns. With regard 
to the 10% of vehicle platforms identified in the 2014 industry survey 
as planning to transition after MY 2021, AAM, and Global Automakers 
commented that those are not all small volume platforms and the 
production will account for a small, but not insignificant percentage 
of production after MY 2021.
    Response: Regarding comments by AAM, Global Automakers, and 
Mexichem suggesting that two full design cycles, extending past MY 
2021, would be needed to transition all vehicle models to alternative 
refrigerants, the commenters failed to provide any specific, technical 
support for such a claim. EPA appreciates the submission of 2014 survey 
data indicating that automobile manufacturers have plans in place to 
transition 90% of vehicle models to alternative refrigerants by MY 
2021. However, the commenters did not provide support or an explanation 
of why it will not be technically feasible to transition each of the 
remaining individual models by MY 2021. According to commenters, the 
vehicle redesign is locked in two years before the model year; 
therefore, time still exists to make the necessary alterations to MY 
2017, MY 2018 and later vehicles. While we believe it would be possible 
for the majority of models to transition by MY 2021 during a redesign 
cycle, EPA is aware that sometimes it is technically feasible to 
transition between redesign cycles during a mid-cycle redesign, or 
refresh. A manufacturer shared with EPA information claimed as 
confidential that more than one vehicle model in the United States has 
been transitioned to HFO-1234yf, in compliance with the SNAP use 
conditions, between scheduled redesign cycles. Although it would not be 
feasible to expect most models to transition mid-redesign cycle, for 
such a small number of models, this is likely to be feasible. EPA did 
not receive any information that provides specific and sufficient 
information to show that transition by MY 2021 is not technically 
feasible for any specific model vehicle. One automobile manufacturer 
provided information claimed as confidential concerning vehicles used 
for a specific purpose but did not provide sufficient justification 
that transition by MY 2021 was not feasible for technical reasons. EPA 
is aware of two automobile manufacturers that will have the majority of 
their U.S. fleet transitioned by MY 2016. EPA is also aware of several 
automobile manufacturers intending to transition all of their vehicle 
models by MY 2021.
    While the AAM and Global Automakers survey does not indicate the 
impetus for the transition plans for the various manufacturers and 
models, EPA assumes the plans were adopted in response to the credits 
offered under EPA's LD GHG Rule. EPA further assumes these transition 
plans were based on strategic utilization of credits available under 
the rule as a flexibility measure, rather than technical feasibility of 
transition, and EPA did not receive any information to the contrary.
    Comment: AAM stated that a MY 2025 transition date would 
accommodate ``run-out'' models. ``Run[hyphen]out'' models are defined 
as models that, for a variety of reasons, will continue to be produced 
and marketed without any updates to major vehicle sub[hyphen]systems, 
including AC systems. Commenters indicated that to require an early end 
of production for such run[hyphen]out models would increase the levels 
of stranded investment associated with ending the production of such 
models prematurely.
    Response: Commenters did not indicate what portion of the vehicle 
models with current plans to transition in MYs after 2021 is made up of 
``run-out'' models, if any, as compared to other models captured in the 
results of the industry survey. In the proposed rule, EPA requested 
comment on changing the status of HFC-134a in a MY later than 2021, 
``including specific information supporting claims that a transition by 
MY 2021 would not be technically feasible because specific model 
vehicles cannot be redesigned to safely use alternative refrigerants by 
MY 2021.'' EPA did not receive this type of

[[Page 42895]]

information. EPA is not aware of any technical barriers that preclude 
transition of ``run-out'' models by MY 2021 given the time available 
between now and MY 2021 to implement a transition for these models.
    Comment: Commenters indicated the challenges associated with 
designing MVAC systems to use alternative refrigerants, especially 
CO2. AAM provided information on the hardware changes and 
component supply, as well as industry standards needed for MVAC systems 
to use CO2. AAM commented that ``a MY 2025 date would allow 
extra time for commercialization of CO2 MVACs.''
    Response: EPA is aware that CO2 systems require 
significantly more complex redesign and hardware development than HFO-
1234yf systems, primarily because the operating pressures of these 
systems will be significantly higher than that of a HFC-134a system. 
Therefore, EPA understands that incorporation of CO2 MVAC 
systems would most likely need to occur during product redesign, not 
product refresh. At least one manufacturer has stated that it plans on 
using CO2 systems. These systems are currently in prototype 
phase, and we understand that there may be significant technical 
hurdles yet to overcome. However, those pursuing this option have 
announced plans to introduce cars in Europe with CO2 MVAC 
systems as early as MY 2017. This timing allows for several years after 
initial deployment of these systems for automobile manufacturers to 
redesign models prior to the MY 2021 date in the United States.
    Given the transition plans in place, EPA disagrees that other 
alternatives, including CO2, cannot be used consistent with 
the use conditions by MY 2021. However, even if a particular 
alternative could not be used in some or any vehicles consistent with 
the use conditions by MY 2021, for the reasons already provided, we 
have determined that other alternatives can be safely used consistent 
with the use conditions by MY 2021. Because alternatives that pose 
lower risk than HFC-134a will be available by MY 2021, we do not 
believe there is a basis for selecting a later date for changing the 
status of HFC-134a.
    Comment: AAM raised concerns about the transition of manufacturing 
facilities and the need to modify or upgrade refrigerant storage 
facilities and charging stations on assembly lines. Also, the 
commenters stated that because many manufacturing facilities produce 
multiple vehicle models, some plants may not have the space necessary 
to accommodate infrastructure for both refrigerants.
    Response: EPA understands that there are challenges associated with 
transitioning refrigerants. EPA is also aware that prior to issuance of 
the NPRM, manufacturers were planning a gradual, model-by-model 
transition, in which some models would be filled with HFC-134a while 
others are filled with HFO-1234yf or another alternative refrigerant at 
the same plant.
    Comment: In the proposed rule EPA requested specific information 
supporting claims that a transition by MY 2021 would not be technically 
feasible because specific model vehicles cannot be redesigned to safely 
use alternative refrigerants by MY 2021. AAM commented stating that 
``EPA did not properly consider confidentially submitted information 
that alternatives will not be available until after MY 2021.''
    Response: EPA has considered information provided to the Agency and 
claimed as confidential as support for this and other decisions that 
are part of this action. As described elsewhere in this section, EPA 
did not receive sufficient information, whether claimed confidential or 
not, to conclude that other alternatives cannot be used consistent with 
their use conditions by MY 2021.
    Comment: Many commenters provided comments about the impact the 
supply of acceptable alternatives could have on the timeline for 
transition. Several commenters believe there is enough supply of 
alternatives to transition prior to MY 2021.
    The comments submitted by Honeywell and DuPont, current suppliers 
of HFO-1234yf, indicate that both companies are confident in their 
ability to supply enough HFO-1234yf to support a full transition by MY 
2018 and MY 2019, respectively. According to comments submitted by 
Honeywell ``there is one commercial scale HFO-1234yf production plant 
operating today in China, a second one is expected to be commissioned 
in the first half of 2015 in Japan via a strategic supply relationship 
between Honeywell and Asahi Glass Company Ltd, and a third world-scale 
plant will be commissioned by Honeywell by the end of 2016 in Geismar, 
Louisiana.'' DuPont submitted similar comments on announced or planned 
production capacity in Asia, the United States and Europe by multiple 
producers, including DuPont, Honeywell, and Asahi Glass Co. (AGC), 
indicating that production will begin in 2015-2017 at most of these 
facilities.
    CARB commented that they understand that chemical manufacturers 
expect to be capable of providing a sufficient supply of HFO-1234yf for 
complete U.S. transition away from HFC-134a starting with MY 2018. In 
support of a MY 2017 transition date, NRDC and IGSD commented that the 
supply of alternatives (HFO-1234yf and others) is not a constraint; 
they believe EPA correctly recognizes that ``production plans for the 
refrigerant appear to be in place to make it available in volumes that 
meet current and projected domestic auto industry demand.''
    Response: EPA appreciates information provided by commenters 
supporting EPA's understanding at the time of the proposal that 
sufficient supply will be available to support a transition in MY 2021. 
The companies producing HFO-1234yf commented that sufficient supplies 
should be available for MY 2018 or 2019, indicating that there will be 
sufficient supplies prior to MY 2021. In addition, the commenter 
submitted additional information to the Agency that they claimed as 
confidential and that further supports that adequate supply will be 
available by MY 2021.
    Comment: Several commenters supported MY 2025 or later, expressing 
concerns about ongoing uncertainty in sufficient supply of HFO-1234yf 
for a full U.S. transition by MY 2021 due to limited production, as 
well as lack of competition, artificial constraints, and other factors. 
Arkema commented that they estimate the global demand for HFO-1234yf in 
2021 will be around 45,000 metric tons and they believe Honeywell and 
DuPont will only be able to supply half that amount. Arkema commented 
that the supply shortage would cause a serious dislocation in supply 
and demand (i.e., willing buyers would be unable to find willing 
sellers of HFO-1234yf) and having only two suppliers would create 
highly restricted competitive conditions. Arkema also commented that 
the manufacturer has not publicly announced production capacities for 
the coming years and EPA has not provided reliable evidence, and none 
exists, that adequate volumes of HFO-1234yf are or will be available to 
``meet current and projected domestic auto industry demand.'' Global 
Automakers commented that it is too soon to conclude that there will be 
adequate supplies of alternative refrigerants to meet U.S. demand as 
well as other possible demands for alternative refrigerants worldwide 
by MY 2021.
    Response: Based on EPA's understanding of refrigerant supply at the 
time of the proposed rule, the information received from commenters

[[Page 42896]]

in response to the proposed rule, and information claimed as 
confidential and provided during meetings, EPA remains confident that 
sufficient supply of alternatives will exist to transition MVAC systems 
in all new light-duty vehicles manufactured in the United States by MY 
2021. EPA is fully aware of delays with the launch of some production 
facilities prior to the implementation of the European Union 
regulations. However, EPA notes that those facilities are now online 
and are producing supplies well in excess of what is needed to meet EU 
demand. They are not currently operating at full capacity. Moreover, 
Honeywell and DuPont, two producers of HFO-1234yf, provided information 
regarding plans to launch additional facilities, one of which will be a 
joint effort between Honeywell and a third chemical manufacturer, 
AGC.\53\ For these reasons, EPA does not agree with commenters that 
there will be an insufficient supply of alternatives by MY 2021. 
Further, EPA is also aware of public announcements by Arkema indicating 
planned production in 2017 of HFO-1234yf.\54\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \53\ AGC, 2014. ``AGC to Supply Honeywell with HFO-1234yf--New-
generation Automobile Refrigerant,'' January 23, 2014. This document 
is accessible at: https://www.agc.com/english/news/2014/0123e.pdf.
    \54\ Arkema, 2013. ``Arkema is announcing the construction of 
production capacities for new refrigerant fluorinated gas 1234yf,'' 
September 4, 2013. This document is accessible at: www.arkema.com/en/media/news/news-details/Arkema-is-announcing-the-construction-of-production-capacities-for-new-refrigerant-fluorinated-gas-1234yf/?back=true.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment: Commenters indicated concern because available supply of 
HFO-1234yf will need to go to Europe for the January 1, 2017, 
transition before automobile manufacturers will have access to supply 
to transition in the United States. These commenters believe a MY 2025 
or later transition date would allow sufficient time to alleviate 
supply concerns.
    Response: EPA does not agree that the January 1, 2017, transition 
in the EU will limit supply in the United States. The SNAP transition 
date is several years after the transition in the EU will be complete 
and, as noted above, the manufacturers of HFO-1234yf have provided 
information supporting that supply will be adequate by MY 2021. EPA 
does acknowledge that supply in the United States would likely not be 
adequate by MY 2017. The main suppliers of HFO-1234yf stated as much in 
their comments.
    Comment: Mexichem commented that the ``pending re-examination 
proceedings involving sham patents registered by Honeywell, continue to 
be a barrier to the effective development of HFO-1234yf.'' Arkema 
commented that EPA overlooks the considerable efforts that Honeywell 
has undertaken to maintain its exclusive control over the manufacture 
of HFO-1234yf. Arkema commented that ``Although legal proceedings and 
investigations regarding Honeywell and DuPont's exclusive control of 
HFO-1234yf are underway at the European Commission, the Federal Trade 
Commission, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office, and elsewhere, those 
proceedings and investigations are not yet resolved.'' Arkema stated 
that ``until those investigations are resolved, Honeywell and DuPont 
will control the manufacture of HFO-1234yf and will impose restrictive 
supply conditions, all with the apparent de facto endorsement of the 
EPA in violation of the Sixth Principle to ``not endorse products 
manufactured by specific companies''. Arkema adds that this will slow 
the transition to HFO-1234yf and add to its cost.
    Response: EPA is aware that proceedings and investigations are 
occurring related to the patents on HFO-1234yf; however, EPA is not 
involved and cannot comment on these proceedings. EPA believes that 
based on the information available today, sufficient supply will be 
available of HFO-1234yf for a full transition in MY 2021 for new light-
duty MVAC systems even if all manufacturers choose to use HFO-1234yf. 
Regarding the comment that this action is in violation of the ``Sixth 
Principle,'' we disagree that EPA endorsed HFO-1234yf or the companies 
producing it by its inclusion on the list of acceptable substitutes for 
the MVAC end-use at issue in this action. HFO-1234yf is one of three 
acceptable lower-GWP alternatives and EPA does not believe it is 
appropriate to assume manufacturers will use only HFO-1234yf. In 
addition to HFO-1234yf, CO2 and HFC-152a are listed as 
acceptable and the manufacturers can choose which substitute they wish 
to use in their product. EPA does not recommend or require the use of a 
specific refrigerant and does not endorse products manufactured by 
specific companies. At least one global motor vehicle manufacturer has 
announced plans to have cars with MVAC systems using CO2 on 
the road in Europe by MY 2017; we are not aware of any reason why such 
models would not be introduced into the United States by MY 2021. EPA 
is also aware of a demonstration project planned by a major Indian 
motor vehicle manufacturer considering HFC-152a and HFO-1234yf in MVAC 
systems using secondary loops (Andersen et al., 2015). As noted 
elsewhere in this final action, EPA is aware of ongoing research and 
development which could ultimately result in future listings of 
additional alternatives and notes that since the issuance of the 
proposal the Agency received a submission for one additional MVAC 
alternative.
(b) Interaction With EPA's LD GHG Rule
    Comment: EPA received several comments related to the interaction 
of this rulemaking with EPA's LD GHG Standards. Commenters requesting a 
MY 2025 or later transition, including AAM, Global Automakers, the 
National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), and Mexichem, commented 
that the later date would preserve the integrity and commitments made 
under the GHG program, preserve the compliance flexibilities granted to 
automakers and provide the same environmental benefits. Commenters 
stated that a MY 2025 transition allows for full compliance 
flexibility, in addition to credits, allotted to manufacturers in the 
vehicle GHG rulemakings throughout MYs 2012-2025. AAM requested that 
EPA ``state clearly and unequivocally that EPA is committed to 
continuing the A/C credits through MY 2025 and beyond'' and asked EPA 
to include this certainty in the regulatory text of the final SNAP rule 
and not just in the preamble.
    Response: Nothing in this final rule changes the regulations 
establishing the availability of air conditioning refrigerant credits 
under the GHG standards for MY 2017-2025, found at 40 CFR 86.1865-12 
and 1867-12. The stringency of the standards remains unchanged. As 
stated above, manufacturers may still generate and utilize credits for 
substitution of HFC-134a through the 2025 model year. Further, this 
final rule is also not in conflict with the Supplemental Notice of 
Intent (76 FR 48758, August 9, 2011) that described plans for EPA and 
NHTSA's joint proposal for model years 2017-2025, since EPA's GHG 
program continues to provide the level of air conditioning credits 
available to manufacturers as specified in that Notice. Specifically, 
the Supplemental Notice of Intent states that ``(m)anufacturers will be 
able to earn credits for improvements in air conditioning . . . 
systems, both for efficiency improvements . . . and for leakage or 
alternative, lower-GWP refrigerants used (reduces [HFC] emissions).'' 
76 FR at 48761. These credits remain available under the light-

[[Page 42897]]

duty program at the level specified in the Supplemental Notice of 
Intent, and using the same demonstration mechanisms set forth in that 
Notice. Moreover, the supporting assessment for this rulemaking is 
consistent with the assumptions set forth in the 2017-2025 LD GHG Rule 
that automakers would switch to lower-GWP refrigerants by MY 2021. 
Indeed, the standards' stringency was predicated on 100% substitution 
beginning in MY 2021.\55\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \55\ See id. at 62,779; see also id. at 62778 and 62805.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We are not adding a statement to the regulatory text in the final 
SNAP rule. As noted in the preamble to the proposed rule, and 
reiterated here: ``The light duty standards do provide that 
manufacturers can generate credits from use of alternative refrigerants 
with lower GWPs than that of HFC-134a through MY 2025, and the ability 
to generate and use those credits towards compliance with the light 
duty standards will not change if this action is finalized as 
proposed.'' (79 FR 46142)
(c) Environmental Impacts
    Comment: Several commenters addressed the climate impacts of the 
proposed HFC-134a unacceptability determination for MVAC. The vast 
majority of commenters on this section of the rule support a transition 
to climate-friendly alternatives in MVAC due to HFC-134a's high global 
warming potential. Several commenters supporting transition prior to MY 
2021 related these impacts to the proposed timeline for the transition 
and we addressed those comments above (e.g., that if an earlier change 
of status date were adopted, there would be additional environmental 
benefits). Commenters requesting a transition date of MY 2025 or later 
commented that the environmental benefits of a delayed change of status 
date will be substantially the same as a MY 2021 transition because the 
majority of vehicles will transition by MY 2021 as a result of the LD 
GHG Rule. These commenters stated that any benefits of a MY 2021 or 
earlier transition may be averaged out against tailpipe emissions, and 
could result in automobile manufacturers slowing other fleet GHG 
reductions. DuPont commented that it is unlikely that any additional 
credits achieved under the LD GHG regulations from a MY 2019 transition 
date would be fully offset and instead there would likely be net 
additional CO2 reductions over those achieved by current 
regulations. Arkema commented that there is no significant climate risk 
reduction to be had from any SNAP action on HFC-134a in the MVAC 
sector, and that no further control, beyond that imposed by the LD GHG 
Rule, is necessary.
    Response: EPA anticipates that if a change of status date earlier 
than MY 2021 were shown to be feasible and thus were adopted, 
additional environmental benefits would be gained beyond those 
accounted for under EPA's analysis to support the LD GHG Rule.\56\ In 
EPA's analysis of the environmental benefits associated with the 
proposed and final change of status rule, EPA assumed no environmental 
benefits from domestic transition of MVAC systems in light-duty 
vehicles given that the environmental benefits resulting from a full 
transition by MY 2021 were accounted for in the LD GHG Rule. The LD GHG 
Rule anticipated that transition for MVAC systems manufactured for use 
in the United States, while continuing to provide flexibility to 
manufacturers until MY 2025. This rule, however, ensures a complete 
transition away from HFC-134a by MY 2021 to a refrigerant that reduces 
the overall risks to human health and the environment for all MVAC 
systems manufactured in the United States, including those exported to 
other countries,\57\ and those imported into the United States. The 
benefits analysis includes these benefits. Also, the analysis was 
updated to reflect the potential impact of the narrowed use limits in 
this final rule that allow continued use of HFC-134a for vehicles 
exported to countries with inadequate infrastructure to support safer 
alternatives. For additional information on environmental benefits 
analysis conducted for this rule, see the supporting document ``Climate 
Benefits of the SNAP Program Status Change Rule'' (EPA, 2014; EPA, 
2015b).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \56\ See Chapter 7 of the Regulatory Impact Analysis: Final 
Rulemaking for 2017-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle Greenhouse Gas Emission 
Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, EPA-420-R-
12-016, August 2012.
    \57\ Except those vehicles subject to the narrowed use limit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment: Arkema commented that the NPRM deprives U.S. plants of 
existing global business in HFC-134a without yielding any environmental 
benefit. Arkema also noted that EPA said, as part of its regulations 
for HCFCs, that production of HCFC-22 for export from the U.S. might 
displace production in other countries that do not control their 
emissions as stringently as U.S. chemical producers. Arkema stated, 
``if U.S. production of HCFCs reduces overall environmental risks, then 
so does U.S. production of HFC-134a, and EPA should not be using the 
risk-based SNAP program to restrict auto exports.''
    Response: This rule does not directly regulate production of HFC-
134a, unlike the rulemaking on the phaseout of HCFCs that Arkema cited; 
rather, we are regulating use of HFC-134a as a substitute in specific 
uses. Further, we disagree with Arkema's assertion that U.S. production 
of HFC-134a would potentially reduce overall environmental risks if 
U.S. production of HCFCs reduces environmental risks. EPA's HCFC 
allocation rule specifically mentioned that HCFC-22 production (and not 
production of HCFCs in general) results in byproduct emissions of HFC-
23, a gas with a very high GWP of 14,800. The commenter has not 
provided any information indicating that emissions from production of 
HFC-134a, with a GWP of 1,430, or its byproducts would have a similar 
high environmental impact. We disagree with the commenter's assumptions 
as well as the conclusion that the SNAP program should not regulate 
exports of vehicles.
    Comment: AAM stated that the MVAC-related climate benefits of this 
rulemaking have been incorrectly calculated and that ``the 
environmental benefits of a MY 2025 change of listing status date are 
substantially the same as in MY 2021 date.'' AAM also commented that 
the cessation of exports of vehicles containing HFC-134a to EU 
countries should not be included in the benefits calculation because 
the EU already prohibits the use of HFC-134a and that subtracting 
exports to EU countries and to Canada would reduce the climate benefit 
due to exports by half to 1 MMTCO2eq.
    Response: EPA directs commenters to the benefits analysis 
associated with the final rule and in particular to the anticipated 
long term change in the trajectory for high-GWP HFCs and alternatives. 
The benefits analysis is available in the docket and reflects the final 
decisions in this action. It has been updated since the issuance of the 
NPRM to reflect changes between the NPRM and the final rule. The 
benefits analysis for the final rule does not include vehicles sold 
into the EU or Canada, given the EU's existing F-gas regulations and 
MAC Directive, and for Canada, the relationship between their market 
and ours.
(d) Cost Impacts of Rule
    Comment: EPA received several comments concerning the cost impact 
of this rulemaking for the MVAC end-use. AAM, Global Automakers, and 
Mexichem commented that delaying transition to MY 2025 or later would 
avoid costs and engineering burdens on

[[Page 42898]]

manufacturers resulting from making adjustments to their refrigerant 
change-over plans for both vehicles and manufacturing plants. NRDC and 
IGSD commented that a transition date of MY 2017 would align the U.S. 
and EU markets and erase these competitive disadvantages with minimal 
impact to industry. The Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute 
(ARPI) and Auto Care Association commented that a change from HFC-134a 
to lower-GWP refrigerants should not cause any substantial economic 
hardship to car owners. Additional comments relating to EPA's economic 
analysis are included in section VII.B of the preamble, ``Cost and 
economic impacts of proposed status changes.''
    Response: EPA understands that there are challenges associated with 
transitioning refrigerants, including costs to manufacturers in 
redesigning equipment and making changes to manufacturing facilities. 
However, as explained in more detail in the response to comments later 
in this preamble, under the SNAP criteria for review in 40 CFR 
82.180(a)(7), consideration of cost is limited to cost of the 
substitute under review, and that consideration does not include the 
cost of transition when a substitute is found unacceptable. Moreover, 
we note that during model redesigns, many other engineering changes are 
being made and that changing the MVAC system during a planned redesign 
cycle could reduce costs when compared to MVAC system changes mid-
redesign cycle. We anticipate that a change of status in MY 2021 will 
allow manufacturers to make changes to the MVAC systems for most 
vehicle models as part of the model redesign process.
    Comment: A few commenters noted the high price of HFO-1234yf 
relative to HFC-134a. One commenter, referring to the NPRM, stated that 
EPA continues to believe that HFO-1234yf is unlikely to ever be as 
inexpensive as HFC-134a is currently. Commenters stated that the high 
price of HFO-1234yf is likely to slow the transition away from HFC-134a 
in the United States.
    Response: As explained in more detail in the response to comments 
later in this preamble, under the SNAP criteria for review in 40 CFR 
82.180(a)(7), the only cost information that EPA considers as part of 
its SNAP review is the cost of the substitute under review. As part of 
EPA's cost analysis conducted in support of this rulemaking, the 
potential costs to manufacturers were estimated based on per-system 
costs of alternative systems, as identified in EPA's report on Global 
Mitigation of Non-CO2 Greenhouse Gases: 2010-2030 (EPA, 2013a), and 
converted to 2013 dollars. The incremental per-system cost of an 
alternative MVAC system compared to an HFC-134a system is estimated to 
be about $62/unit. EPA previously analyzed these costs in documents 
supporting the LD GHG Rule and in that analysis accounted for the cost 
of 100% of domestic vehicles to transition to use of HFO-1234yf by MY 
2021. These incremental costs are less than 1% relative to the total 
direct manufacturing cost for a light-duty vehicle.\58\ EPA does not 
believe an incremental cost of less than 1% of the total direct 
manufacturing cost will slow the transition away from HFC-134a. EPA 
understands that often new alternatives have higher initial costs, but 
this is not always true. In addition, over time the cost of the 
alternative often drops as demand and supply increase.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \58\ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and National Highway 
Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). 2012. Joint Technical Support 
Document: Final Rulemaking for 2017-2025 Light-Duty Vehicle 
Greenhouse Gas Emission Standards and Corporate Average Fuel Economy 
Standards. August 2012. Available online at: http://www.epa.gov/otaq/climate/documents/420r12901.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment: Global Automakers and AAM commented that if EPA includes 
exports in this regulation, EPA would be placing U.S.-based 
manufacturers of export vehicles at a competitive disadvantage compared 
to automakers producing vehicles outside of the United States. Global 
Automakers stated in their comment that ``this rulemaking will 
unnecessarily cause substantial economic harm to the U.S. economy, U.S. 
jobs, and balance of payments if exports are included in the regulatory 
provisions.'' Arkema, Mexichem, and BMW also commented on the potential 
economic impacts of regulating exports.
    Response: An inability to export vehicles manufactured with HFC-
134a could be a competitive disadvantage in any countries where 
vehicles manufactured with other alternatives cannot be supported. 
However, as discussed above, the additional cost of a vehicle 
manufactured using an alternative (e.g., HFO-1234yf) is anticipated to 
be approximately $62 more per vehicle; this is not sufficient to create 
a competitive disadvantage in countries where both HFC-134a and other 
alternatives are supported. Further, EPA is providing a narrowed use 
limit in this final action that would allow vehicles destined for 
export to a country with insufficient infrastructure to be manufactured 
with HFC-134a through MY 2025. Thus, U.S. manufacturers should not 
experience a competitive disadvantage.
(e) Servicing and Retrofits
    Comment: EPA received comments related to the continued servicing 
of MVAC systems manufactured to use HFC-134a. Two commenters support 
the continued acceptability of HFC-134a for servicing, and one 
commenter requests assurance that continued servicing will be 
permitted. ARPI and the Auto Care Association, representing the 
automotive aftermarket industry, jointly commented that they support 
the change of status of HFC-134a in MVAC provided that systems using 
replacement refrigerants are available at the time at a reasonable 
price and that the ``phase out'' does not adversely affect the use of 
HFC-134a in the millions of vehicles which will then still have MVAC 
systems designed for that refrigerant.
    Response: EPA did not propose and is not finalizing a change of 
status for HFC-134a used for servicing MVAC systems designed to use 
HFC-134a. Thus, vehicles manufactured to use HFC-134a may, consistent 
with this rule, continue to be serviced with HFC-134a.
    Comment: EPA received a comment requesting clarification on the 
ability to retrofit or service an HFO-1234yf system with HFC-134a.
    Response: As discussed elsewhere in the preamble, the SNAP 
regulations include use conditions and other requirements that limit 
the ability to service an MVAC system designed to use an alternative 
with a refrigerant other than the one the system was designed to use. 
See section V.B.3 for a detailed description.
    Also, as discussed in more detail in section V.B.3, for vehicles 
for which the manufacturer counts air conditioning credits toward its 
LD GHG compliance, the MVAC systems (or elements of those systems) are 
considered emission-related components as defined in 40 CFR 86.1803. 
This designation includes provisions for emission-related warranty, 
requirements that they operate properly for the specified useful life, 
and tampering restrictions.
(f) Refrigerant Blends for Retrofits of MVAC Systems
    Comment: Two commenters requested that EPA also list the 
refrigerant blends as unacceptable for use in retrofits in the final 
rule as well as in new equipment. SAE Interior Climate Control 
Committee (SAE ICCC), the leading standards writing body in the United 
States for MVAC, commented that they support the extension of the 
unacceptability finding to retrofits because they have never written 
any

[[Page 42899]]

standards for these refrigerants. The other commenter, DuPont, 
recommended that because the refrigerants are not currently in use and 
it would be undesirable to have them used, EPA should also change the 
SNAP status for the blend refrigerants to unacceptable for retrofit (in 
addition to new) MVAC uses.
    Response: EPA has not undertaken the full analysis necessary to 
determine whether to list these refrigerant blends as unacceptable for 
retrofits. Accordingly, EPA did not propose to find the refrigerant 
blends unacceptable for retrofits. Additional information, as well as 
an opportunity for public comment, would be necessary before we would 
be able to potentially find the refrigerant blends unacceptable for use 
in retrofits (e.g., information on the extent of use of the refrigerant 
blends). EPA appreciates the comments submitted on this topic and will 
take them into consideration when preparing additional status change 
rules.
(g) Use Conditions for HFC-134a
    Comment: Arkema commented that it is ``arbitrary and capricious'' 
for EPA to find acceptable substances that could compete with HFC-134a 
in MVAC only because those other substances are subject to use 
conditions, and then to find HFC-134a unacceptable based on comparisons 
to those other substances without considering any comparable use 
restriction on HFC-134a. The commenter referred to a discussion in the 
proposed rule concerning establishing charge limits through use 
conditions for a number of high GWP refrigerant blends for use in 
supermarket systems and condensing units as an example.
    Response: EPA has not proposed additional use conditions for HFC-
134a comparable to those for HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and CO2 
because the ways of addressing risks for these substitutes are not 
comparable. The use conditions unique to HFO-1234yf and HFC-152a 
address flammability risks through engineering strategies that will 
keep refrigerant concentrations below the lower flammability limit in 
each vehicle and by requiring labels providing information on the 
flammability risk. The use conditions unique to CO2 address 
toxicity and consumer exposure risks through requiring engineering 
strategies that will keep refrigerant concentrations at safe levels in 
the passenger compartment of the vehicle. In contrast, the 
environmental risks from HFC-134a are due to the collective global 
impact of refrigerant emissions released over time from the entire 
automotive industry.
    In past cases where the SNAP program has regulated other 
substitutes that posed high environmental risk due to collective global 
emissions, we have taken three different approaches. One approach has 
been to restrict the substitute to a niche use through a narrowed use 
limit, where it was particularly difficult to find any feasible 
substitute and the niche use was unlikely to result in significant 
total emissions (e.g., narrowed use limit on high-GWP fire suppressant 
SF6 for use only as a discharge agent in military 
applications and in civilian aircraft at appendix B to 40 CFR part 82, 
subpart G). A similar approach has been to restrict the substitute 
through a narrowed use limit to use only ``where other alternatives are 
not technically feasible due to performance or safety requirements'' 
(e.g., narrowed use limits on perfluorocarbon solvents for precision 
cleaning and C6F14 as a total flooding agent for 
fire suppression at appendix A to 40 CFR part 82, subpart G). The third 
approach EPA has used to address environmental risks from global 
emissions of a substitute, and the only approach we have taken to date 
for such a substitute that is already widespread in industry, is to 
find the substitute unacceptable (e.g., HCFC-141b in solvent cleaning 
at appendix A to 40 CFR part 82, subpart G and HCFC-141b in foam 
blowing at appendix M to 40 CFR part 82, subpart G). MVAC is not a 
niche use, and there are clearly other technically feasible substitutes 
that will be available by the status change date specified in this 
final rule for use in vehicles that will be sold domestically, so it is 
not reasonable to provide a narrowed use limit for HFC-134a beyond that 
established in this final rule for export to nations with insufficient 
infrastructure for other alternatives.
    Concerning Arkema's reference to a discussion on use conditions for 
charge size limits, we note that in the proposed rule we also stated, 
``However, given the high GWP of these refrigerants compared to other 
refrigerants that are available in these end-uses, we do not believe 
that use with a small charge size adequately addresses the greater risk 
they pose.'' This is even more so in MVAC than in commercial 
refrigeration products, due to the more widespread use of MVAC in 
hundreds of millions of vehicles and the greater difference in GWP 
between the unacceptable substitute and other, lower-GWP alternative, 
compared to supermarket systems and remote condensing units.

(h) Flexibility for Exports

    Comment: NRDC, IGSD, and DuPont suggested that if EPA finalizes MY 
2017 or MY 2019, respectively, EPA could consider narrowed use limits 
to address any sub-sectors that have problems meeting a transition date 
earlier than MY 2021, if, for example, the Agency believed there was a 
basis to claims of country-specific performance barriers (e.g., due to 
high ambient temperatures) or lack of infrastructure for safer 
alternatives.
    Response: As discussed further in this section, EPA has finalized a 
narrowed use limit for certain vehicles to be exported to countries 
that have not yet developed sufficient infrastructure for using safer 
alternatives. EPA has received no documentation supporting a narrowed 
use limit related to ambient temperature conditions, and therefore, has 
not included such a narrowed use limit in this final action.
    Comment: EPA received comments from several commenters related to 
the servicing infrastructure for lower-GWP alternatives outside the 
United States. Some details are provided below and the remaining 
details can be found in the Response to Comments document. Arkema, 
Mexichem, BMW, AAM, and Global Automakers raised concerns including 
whether destinations for exported vehicles will have sufficient service 
sector support and refrigerant distribution networks for HFO-1234yf; 
and the ability to conform to SNAP use conditions, given the large 
proportion of automobiles manufactured in the U.S. for export (up to 
one-fourth). Commenters question whether the alternatives are truly 
``available'' for use in export markets if there is a lack of service 
sector support and comment that this regulation could lead to 
manufacturers having to limit export production at U.S. assembly 
plants. Commenters are also concerned about the time needed to overcome 
regulatory and legislative barriers. AAM suggested that EPA designate 
certain export markets that can still receive U.S. exports of HFC-134a 
vehicles, which they believe currently should be all export markets 
except Canada and Europe.
    In contrast, DuPont and Honeywell, manufacturers of HFO-1234yf, 
asserted that service supply follows demand and the equipment for low 
GWP refrigerant service is readily available. These commenters stated 
that dealers and service shops can be expected to acquire the necessary 
equipment and materials to serve the market demand and that it is the 
responsibility of the vehicle manufacturer to ensure that their 
authorized dealers in those countries are able to provide all the 
necessary service to these exported cars under warranty. Honeywell and 
DuPont both stated that

[[Page 42900]]

they have already developed an extensive network of distributors that 
are capable of supplying HFO-1234yf globally. DuPont stated that based 
on demand from the motor vehicle aftermarket, they have distribution 
covering more than 40 countries, 11 more than the combined EU member 
states and the United States, and including Saudi Arabia, Turkey, 
Israel and the United Arab Emirates.
    Response: EPA is aware that many countries, in addition to Canada 
and those in the EU, already have servicing infrastructure in place, 
and anticipates that the number will grow by MY 2021. However, EPA also 
recognizes that there may be some markets where additional time may be 
needed to ensure servicing infrastructure is available. EPA is 
providing a narrowed use limit for HFC-134a in new MVAC systems 
destined for use in countries that do not have infrastructure in place 
for servicing with other acceptable refrigerants. This narrowed use 
limit will remain in place through MY 2025. The remaining information 
in this response explains why EPA believes it is not necessary to have 
a narrowed use limit in place indefinitely. EPA is particularly 
encouraged to learn that there is currently distribution for HFO-1234yf 
in 40 countries, 11 more than the combined EU member states and the 
United States and, that these countries include Saudi Arabia, Turkey, 
Israel and the United Arab Emirates, which indicates that 
infrastructure is already being put in place in a significant number of 
countries.
    EPA does not agree that every country in the world would need as 
much time as was needed in North America and Europe to resolve barriers 
to transition. Many countries look to the SNAP program and the EU's 
REACH program as a source of information to inform their domestic 
programs and, thus transition for those countries should proceed more 
quickly. EPA notes the widespread use of flammable refrigerants for 
various end-uses in other countries (more so than in the United States) 
as well as the inclusion of such refrigerants for projects considered 
by the Executive Committee of the Montreal Protocol's Multilateral 
Fund. We anticipate that many countries that do not have adequate 
infrastructure in place in 2015 will have it in place in time to 
service MY 2021 vehicles.
    In many cases international agencies, such as the United Nations 
Environment Programme (UNEP), have been working with developing 
countries to facilitate changes in domestic regulations to allow for 
the use of lower-GWP solutions. This has been particularly true since 
2007 when the Parties to the Montreal Protocol adopted a more 
aggressive phaseout schedule for HCFCs, for end-uses using HCFCs such 
as stand-alone commercial refrigeration appliances. Thus there are 
systems in place for communicating information on new refrigerants and 
for sharing experience. Further, the experiences of the United States 
and Europe are being shared widely. We have provided information to the 
Montreal Protocol's Secretariat and to UNEP. We already are also seeing 
information shared through a range of mechanisms by the Secretariat and 
UNEP as well as included in reports of the Montreal Protocol's 
Technical and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP), SAE, and other bodies.
    In addition, EPA notes that the G-7 leaders committed in June 2014 
to promote the rapid deployment of climate-friendly and safe 
alternatives to HFCs in motor vehicle air-conditioning and to promote 
public procurement of climate-friendly HFC alternatives. EPA notes that 
many countries already are committed to take action to promote public 
procurement of climate-friendly lower-GWP alternatives whenever 
feasible and would likely consider MVAC as a potentially feasible end-
use. For the reasons above, we believe that sufficient progress is 
being made and will continue to be made such that the narrowed use 
limit need not apply beyond MY 2025.
    Comment: Global Automakers commented that it is imperative to have 
trained technicians and shops equipped with the necessary equipment to 
service and repair MVAC systems using flammable refrigerants, and 
special equipment is needed to recover, recycle, and re-charge 
flammable refrigerants before vehicles using such refrigerants can be 
marketed in a specific country. AAM commented that on average, every 
vehicle gets completely recharged with new refrigerant at least once 
during its lifetime, and therefore, the unique need for such widespread 
service support for MVAC differentiates this situation from past SNAP 
considerations of export markets for other appliances.
    Response: EPA agrees with the value of providing information and 
training to technicians. In the United States, we are currently working 
with technician certification programs to include information on HFC-
152a, R-744, and HFO-1234yf. EPA agrees with commenters that there is 
value in technician training and education on a global basis. 
International agencies such as UNEP could potentially be a source of 
such training in developing countries. EPA does not agree that it is 
necessary to ensure such training is in place in all markets worldwide 
in order to fully accommodate U.S. exports with the new refrigerants. 
EPA has already developed information on the newer alternative 
refrigerants acceptable in the United States that is available on our 
Web site and could be a resource for others. In addition, the use 
conditions requiring labeling and unique fittings for refrigerants for 
MVAC for service equipment and vehicle service ports serves as a means 
for informing technicians as to what refrigerant is being used.
    EPA understands that the commenters are suggesting that there still 
may be markets that do not have infrastructure in place by MY 2025. 
Based on the speed of transition that we are seeing, EPA does not 
agree. However, the Agency could consider proposing a change in the 
future if needed.

C. Retail Food Refrigeration and Vending Machines

1. Background
(a) Overview of SNAP End-Uses, End-Use Categories and Commonly-Used 
Refrigerants
    EPA refers readers to section V.C.1 of the preamble to the proposed 
rule for a detailed discussion of the end-uses within the refrigeration 
sector covered by this rule as well as information on some of the 
refrigerants used within those end-uses.
    In the proposed rule, EPA proposed to change the listing for 
certain refrigerants for two end-uses within the ``commercial 
refrigeration'' sector--retail food refrigeration and vending machines. 
Retail food refrigeration, as affected by today's rule, is composed of 
three main categories of equipment: Stand-alone equipment; remote 
condensing units; and supermarket systems. Stand-alone equipment 
consists of refrigerators, freezers, and reach-in coolers (either open 
or with doors) where all refrigeration components are integrated and, 
for the smallest types, the refrigeration circuit is entirely brazed or 
welded. These systems are termed ``stand-alone'' within the SNAP 
program because they are fully charged with refrigerant at the factory 
and typically require only an electricity supply to begin operation.
    Condensing units, called remote condensing units in this final 
action as discussed below, exhibit refrigerating capacities that 
typically range from 1 kW to 20 kW (0.3 to 5.7 refrigeration tons) and 
are composed of one (and sometimes two) compressor(s), one condenser, 
and one receiver assembled into a single unit, which is normally

[[Page 42901]]

located external to the sales area. The modifier ``remote'' indicates 
that the condenser (and often other parts of the system) are not 
located in the space or area cooled by the evaporator but are instead 
located outside the room, typically ejecting heat to the outdoor 
ambient environment. Remote condensing units are commonly installed in 
convenience stores and specialty shops such as bakeries and butcher 
shops, as well as in supermarkets, restaurants and other locations 
where food is stored, served or sold.
    Typical supermarket systems are known as multiplex or centralized 
systems. They operate with racks of compressors installed in a 
machinery room. Two main design classifications are used: Direct and 
indirect systems. At least 70% of supermarkets in the United States use 
centralized direct expansion (DX) systems to cool their display 
cases.\59\ In these systems, the refrigerant circulates from the 
machinery room to the sales area, where it evaporates in display-case 
heat exchangers, and then returns in vapor phase to the suction headers 
of the compressor racks. Another direct supermarket design, often 
referred to as a distributed refrigeration system, uses an array of 
separate compressor racks located near the display cases rather than 
having a central compressor rack system. Indirect supermarket designs 
include secondary loop systems and cascade refrigeration. Indirect 
systems use a chiller or other refrigeration system to cool a secondary 
fluid that is then circulated throughout the store to the cases.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \59\ www2.epa.gov/greenchill/advanced-refrigeration.
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    Refrigerant choices depend on the refrigerant charge (i.e., the 
amount of refrigerant a system is designed to contain under normal 
operating conditions), the product temperature required, energy 
efficiency, system performance, ambient temperatures, operating 
conditions, potential impact on community safety, potential risk to 
personal safety, cost, and minimization of direct and indirect 
environmental impacts, among other things. In addition, federal or 
local regulations may also affect refrigerant choice. For instance, 
regulations from the OSHA may restrict or place requirements on the use 
of some refrigerants, such as ammonia (R-717). Building codes from 
local and State agencies may also incorporate limits on the amount of 
particular refrigerants used. There are and will continue to be a 
number of factors that retailers must consider when selecting the 
refrigerant and operating system design. While a number of approaches 
exist, there is no uniformly accepted holistic analysis of the multiple 
factors listed above. EPA recognizes that there must be a range of 
options, and that the decision as to which option to select must remain 
with the owner and operator of the system.
(b) Terms and Coverage
    During a meeting with EPA just prior to publication of the proposed 
rule, an industry trade organization representing manufacturers of 
refrigeration equipment, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration 
Institute (AHRI), raised concerns that in some situations the 
definitions and categories used in the SNAP program differ from those 
used by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and/or the industry and 
they submitted a document identifying those definitions and categories 
(see EPA Meeting on Commercial Refrigeration Equipment--June 10, 2014 
under Docket ID# EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0005). They indicated that the 
term ``commercial refrigeration'' is often first divided by the type 
and location of the condensing unit, using two broad terms. ``Remote 
condensing'' is used to indicate systems where the condensing unit and 
compressors are located remotely from where food is stored or displayed 
and instead the refrigerant or secondary-fluid is piped to the cases or 
rooms where the food is located. ``Self-contained'' is used to indicate 
that the condensing unit (along with the compressor and evaporator) is 
integrated into the case in which the food is stored and displayed. 
These units are generally initially charged by the case manufacturer at 
the manufacturing plant.
    EPA notes that the term ``self-contained'' is synonymous with the 
SNAP end-use category ``stand-alone'' and we are retaining use of the 
term stand-alone for this rulemaking action. The term ``remote 
condensing'' applies to the SNAP end-use categories of ``supermarket 
systems'' and ``condensing units.'' For the latter end-use category, in 
this final rule we are revising the term ``condensing units'' to be 
``remote condensing units.'' EPA draws a distinction between 
``supermarket systems'' and ``remote condensing units'' based on the 
number of compressors in the remote condensing system. Supermarket 
systems generally have more than two compressors arranged in a ``rack'' 
whereas remote condensing units typically have only one or two 
compressors linked to a single condenser. For purposes of this rule, we 
are keeping these two categories separate.
    The AHRI document (Docket ID# EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0005) also 
attempts to draw an additional distinction regarding commercial walk-in 
coolers and freezers. We note that we do not treat such units separate 
from the categories described above. Rather such units would fall 
within the end-use category ``supermarket system'' if the refrigerant 
is supplied on the same multi-compressor circuit used to cool food 
elsewhere in the store or within the end-use category ``remote 
condensing unit'' if only a one- or two-compressor system is used 
(generally dedicated to just the individual walk-in cooler or freezer).
    AHRI further notes that both supermarket systems and remote 
condensing units can be connected to various types of display cases 
designed to maintain products at various temperatures, often subdivided 
as ``medium-temperature''--roughly between 32 [deg]F (0 [deg]C) and 41 
[deg]F (5 [deg]C)--and ``low-temperature''--roughly between -40 [deg]F 
(-40 [deg]C) and 32 [deg]F (0 [deg]C). EPA notes that within the SNAP 
end-uses and categories described above, no distinction is currently 
made based on application temperature (medium or low) and so the 
decisions finalized in today's rule apply to all equipment fitting 
within the supermarket and remote condensing units end-use categories 
as described; however, based on comments received, within the stand-
alone equipment end-use category a distinction is made between 
equipment designed for ``low'' temperatures and other equipment.
    During the comment period on the proposed rule, we received 
additional questions and comments about whether certain types of 
equipment were included in the end-uses addressed in this action. We 
are clarifying here that specific types of equipment used in the food 
industry do not fall within the end-uses and end-use categories 
affected by this rule: Blast chillers, ice making machines not 
connected to a supermarket system, very low temperature refrigeration, 
and certain food and beverage dispensing systems.
    A ``blast chiller'' or ``blast freezer'' is a type of equipment in 
which cold air is supplied and circulated rapidly to a food product, 
generally to quickly cool or freeze a product before damage or spoilage 
can occur. Such units are typically used in industrial settings (e.g., 
at a factory or on a large fish-catching vessel) and fall under the 
SNAP end-use ``Industrial Process Refrigeration'' and hence are not 
subject to this rule.

[[Page 42902]]

    ``Ice makers'' are machines designed for the sole purpose of 
producing ice, in various sizes and shapes, and with different 
retrieval mechanisms (e.g., dispensers or self-retrieval from bins). 
Under SNAP, ``commercial ice machines'' are identified as a separate 
end-use not part of the retail food refrigeration end-use (e.g., not a 
``stand-alone'' unit). See e.g., 59 FR 13070 (March 18, 1994) where EPA 
clearly designated ``commercial ice machines'' as a separate end-use 
than ``retail food refrigeration.'' Thus, both self-contained ice 
makers, as well as ice-making units solely connected via piping to a 
dedicated remote condenser, do not fall under the retail food 
refrigeration end-use and hence are not subject to this rule. In 
contrast, ice-making units that are connected to a supermarket system 
are subject to this rule. For instance, if a supermarket rack system 
supplies refrigerant to a unit to make ice, such as for use in meat and 
seafood storage, display and sales, and that refrigerant and compressor 
rack are part of a larger circuit that also provides cooling for other 
products in the store, the entire system would be classified as a 
``supermarket system'' and hence would be subject to today's rule. EPA 
would like to clarify that since remote condensing ice makers designed 
solely to be connected to a supermarket remote rack are not sold or 
manufactured with a condensing unit, they do not meet the definition of 
automatic commercial ice maker used by DOE in the automatic commercial 
ice maker energy conservation standards.
    Several commenters, including Master Bilt Products and Thermo 
Fisher, identified products they manufacture to reach temperatures of -
50[deg]F (-46[deg]C) or even lower. These products fit under the end-
use ``very low temperature refrigeration'' and hence are not covered by 
this rule. EPA also notes that it recently found R-170 (ethane) as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions, in the very low temperature 
refrigeration end-use. (April 10, 2015; 80 FR 19453)
    Other commenters, such as Emerson, HC Duke/Electro-Freeze, and 
United Technologies, mentioned equipment designed to make or process 
cold food and beverages that are dispensed via a nozzle, including 
soft-serve ice cream machines, ``slushy'' iced beverage dispensers, and 
soft-drink dispensers. Such equipment can be self-contained or can be 
connected via piping to a dedicated condensing unit located elsewhere. 
EPA does not consider this equipment to fall under either the ``stand-
alone'' or ``remote condensing unit'' categories of retail food 
refrigeration. While our definition of retail food refrigeration 
includes ``cold storage cases designed to chill food for commercial 
sale,'' these units generally do more than just store food or 
beverages. For instance, United Technologies states such equipment 
``transform[s] a liquid product into a frozen beverage or confection 
with the incorporation of air to provide uniformity and specific 
customer requirements. These products are transformed and manufactured 
within the equipment, held in a frozen state and ultimately dispensed 
into a serving vessel that is provided to an end customer.'' Hence, 
these types of products are in a category separate from the three 
``retail food refrigeration'' end-use categories addressed in today's 
rule.
    We also received several comments and questions regarding energy 
conservation standards established by DOE and how the equipment subject 
to this rule is also subject to the DOE standards. While EPA is not 
making any decisions on the applicability of the DOE standards to 
specific equipment, we see that at least three such standards and 
perhaps more apply to types of equipment that are also subject to this 
rule. These three standards are titled Energy Conservation Standards 
for Commercial Refrigeration Equipment (79 FR 17725; March 28, 2014), 
Energy Conservation Standards for Walk-In Coolers and Freezers (79 FR 
32049; June 3, 2014) and Energy Conservation Standards for Refrigerated 
Bottled or Canned Beverage Vending Machines (74 FR 44914; August 31, 
2009). These are referred to in this rule using shortened names or a 
generic name such as ``DOE Standards.''
    The Commercial Refrigeration Equipment Standards have an effective 
date of May 27, 2014 and a compliance date of March 27, 2017. The Walk-
In Coolers and Freezers Standards have an effective date of August 4, 
2014 and a compliance date of June 5, 2017. The Beverage Vending 
Machines Standards have effective dates of October 30, 2009 and August 
31, 2011 and a compliance date of August 31, 2012. DOE posted a notice 
of a public meeting and availability of the Framework document for an 
expected proposed rule to amend the standards for refrigerated bottled 
or canned beverage vending machines (78 FR 33262; June 4, 2013). 
Material in the docket for that action indicate DOE's plans for a final 
rule with a compliance date three years later (see EERE-2013-BT-STD-
0022).
    EPA's review indicates that equipment designated in the Commercial 
Refrigeration Equipment Standards may fall under the supermarket 
systems, remote condensing units, and stand-alone equipment end-use 
categories. Specifically, equipment classes designated in the DOE 
Standard as XXXX.RC.T, where XXXX is the equipment class, RC specifies 
a remote condensing operating mode code, and T indicates a rating 
temperature (e.g., M and L for medium and low temperature, 
respectively), may fall under either the supermarket system or remote 
condensing unit end-use category, depending on how that equipment is 
applied. In addition, equipment classes designated as XXXX.SC.T, where 
SC specifies a self-contained operating mode code, may fall under the 
stand-alone equipment end-use category.
    EPA's review indicates that equipment designated in the Walk-In 
Cooler and Freezers Standards may fall under the supermarket systems, 
remote condensing units, and stand-alone equipment end-use categories. 
Specifically, equipment within the class descriptor Multiplex 
Condensing (either Medium or Low Temperature) may fall under the 
supermarket systems end-use category, i.e., if such a walk-in cooler or 
freezer utilizes refrigerant from a larger, multi-compressor (rack) 
system. In addition, equipment within the class descriptor Dedicated 
System, Outdoor System (regardless of temperature and capacity) may 
fall under the remote condensing units end-use category, i.e., if 
connected to a remote condensing unit and not integrated into a larger, 
multi-compressor (rack) system. Furthermore, equipment falling in the 
class descriptor Dedicated System, Indoor System (regardless of 
temperature and capacity) may fall in the stand-alone equipment end-use 
category, i.e., if the equipment is manufactured and fully charged with 
refrigerant at the factory.
    EPA's review indicates that equipment covered by the Beverage 
Vending Machine Standards (including Class A, Class B and Combination 
vending machines) falls under the vending machines end-use.
    In all cases, the DOE Standards apply to new equipment, not 
retrofitted equipment. Also, any foam used in such systems or 
components that are also covered (e.g. various panels and doors within 
the Walk-In Coolers and Freezers Standard), may fall under the rigid PU 
commercial refrigeration and sandwich panel end-use and be affected by 
the changes of status discussed in section V.D below.
(c) The Terms ``New'' and ``Retrofit'' and How They Apply to Servicing
    Several commenters, including the Food Marketing Institute (FMI),

[[Page 42903]]

Supermarket Company ABC, and Hussmann sought clarification of the terms 
``new'' and ``retrofit'' and how these terms might affect store 
remodels and the use of cases or other equipment that in the future are 
added to or replaced for existing cases or equipment.
    For the refrigeration and air-conditioning sector, the SNAP program 
has, since the inception of the program, made a distinction between new 
equipment and retrofitted equipment. In some cases, a particular 
refrigerant is acceptable or acceptable subject to use conditions only 
in new equipment, not in retrofits. In other cases, a particular 
refrigerant is only acceptable in retrofits, not new equipment. In the 
NPRM, EPA evaluated whether to change the status of refrigerant 
substitutes for retrofits separate from its evaluation of whether to 
change the status of refrigerant substitutes for new equipment in each 
of the four end-uses and categories--supermarket systems, remote 
condensing units, stand-alone equipment, and vending machines--
addressed. Since the inception of the SNAP program, EPA has made 
separate determinations for refrigerants used in ``new'' equipment and 
as a ``retrofit'' to existing equipment. We are likewise today making 
separate decisions for new and retrofit equipment within the retail 
food refrigeration and vending machines end-uses.
    EPA uses the term ``retrofit'' to indicate the use of a refrigerant 
in an appliance (such as a supermarket system) that was designed for 
and originally operated using a different refrigerant \60\ and does not 
use the term to apply to upgrades to existing equipment where the 
refrigerant is not changed. For instance, we drew this distinction when 
we found R-290 acceptable for use in retail food refrigerators and 
freezers (stand-alone units) subject to use conditions (76 FR 78832; 
December 20, 2011) stating ``none of these substitutes may be used as a 
conversion or `retrofit' refrigerant for existing equipment designed 
for other refrigerants'' (40 CFR part 82, subpart G, appendix R). Some 
alternative refrigerant providers describe their retrofit products as 
``drop-ins'' but EPA does not use that term interchangeably with 
retrofit (see 79 FR 64270). We recognize that some changes typically 
would be required for equipment to use a refrigerant other than the one 
for which it was designed. In many cases, lubricants need to be changed 
(for instance, changing from a mineral oil to a polyolester lubricant 
when retrofitting from a CFC to an HFC). Due to different performance 
characteristics, other changes may need to occur when retrofitting, 
such as adjustments to or replacement of thermostatic expansion valves 
(TXVs) and filter-driers. In addition, gaskets and other materials may 
need to be replaced due to different compatibility properties of the 
different refrigerants. Such changes could occur as part of maintenance 
as well as during a retrofit.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \60\ A chemical or mixture that is not the same as that used 
before the retrofit, typically denoted by different ``R'' numbers 
under ASHRAE Standard 34.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In addition to drawing a distinction between new and retrofit for 
the SNAP program, EPA also included a distinction between new and 
existing equipment in its regulations implementing the HCFC phaseout 
and use restrictions in section 605 of the CAA. As of January 1, 2010, 
use of HFC-22 and HFC-142b was largely restricted to use as a 
refrigerant in equipment manufactured before that date (40 CFR 
82.15(g)(2); 74 FR 66412). Similarly, as of January 1, 2015, use of 
other HCFCs not previously controlled was largely restricted to use as 
a refrigerant in equipment manufactured before January 1, 2020 (40 CFR 
82.15(g)(4); 74 FR 66412). In that context, EPA defined 
``manufactured,'' for an appliance, as ``the date upon which the 
appliance's refrigerant circuit is complete, the appliance can 
function, the appliance holds a full refrigerant charge, and the 
appliance is ready for use for its intended purposes'' (40 CFR 82.3, 
82.302). We provided further explanations and example scenarios of how 
the HCFC phaseout and use restrictions apply to supermarkets in the 
fact sheet Supermarket Industry Q & A on R-22 Use (www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/phaseout/Supermarket_Q&A_for_R-22.html).
    Under today's rule, existing systems may continue to be serviced 
and maintained for the useful life of that equipment using the original 
refrigerant, whereas new systems (including new supermarket systems) 
manufactured after the change of status date will not be allowed to use 
refrigerants for which the status has changed to unacceptable. 
Consistent with the definition in subparts A and I of part 82, quoted 
above, EPA will consider a system to be new for purposes of these SNAP 
determinations as of the date upon which the refrigerant circuit is 
complete, the system can function, the system holds a full refrigerant 
charge, and the system is ready for use for its intended purposes. As 
explained in the fact sheet referenced above, a supermarket may undergo 
an expansion and continue to use the existing refrigerant ``if there is 
sufficient cooling capacity within the system to support the 
expansion'' as EPA would consider that in such a situation ``the store 
is not changing the intended purpose of the system.'' As pointed out by 
FMI, the replacement of existing display cases with ones that operate 
at a higher evaporator temperature, but still provide the same purpose 
of maintaining products at required temperatures, is one way in which a 
system may be remodeled without changing the intended purpose of the 
system. On the other hand, if a supermarket remodel or expansion 
changes the intended purpose of the original equipment, for instance by 
adding additional cases, compressors, and refrigerant that were not 
supported by the original compressor system, EPA would consider the 
expanded system a ``new'' system. In that situation, a supermarket 
would not be allowed to use a refrigerant that was listed as 
unacceptable as of the date that new system was expanded or remodeled, 
even if the system had been using that refrigerant before the expansion 
or remodel.
2. What is EPA finalizing for retail food refrigeration (supermarket 
systems)?
    The change of status determinations for retail food refrigeration 
(supermarket systems) are summarized in the following table:

    Table 4--Change of Status Decisions for Retail Food Refrigeration
                         (Supermarkets Systems)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                   Substitutes           Decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retail food refrigeration       HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-   Unacceptable as
 (supermarket systems) (new).    407B, R-421B, R-422A,   of January 1,
                                 R-422C, R-422D, R-      2017.
                                 428A, R-434A, R-507A.

[[Page 42904]]

 
Retail food refrigeration       R-404A, R-407B, R-      Unacceptable as
 (supermarket systems)           421B, R-422A, R-422C,   of July 20,
 (retrofit).                     R-422D, R-428A, R-      2016.
                                 434A, R-507A.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) New Supermarket Systems
    For new supermarket systems, EPA had proposed to change the status, 
as of January 1, 2016, for nine HFC blends and HFC-227ea to 
unacceptable: The HFC blends are R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-
422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A. In today's final rule, we are 
changing the status of these ten refrigerants to unacceptable in new 
supermarkets as of January 1, 2017 (i.e., one year later than 
proposed), based on information the Agency received concerning 
timelines for planning new stores; this information implied that 
contractual arrangements for specific equipment purchases could have 
already been in place at the time the proposal was issued but that new 
systems will not be completed by January 1, 2016. A January 1, 2017, 
status change date will address this concern. We note that systems not 
ready for use by January 1, 2017 would not be able to use a substitute 
listed as unacceptable as of that date.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    A number of other refrigerants are listed as acceptable for new 
supermarket systems: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, KDD6, R-
125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407A, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, 
R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-424A, R-426A, R-437A, R-438A, R-448A, 
R-449A, R-450A, R-513A, R-744, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 
formulation), SP34E, THR-02, and THR-03.\61\ In addition, R-717 is 
listed as acceptable in new supermarkets when used as the primary 
refrigerant in a secondary loop system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \61\ HFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed 
as acceptable but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown 
in HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several of these alternatives, such as R-407A, R-407F, and R-744, 
are in widespread use today in supermarket systems in the United 
States. EPA considers this widespread use as indicative of the 
availability of these acceptable alternatives. HFC/HFO blends are also 
entering the market. For instance, R-448A and R-449A are being used in 
supermarkets in the United States and R-450A is in use in a supermarket 
in Spain.\62\ The producer of R-450A, Honeywell, indicated in their 
comments that supply of this acceptable alternative was ``soon to 
become available.'' They indicated that they have invested in their 
U.S. facility ``to ensure high-volume manufacturing capability for HFO-
1234ze(E),'' one component of R-450A. The other component, HFC-34a, is 
widely available from multiple producers and refrigerant suppliers. 
Honeywell noted that ``commercial quantities of HFO-1234yf and HFO-
1234ze [are] available today.'' Likewise, DuPont indicated an 
increasing supply of HFO-1234yf, a component in a number of acceptable 
refrigerants for new supermarket systems, specifically R-448A, R-449A 
and R-513A, amongst other applications discussed below.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \62\ Cooling Post, 2014. Spanish store first to test new R404A 
``drop-in.'' October 5, 2014. Available online at 
www.coolingpost.com/world-news/spanish-store-first-to-test-new-r404a-drop-in/.
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    In the preamble to the NPRM, 79 FR at 46144, EPA provided 
information on the risk to human health and the environment presented 
by the alternatives that are being found unacceptable as compared with 
other available alternatives. In addition, EPA listed as acceptable R-
450A on October 21, 2014 (79 FR 62863) and included information on its 
risk to human health and the environment. Concurrently with this rule, 
EPA is also listing R-448A, R-449A and R-513A as acceptable in this 
end-use category and is including information on their risk to human 
health and the environment. A technical support document that provides 
the additional Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP 
criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for these 
alternatives may be found in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA, 
2015d). In summary, the other available substitutes all have zero ODP 
and have GWPs ranging from 0 to 2,630. The refrigerants we are finding 
unacceptable through this action also have zero ODP, but they have GWPs 
ranging from 2,730 to 3,985. With the exception of R-717, the other 
available refrigerants have toxicity lower than or comparable to the 
refrigerants whose listing status is changing from acceptable to 
unacceptable. Also, with the exception of R-717, the other available 
refrigerants, as well as those that we are finding unacceptable, are 
not flammable. R-717 is classified as B2L (higher toxicity, lower 
flammability, low flame speed) under the American Society of Heating, 
Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 34-2013. 
However, since it is acceptable only for use as the primary refrigerant 
(i.e., the one housed in the machine room and limited-access 
condensers) in secondary loops systems, potential exposure is limited 
to technicians and operators who are expected to have had training on 
its safe use. Because of this limited access, the fact that R-717 has 
been used successfully as a refrigerant for over 100 years, and because 
building codes and OSHA regulations often apply specifically to the use 
of R-717, EPA previously determined that in this end-use the risk posed 
with regard to toxicity and flammability is not significantly greater 
than for other available refrigerants or for the refrigerants we are 
listing as unacceptable. Some of the refrigerant blends listed as 
acceptable, as well as some of the substitutes that we are finding 
unacceptable include small amounts (up to 3.4% by mass) of VOC such as 
R-600 (butane) and R-600a (isobutane). These amounts are small, and 
EPA's analysis of hydrocarbon refrigerants show that even when used 
neat (i.e., as the sole refrigerant, not as a component within a blend) 
they are not expected to contribute significantly to ground level ozone 
formation (ICF, 2014e). In the original actions listing these 
refrigerants as acceptable or acceptable subject to use conditions, EPA 
concluded none of these refrigerants pose significantly greater risk 
than for the refrigerants that are not or do not contain VOC. Because 
the risks other than GWP are not significantly different for the other 
available alternatives than for those we proposed to list as 
unacceptable and because the GWP for the refrigerants we proposed to 
list as unacceptable is significantly higher and thus poses 
significantly greater risk, we are listing the following refrigerants 
as unacceptable: HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-
422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A.

[[Page 42905]]

(2) When will the status change?
    As explained here and in our responses to comments, EPA is 
finalizing a change of status date for new supermarket systems of 
January 1, 2017.
    EPA noted in the NPRM, and multiple commenters echoed, that 
supermarket equipment using some of the acceptable alternatives, 
notably HFC-134a, R-407A, R-407C, R-407F and R-744, is available today 
and has been used in supermarkets for several years. While some, but 
not all, manufacturers argued more time was warranted to develop 
additional equipment and address performance issues, they did not 
provide adequate justification or specificity on when such equipment 
would be available or when such issues would be addressed.
    A supermarket system manufacturer believed time was needed to 
develop contractor training materials. While EPA agrees that training 
is valuable, we note below that such training is already available and, 
given that acceptable alternatives have already been implemented in new 
supermarkets, we do not see the need to delay our proposed status 
change date for new equipment in this end-use category more than one 
year.
    However, one system manufacturer noted that supermarket plans are 
developed in time frames that could hinder the proposed status change 
date of January 1, 2016. EPA understands that such planning is 
necessary and we are establishing a status change date of January 1, 
2017, to accommodate those end users who have already planned changes 
to their systems or may have plans to manufacture a new system (e.g., 
for a new store) but that may not have such systems operational in the 
period between the time this rule is issued and January 1, 2016. As 
noted earlier, this change in the proposed status change date will 
affect those end users who are currently in the midst of planning for a 
new system or a change to their existing system. A new system not ready 
for use by January 1, 2017, would not be able to use a refrigerant 
listed as unacceptable as of that date.
(b) Retrofit Supermarket Systems
    For retrofit supermarket systems, EPA proposed to list, as of 
January 1, 2016, nine HFC blends as unacceptable: R-404A, R-407B, R-
421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A. In today's 
final rule we are finding these refrigerants unacceptable in retrofit 
supermarkets as of July 20, 2016.
    Consistent with the proposal, this action does not apply to 
servicing equipment designed to use these nine refrigerants or 
servicing equipment that was retrofitted to use those refrigerants 
before the July 20, 2016, status change date. For example, supermarket 
systems designed for use with or retrofitted to R-404A or R-507A prior 
to July 20, 2016, may continue to operate and to be serviced using 
those refrigerants.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    A number of other refrigerants are listed as acceptable for 
retrofit supermarket systems: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, 
KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407A, R-407C, R-407F, 
R-417A, R-417C, R-421A, R-422B, R-424A, R-426A, R-427A, R-437A, R-438A, 
R-448A, R-449A, R-450A, R-513A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 
formulation), SP34E, THR-02, and THR-03.\63\ A technical support 
document that provides the additional Federal Register citations 
concerning data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, 
flammability) for these alternatives may be found in the docket for 
this rulemaking (EPA, 2015d).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \63\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed 
as acceptable but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown 
in HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several of the alternatives that remain acceptable are in use today 
in the United States for supermarket system retrofits. While blends 
such as R-407A and R-407F have become the norm, GreenChill partners 
also report use of other refrigerants as retrofits in supermarket 
systems.\64\ Also, as noted earlier, R-450A was used to retrofit a 
supermarket system in Spain (Cooling Post, 2014).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \64\ The GreenChill Advanced Refrigeration Partnership is a 
voluntary program with food retailers to reduce refrigerant 
emissions and decrease their impact on the ozone layer and climate 
change. See
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the preamble to the NPRM, EPA provided information on the risk 
to human health and the environment presented by the alternatives that 
are being found unacceptable and those that remain acceptable. In 
addition, EPA listed R-450A as acceptable on October 21, 2014 (79 FR 
62863) and included information on its risk to human health and the 
environment. Concurrently with this rule, EPA is also listing as 
acceptable R-448A, R-449A and R-513A and including information on their 
risk to human health and the environment. As discussed above, the 
producers of the substitutes that will remain acceptable do not expect 
supply problems. In summary, the refrigerants listed above that remain 
acceptable have zero ODP as do those that we are finding unacceptable. 
The refrigerants remaining acceptable have GWPs ranging from below 100 
to 2,630, lower than the GWPs of the nine blends we are finding 
unacceptable, which have GWPs ranging from 2,730 to 3,985. All of the 
refrigerants remaining acceptable have toxicity lower than or 
comparable to the refrigerants whose listing status is changing from 
acceptable to unacceptable. None of the refrigerants that remain 
acceptable or those that are being listed as unacceptable are 
flammable. Some of the refrigerant blends that remain acceptable and 
some of those that we are finding unacceptable include small amounts 
(up to 3.4% by mass) of VOCs such as R-600 (butane) and R-600a 
(isobutane). Because these amounts are small, and EPA's analysis of 
hydrocarbon refrigerants shows that even when used neat (100% by mass), 
they are not expected to contribute significantly to ground level ozone 
formation (ICF, 2014e), these blends would also not contribute 
significantly to ground level ozone formation. Because the risks other 
than GWP are not significantly different for the other available 
alternatives than for those we proposed to list as unacceptable, and 
because the GWP for the refrigerants we proposed to list as 
unacceptable is significantly higher and thus poses significantly 
greater risk, we are listing the following refrigerants as 
unacceptable: R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, 
R-434A, and R-507A.
    EPA regulations have eliminated or will eliminate by 2020 the 
production and import of HCFC-22. These and other regulations also 
affect end users who are using CFC-12, R-502, and several HCFC-
containing blends such as R-401A, R-402A and R-408A. Therefore, we 
believe that the impact of this action addressing retrofits will 
primarily affect those owners who are faced with the choice of 
continuing to operate systems with a refrigerant that has been phased 
out of production and import or to switch to a refrigerant listed as 
acceptable for retrofit at the time the retrofit occurs.
    Many retail chains maintain their own stockpile of HCFC-22, for 
instance by recovering from stores that are decommissioned or 
retrofitted and using such supplies to service stores that continue to 
operate with HCFC-22. In addition, over four millions pounds of HCFC-22 
has been reclaimed every year since at least 2000 and over seven

[[Page 42906]]

million pounds every year since 2006.\65\ Equipment operating with ODS 
refrigerants may continue to do so given the supply of such materials 
in stockpiles and through the reclaim market. Thus, owners have the 
option to continue to operate this equipment through its useful life 
with the refrigerant they are using, such as HCFC-22. Regardless of the 
continued supply of HCFC-22 and other ODS refrigerants, we believe that 
the majority of retrofits are planned for reasons other than the supply 
of the refrigerant currently in use; for instance, owners may decide to 
retrofit when upgrading to more energy efficient equipment or during 
planned maintenance overhauls of their stores.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \65\ EPA, 2012a. The latest data on refrigerant reclamation can 
be found on EPA's Web site at: www.epa.gov/spdpublc/title6/608/reclamation/recsum_merged.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We see that many retrofits are already directed towards lower-GWP 
blends such as R-407A and R-407F, which are widely available and remain 
acceptable for such use under today's rule, and not those of the 
refrigerants whose status will change to unacceptable under today's 
rule. These two refrigerants (R-407A and R-407F), other available HFC 
blends, the additional HFC/HFO options that EPA recently listed as 
acceptable, and other HFC/HFO blends that are being evaluated by 
chemical producers and equipment manufacturers, as well as the option 
of continuing to operate with HCFC-22, are sufficient to meet the 
various features--such as capacity, efficiency, materials 
compatibility, cost and supply--that affect the choice of a retrofit 
refrigerant.\66\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \66\ For example, see CCAC, 2012.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) When will the status change?
    As explained here and in our responses to comments, EPA is 
establishing a change of status date for retrofit supermarkets of July 
20, 2016.
    In the NPRM and above, EPA pointed out that retrofits of 
supermarkets using acceptable alternatives are already occurring. 
Supermarket Company ABC indicated that their experience with the use of 
R-407A in retrofits indicates the availability and viability of it and 
other alternatives. FMI similarly indicated that many of its members 
have already stopped performing retrofits with refrigerants we are 
finding unacceptable. EPA considers these comments directly from the 
supermarket retailer to indicate that adequate performance can be 
achieved using refrigerants that will remain listed as acceptable.
    As indicated in section V.C.1.c above, retrofits may require 
various changes to the existing equipment, such as different 
lubricants, new materials such as gaskets and filter driers, and 
adjustments to expansion valves. These changes include readily 
available materials and common refrigeration practices. Such retrofits 
to acceptable alternatives are already occurring, and the option to 
continue to operate and service existing systems remains; however, EPA 
received comment that users may plan a ``new store layout'' in advance. 
While not specifically referencing retrofits, a new layout of an 
existing store may include the retrofitting of the existing supermarket 
system. Therefore, EPA is modifying the change of status date to 
provide a full year from publication of the final rule to ensure that 
any supermarkets that may have retrofits underway using a refrigerant 
that will no longer be acceptable will be able to complete those 
retrofits ahead of the change of status date. While EPA did not receive 
specific comments on the time to complete retrofits that are underway, 
it is our understanding that any ongoing retrofits can be completed 
within this timeframe .
(c) How is EPA responding to comments on retail food refrigeration 
(supermarket systems)?
    Comment: Several commenters commented on the proposed January 1, 
2016 change of status date for new supermarket systems. One supermarket 
owner, Supermarket Company ABC, specifically supported the proposed 
2016 date for both new and retrofit systems. An industry organization 
representing supermarkets, FMI, stated that ``a majority of our members 
have already voluntarily and proactively discontinued the use of R-
404A, R-507 and R-422D for new systems and as a retrofit refrigerant.'' 
Two environmental organizations, NRDC and IGSD, supported the proposed 
2016 date for both new and retrofitted supermarket systems. One 
manufacturer of supermarket systems, Hillphoenix, supported the change 
of status date of January 1, 2016, for HFC-227ea, R-407B, R-421B, R-
422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A and R-434A in new and retrofit supermarket 
systems.\67\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \67\ They addressed the change of status date for R-404A and R-
507A with regard to stand-alone units but not supermarket systems.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several other manufacturers of supermarket equipment, including 
Hussmann, Master-Bilt, Lennox, and Zero Zone, and an association 
representing such manufacturers--AHRI--suggested later dates for the 
change of status. Hussmann suggested a change of status date of 2018 
for new equipment as store layouts of their customers are planned ``up 
to three years in advance.'' Another manufacturer, Lennox, requested 
three years from the date of any final rule, a position supported by 
AHRI, which also noted ``alternatives are available and manufacturers 
have started re-designing products to minimize or eliminate the use of 
high GWP refrigerants.'' Master-Bilt indicated that under the proposed 
January 1, 2016, change of status date for new supermarket systems, 
they would convert to HFC-134a and R-407A, but would have to address 
issues of energy efficiency and reliability. They believed ``these HFCs 
will also be banned as soon as lower GWP alternatives are available'' 
and therefore did not offer a long-term solution. Instead, they stated 
blends with even lower GWPs than the ones remaining acceptable would be 
available in 1-3 years and requested a minimum of 3 years from then to 
develop products. Zero Zone indicated that it has products available 
for R-407A and R-407C, but needs time to address performance issues.
    Response: Several commenters indicated that many stores were 
already using alternatives other than the ones we proposed to list as 
unacceptable. While two manufacturers of equipment, Zero Zone and 
Lennox, and AHRI advocated for a later change of status date, they also 
indicated that products using refrigerants that will remain acceptable 
are already in use. Hillphoenix and Hussmann, both of whom offer 
supermarket systems with such refrigerants, and Supermarket Company ABC 
and FMI, who have used such products, did not indicate that there were 
performance, efficiency or reliability issues when using R-407A, R-407C 
or R-407F in supermarket systems.
    We recognize the concern raised by Hussmann regarding store layout 
plans for new systems. Store design plans are generally developed well 
in advance of the physical change-over or construction, because of 
several different factors related to construction and installation as 
well as the need to address any commissioning, performance optimization 
or start-up procedures. Hussmann suggested a change of status date of 
2018 to allow up to three years for design. Hussmann did not indicate 
if the ``up to three years in advance'' for planning a new design was a 
typical planning cycle or a rare maximum, nor did they indicate that 
any particular customer currently is in the planning stage but will not 
have equipment designed to use a refrigerant

[[Page 42907]]

we are listing as unacceptable operational until 2018. We further note 
that the NPRM was proposed on August 6, 2014, and thus supermarkets 
were on notice at that time that the refrigerants currently listed as 
acceptable would possibly be unacceptable for use as of January 2016. 
In order to address concerns about those end users who began planning 
prior to the proposal, we are establishing a change of status date one 
year later than proposed for new supermarket systems and July 20, 2016 
for retrofits. This will provide those end users who were in the 
planning stage prior to the time of the proposal over two years after 
issuance of the proposal to ensure new supermarket systems are in place 
and operational and likewise approximately two years to complete any 
retrofits.
    Comment: Lennox noted that supermarket system designs exist for R-
407 series refrigerants, but stated that manufacturers ``need at least 
3 years to develop complete product lines, technical literature and 
contractor training materials.'' Lennox did not indicate specifically 
how much time was needed to complete their equipment development. Zero 
Zone Inc. comments that the industry needs at least six years to make a 
smooth complete transition away from R-404A, R-507A, and HFC-134a; they 
indicated this time was needed ``to eliminate the performance issues 
and design product that uses these refrigerants in the most energy 
efficiency manner.'' In its comments regarding supermarket systems, 
AHRI indicated low-GWP alternatives are available and stated research 
on other, lower-GWP refrigerants was underway but requested ``a minimum 
of 3 years'' to transition. AHRI contended that ``manufacturers have 
started re-designing products to minimize or eliminate the use of high 
GWP refrigerants'' but that ``manufactures need more time'' on ``the 
re-design effort that started [a] few years ago.'' In general comments 
not specific to the three retail food refrigeration end-use categories 
addressed in the proposal, AHRI also indicated that ``a typical design 
cycle takes an average 7 years from start to finish'' for non-flammable 
alternatives. Supermarket Company ABC referenced the NPRM discussion of 
new supermarket systems (79 FR 46144) and stated that their ``own 
experience and testing with R134a, CO2 and the R-407 series 
of refrigerants have demonstrated to our satisfaction that 
implementable alternatives to R-404A and R-507A are available to meet 
that time frame'' of January 1, 2016.
    Response: The commenters have not provided sufficient information 
to support that alternatives will not be available for several years 
because of technical constraints. As indicated in the comments from 
AHRI, Lennox, and Zero Zone, manufacturers have been working for the 
past several years to design systems using low GWP alternatives and as 
FMI noted many supermarkets are already choosing to use them. EPA noted 
in the proposal that R-407A systems have already become a norm for 
supermarkets and Supermarket Company ABC indicated it was using R-407A 
in its comments. In fact, EPA notes that the amount of R-404A in use 
from partners participating in EPA's GreenChill partnership program 
reporting in 2012 and 2013 increased only 1.3%, while the amount of R-
407A in use increased 24%. Hence, we do not agree that a several year 
delay in the change of status date is needed to accommodate design of 
systems.
    With respect to contractor training, EPA agrees proper education 
and training is important, and we note that there are already many 
manufacturers and suppliers who have been conducting such training. For 
example, Hillphoenix, a manufacturer of supermarket systems and other 
equipment affected by this rule, operates a learning center with 
courses available including several on R-744 equipment.\68\ Learning 
material is also available from EPA's GreenChill program, including for 
instance the GreenChill retrofit guidelines,\69\ which contain material 
on refrigerants R-407A, R-407F and R-427A, all of which remain 
acceptable in retrofit supermarket systems. For supermarket systems, we 
note that alternatives such as R-407A have been in the market and have 
been used successfully for many years. Other alternatives, such as R-
448A, R-449A, R-450A and R-513A, are nonflammable and operate with 
similar characteristics to HFC-134a or R-404A, and hence should require 
only minimal extra training. EPA believes the January 1, 2017, change 
of status date for new supermarket systems, will allow technicians that 
focus on particular end-uses or end-use categories to obtain the 
training they need and likewise for those that cover all end-uses and 
end-use categories to build their skills across those end-uses over 
time. We disagree that a need to develop complete technical lines and 
technical literature are technical challenges that limit the 
availability of refrigerants for new supermarket systems beyond January 
2017.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \68\ See www.hillphoenixlc.com/course-curriculum/refrigeration-systems/.
    \69\ EPA, 2011b. GreenChill Best Practices Guidelines, 
Commercial Refrigeration Retrofits. August 2011. This document is 
accessible at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/retrofit_guideline_august_2011.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. What is EPA finalizing for retail food refrigeration (remote 
condensing units)?
    The change of status determinations for retail food refrigeration 
(remote condensing units) is summarized in the following table:

    Table 5--Change of Status Decisions for Retail Food Refrigeration
                        (Remote Condensing Units)
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                   Substitutes           Decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retail food refrigeration       HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-   Unacceptable as
 (remote condensing units)       407B, R-421B, R-422A,   of January 1,
 (new).                          R-422C, R-422D, R-      2018.
                                 428A, R-434A, R-507A.
Retail food refrigeration       R-404A, R-407B, R-      Unacceptable as
 (remote condensing units)       421B, R-422A, R-422C,   of July 20,
 (retrofit).                     R-422D, R-428A, R-      2016.
                                 434A, R-507A.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) New Remote Condensing Units
    For new remote condensing units, EPA proposed to list, as of 
January 1, 2016, nine HFC blends and HFC-227ea as unacceptable. The HFC 
blends are R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-
434A, and R-507A. In today's final rule, we are finding that same list 
of nine HFC blends and HFC-227ea as unacceptable as of January 1, 2018. 
The change from the proposal is in response to information provided by 
commenters concerning technical challenges with meeting the January 1, 
2016, proposed date.

[[Page 42908]]

(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    A number of other refrigerants are listed as acceptable for new 
remote condensing units: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, 
KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407A, R-407C, R-407F, 
R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-422B, R-424A, R-426A, R-437A, R-438A, 
R-448A, R-449A, R-450A, R-513A, R-744, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 
(2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-02, and THR-03.\70\ R-717 is acceptable 
in remote condensing units when used as the primary refrigerant in a 
secondary loop system.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \70\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed 
as acceptable but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown 
in HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Some of these acceptable alternatives are currently in use in 
remote condensing unit systems in the United States, such as R-407C and 
R-407F. Others, such as R-744 and hydrocarbons, while not indicated as 
in use in the United States, are being used in limited demonstration 
trials in Europe and elsewhere. In addition, commenters have pointed 
out that testing of low-GWP HFC/HFO blends is underway; several of 
these HFC/HFO blends have been submitted to EPA for SNAP review in this 
end-use category and four are listed as acceptable.
    See section V.C.2.a.1 above for a summary of our comparative 
assessment of the SNAP criteria (ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for the refrigerants we are listing as unacceptable with the other 
available refrigerants. The refrigerants we are listing as unacceptable 
for new remote condensing units are the same as those we are listing 
unacceptable for new supermarket systems. Likewise, the other available 
refrigerants are the same for new remote condensing units as for new 
supermarket systems. For the same reasons as presented in section 2, 
EPA concludes that there are other refrigerants for use in new remote 
condensing units that pose lower overall risk to human health and the 
environment than the alternatives we are listing as unacceptable.
(2) When will the status change?
    As explained here and in our responses to comments, EPA is 
establishing a change of status date for new remote condensing units of 
January 1, 2018.
    Blends such as R-407A, R-407C and R-407F are technically viable 
options. We did not receive any comments suggesting that these or other 
alternatives that will remain acceptable could not be used in these 
systems. In fact, information in the docket to this rule supports the 
feasibility of these alternatives. For example, information in the 
Agency's possession from a manufacturer of remote condensing units 
provides an energy efficiency analysis for R-407A as compared with R-
404A in remote condensing units, with results ranging from 10% lower to 
1% higher in low-temperature equipment and 0% to 6% higher in medium-
temperature equipment (EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0184). For unit coolers, 
this information showed improved results of 4.3% to 13.3% in medium-
temperature applications. While the low-temperature applications showed 
3.6% to 6.7% decreases, it was noted this came ``as the capacity 
increased;'' hence, we expect adjustments to the equipment could 
improve the efficiency while still meeting the original capacity 
requirements. In addition, Honeywell indicated that R-448A and R-449A, 
which have been submitted to SNAP for review in this end-use, are 
undergoing extensive field trials and that R-448A is ``close to being 
qualified with numerous manufacturers,'' indicating that manufacturers 
are developing equipment to use this alternative. DuPont indicates that 
R-449A (also referred to as DR-33 and XP40), which has been submitted 
to SNAP for review in this end-use, works well in their tests of a 
display case connected to a remote condensing unit. DuPont found that 
the energy consumption for this refrigerant in a remote condensing unit 
originally designed for R-404A was 3% to 4% less than R-404A in low-
temperature tests and 8% to 12% less in medium-temperature tests.
    Although there are technically viable alternatives, we recognize 
the testing and certification needs for this equipment. Compliance with 
DOE energy conservation standards will be required on March 27, 2017 
for commercial refrigeration equipment and on June 5, 2017 for walk-in 
coolers and freezers (see also section V.C.1.b above and V.C.7 below). 
Commenters noted the challenges with timing for designing products with 
acceptable alternatives and testing these products to meet the 2017 DOE 
energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration equipment 
and for walk-in coolers and freezers. EPA agrees with the commenters 
that the challenge of meeting both this status change rule and the DOE 
standards creates a significant technical hurdle that would be 
difficult to overcome by a January 2016 change of status date. A 
January 1, 2018, change of status date for remote condensing units 
recognizes the time needed for redesign and testing to meet both 
regulatory obligations.
(b) Retrofit Remote Condensing Units
    For retrofit remote condensing units, EPA proposed to list, as of 
January 1, 2016, nine HFC blends as unacceptable: R-404A, R-407B, R-
421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, R-434A, and R-507A. In today's 
final rule, we are establishing a change of status date for these 
refrigerants of July 20, 2016.
    Consistent with the proposal, this action does not apply to 
servicing equipment designed to use these nine refrigerants or 
servicing equipment that was retrofitted to use those refrigerants 
before the January 1, 2018 status change date. For example, remote 
condensing units designed for use with or retrofitted to R-404A or R-
507A prior to July 20, 2016, are allowed to continue to operate and to 
be serviced using those refrigerants.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    A number of other refrigerants are listed as acceptable for 
retrofitting remote condensing units: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, 
IKON B, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407A, R-407C, 
R-407F, R-417A, R-417C, R-421A, R-422B, R-424A, R-426A, R-427A, R-437A, 
R-438A, R-448A, R-449A, R-450A, R-513A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 
(2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-02, and THR-03.\71\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \71\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed 
as acceptable but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown 
in HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Unlike retrofits of supermarket systems, which are common, 
retrofits of remote condensing units are unusual. However, given that 
the operating conditions and requirements between supermarket systems 
and remote condensing units are generally similar, EPA believes blends 
such as R-407A, R-407C and R-407F are available options.
    See section V.C.2.b.1 above for a summary of our comparative 
assessment of the SNAP criteria (ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) 
for the refrigerants we are listing as unacceptable with the other 
available refrigerants. The refrigerants we are listing as unacceptable 
for retrofit remote condensing units are the same as those we are 
listing as unacceptable for retrofit supermarket systems. Likewise, the 
available alternatives for retrofit

[[Page 42909]]

remote condensing units are the same as those for retrofit supermarket 
systems. For the same reasons as presented in section V.C.2.b.1, EPA 
concludes that there are other refrigerants for use in retrofit remote 
condensing units that pose lower overall risk to human health and the 
environment than the alternatives we are listing as unacceptable.
    EPA regulations have eliminated or will eliminate by 2020 the 
production and import of HCFC-22. These and other regulations also 
affect end users who are using CFC-12, R-502, and several HCFC-
containing blends such as R-401A, R-402A and R-408A. Therefore, we 
believe that the impact of this action addressing retrofits will 
primarily affect those owners who are faced with the choice of 
continuing to operate systems with a refrigerant that has been phased 
out of production and import or to switch to a refrigerant listed as 
acceptable for retrofit at the time the retrofit occurs.
    As noted in section V.2.b.1, millions of pounds of HCFC-22 are 
reclaimed every year, and this supply is available to remote condensing 
unit owners, operators and technicians, just as it is available for 
supermarket owners, operators and technicians. We also noted that many 
retail chains have maintained their own stockpile of HCFC-22, for 
instance by recovering from stores that are decommissioned or 
retrofitted and using such supplies to service stores that continue to 
operate with HCFC-22. This same strategy is possible for those who own 
or operate multiple facilities using remote condensing units. By 
establishing a change of status date of July 20, 2016, we are providing 
owners and operators of remote condensing units the opportunity to 
begin to address any HCFC-22 supply concerns they may have. Thus, 
owners have the option to continue to operate this equipment through 
its useful life with the refrigerant they are using, such as HCFC-22.
    Supermarket Company ABC indicated that they have used R-407A to 
retrofit HCFC-22 systems and that their experience indicates the 
availability and viability of this and other alternatives. The success 
of R-407A as a retrofit refrigerant, the other available HFC blends, 
the additional HFC/HFO options that EPA recently listed as acceptable, 
and the other HFC/HFO blends that are being evaluated by chemical 
producers and equipment manufacturers, as well as the option of 
continuing to operate with HCFC-22, are sufficient to meet the various 
features--such as capacity, efficiency, materials compatibility, cost 
and supply--that affect the choice of a retrofit refrigerant.
(2) When will the status change?
    As explained here and in our response to comments, EPA is 
establishing a change of status date for retrofit remote condensing 
units of July 20, 2016.
    We did not receive any comments suggesting that alternatives that 
remain acceptable could not be used in these systems. As noted above, 
Supermarket Company ABC indicated that they have had success using R-
407A to retrofit HCFC-22 systems. Results from testing of remote 
condensing units with R-407A and R-449A are presented above in section 
V.C.3.a.2. Those results showed increased energy efficiency and/or 
increased capacity with those refrigerants, indicating that they are 
viable for both new and retrofit equipment. As indicated in section 
V.C.1.c above, retrofits may require various changes to the existing 
equipment, such as different lubricants, new materials such as gaskets 
and filter driers, and adjustments to expansion valves. These changes 
include readily available materials and common refrigeration practices. 
Such retrofits to acceptable alternatives are already occurring, and 
the option to continue to operate and service existing systems remains. 
However, as discussed in Section V.C.2.b.2 above, comments indicate 
that a ``new store layout'' could be planned or otherwise underway, and 
that such layout may include the retrofitting of existing remote 
condensing units to a refrigerant that will no longer be acceptable. 
Therefore, by providing one full year from the final rule's 
publication, EPA is providing sufficient time for any such retrofits in 
this end-use category to occur as planned.
(c) How is EPA responding to comments on retail food refrigeration 
(remote condensing units)?
    Comment: Two environmental organizations, NRDC and IGSD, urged EPA 
to maintain the proposed status change date of January 1, 2016, for new 
remote condensing units. Supermarket Company ABC stated that they did 
not oppose the January 1, 2016, change of status date for new remote 
condensing units. FMI, an industry organization representing 
supermarkets, a market segment that also utilizes remote condensing 
units, pointed out that ``a majority of our members have already 
voluntarily and proactively discontinued the use of R-404A, R-507, and 
R-422D for new systems and as a retrofit refrigerant.''
    Many equipment manufacturers including: Hussmann; Continental 
Refrigerator; Nor-Lake; Master-Bilt Products; International Cold 
Storage, Crown Tonka, and ThermalRite Walk-Ins; Lennox; and Manitowoc 
requested later dates for the status change ranging from 2018 to 2025. 
In some cases the date requested applied to new equipment in other end-
use categories as well as new remote condensing units. AHRI suggested a 
minimum of six years to transition. The North American Association of 
Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM) and Howe Corporation submitted 
comments that were general rather than specific to any particular 
refrigeration end-use. Based on NAFEM's membership and the products 
Howe discussed, EPA believes these comments apply to remote condensing 
units and stand-alone equipment. Howe proposed that the status of R-
404A and R-507A change ``no sooner than year 2024'' while NAFEM 
suggested a ten-year delay for all of the refrigeration end-uses 
addressed in the proposed rule and enumerated 14 tasks that they 
indicate are ``necessary to safely introduce different/flammable 
refrigerants into the manufacturing process.'' A separate comment from 
NAFEM listed five phases, totaling 10 to 12 years, to adopt hydrocarbon 
refrigerants but also stated that ``in no case should any manufacturer 
be expected to transition prior to 2022.'' These manufacturers and 
industry associations cited concerns over the availability of 
alternatives, the need to design and test products using those 
alternatives, as well as other concerns that we summarize and address 
in the Response to Comments Document that has been placed in the 
docket. Several manufacturers indicated that a January 1, 2016, change 
of status date would create significant difficulties in designing 
products with refrigerants that remain acceptable while also meeting 
the DOE energy conservation standards for commercial refrigeration 
equipment and for walk-in coolers and freezers that are scheduled to 
become effective in 2017 (see also section V.C.1.b above and V.C.7 
below). In particular, the commenters claimed that additional 
development of low-temperature products may be necessary to match 
current efficiency levels.
    Hussmann was concerned with the lead time of its customers in 
planning store layouts with ``remote systems,'' which could include 
remote condensing units as well as supermarket systems, and indicated 
that a date of 2018 would allow its customers to better determine what 
types of systems and refrigerants

[[Page 42910]]

to use. Lennox proposed a ``phased in implementation timing by 
refrigerant equipment end-use category,'' suggesting five years from 
publication of the final for remote condensing units compared to three 
years for supermarkets and seven years for stand-alone units. AHRI 
similarly suggested that the change of status date for remote 
condensing units occur after that of supermarkets.
    Regarding HFC/HFO blend alternatives, Honeywell, indicates that 
supply of R-450A, an alternative listed as acceptable, will be 
available soon and that R-448A and R-449A, which are currently under 
SNAP review, are undergoing extensive field trials. Honeywell further 
stated that R-448A is ``close to being qualified with numerous 
manufacturers,'' indicating that manufacturers are developing equipment 
to use this refrigerant. DuPont indicated that R-449A works well in 
their tests of a display case connected to a remote condensing unit.
    Response: Supermarket Company ABC and FMI as well as environmental 
organizations supported or did not oppose the proposed status change 
date of January 1, 2016. A number of other commenters supported a later 
date ranging from 2017 to as late as 12 years after this action is 
finalized. The comments requesting later status change dates either did 
not address retrofits or did not provide adequate information 
indicating why a date earlier than that for new remote condensing units 
would be infeasible for retrofit equipment.
    Although some use of alternatives is already occurring, we agree 
with the commenters that certain technical challenges still exist that 
support a change of status date later than we proposed for new and 
retrofit equipment. However, we do not agree that significant 
additional time is needed before alternatives listed as acceptable will 
be available for new equipment.
    There are alternatives that are not subject to a status change that 
are used already in new and retrofit remote condensing units and others 
are being developed and deployed. As supported by the comments from 
FMI, many supermarkets have already transitioned away from the 
refrigerants we are listing as unacceptable and are using refrigerants 
that will remain acceptable after this final action. Supermarket 
Company ABC stated that alternatives were available, pointing towards 
their experience with R-407A in retrofits and HFC-134a, R-744 and the 
R-407 series in new equipment. Information in the Agency's possession 
from a manufacturer of such equipment, explained above, is indicative 
that R-407A, among other available alternatives, can be readily 
implemented now in new remote condensing units at medium-temperature 
applications both during and after meeting DOE energy conservation 
standards for commercial refrigeration equipment and for walk-in 
coolers and freezers. However, the information showed efficiency losses 
for this refrigerant in low-temperature applications. Although DuPont 
points to positive results using R-449A in a display case connected to 
a remote condensing unit, this refrigerant too showed lower energy 
efficiency in low-temperature than medium-temperature conditions. Both 
comments indicate that there is a more significant challenge for low-
temperature applications.
    Thus, while there has been significant progress in transitioning to 
alternatives that will remain acceptable in medium-temperature 
applications, there has been less progress in doing so for low-
temperature applications. However, the information provided by 
Honeywell and DuPont indicates that significant additional time will 
not be needed before equipment is available. In recognition that new 
remote-condensing unit equipment will need to meet DOE and National 
Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards, and some efficiency challenges 
exist particularly with low-temperature equipment, we are establishing 
a status change date of January 1, 2018, for new remote condensing 
units and July 20, 2016 for retrofits.
    Given that the low-temperature results with R-407A showed only 3.6% 
to 6.7% efficiency declines along with capacity increases, and those 
from DuPont with R-449A showed a slight improvement in efficiency, we 
consider a status change date of January 1, 2018, to be adequate to 
adopt these or other acceptable alternatives into new equipment and 
perform any testing and certification necessary. A January 1, 2018, 
change of status date for new remote condensing units will allow time 
for manufacturers to redesign any products that require additional 
engineering to meet both this rule and the DOE standards. In situations 
where these refrigerants do not show energy efficiency improvements, 
other design changes as described in the DOE rulemakings and in the 
literature can be utilized to achieve required efficiencies. In 
addition, as indicated above, current research and testing on some HFC/
HFO blends show similar or better energy efficiency for these products.
    While we agree than a short additional amount of time is needed to 
address these technical challenges and the testing and certification 
requirements for new equipment, we disagree with commenters who suggest 
that a lengthy period is needed prior to the change of status. NAFEM 
estimated 10 to 12 years to adopt hydrocarbon refrigerants; however, as 
hydrocarbons are not listed as acceptable for remote condensing units, 
and no schedule was provided for nonflammable refrigerants, EPA views 
this comment as pertaining to stand-alone equipment. (See section V.C.4 
below). All of the refrigerant blends that remain acceptable are 
nonflammable and some were designed to mimic HFC-134a and R-404A. EPA 
believes that these can be adopted into manufacturers' products with 
minor changes while still meeting the DOE requirements. The commenters 
failed to identify specific technical challenges that would support a 
more lengthy delay in the change of status date.
4. What is EPA finalizing for retail food refrigeration (stand-alone 
equipment)?
    The change of status determination for retail food refrigeration 
(stand-alone equipment) is summarized in the following table:

      Table 6--Change of Status Decisions for Stand-Alone Equipment
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                   Substitutes           Decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retail food refrigeration       FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-    Unacceptable as
 (stand-alone medium-            134a, HFC-227ea,        of January 1,
 temperature units \72\ with a   KDD6, R-125/290/134a/   2019.
 compressor capacity below       600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/
 2,200 Btu/hr and not            1.5), R-404A, R-407A,
 containing a flooded            R-407B, R-407C, R-
 evaporator) (new).              407F, R-410A, R-410B,
                                 R-417A, R-421A, R-
                                 421B, R-422A, R-422B,
                                 R-422C, R-422D, R-
                                 424A, R-426A, R-428A,
                                 R-434A, R-437A, R-
                                 438A, R-507A, RS-24
                                 (2002 formulation),
                                 RS-44 (2003
                                 formulation), SP34E,
                                 THR-03.

[[Page 42911]]

 
Retail food refrigeration       FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-    Unacceptable as
 (stand-alone medium-            134a, HFC-227ea,        of January 1,
 temperature units with a        KDD6, R-125/290/134a/   2020.
 compressor capacity equal to    600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/
 or greater than 2,200 Btu/hr    1.5), R-404A, R-407A,
 and stand-alone medium-         R-407B, R-407C, R-
 temperature units containing    407F, R-410A, R-410B,
 a flooded evaporator) (new).    R-417A, R-421A, R-
                                 421B, R-422A, R-422B,
                                 R-422C, R-422D, R-
                                 424A, R-426A, R-428A,
                                 R-434A, R-437A, R-
                                 438A, R-507A, RS-24
                                 (2002 formulation),
                                 RS-44 (2003
                                 formulation), SP34E,
                                 THR-03.
Retail food refrigeration       HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/ Unacceptable as
 (stand-alone low-temperature    290/134a/600a (55.0/    of January 1,
 units \73\) (new).              1.0/42.5/1.5), R-       2020.
                                 404A, R-407A, R-407B,
                                 R-407C, R-407F, R-
                                 410A, R-410B, R-417A,
                                 R-421A, R-421B, R-
                                 422A, R-422B, R-422C,
                                 R-422D, R-424A, R-
                                 428A, R-434A, R-437A,
                                 R-438A, R-507A, RS-44
                                 (2003 formulation).
Retail food refrigeration       R-404A and R-507A.....  Unacceptable as
 (stand-alone units only)                                of July 20,
 (retrofit).                                             2016.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) New Stand-Alone Equipment
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \72\ ``Medium-temperature'' refers to equipment that maintains 
food or beverages at temperatures above 32 [deg]F (0 [deg]C).
    \73\ ``Low-temperature'' refers to equipment that maintains food 
or beverages at temperatures at or below 32 [deg]F (0 [deg]C).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For new stand-alone equipment, EPA proposed to list HFC-134a and 31 
other refrigerants for new stand-alone retail food refrigeration 
equipment unacceptable, as of January 1, 2016. In today's final rule, 
EPA is subdividing the new retail food refrigeration (stand-alone 
equipment) end-use category. For new stand-alone medium-temperature 
units with a compressor capacity below 2,200 Btu/hr and not containing 
a flooded evaporator, EPA is changing the listing for HFC-134a and 30 
other refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable as of January 1, 
2019. These 30 other refrigerants are FOR12A, FOR12B, R-426A, RS-24 
(2002 formulation), SP34E, THR-03 and 24 additional refrigerants, 
listed below, for which EPA is changing the status in all types of 
stand-alone equipment. For new stand-alone medium-temperature units 
with a compressor capacity equal to or greater than 2,200 Btu/hr and 
all stand-alone medium-temperature units containing a flooded 
evaporator, EPA is changing the listing of HFC-134a and the same 30 
other refrigerants from acceptable to unacceptable as of January 1, 
2020. For new stand-alone low-temperature units, EPA is changing the 
status from acceptable to unacceptable of 24 refrigerants as of January 
1, 2020. The 24 refrigerants are: HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a 
(55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-
410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, 
R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, and RS-44 (2003 formulation). 
While EPA proposed to change the status from acceptable to unacceptable 
for FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, R-426A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), SP34E, 
and THR-03 in all new stand-alone equipment, EPA is not changing the 
status for these refrigerants in this final rule in stand-alone low-
temperature equipment, or for IKON B for any stand-alone equipment, for 
the reasons provided below. EPA clarifies below how the compressor 
capacity is to be determined as well as how to distinguish medium-
temperature and low-temperature stand-alone equipment.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    EPA has listed R-290, R-600a and R-441A acceptable subject to use 
conditions in new stand-alone equipment. R-290 is already in use 
globally, including in the United States, and R-600a is in use outside 
of the United States as well as in test market trials in the United 
States. For instance, at a recent exposition, stand-alone equipment 
using R-290 was displayed by multiple companies and component suppliers 
exhibited compressors, filter driers, controls and expansion valves 
that are designed to use R-290 or R-600a.\74\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \74\ See ``New regulations inspire hydrocarbon displays at U.S. 
NAFEM Show,'' www.hydrocarbons21.com/news/view/6143.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    R-450A, R-513A, R-744, IKON A, IKON B and THR-02 are listed as 
acceptable substitutes in new stand-alone equipment without use 
conditions.\75\ In addition, HFC-134a, FOR12A, FOR12B, R-426A, RS-24 
(2002 formulation), SP34E and THR-03 remain acceptable without use 
conditions and are not subject to a change of status date in new stand-
alone low-temperature equipment. Also, concurrently with this rule, EPA 
is listing R-448A and R-449A acceptable without use conditions for new 
stand-alone low-temperature equipment. EPA is aware of equipment 
deployment using R-744 and HFC-134a. We are not aware of such 
deployment with respect to any other of these substitutes, although we 
are aware that several are undergoing research and testing. The 
producer of R-450A, Honeywell, stated that the supply of R-450A is 
``soon to be available.'' Although we did not see evidence that 
products were produced with the HFC/HFO blends that are listed as 
acceptable, publicly-available literature indicates that R-448A, R-
449A, R-450A, R-513A and others are under investigation. For example, 
R-513A (trade name XP10) was tested in commercial bottle cooler/freezer 
under test 008 of AHRI's Low-GWP Alternative Refrigerants Evaluation 
Program research.\76\ The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine 
quoted Emerson, a major supplier of compressors for this industry, as 
saying it is ``prepared to support customers and devote more resources 
to qualifying lower-GWP A1 refrigerant alternatives such as R448A, 
R449A, R-450A and

[[Page 42912]]

R513A.'' \77\ EPA addressed the supply of these HFC/HFO blends, and 
specifically the production of HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234ze(E), which are 
components of these blends, above in section V.C.2.a.1.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \75\ Shecco, 2015. ``New Regulations Inspire Hydrocarbon 
Displays at U.S. NAFEM Show, February 24, 2015. This document is 
accessible at http://www.hydrocarbons21.com/news/viewprintable/6143.''
    \76\ Shapiro, Doron. ``System Drop-In Tests of R-134a, R-1234yf, 
OpteonTM XP10, R-1234ze(E), and N13a in a Commercial 
Bottle Cooler/Freezer'', January 25, 2013. This document is 
accessible at http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/RESEARCH/AREP_Final_Reports/AHRI%20Low-GWP%20AREP-Rpt-008.pdf.
    \77\ Gaved, 2015. ``Emerson Climate Technologies offers to help 
supply chain move to lower-GWP refrigerants,'' www.racplus.com/news/-emerson-climate-technologies-offers-to-help-supply-chain-move-to-lower-gwp-refrigerants/8677708.article.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the preamble to the NPRM, EPA provided information on the risk 
to human health and the environment presented by the alternatives that 
are being found unacceptable compared with other alternatives, 
including several refrigerants listed as acceptable (October 21, 2014, 
79 FR 62863) or acceptable, subject to use conditions (April 10, 2015; 
80 FR 19453) after the NPRM was issued. A technical support document 
that provides the additional Federal Register citations concerning data 
on the environmental and health properties (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, 
toxicity, flammability) for the acceptable alternatives as well as 
those we are finding unacceptable may be found in the docket for this 
rulemaking (EPA, 2015d).
    In summary, for stand-alone medium-temperature refrigeration 
equipment, the substitutes listed above that remain acceptable have 
zero ODP and GWPs ranging from 1 to about 630. In contrast, the 
alternatives that we are listing as unacceptable for stand-alone 
medium-temperature equipment also have zero ODP and they have GWPs 
ranging from approximately 900 to 3,985. Three of the substitutes that 
remain acceptable, R-290, R-600a, and R-441A, are or are composed 
primarily of VOC. EPA's analysis indicates that their use as 
refrigerants in this end-use are not expected to contribute 
significantly to ground level ozone formation (ICF, 2014e). These three 
substitutes are also flammable; however, the use conditions specified 
ensure that they do not pose greater overall risk than any of the 
substitutes currently listed as acceptable in new stand-alone medium-
temperature equipment.\78\ None of the refrigerants currently listed as 
acceptable present significant human health toxicity concerns or other 
ecosystem impacts. In comparison, the refrigerants we are finding 
unacceptable are similar in ODP (zero ODP), flammability (low risks of 
flammability), toxicity (low toxicity), and VOC (non-VOC or not 
expected to contribute significantly to ground level ozone formation). 
Because the risks other than GWP are not significantly different for 
the other available alternatives than for those we are listing as 
unacceptable and because the GWP for the refrigerants we are listing as 
unacceptable is significantly higher and thus poses significantly 
greater risk, we are listing the following refrigerants as unacceptable 
for new stand-alone medium-temperature refrigeration equipment: FOR12A, 
FOR12B, HFC-134a, HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/
1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-417A, 
R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-428A, 
R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 
formulation), SP34E, and THR-03.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \78\ The risks due to the flammability of these refrigerants in 
this end-use were analyzed in the SNAP rules finding them acceptable 
subject to use conditions (December 20, 2011; 76 FR 78832 and April 
10, 2015; 80 FR 19453). Refer to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0286 
and EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0748.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    For stand-alone low-temperature refrigeration equipment, the 
substitutes that remain acceptable have zero-ODP and GWPs ranging from 
1 to about 1,500. The alternatives we are listing as unacceptable have 
GWPs ranging from approximately 1,800 to 3,985. For the other risk 
criteria we review, the analysis provided above for stand-alone medium-
temperature refrigeration equipment applies also to for the 
alternatives that remain acceptable and those we are listing as 
unacceptable. Because the risks other than GWP are not significantly 
different for the other available alternatives than for those we 
proposed to list as unacceptable and because the GWP for the 
refrigerants we proposed to list as unacceptable is significantly 
higher and thus poses significantly greater risk, we are listing the 
following refrigerants as unacceptable for new stand-alone low-
temperature refrigeration equipment: HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/134a/
600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-
410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, 
R-424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-507A, and RS-44 (2003 
formulation).
(2) When will the status change?
    We are establishing a status change date of January 1, 2019, for 
new stand-alone medium-temperature equipment with a compressor capacity 
below 2,200 Btu/hr and not containing a flooded evaporator, and a 
status change date of January 1, 2020, for all other types of new 
stand-alone equipment. For this equipment, there are several 
alternatives that can meet the technological needs of the market. EIA 
states that ``R-744, R-290, R-441A, and isobutene (`R-600a') can 
satisfy the vast majority of the current market for refrigerants in 
stand-alone equipment.'' We are aware of products using R-290, R-600a 
and R-744 that are already on the market. According to Shecco, based on 
its October 2014 survey, the manufacturers of stand-alone equipment 
they surveyed ``are already today able to produce sufficient amount of 
such [R-290, R-600a and R-744] equipment to cover the needs of the 
entire market. All of the interviewed manufacturers confirmed that they 
plan to covert [sic] their whole manufacturing facilities to 
hydrocarbons and/or CO2 by 2018/2019 latest.'' While the alternatives 
that remain acceptable will be able to meet the technical constraints 
for this equipment, time will be needed for the transition to occur. On 
the aspect of timing, Shecco, Supermarket Company ABC, Hatco, and H&K 
International suggested a 2018 change of status date, while DuPont and 
Honeywell suggested 2017. NRDC and IGSD believed EPA should maintain 
the proposed January 1, 2016, change of status date. In contrast, 
numerous other manufacturers of stand-alone equipment indicated 
concerns with hydrocarbons and R-744, and some referenced HFC/HFO 
blends as a potential solution. They recommended change of status dates 
ranging from 2020 to 20 years after the rule becomes final. While we 
agree that manufacturers will be able to produce equipment using lower-
GWP refrigerants addressing a large portion of the market in the period 
of 2016-2018, we also agree that there are some technical challenges 
that support a change of status date of 2019 or 2020 for this end-use 
category.
    Manufacturers indicated several necessary steps that will need to 
occur, including development and testing of components, such as 
compressors and condensing units, for the full range of stand-alone 
products. In addition, engineering, development, and testing to meet 
standards, such as those from UL, DOE and NSF, of the products would 
start as components became available. Modifications to the factory 
could be required, ranging from a simpler change of the refrigerant 
storage area to reconfiguration of the factory to address concerns such 
as ventilation or other safety measures. Information submitted by the 
commenters supported that these actions could take a few months or up 
to a couple of years. However, it is likely that these actions could 
occur simultaneously with other steps such as equipment design and 
testing.
    Manufacturers identified three distinct refrigerant types. For 
hydrocarbons, including R-290, we do

[[Page 42913]]

not see any question regarding chemical supply. NAMA and True 
Manufacturing indicated that components have already been designed 
globally, including in the United States, using both R-290 and R-600a. 
Danfoss, Manitowoc and Unified Brands indicated that 1-2 years are 
needed to develop air-cooled condensing units for R-290. Components 
using other hydrocarbon refrigerants, such as R-441A have not been 
developed, but these refrigerants are offered for sale in the U.S. and 
are in ample supply.
    EPA believes that much of the component and equipment development 
can occur at the same time; in other words, as certain components 
become available, appropriate units could be redesigned using those 
components, prototypes could be built and tested, and final designs 
could be produced, while additional components are released. Indeed, it 
appears that many manufacturers have already identified a portion of 
their products that they could redesign using R-290, as discussed 
below. Once product models are designed, testing and certification 
could take place.
    In summary, to use hydrocarbon refrigerants, such as R-290, the 
comments support that approximately three and a half years is needed 
for equipment to become fully available. This includes one to two years 
to develop additional components beyond those that are currently 
available and to test the current and newly developed components in 
models. Equipment development and testing would occur in series, with 
the final units being developed and ready for testing approximately one 
year after the components for that unit were available. Testing and 
certification would likewise occur as products were developed and would 
span two to three years, much of which while other actions are 
occurring. We estimate the final units might take an additional six 
months to a year to test and certify once developed. As discussed 
above, any required modifications to the factory line and facilities 
would occur concurrently if a manufacturer chose to use R-290 or 
another acceptable hydrocarbon refrigerant. Hence, EPA believes that 
new stand-alone equipment for medium-temperature applications with a 
compressor capacity below 2,200 Btu/hr and not containing a flooded 
evaporator could be available and in compliance with a status change 
date of January 1, 2019.
    The steps in developing products for R-744 would be similar and on 
a similar time frame as those for hydrocarbons. However, although R-744 
is in wide supply, as supported by commenters such as Hillphoenix, 
Coca-Cola, Parker-Hannifin, and HC Duke & Son/Electro-Freeze, there has 
been limited development of components and development of necessary 
components in a variety of sizes could take two to three years.
    Designing stand-alone equipment with R-744 presents challenges such 
as the need for a complete system redesign due to higher pressures and 
the different thermodynamic and transport properties. Additionally, as 
supported by commenters such as HC Duke & Son/Electro-Freeze, while 
CO2 system efficiency is good at lower ambient temperatures, 
CO2 system efficiency suffers at higher temperatures. Thus, 
it may take additional time to develop components and equipment for 
both medium and low-temperature applications.
    Although it may not be feasible to develop R-744 equipment for the 
full spectrum of stand-alone equipment by a status change date of 
January 1, 2019, other alternatives, such as the hydrocarbons and HFC/
HFO blends would be available for those uses by the January 1, 2019, 
status change date.
    The third group of alternatives is the HFC/HFO blends. Refrigerant 
producers DuPont and Honeywell provided detailed comments on the 
development of specific HFC/HFO blends and EPA listed one of these, R-
450A, as acceptable in October 2014. Concurrently with this rule, EPA 
is also listing R-513A as acceptable in all stand-alone equipment and 
two additional HFC/HFO blends, R-448A and R-449A, acceptable in stand-
alone low-temperature equipment.
    Some samples of these refrigerants are available today and are 
being tested, as supported by comments from AHRI. However, supplies of 
some of these blends are limited at this time because of limits on some 
of the HFO components, HFO-1234yf and HFO-1234ze(E). However, as 
discussed above in section V.C.2.a.1, production facilities for these 
refrigerants have commenced operation and thus, as supported by 
Honeywell and DuPont, we expect adequate supplies to be available by 
January 2017 if not before. Unified Brands and Structural Concepts 
indicated that components for HFC/HFO equipment are being tested and 
developed today and Unified Brands further projected that it would be 
three years for a full line of production-ready components.
    HFC/HFO blends found acceptable to date or submitted to the SNAP 
program are nonflammable, acceptable without use conditions, and 
designed to mimic the performance of either HFC-134a or R-404A, 
refrigerants in predominant use currently. Thus, as compared with 
hydrocarbons and R-744, there should be fewer technical challenges in 
developing equipment using these alternatives. Several commenters, 
including Master-Bilt, Structural Concepts, and Hoshizaki America, 
supported that transition to these alternatives would be simpler and 
quicker once components have been developed and there are adequate 
supplies.
    In summary, should manufacturers choose to pursue HFC/HFO blends, 
EPA expects such equipment would be widely available in about four 
years and that R-450A could be available earlier as it was the first 
such blend found acceptable under SNAP. This includes one to two years 
for supplies to become widely available, approximately one year for 
development and testing of components, and approximately one year for 
equipment development. The short time for development of components and 
equipment is due to the fact that the properties of the blends are 
similar to the refrigerants most manufacturers are currently using. 
Similarly, we expect that there would be limited factory modifications, 
if any, and that these could occur concurrently with the design work. 
As with other refrigerants, EPA would expect equipment testing and 
certification to be rolled out as equipment models are redesigned, with 
the last units being available approximately six to twelve months after 
designs are developed.
    We are finalizing a status change date of January 1, 2020, for 
stand-alone low-temperature retail food refrigeration units; stand-
alone medium-temperature retail food refrigeration units with a 
compressor capacity equal to or exceeding 2,200 Btu/hr; and stand-alone 
retail food refrigeration units employing a flooded evaporator.
    For these three types of stand-alone equipment, we find that an 
additional year beyond January 1, 2019, is needed for the change of 
status. For equipment using a flooded evaporator, Emerson indicated the 
lower-GWP refrigerants are all ``high glide'' often in the range of 7 
[deg]F to 10 [deg]F (3.9 [deg]C to 5.6 [deg]C), and that such a 
characteristic presents unique redesign and performance challenges. 
Because of this unique design challenge that will require additional 
time to address, we are establishing a January 1, 2020, change of 
status date for new stand-alone equipment that utilizes a flooded 
evaporator.
    The second segment of the stand-alone equipment end-use category 
that we found faced particular technical

[[Page 42914]]

challenges was equipment designed to hold products at low temperatures. 
The choice of refrigerant is in part determined by the desired 
temperature that food or beverage will be stored. As with ``large'' 
equipment, discussed below, commenters, including Hussmann and 
Hillphoenix, indicated that the charge size limits that apply to the 
hydrocarbon refrigerants could limit their use in low-temperature 
equipment, although for some equipment, it may be possible to redesign 
equipment to use multiple circuits. In addition, these commenters 
further note that HFC-134a was not a workable refrigerant for low-
temperature applications, and thus some of the HFC/HFO alternatives, 
specifically R-450A and R-513A, which were designed to perform 
similarly to HFC-134a, would likewise not be workable in these 
applications. However, other HFC/HFO alternatives, such as R-448A and 
R-449A, designed to perform similarly to R-404A could be available for 
low-temperature uses.
    We believe that these technical challenges for stand-alone low-
temperature equipment will mean the date upon which technically 
feasible solutions are available will be later than small, medium-
temperature equipment. For this reason, we are finalizing a change of 
status date of January 1, 2020, for stand-alone low-temperature 
equipment.
    EPA points to the 2014 ASHRAE Handbook on Refrigeration, Chapter 
15, which reads ``medium-temperature refrigeration equipment maintains 
an evaporator temperature between 0 and 40 [deg]F [-18 and 4.4 [deg]C] 
and product temperatures above freezing; low-temperature refrigeration 
equipment maintains an evaporator temperature between -40 and 0 [deg]F 
[-40 and -18 [deg]C] and product temperatures below freezing.'' We 
believe the product temperature is a more widely understood criteria, 
especially amongst equipment owners and users and for purposes of 
compliance, and therefore clarify here that for purposes of this rule 
``stand-alone medium-temperature equipment'' is defined as that which 
is designed to maintain product temperatures above 32 [deg]F (0 [deg]C) 
and ``stand-alone low-temperature equipment'' is defined as that which 
is designed to maintain product temperatures at or below 32 [deg]F (0 
[deg]C).
    For large stand-alone equipment with additional cooling capacity 
requirements, there are challenges with using a number of the lower-GWP 
refrigerants because the refrigerants are subject to use conditions, 
including a restriction limiting the charge size to 150 grams per 
circuit. The charge size use condition applies to the alternative 
refrigerants that are the farthest along in design and testing for this 
end-use category, specifically, R-290 and R-600a. Because larger 
equipment often needs refrigerant charges that are larger than those 
provided in the use conditions, we sought comment on possible technical 
challenges in transitioning to another alternative and asked how charge 
size limits for these flammable refrigerants might affect our 
determination of whether and when alternatives that pose lower risk are 
available for larger equipment. In the NPRM, we sought comment on the 
possibility of establishing a use restriction that would allow 
continued use of some refrigerants for which we would otherwise change 
the status in ``large'' stand-alone equipment. We sought comment on how 
we could define ``large'' and ``small'' stand-alone units in particular 
considering charge size.
    Several commenters addressed these issues during the comment 
period. Lennox said that over 98% of its ``basic, self-contained 
refrigeration models exceed 500 grams of refrigerant charge,'' 
precluding the use of flammable refrigerants in just one circuit. 
Manitowoc and Nor-Lake indicated that if they were to use R-290, 
multiple refrigeration circuits would be required considering the 150 
gram use condition that applies to that refrigerant. Some manufacturers 
discussed the technical difficulties with using multiple circuits. 
Hillphoenix noted that the use of multiple compressors, each tied to an 
individual condensing unit, would require ``more complex control 
synchronization that customers must be willing to master'' and raised a 
concern about whether customers would do so. For some equipment, space 
constraints would limit the practicality of using multiple, separate 
refrigeration circuits. Minus Forty indicated that ``A significant 
number of our models cannot be or would be very impractical to 
transition to R-290 due to their size, shape, and custom uniqueness.'' 
Nor-Lake stated that multiple circuit equipment would use more energy 
and believed that the ``energy efficiency of a dual system may also 
create issues with meeting DOE energy requirements.''
    EPA agrees that there are additional technical challenges faced in 
converting this equipment that use large charge sizes. In some 
instances, the challenge may be in developing multi-circuit systems 
that use refrigerants subject to the charge-size use limits. In other 
cases, where multiple circuits are not an option, these manufacturers 
will need additional time to evaluate refrigerants R-744 or the newly 
listed HFC/HFO blends R-448A, R-449A, R-450A and R-513A. Therefore, we 
have established a later status change date of January 1, 2020, for 
``large'' stand-alone equipment.
    A few commenters addressed how EPA could distinguish ``small'' from 
``large'' stand-alone equipment. Nor-Lake suggested a dividing line and 
recommended that it could be set based on compressor capacity, pointing 
to 2,400 Btu/hr and 2,200 Btu/hr for medium and low-temperature freezer 
systems, respectively. Hillphoenix also recommended looking at 
refrigerant capacity and performed an analysis that, under specific 
design prescriptions, indicated the maximum capacity achievable using 
150 grams of R-290 would be 4,800 Btu/hr and 1,600 Btu/hr for medium-
and low-temperature applications, respectively. Supermarket Company ABC 
suggested making a distinction based on interior volume and 
refrigeration requirements, but did not offer specifics. Southern Case 
Art indicated difficulty with using R-290 in its products that are 
open-display units reaching capacities up to 25,000 Btu/hr. Unified 
Brands indicated R-290 compressors are available to provide cooling 
capacity up to 5,000 Btu/hr for medium-temperature and 2,000 Btu/hr in 
low-temperature applications. Traulsen requested a narrowed use 
exemption for ``large stand-alone units requiring 2 or more systems to 
operate within the 150 gram limit.''
    We believe that the compressor capacity limits are a reasonable, 
easily-understood and easily-enforceable method to distinguish between 
products that may be unable to rely on flammable refrigerants or that 
will face greater challenges in doing so, and those that are more 
easily able to use flammable refrigerants consistent with the 150-gram 
charge size limits established in the use conditions. We considered 
separate capacity limits for medium and low-temperature systems as 
suggested by Nor-Lake and analyzed by Hillphoenix, but determined that 
establishing just one value would provide more clarity and ease of 
implementation. We chose the lower of Nor-Lake's capacity of 2,200 Btu/
hr as a dividing line and explain how this applies further below. In 
setting one value, however, we considered the similarity of the 
capacities suggested by Nor-Lake, and the fact that these came within 
the range of sizes analyzed by Hillphoenix.
    Although the 2,200 Btu/hr compressor capacity delineation was based 
on the particular comment from Nor-Lake, neither that commenter nor 
others

[[Page 42915]]

indicated how that capacity would be determined. EPA believes consensus 
standards from AHRI, an association representing manufacturers of such 
equipment, may be used for this purpose. In today's final rule, we are 
indicating that the capacity for a stand-alone unit is to be calculated 
based on the compressor ratings as determined under AHRI 540-2004, 
Performance Rating of Positive Displacement Refrigerant Compressors and 
Compressor Units. Although ``capacity'' is not a rating specifically to 
be listed under that standard, we note that ``Compressor or Compressor 
Unit Efficiency'' and the ``Power Input,'' which are defined in that 
standard under clauses 3.1 and 3.4, respectively, are required data for 
the compressor to be listed, per clause 6.2. The compressor capacity is 
the product of those two items, with adjustment to ensure the result is 
in the correct units (i.e., Btu/hr). Although a range of capacities may 
be calculated, EPA is clarifying that to determine whether the 
compressor capacity is equal to or above 2,200 Btu/hr, we expect the 
manufacturer to use Table 1 of the standard and choose the ``Standard 
Rating Condition'' (defined in clause 3.6.1) most appropriate for the 
design and intended use of the product. EPA notes that five standard 
rating conditions are listed in the standard, for instance at Suction 
Dew Point Temperatures--which is related to the designed food or 
beverage temperature within the equipment--of 45 [deg]F (7.2 [deg]C), 
20 [deg]F (-6.7 [deg]C), -10 [deg]F (-23 [deg]C), -25 [deg]F (-32 
[deg]C), and -40 [deg]F (-40 [deg]C). By referring to this table EPA 
believes the dividing line between ``small'' and ``large'' condensing 
units also considers the product application (e.g., ``low'' or 
``medium'' temperature), as suggested by Nor-Lake and analyzed by 
Hillphoenix, and as discussed above.
(b) Retrofit Stand-Alone Equipment
    For retrofit stand-alone equipment, EPA proposed to change the 
listing for R-404A and R-507A from acceptable to unacceptable as of 
January 1, 2016. In today's final rule, we are establishing the change 
of status date of July 20, 2016.
    This action does not apply to servicing existing equipment designed 
for those two refrigerants or servicing equipment that was retrofitted 
to use those refrigerants before the January 1, 2016, status change 
date. For instance, equipment designed for use with or retrofitted to 
R-404A prior to July 20, 2016, would be allowed to continue to operate 
using and could be serviced with R-404A.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    While we do not believe retrofits are common in stand-alone retail 
food refrigeration equipment, a number of refrigerants are listed as 
acceptable for this purpose: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, 
KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407A, R-407B, R-407C, 
R-407F, R-417A, R-417C, R-421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-422D, 
R-424A, R-426A, R-427A, R-428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-438A, R-450A, R-513A, 
RS-24 (2002 formulation), RS-44 (2003 formulation), SP34E, THR-02, and 
THR-03.\79\ R-448A and R-449A are also listed acceptable for 
retrofitting stand-alone low-temperature units. We also note that many 
of the refrigerants remaining acceptable are blends with small amounts 
of hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon content allows the possibility of 
retrofitting equipment from an ODS (which would have used alkylbenzene 
or a mineral oil) without changing the lubricant, whereas usually a 
polyolester is required when retrofitting to an HFC or HFC blend. Thus 
we believe these refrigerants are designed for and would prove 
successful in retrofits of stand-alone equipment, should such a 
retrofit be desired by the owner.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \79\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed 
as acceptable but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown 
in HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the preamble to the NPRM, EPA provided information on the risk 
to human health and the environment presented by the alternatives that 
are being found unacceptable compared with other available 
alternatives. A technical support document that provides the additional 
Federal Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., 
ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for these alternatives may be 
found in the docket to this rulemaking (EPA, 2015d). In summary, the 
other available alternatives have zero ODP as do those that we are 
finding unacceptable. However, the refrigerants remaining acceptable 
have GWPs ranging from below 100 to 3,607, lower than the GWPs of the 
two blends we are finding unacceptable, which have GWPs of 3,922 and 
3,985. All of the refrigerants remaining acceptable have toxicity lower 
than or comparable to the refrigerants whose listing status is changing 
from acceptable to unacceptable. The other available refrigerants, as 
well as those we are finding unacceptable, are not flammable. None of 
the alternatives is considered a VOC; however, some of the other 
available refrigerant blends include small amounts (up to 3.4% by mass) 
of VOC such as R-600 (butane) and R-600a (isobutane). However, these 
amounts are small, and EPA's analysis of hydrocarbon refrigerants shows 
that even when used neat, they are not expected to contribute 
significantly to ground level ozone formation (ICF, 2014e). Because the 
risks other than GWP are not significantly different for the other 
available alternatives than those we are listing as unacceptable and 
because the GWP for the refrigerants we are listing as unacceptable is 
significantly higher and thus poses significantly greater risk, we are 
listing the following refrigerants as unacceptable for retrofit stand-
alone refrigeration equipment: R-404A and R-507A.
(2) When will the status change?
    Commenters did not indicate any technical challenges in 
retrofitting stand-alone equipment with the refrigerants that remain 
acceptable. In fact, EIA felt ``The poor energy efficiency performance 
of R-404A is another compelling reason to delist this refrigerant and 
replace it with R-134a for retrofits, which by comparison, has shown a 
10 percent efficiency gain.'' EPA does not believe retrofits are nearly 
as common for stand-alone equipment as for other retail food 
refrigeration uses considered in this final rule, particularly 
supermarket systems. However, similar to the other types of retail food 
refrigeration addressed today, EPA is providing one year to ensure that 
any retrofits that are already underway will have sufficient time to be 
completed. Therefore, we are establishing a change of status date of 
July 20, 2016.
(c) How is EPA responding to comments on retail food refrigeration 
(stand-alone equipment)?
    Comment: One commenter, Honeywell, addressed the status change date 
for retrofits and supported the proposed date of January 2016.
    Commenters suggested a wide-range of dates for the status change 
for new equipment. NRDC and IGSD urged EPA to maintain the proposed 
status change date of January 1, 2016 for new stand-alone units. These 
commenters pointed out that coolers using transcritical R-744 have 
already been developed. Unified Brands stated ``it will be impossible 
to convert all our equipment from R134a and R404A to R290 by 2016.''
    A number of commenters supported a change of status a year or two 
later than that proposed. Two refrigerant

[[Page 42916]]

producers, Honeywell and DuPont suggested a change of status date of 
2017 for new equipment to allow fuller development of HFC/HFO blends 
that require minimal design changes and offer similar or better 
performance than current refrigerants. Shecco indicated that a date of 
January 1, 2018, was needed for ``smaller'' manufacturers to meet the 
requirements. Supermarket Company ABC also supported a 2018 change of 
status date for new stand-alone equipment. H&K International indicated 
R-290 is very energy efficient and that 2018 would provide enough time 
to transition. Another manufacturer, Hatco, also believed a ``January 
1, 2018 implementation date would provide the needed time to do the 
necessary testing and certification for a safe and effective 
conversion.''
    Other commenters supported a much later change of status date for 
new equipment. Approximately 30 manufacturers, two industry 
associations representing equipment manufacturers (AHRI and NAFEM), an 
association representing supermarkets (FMI), and a beverage supplier 
(Coca-Cola) suggested dates ranging from 2020 to 2025. True 
Manufacturing, indicated they have been shipping products using 
hydrocarbons and R-744 for several years. Hillphoenix provided a 
refrigerant change schedule that discussed the development of R-744, 
hydrocarbons and HFO blends; this schedule suggested various dates for 
different tasks for these three refrigerant types. Based on the 
timeframes associated with these tasks, they suggested a change of 
status date of January 1, 2022, for stand-alone equipment. Lennox 
believed the NPRM ``generally contemplates a wholesale switch to 
hydrocarbon refrigerants'' in stand-alone equipment. NAFEM indicated it 
would ``take ten to twelve years for manufacturers to convert their 
product lines to use isobutene or propane.''
    Response: As provided above in our discussion of the status change 
dates we are finalizing, we agree with the commenters who suggest a few 
additional years are needed for the status change. However, we do not 
agree that commenters advocating a lengthy delay in the change of 
status provided support for such a delay. As an initial matter, to the 
extent that these commenters identified concerns with alternatives, 
their concerns were focused on one refrigerant or class of refrigerants 
and the commenters did not consider the full range of available or 
potentially available refrigerants. Specifically, those comments 
appeared to have focused on alternatives for which the most significant 
amount of design changes would be necessary and did not appear to 
consider the range of available refrigerants, many of which could be 
used with less significant changes to designs. Manufacturers will 
likely select different refrigerants for different products. Those 
manufacturers that are not interested in designing equipment that uses 
hydrocarbon refrigerants, given some of their stated concerns with 
overcoming challenges with safety and VOC issues, could select a 
nonflammable fluorinated refrigerant such as an HFC/HFO blend designed 
to mimic many of the characteristics of the refrigerants they are using 
today. EPA believes such HFC/HFO blends will become available by the 
status change dates established in this rule and note that R-448A, R-
449A, R-450A and R-513A are listed as acceptable in this end-use 
category, with the latter two being acceptable in stand-alone medium-
temperature equipment and all four being acceptable in stand-alone low-
temperature equipment. Furthermore, EPA points to the fact that new 
HFC/HFO blends have been listed as acceptable and that such blends 
perform similarly to traditional refrigerants and have proved to be as 
efficient or even offer an efficiency advantage. As discussed above, 
the supply of these refrigerants is increasing and the components to 
use them are in development. EPA believes that by finalizing a status 
change date for new stand-alone equipment several years later than 
proposed, manufacturers will have the ability to choose such HFC/HFO 
blends for their equipment, as well as the other alternatives, 
including R-290, R-441A, R-600a and R-744, which have already been 
listed as acceptable or acceptable, subject to use conditions. There is 
ample supply of R-290 and R-744; however, the technical difficulties 
discussed with R-290 (particularly in ``large'' units) and R-744 
suggest that not all manufacturers will be able to convert their 
products and undergo the testing and certification necessary before 
that equipment can be sold. Because the HFC/HFO blends are designed to 
mimic the performance of the refrigerants they replace, the adoption of 
those is expected to take less time; however, there is only limited 
supply of those refrigerants now. Given the limited current supply, the 
initiation of the product conversion, testing and certification would 
not start until approximately 2016-2017, and hence manufacturers would 
not be able to provide products using these alternatives until 
approximately 2019-2020.
    As pointed out by Honeywell and DuPont, some of the HFC/HFO blend 
alternatives, such as R-448A, R-449A, R-450A and R-513A, can be used 
with little adjustment to existing designs, show energy efficiencies 
equal to or better than current refrigerants. While there is not 
currently sufficient supply of these refrigerants, Honeywell and DuPont 
have indicated that production facilities for the components are on-
line (see V.C.2.a.1 above) and that the blends will be made available 
after listed acceptable with SNAP. As noted previously, Honeywell has 
stated that R-450A supplies will be ``available soon'' and multiple 
component manufacturers are developing equipment that uses these 
alternatives. Hillphoenix's refrigerant change schedule indicates that 
``Lab/User Testing'' and ``Test & Verification'' is already underway 
with such blends. These blends offer equipment manufacturers additional 
energy efficient options to rapidly transition out of refrigerants 
listed as unacceptable while also avoiding some of the concerns (e.g., 
flammability, charge size limits, operation in hot temperatures) 
manufacturers indicated exist with other alternatives such as R-290 and 
R-744.
    Several commenters pointed out that at least some part of their 
product line can be converted to R-290 and some manufacturers are 
already offering products to the market using these options. For 
instance, Hillphoenix's refrigerant change schedule indicates that the 
step of ``Convert Products'' for ``Hydrocarbons (on applicable 
systems)'' can begin in 2015 and continue after that until 2020. They 
did not provide a full explanation of why the process would continue 
until 2020; however, EPA sees from commenters that there will be time 
necessary to develop products and have them undergo the testing and 
certification necessary to sell such products. EPA believes that by our 
status change dates of 2019 and 2020, and not before, manufacturers 
will be able to complete the development of products using R-290 or 
other hydrocarbons. EPA also believes that testing and certification 
resources are available to meet this deadline, and that more can be 
created if there is a demand for them.
    As many commenters pointed out, compliance with new DOE energy 
conservation standards for certain commercial refrigeration equipment 
is required on March 27, 2017 and for stand-alone walk-in coolers and 
freezers is required on June 5, 2017 (see also sections V.C.1.b and 
V.C.7). EPA is establishing change of status dates of

[[Page 42917]]

January 1, 2019, or January 1, 2020, for stand-alone units. This allows 
additional time after compliance is required with the DOE standards for 
manufacturers to potentially redesign any products that require 
additional engineering to meet both this rule and the DOE standards. 
With 2019 and 2020 change of status dates, manufacturers have the 
opportunity to integrate low-GWP refrigerants in their models now as 
they prepare for the DOE requirements for some or all of their 
products. Other products already meeting those DOE standards but 
utilizing refrigerants that we are listing as unacceptable may be 
redesigned after the DOE deadline to ensure compliance with both EPA 
and DOE requirements. Given that some HFC/HFO blends, such as R-450A 
and R-513A, were designed to mimic HFC-134a in medium-temperature 
refrigeration, and others, such as R-448A and R-449A, were designed to 
mimic R-404A in low-temperature refrigeration, EPA believes that these 
can be adopted into manufacturers' products with minor changes while 
still meeting the DOE requirements, once supplies of those refrigerants 
are made available to the manufacturers.
5. What is EPA finalizing for vending machines?
    The change of status determination for vending machines is 
summarized in the following table:

        Table 7--Change of Status Decisions for Vending Machines
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                   Substitutes           Decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Vending machines (new only)...  FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-    Unacceptable as
                                 134a, KDD6, R-125/290/  of January 1,
                                 134a/600a (55.0/1.0/    2019.
                                 42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-
                                 407C, R-410A, R-410B,
                                 R-417A, R-421A, R-
                                 422B, R-422C, R-422D,
                                 R-426A, R-437A, R-
                                 438A, R-507A, RS-24
                                 (2002 formulation),
                                 SP34E.
Vending machines (retrofit      R-404A, R-507A........  Unacceptable as
 only).                                                  of July 20,
                                                         2016.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

(a) New Vending Machines
    EPA proposed to change the listing for HFC-134a and 20 other 
refrigerants for new vending machines from acceptable to unacceptable 
as of January 1, 2016. In today's final rule, EPA is changing the 
listing for HFC-134a and 19 other refrigerants for new vending machines 
from acceptable to unacceptable as of January 1, 2019. While EPA 
proposed to change the status from acceptable to unacceptable for IKON 
B, EPA is not changing the status for this refrigerant in this final 
rule for the reasons provided below.
    The 19 other refrigerants in addition to HFC-134a are: FOR12A, 
FOR12B, KDD6, 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-426A, R-437A, 
R-438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), and SP34E.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    A number of other refrigerants are acceptable or acceptable subject 
to use conditions for new vending machines: IKON A, IKON B, R-290, R-
441A, R-450A, R-513A, R-600a, R-744, and THR-02.\80\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \80\ HCFC-22 and some blends containing HCFCs are also listed as 
acceptable but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown in 
HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    In the NPRM, EPA provided information on the risk to human health 
and the environment presented by the alternatives that are being found 
unacceptable and those that remain acceptable. Subsequent to the 
issuance of the proposal, EPA listed R-290, R-441A and R-600a, as 
acceptable, subject to use conditions (April 10, 2015, 80 FR 19453). In 
addition, concurrently with this rule, EPA is listing R-450A and R-513A 
acceptable in new vending machines. A technical support document that 
provides the additional Federal Register citations concerning data on 
the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for 
these alternatives may be found in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA, 
2015d). In summary, the other available refrigerants for new vending 
machines have zero ODP and GWPs ranging from 1 to about 630. In 
contrast, those we are finding unacceptable have GWPs ranging from 
approximately 1,100 to 3,985. IKON B, which we proposed but are not 
finalizing to be unacceptable, has a GWP around 600. R-290, R-600a, and 
R-441A are or are composed primarily of VOCs. We have exempted R-290, 
R-600a and R-441A used in vending machines from the venting prohibition 
(80 FR 19453). EPA's analysis indicates that their use as refrigerants 
in this end-use are not expected to contribute significantly to ground 
level ozone formation (ICF, 2014e). These three substitutes are also 
flammable; however, the use conditions specified ensure that they do 
not pose greater overall risk than any of the substitutes currently 
listed as acceptable in new vending machines.\81\ None of the 
refrigerants currently listed as acceptable present significant human 
health toxicity concerns or other ecosystem impacts. In comparison, the 
refrigerants we are finding unacceptable are similar in ODP (zero ODP), 
toxicity (low toxicity), and VOC (non-VOC or not expected to contribute 
significantly to ground level ozone formation). When the three 
hydrocarbon substitutes are used in accordance with the use conditions, 
their flammability risks are not significantly greater than those of 
the unacceptable alternatives. Because the risks other than GWP are not 
significantly different for the other available alternatives than those 
we are listing as unacceptable and because the GWP for the refrigerants 
we are listing as unacceptable is significantly higher and thus poses 
significantly greater risk, we are listing the following refrigerants 
as unacceptable for new vending machines: HFC-134a, FOR12A, FOR12B, 
KDD6, 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-426A, R-437A, R-438A, 
R-507A, RS-24 (2002 formulation), and SP34E.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \81\ The risks due to the flammability of these refrigerants in 
this end-use were analyzed in the SNAP rule finding them acceptable, 
subject to use conditions (April 10, 2015; 80 FR 19453). Refer to 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2013-0748.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

(2) When will the status change?
    EPA is establishing a change of status date for the specified HFC 
refrigerants in new vending machines of January 1, 2019.
    For new vending machines, there are several alternatives that can 
meet the technological needs of the market. EIA states that ``R-744, R-
290, R-441A, and isobutene (`R-600a') can satisfy the vast majority of 
the current market for refrigerants in . . . vending machines.'' We are 
aware of products using R-290 and R-744 that are already in use. 
According to Shecco, based on its October 2014 survey, the 
manufacturers

[[Page 42918]]

of vending machines they surveyed ``are already today able to produce 
sufficient amount of such equipment [R-290 and R-744] to cover the 
needs of the entire market. All of the interviewed manufacturers 
confirmed that they plan to covert [sic] their whole manufacturing 
facilities to hydrocarbons and/or CO2 by 2018/2019 latest.'' 
While the alternatives that remain acceptable will be able to meet the 
technical constraints for this equipment, time will be needed for the 
transition to occur. On the aspect of timing, Shecco supported a status 
change date of January 1, 2018, although their survey suggested some 
manufacturers might not convert until 2019. Shecco indicated that the 
supply of HFC-free vending machines has been increasing over the last 
two years. Other commenters suggested that four to five years would be 
required, mentioning in particular the supply of components as a major 
obstacle in achieving the proposed January 1, 2016, status change date. 
While we agree that manufacturers will be able to produce equipment 
using lower-GWP refrigerants addressing a large portion of the market 
in the period of 2016-2017, we also agree that there are some technical 
challenges that support a change of status date of 2019 for this end-
use.
    Commenters indicated several necessary steps that will need to 
occur, including development and testing of components, such as 
compressors, for the full range of vending machines. In addition, 
engineering, development, and testing to meet standards, such as those 
from DOE, of the products would start as components became available. 
Modifications to the factory could be required, ranging from a simpler 
change of the refrigerant storage area to reconfiguration of the 
factory to address concerns such as ventilation or other safety 
measures. Information submitted by the commenters supported that for 
the portion of the vending machines that have not already transitioned 
to a lower-GWP refrigerant, these actions could take a few months or up 
to a couple of years. However, it is likely that these actions could 
occur simultaneous with other steps such as equipment design and 
testing.
    One manufacturer identified two refrigerant types: R-744 and 
hydrocarbons. Refrigerant producers also pointed towards HFC/HFO blends 
as a third group. For R-744, we do not see any question regarding 
refrigerant supply. Information submitted by the commenters support 
that some components are already available. Coca-Cola indicated time 
was needed for testing and certifying new models of vending machines; 
however, additional information indicated that various types of R-744 
vending machines are already available or are expected to be available 
by January 1, 2016. Pepsi has test-marketed R-744 vending machines in 
the United States as early as 2009.\82\ The Automated Merchandising 
Systems (AMS) however stated that R-744 was unlikely as a viable 
substitute for its equipment, especially for the perishable food 
vending machines it offers. Although EPA did not see the technical 
detail to allow us to conclude that R-744 would not be a viable choice 
for such equipment, we agree that additional time beyond our proposed 
status change date is needed to explore that and other acceptable 
substitutes for this equipment. The comments support that equipment can 
be designed, tested and certified using R-744 by January 1, 2019.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \82\ PepsiCo, 2009. ``PepsiCo Brings First Climate-Friendly 
Vending Machines to the U.S.,'' March 30, 2009, this document is 
accessible at www.pepsico.com/live/pressrelease/pepsico-brings-first-climate-friendly-vending-machines-to-the-us03302009.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comments also supported that some components and equipment using 
hydrocarbons are available. AMS stated that one hurdle for using R-290 
is finding 120-volt, 60-hertz components for the U.S. and Canadian 
markets. AMS also echoed the concern of Coca-Cola that more time is 
needed for testing and certifying new models of vending machines. EPA 
agrees time beyond the originally proposed January 1, 2016, status 
change date is necessary for further development of R-290 components 
and for necessary testing and certification of R-290 vending machines. 
Information in the comments indicate that some R-290 components are 
available from multiple suppliers and we believe that these components 
could be employed in vending machines.
    In summary, to use hydrocarbons refrigerants, comments support that 
approximately three and a half years are needed for equipment to become 
fully available. This includes six months to test and design products 
using the available R-290 components and an additional year to two 
years for development of other components and equipment designs. 
Equipment development and testing would occur in series, with the final 
units being developed and ready for testing approximately six months 
after the components for that unit were available. Testing and 
certification would likewise occur as products were developed and would 
span up to three years, much of which while other actions are 
occurring. We estimate the final units might take an additional six 
months to test and certify once developed. As discussed above, any 
required modifications to the factory line and facilities would occur 
concurrently if a manufacturer chose to use R-290 or another acceptable 
hydrocarbon refrigerant. Hence, EPA believes that new vending machines 
could be available and in compliance with a status change date of 
January 1, 2019.
    Comments also support that other options besides R-744 and 
hydrocarbons may be explored for those products that have not yet 
transitioned. Concurrently with this rule, EPA is listing two HFC/HFO 
blends, R-450A and R-513A, as acceptable for new vending machines. 
Although commenters did not indicate a current supply of components for 
these refrigerants, information indicates that component suppliers are 
committing additional resources to develop them. EPA believes their 
adoption can happen quickly as they are both nonflammable blends and 
are designed to mimic the performance of HFC-134a, the only refrigerant 
indicated by a manufacturer as used in its vending machines. As noted 
earlier, Honeywell, the producer of R-450A, indicated that it will be 
supplying that refrigerant soon. We expect that the refrigerant 
producers will be able to fully supply these blends in a year or two. 
EPA expects that components designed for the vending machine market 
using one or both of these blends could be developed within the next 
year to eighteen months as more refrigerant supplies become available. 
As components become available, additional design and testing in 
vending machines could begin. Because the comments indicated only one 
refrigerant to be replaced, and because the HFC/HFO blends are designed 
to mimic that refrigerant, equipment development time for vending 
machines is expected to be shorter than other end-uses, perhaps adding 
only six months. Limited factory modifications, if any, could happen 
concurrently with the design work. As with other refrigerants, EPA 
would expect equipment testing and certification to be rolled out as 
equipment models are redesigned, with the last units being available 
approximately six months after designs are developed.
    In summary, we find that HFC/HFO blends could be implemented to 
meet the January 1, 2019, status change date for new vending machines.
(b) Retrofit Vending Machines
    For retrofit vending machines, EPA proposed to change the listing 
for R-

[[Page 42919]]

404A and R-507A from acceptable to unacceptable as of January 1, 2016. 
In today's final rule, we are finalizing a change of status of July 20, 
2016 similar to the retail food end-uses considered in this final 
action. EPA does not believe retrofits are nearly as common in vending 
machines as for some of the retail food refrigeration uses, 
particularly supermarket systems. However, similar to the retail food 
refrigeration addressed today, EPA is providing one year to ensure that 
any retrofits that are already underway, will have sufficient time to 
be completed.
    This action does not apply to servicing existing equipment designed 
for those two refrigerants or servicing equipment that was retrofitted 
to use those refrigerants before the January 1, 2016, status change 
date. For instance, vending machines designed for use with or 
retrofitted to use R-404A or R507A prior to July 20, 2016, would be 
allowed to continue to operate using and could be serviced with that 
refrigerant.
(1) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    A number of refrigerants are acceptable for retrofitting vending 
machines: FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a, IKON A, IKON B, KDD6, R-125/290/
134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-407C, R-417A, R-417C, R-421A, R-422B, 
R-422C, R-422D, R-426A, R-437A, R-438A, R-448A, R-449A, R-450A, R-513A, 
RS-24 (2002 formulation), SP34E, and THR-02.\83\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \83\ HCFC-22 and several blends containing HCFCs are also listed 
as available but their use is severely restricted by the phasedown 
in HCFC production.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We do not believe retrofits are common in vending machines. Many of 
the refrigerants remaining acceptable are blends with small amounts of 
hydrocarbons. The hydrocarbon content allows the possibility of 
retrofitting equipment from an ODS (which would have used alkylbenzene 
or a mineral oil) without changing the lubricant, whereas usually a 
polyolester is required when retrofitting to an HFC or HFC blend. Thus 
we believe these refrigerants would prove successful in retrofits of 
vending machines, should such a retrofit be desired by the owner.
    In the preamble to the NPRM, EPA provided information on the risk 
to human health and the environment presented by the alternatives that 
are being found unacceptable and those that remain acceptable. A 
technical support document that provides the additional Federal 
Register citations concerning data on the SNAP criteria (e.g., ODP, 
GWP, VOC, toxicity, flammability) for these alternatives may be found 
in the docket for this rulemaking (EPA, 2015d). In summary, other 
alternatives have zero ODP and have GWPs ranging from below 100 to 
3,085, lower than the GWPs of the two blends we are finding 
unacceptable, which have GWPs of 3,922 and 3,985. All of the 
refrigerants remaining acceptable have toxicity lower than or 
comparable to the refrigerants whose listing status is changing from 
acceptable to unacceptable. None of the refrigerants that remain 
acceptable or those that are being listed as unacceptable is flammable. 
None of the alternatives is considered a VOC; however, some of the 
refrigerant blends that remain acceptable include small amounts (up to 
3.4% by mass) of VOCs such as R-600 (butane) and R-600a (isobutane). 
However, these amounts are small, and EPA's analysis of hydrocarbon 
refrigerants show even when used neat they are not expected to 
contribute significantly to ground level ozone formation (ICF, 2014e). 
Because the risks other than GWP are not significantly different for 
the other available alternatives than those we are listing as 
unacceptable and because the GWP for the refrigerants we are listing as 
unacceptable is significantly higher and thus poses significantly 
greater risk, we are listing the following refrigerants as unacceptable 
for retrofit vending machines: R-404A and R-507A.
(2) When will the status change?
    Commenters did not indicate any technical challenges in 
retrofitting vending machines with the refrigerants that remain 
acceptable. In fact, EIA felt ``The poor energy efficiency performance 
of R-404A is another compelling reason to delist this refrigerant and 
replace it with R-134a for retrofits, which by comparison, has shown a 
10 percent efficiency gain.'' As discussed above, however, commenters 
indicated that plans may be underway and that adequate time should be 
given to allow for those plans to be implemented or changed. Therefore, 
we are establishing a change of status date of July 20, 2016.
(c) How is EPA responding to comments on vending machines?
    Comment: Honeywell supported the proposed date for retrofit vending 
machines. Regarding new vending machines, NRDC and IGSD believed the 
proposed status change date of January 1, 2016, was feasible and stated 
that the Consumer Goods Forum has pledged to transition completely out 
of HFC equipment by the end of 2015. Honeywell and DuPont, suggested a 
change of status date of 2017 for new vending machines to allow fuller 
development of additional alternatives that would require minimal 
design changes and offer similar or better performance than current 
refrigerants. Shecco felt that while the large manufacturers could meet 
the proposed date, a date of January 1, 2018, would allow for smaller 
manufacturers to meet the requirements. The Coca-Cola Company claimed 
the change of status date for new vending machines should be no earlier 
than January 1, 2020, to allow time for the development of additional 
compressor models of its preferred alternative to cover a full range of 
required capacities. AMS, a vending machine manufacturer, believes that 
one option that is being pursued on the beverage side, R-744, is not a 
viable solution for perishable food vending equipment. This 
manufacturer recommends a January 1, 2020, change of status date to 
allow for development of additional alternatives. The National 
Automatic Merchandising Association (NAMA) indicated that the 
conversion timeline is likely to be four or five years, although some 
of its members estimate the timeline to be as much as eight years, 
based on the experience of the mid-1990s when companies phased out the 
use of CFC-12.
    Response: We acknowledge the comment supporting the proposed date 
of January 1, 2016 for retrofit vending machines and note that we are 
finalizing that change of status date as proposed.
    We do not agree with NAMA that the switch away from CFC-12 in the 
mid-1990s supports a four, five or even eight year period. The phaseout 
of CFC-12 consumption was January 1, 1996, less than two years after 
the initial SNAP listings were issued. Regardless, each transition is 
unique and the timing for transitions can vary end-use by end-use and 
even for the same end-uses depending on a number of factors, such as 
whether alternatives that perform similarly to the current refrigerant 
can be used or whether significant design changes may need to occur.
    Regarding this current action for vending machines, the transition 
away from the substitutes we are listing as unacceptable is already 
underway based on public commitments made by some of the largest 
purchasers of vending machines. Shecco conducted a survey of vending 
machine manufacturers in October 2014 and found that all were planning 
to convert to hydrocarbons and/or R-744 in the 2018/2019 timeframe at 
the latest. Many companies have already made significant progress. For 
example, the Coca-Cola Company has placed over 1.4 million HFC-free

[[Page 42920]]

units globally and EIA indicates that ``Pepsi is approaching 1 million 
hydrocarbon vending machines which use 20 percent less energy than 
Energy Star requirements.'' There has been success developing and 
deploying vending machines with R-744, including the manufacture of 
components for those machines. EIA enumerated four manufacturers 
offering hydrocarbon compressors and components for light commercial 
uses, including vending machines. Although Coca-Cola requested a 2020 
change of status date, other information listing commercialization 
plans for low-GWP stand-alone equipment and vending machines indicated 
that by January 1, 2016, all of the vending machines in that list were 
expected to be available with low-GWP refrigerants. However, other 
commenters indicated that more components need to be developed for 
different types of vending machines to support a complete transition. 
AMS stated that more components for R-290 suitable for the U.S. and 
Canadian power supply (e.g., 60 Hz) were needed. We agree that the 
choice of components to-date has been limited but we see that it is 
growing and expect it to continue to grow, especially considering that 
two large U.S. purchasers of vending machines have committed to move to 
non-HFC technologies. R-744, R-290 and R-600a components used in other 
products, like stand-alone retail food refrigeration equipment, may 
also be adaptable for vending machines.
    Thus, although significant progress has been made, in particular 
with the use of R-744 in vending machines that dispense canned 
beverages, it is necessary to provide some additional time beyond the 
proposed date of January 1, 2016 to allow further development of 
components for different types of vending machines and also to allow 
further development of components using other alternative refrigerants.
6. General Comments on the Retail Food Refrigeration and Vending 
Machine End-Uses
(a) Specific Numerical Limits for GWP
    Comment: Unisom Comfort Technologies requested that EPA consider 
banning all refrigerants with GWP greater than 10, as there are very 
many existing alternatives. DuPont recommended that EPA change the 
status to unacceptable for all alternatives which generally have GWPs 
above 1,500, such as the R-407 series refrigerants. They suggested this 
limit ``for new and retrofit refrigeration and vending applications.'' 
DuPont indicated that by January 1, 2017, there will be multiple low-
GWP alternatives commercially available. Another refrigerant producer, 
Honeywell, recommended a GWP limit for new supermarket systems and 
remote condensing units of 1,500 and a GWP limit of 2,000 for 
retrofitted equipment, based on the IPCC's Fifth Assessment Report 
(AR5). For new stand-alone equipment and vending machines, Honeywell 
recommended a GWP limit of 600 (using AR5 GWPs) for HFC-134a 
replacements and 1,500 for R-404A replacements. CARB suggested adding 
an additional restriction for all commercial refrigeration to find 
unacceptable all HFCs with a GWP greater than 1,500 starting in 2018 
and all those with a GWP greater than 150 in 2023. Unison Comfort 
Technologies implored us to ``seriously consider banning all 
refrigerants with GWP>10.''
    Response: EPA's proposal was limited to determinations for the 
specific refrigerants proposed which pose significantly greater risk 
than other available refrigerants, and we cannot take final action 
changing the status of additional refrigerants without first providing 
notice and an opportunity for comment. EPA may consider whether to 
include additional refrigerants in a future proposed status change rule 
in which EPA would provide the necessary analysis of the SNAP criteria 
and an opportunity for public comment.
    Regarding the suggestion that we establish a specific numerical 
limit for GWP, as noted in Section IV.B, the structure of the SNAP 
program, which is based on a comparative framework of available 
substitutes at the time a decision is being made, does not support the 
use of such limits. We note that in making our decision for new and 
retrofit supermarket systems and remote condensing units, EPA pointed 
to the multi-year history of the successful use of some blends that 
remain acceptable to support the ``availability'' of alternatives that 
pose less risk than those we are listing as unacceptable. Many of these 
blends have GWPs higher than the limits recommended by the commenters. 
Thus, at this time, we do not believe an analysis of refrigerants below 
those limits recommended by the commenters with those above the limit 
and which remain acceptable would support a conclusion that the lower-
GWP refrigerants are available for use, as many have not been 
demonstrated to be technically feasible for products and systems in 
these specific end-use categories. As noted previously, there are a 
number of technical challenges that must be addressed in selecting a 
refrigerant for use in a specific system and we do not have information 
supporting use of these lower-GWP refrigerants. However, as we see from 
the current action, the refrigeration industry has made great progress 
in the last five to ten years in moving toward lower-GWP alternatives 
and we see that momentum continuing. Therefore, it is possible that at 
some future date, we could determine to list additional alternatives as 
unacceptable based on a determination that there are lower-GWP 
alternatives available that, based on consideration of the SNAP review 
criteria, pose lower overall risk.
(b) Comments and Responses Concerning Small Businesses
    Comment: Commercial Food Equipment Service Association (CFESA), an 
organization representing service companies and technicians, suggested 
a timeline ``ideally extended to 10 years for small businesses'' and 
``no less than 5 years'' for large companies. Shecco believed that many 
of the smaller manufacturers lag behind the larger companies in the 
switch away from HFC-134a in stand-alone equipment and vending 
machines. They suggested a January 1, 2018, change of status date would 
provide sufficient time for these smaller companies, ``enabling them to 
remain in the marketplace and ensuring healthy competition in this 
area.''
    Response: EPA does not agree that a different change of status date 
should apply to large companies as compared to small companies. The 
available alternatives that pose lower risk than those subject to the 
status change are equally available to businesses of all sizes. Under 
SNAP, EPA has not used the ``size'' of the user as a basis for its 
listing decisions and the commenter provides no basis related to the 
scope and purpose of the SNAP program to do so in this instance. EPA's 
decision regarding the status change dates for new retail food 
refrigeration equipment and new vending machines was based on the 
technical challenges faced by businesses of all sizes in adopting new 
refrigerants successfully in these products.
    Comment: Some commenters indicated that they believe additional 
time is needed for smaller companies, especially businesses in the 
stand-alone/self-contained retail food refrigeration end-use that 
manufacture custom-built equipment and produce hundreds of models. The 
commenters also indicated particular challenges and disadvantages for 
small businesses as compared to larger businesses.
    Response: We note that transition timelines in the NPRM were based 
on

[[Page 42921]]

the Agency's information concerning the availability of alternatives 
for businesses of all sizes and we did not provide separate change of 
status dates for different size businesses. We address these concerns 
further in the previous comment and response.
(c) Suggestion Regarding Education and Training
    Comment: CFESA points to the need for ``proper education and safety 
training for a successful and safe transition away from current 
refrigerants to the flammable or scarce refrigerants EPA deems 
acceptable.'' Other commenters likewise stated training of factory 
employees and service technicians would be required, especially if 
hydrocarbon refrigerants were employed.
    Response: Because CFESA and others reference flammable 
refrigerants, EPA believes this comment is particular to stand-alone 
equipment and vending machines, where certain flammable refrigerants 
are currently acceptable subject to use conditions. However, for these 
two end-uses, not all refrigerants listed as acceptable are flammable. 
Acceptable alternatives for stand-alone equipment and vending machines, 
such as R-448A, R-449A, R-450A and R-513A, are nonflammable and operate 
at similar characteristics to R-404A and HFC-134a. CFESA does not 
specify which refrigerants it considers scarce. Nonflammable R-744 
refrigerant, for example, is in ample supply. While some other 
refrigerants have not been produced in large quantities to date, 
production is increasing as demand increases, including R-448A, R-449A, 
R-450A and R-513A. Honeywell indicates that R-450A is soon to be 
produced in commercial quantities, and EPA expects it, along with other 
HFC/HFO blends, will be available by the change of status dates of 2019 
and 2020 for vending machines and stand-alone equipment. With respect 
to technician training, EPA agrees proper education and training is 
valuable, and we note that there are already many manufacturers and 
suppliers who have been conducting such training. For example, Shecco 
notes that ``The GUIDE North America 2013 \84\ report has identified at 
least 165 [Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning, and Refrigeration] 
HVAC&R System & Component Manufacturers, and Engineering Contractors in 
the United States working with natural refrigerants already today. In 
reality we have a reason to believe that this number is much higher.'' 
Coke noted that it has developed and trained a servicing network as it 
introduced R-744 equipment. Included in the docket to this rule is 
Hydrocarbon Refrigerants--A Study Guide for Service Technicians, 
published by the Refrigeration Service Engineers Society (RSES), that 
could be used for those wishing to service new stand-alone units and 
new vending machines using R-290, R-441A or R-600a.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \84\ Shecco, 2013a: GUIDE 2013: Natural Refrigerants--Market 
Growth for North America, publication.shecco.com/publications/view/6
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The HFC/HFO blend alternatives, identified above, are nonflammable 
and operate at similar characteristics to those subject to the status 
change and therefore technicians should require only minimal extra 
training to use them. Because different change of status dates apply 
for the different refrigeration end-uses technicians will have an 
opportunity to stagger training relevant for the different end-uses and 
they can build their skills across those end-uses over time.
7. Energy Efficiency Considerations
    DOE has promulgated, in separate rulemakings and under separate 
authority, energy conservation standards for several types of 
equipment, including products that are affected by this rule. See 
section V.C.1.b for information regarding DOE energy conservation 
standards that are applicable to the equipment addressed in this rule. 
New equipment subject to this rule would need to meet the DOE 
requirements and the requirements of the status change by the dates 
established in these rules.\85\ We note that for each of these end-
uses, there are many compliant models already commercially available 
that do not use the refrigerants subject to a change of status. 
Furthermore, for all the equipment subject to today's rule, there are 
examples, highlighted below, that show the energy efficiency using 
alternative refrigerants not subject to a change in status can be at 
least as good as, and often better than, the energy efficiency of 
equipment using refrigerants whose status will change to unacceptable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \85\ Refrigeration equipment in the applicable covered equipment 
class would still be subject to DOE's standards, regardless of the 
refrigerant that the equipment uses. If a manufacturer believes that 
its design is subjected to undue hardship by a regulatory standard 
prescribed by DOE (in contrast to one that is statutorily prescribed 
by Congress), the manufacturer may petition DOE's Office of Hearing 
and Appeals (OHA) for exception relief or exemption from the 
standard pursuant to OHA's authority under section 504 of the DOE 
Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7194), as implemented at subpart B of 10 
CFR part 1003. OHA has the authority to grant regulatory relief from 
a standard promulgated by DOE on a case-by-case basis if it 
determines that a manufacturer has demonstrated that meeting the 
standard would cause hardship, inequity, or unfair distribution of 
burdens.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We note that we do not have a practice in the SNAP program of 
including energy efficiency in the overall risk analysis. We do, 
however, consider issues such as technical needs for energy efficiency 
(e.g., to meet DOE standards) in determining whether alternatives are 
``available.'' EPA recognizes that the energy efficiency of particular 
models of equipment is a significant factor when choosing equipment. We 
also recognize that the energy efficiency of any given piece of 
equipment is in part affected by the choice of refrigerant and the 
particular thermodynamic and thermophysical properties that refrigerant 
possesses. Although we cannot know what energy efficiency will be 
achieved in future products using a specific acceptable refrigerant, we 
can point to both actual equipment and testing results that show 
promise and often better results than the equipment using the 
refrigerants that we are finding unacceptable. (EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-
0134, EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0184, EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0077). We 
recognize that, while theoretical efficiency of any given Rankine cycle 
is not dependent on the refrigerant used, the refrigerant, the design 
of the equipment, and other factors will affect the actual energy 
efficiency achieved.
    The efficiency can change based on the refrigerant chosen and there 
are various metrics, such as Total Equivalent Warming Impact (TEWI) and 
Life Cycle Climate Performance (LCCP), that account for climate effects 
of both emissions of the refrigerant and the possible emissions of 
greenhouse gases, primarily carbon dioxide, from the source of power to 
operate equipment. Quantification of the portions of TEWI/LCCP from the 
refrigerant and energy use can only be done using broad assumptions 
that would not be applicable to all users of the myriad equipment 
models that are affected by today's rule. As noted in section V.C.1.b, 
energy conservation standards set by the DOE apply to some of the 
equipment covered by today's rule (e.g., stand-alone equipment, vending 
machines). If manufacturers were to offer equipment that meets, but 
does not exceed, that standard (or any other standard, such as ENERGY 
STAR[supreg]), then the indirect emissions from energy use would be the 
same regardless of which refrigerant were used. In that case, the 
refrigerant emissions would be the only factor that would decide which 
system has a lower TEWI or LCCP. Manufacturers that wish to exceed

[[Page 42922]]

energy efficiency requirements may do so with any acceptable 
refrigerant they choose. Although some refrigerants will in the future 
be listed as unacceptable as determined in this final action, that does 
not directly affect the theoretical energy efficiency possible. As 
noted below, the results to date for actual equipment using acceptable 
alternatives do not show any significant decline in energy efficiency 
and often show the reverse. (EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0134, EPA-HQ-OAR-
2014-0198-0184, EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0077). While various sources of 
data on energy efficiency results from testing acceptable refrigerants 
show varying results, we believe that with new designs to use these 
refrigerants, any lower energy efficiency results can be overcome and 
likewise existing energy efficiency levels can be improved.
    Throughout the history of the SNAP program, EPA has seen the energy 
efficiency of refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment increase, 
despite changing refrigerant options. In some cases, this was because 
new chemicals were developed that possessed unique properties that 
allowed high energy efficiency levels to be obtained. In many cases, 
technological improvement and optimization of equipment designs and 
controls has increased energy efficiency. Although today's rule lists 
some refrigerants as unacceptable, we do not believe it will have a 
detrimental effect on this trend in increased energy efficiency. In 
fact, there are multiple case studies available that highlight the 
energy efficiency gains achieved by some of the low-GWP refrigerants, 
such as R-744, which remains acceptable for the refrigeration end-uses 
addressed in this rule, and R-290 and R-600a, which remain acceptable 
subject to use conditions for new stand-alone equipment and new vending 
machines. (EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0134, Refrigeration and Air 
Conditioning Magazine, 2015).\86\ As part of our review of whether 
alternatives are ``available,'' we determined that equipment has been 
designed for and is capable of meeting existing requirements such as 
the DOE energy conservation standards. Below we highlight the energy 
efficiency gains that have been reported for the commercial 
refrigeration end-uses and end-use categories affected by today's rule.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \86\ Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine, 2015. ``Coca 
Cola to narrowly miss HFC-free global refrigeration target'' 
(www.racplus.com/news/coca-cola-to-narrowly-miss-hfc-free-global-refrigeration-target/8680290.article).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Theoretical and prototype testing show similarly good energy 
efficiency results. For instance, in supermarket refrigeration, a 
theoretical analysis (Emerson Climate Technologies, 2014) examined the 
energy use of R-407A and R-410A, both of which are on the list of 
acceptable substitutes, against that of R-404A, which is listed as 
unacceptable in new supermarket systems as of January 1, 2017. Although 
this analysis found that both blends would see a 3.6% to 6.7% drop in 
efficiency in the low-temperature part of the store (e.g., frozen food, 
ice cream), they would achieve a 4.3% to 13.3% increase in the medium-
temperature part of the store (e.g., meat, dairy products, chilled 
prepared food). Given that supermarkets have significantly larger use 
of medium-temperature equipment, the net effect would be for the 
equipment using those alternatives to use less energy than equipment 
currently designed to use R-404A. We have pointed out in Section V.C.2 
above that R-407A in particular is widely used and we might expect it 
to be used in a large share of supermarkets after the change of status 
date. This analysis showed similar increases in energy efficiency of 
new supermarket and stand-alone equipment using a variety of low-GWP 
refrigerants as compared with equipment currently using R-404A.
    The analysis also showed a slightly higher energy consumption by 
stand-alone equipment designed to use other alternatives as compared 
with one designed to use R-404A. One user of stand-alone equipment did 
not provide any specific results, but stated that ``HC freezers are 
significantly more energy-efficient.'' (Ben and Jerry's, 2014). True 
recently displayed several stand-alone units using R-290 refrigerant 
that were reported to be 15% more efficient than similar equipment 
using HFC-134a and R-404A.\87\ Similar results were seen by DuPont, who 
found that R-449A reduced energy usage when used in a display case 
connected to a remote condensing unit. They found that the energy 
consumption using this refrigerant was 2% to 3% less than R-404A in 
low-temperature tests and 8% to 12% less in medium-temperature tests. 
(EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198-0077).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \87\ Shecco, 2013b. ``HCs gaining market prominence in US--view 
from The NAFE Show--Part 1'' February 18, 2013. This document is 
accessible at www.hydrocarbons21.com/news/viewprintable/3891.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similar results are being seen with vending machines. As noted in 
the NPRM, one purchaser of vending machines indicated that while 
introducing over one million units using R-744, they have increased the 
energy efficiency of their cooling equipment over 40% since 2000, at 
which time such equipment was exclusively using HFC-134a (Coca-Cola, 
2014). More recently, it was reported that 78% of Coca Cola's models 
(vending machines and stand-alone cases) perform more efficiently than 
HFC units. (Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine, 2015). 
Furthermore, it has been reported that PepsiCo has placed nearly one 
million hydrocarbon vending machines on the market and that these use 
20% less energy than ENERGY STAR requirements.
    As new products are designed to use particular refrigerants, 
manufacturers have the opportunity to change designs to take advantage 
of a given refrigerant's characteristics. The redesign and development 
phase is also an opportunity to improve other components that will 
affect the overall efficiency of the equipment, such as the use of more 
efficient motors and compressors, improved heat exchangers, better 
controls, improved insulation (e.g., on display cases) and sealing (for 
products with doors), more efficient lighting, etc. These opportunities 
and the examples provided are indicative that when redesigning 
equipment for a new refrigerant, energy efficiency is often improved. 
Multiple companies have reported such gains in the equipment covered by 
today's rule, for instance with R-407A or R-744 in supermarket systems, 
with HFC/HFO blends in remote condensing units, and with hydrocarbons 
and R-744 in stand-alone equipment and vending machines

D. Foam Blowing Agents

1. Background
    Foams are plastics (such as PU or polystyrene) that are 
manufactured using blowing agents to create bubbles or cells in the 
material's structure. The foam plastics manufacturing industries, the 
markets they serve and the blowing agents used are extremely varied. 
The range of uses includes building materials, appliance insulation, 
cushioning, furniture, packaging materials, containers, flotation 
devices, filler, sound proofing and shoe soles. Some foams are rigid 
with cells that still contain the foam blowing agent, which can 
contribute to the foam's ability to insulate. Other foams are open-
celled, with the foam blowing agent escaping at the time the foam is 
blown, as for flexible foams.
    A variety of foam blowing agents have been used for these 
applications. Historically, CFCs and HCFCs were typically used to blow 
foam given their favorable chemical properties. CFCs and HCFCs are 
controlled substances under

[[Page 42923]]

the Montreal Protocol and subject to regulation under the CAA including 
a phaseout of production and import under section 604 for CFCs and 
section 605(b)-(c) for HCFCs and use restrictions on HCFCs under 
section 605(a). The regulations implementing section 610 of the CAA 
include a ban on sale or distribution of foam products blown with class 
I and class II ODS: However, for foam products containing a class II 
ODS, the ban is subject to an exception for foam insulation products as 
defined at 40 CFR 82.62.
    HCFCs, which have a longer phase-out period than CFCs since they 
are less potent ozone-depleting substances, have continued to be used 
to some extent as foam blowing agents. In addition, the SNAP program 
has found acceptable a variety of non-ODS blowing agents, including 
HFCs (e.g., HFC-134a, HFC-245fa, HFC-365mfc), hydrocarbons, carbon 
dioxide, water, methylal, methyl formate, HFO-1234ze(E), HFO-
1336mzz(Z), and trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene (Solstice 
1233zd(E)).
    Blowing agents are approved on an end-use basis. The SNAP program 
considers the following end-uses:
     Rigid PU (appliance foam) includes insulation foam in 
domestic refrigerators and freezers.
     Rigid PU (spray, commercial refrigeration, and sandwich 
panels) includes buoyancy foams, insulation for roofing, wall, pipes, 
metal doors, vending machines, coolers, and refrigerated transport 
vehicles.
     Rigid PU (slabstock and other) includes insulation for 
panels and pipes.
     Rigid PU and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock 
includes insulation for roofing and walls.
     Flexible PU includes foam in furniture, bedding, chair 
cushions, and shoe soles.
     Integral skin PU includes car steering wheels, dashboards, 
and shoe soles.
     Polystyrene (extruded sheet) includes foam for packaging 
and buoyancy or flotation.
     Polystyrene (extruded boardstock and billet) includes 
insulation for roofing, walls, floors, and pipes.
     Polyolefin includes foam sheets and tubes.
     Phenolic insulation board and bunstock includes insulation 
for roofing and walls.
2. What is EPA finalizing for foam blowing agents?
    For foam blowing end-uses, EPA proposed to change the status for 
several substitutes, as of January 1, 2017, as follows:
     HFC-134a and blends thereof as unacceptable for all end-
uses;
     HFC-143a, HFC-245fa and HFC-365mfc and blends thereof; and 
the HFC blends Formacel B, and Formacel Z-6 as unacceptable in all foam 
blowing end-uses where they were on the list of acceptable substitutes 
at the time of proposal, except for rigid PU spray foam; and
     The HFC blend Formacel TI as unacceptable in all foam 
blowing end-uses where it was on the list of acceptable substitutes at 
the time of proposal.
    After considering the comments received on the proposed rule, EPA 
is making several changes to what it proposed in this final action. 
First, EPA is creating narrowed use limits for HFC-134a and blends 
thereof, for HFC-365mfc and blends thereof, and HFC-245fa and blends 
thereof for all foam blowing end-uses except rigid PU spray foam. EPA 
is also creating narrowed use limits for certain HFC blends, including 
Formacel TI, Formacel Z-6, and Formacel B, for those end-uses that were 
on the list of acceptable substitutes at the time of proposal. For all 
these substitutes, the narrowed use limits would be for military or 
space- and aeronautics-related applications where reasonable efforts 
have been made to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically 
feasible due to performance or safety requirements. For all other uses 
in these identified end-uses, the status would change to unacceptable, 
with the exception of rigid PU spray foam, for which we are not taking 
final action in this rule. Second, we are establishing change of status 
dates that range from January 1, 2017, to January 1, 2021. And, 
further, for the uses subject to the narrowed use limits, the status 
would change to unacceptable as of January 1, 2022. The change of 
status determination for each end-use is summarized in the following 
table:

       Table 8--Change of Status Decisions for Foam Blowing Agents
------------------------------------------------------------------------
            End-use                   Substitutes          Decision *
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rigid Polyurethane: Appliance.  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
                                 HFC-365mfc and blends   subject to
                                 thereof; Formacel TI,   narrowed use
                                 and Formacel Z-6.       limits for
                                                         military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2020.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Rigid Polyurethane: Commercial  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
 Refrigeration and Sandwich      HFC-365mfc, and         subject to
 Panels.                         blends thereof;         narrowed use
                                 Formacel TI, and        limits for
                                 Formacel Z-6.           military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2020.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Rigid Polyurethane: Marine      HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
 Flotation Foam.                 HFC-365mfc and blends   subject to
                                 thereof; Formacel TI,   narrowed use
                                 and Formacel Z-6.       limits for
                                                         military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2020.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Rigid Polyurethane: Slabstock   HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
 and Other.                      HFC-365mfc and blends   subject to
                                 thereof; Formacel TI,   narrowed use
                                 and Formacel Z-6.       limits for
                                                         military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2019.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.

[[Page 42924]]

 
Rigid Polyurethane and          HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
 Polyisocyanurate Laminated      HFC-365mfc and blends   subject to
 Boardstock.                     thereof.                narrowed use
                                                         limits for
                                                         military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2017.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Flexible Polyurethane.........  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
                                 HFC-365mfc, and         subject to
                                 blends thereof.         narrowed use
                                                         limits for
                                                         military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2017.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Integral Skin Polyurethane....  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
                                 HFC-365mfc, and         subject to
                                 blends thereof;         narrowed use
                                 Formacel TI, and        limits for
                                 Formacel Z-6.           military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2017.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Polystyrene: Extruded Sheet...  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
                                 HFC-365mfc, and         subject to
                                 blends thereof;         narrowed use
                                 Formacel TI, and        limits for
                                 Formacel Z-6.           military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2017.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Polystyrene: Extruded           HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
 Boardstock and Billet (XPS).    HFC-365mfc, and         subject to
                                 blends thereof;         narrowed use
                                 Formacel TI, Formacel   limits for
                                 B, and Formacel Z-6.    military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2021.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Polyolefin....................  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Acceptable
                                 HFC-365mfc, and         subject to
                                 blends thereof;         narrowed use
                                 Formacel TI, and        limits for
                                 Formacel Z-6.           military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2020.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
Phenolic Insulation Board and   HFC-143a, HFC-134a,     Acceptable
 Bunstock.                       HFC-245fa, HFC-         subject to
                                 365mfc, and blends      narrowed use
                                 thereof.                limits for
                                                         military or
                                                         space- and
                                                         aeronautics-
                                                         related
                                                         applications *
                                                         and
                                                         unacceptable
                                                         for all other
                                                         uses as of
                                                         January 1,
                                                         2017.
                                                         Unacceptable
                                                         for all uses as
                                                         of January 1,
                                                         2022.
------------------------------------------------------------------------
* Under the narrowed use limit, use is limited to military or space- and
  aeronautics-related applications where reasonable efforts have been
  made to ascertain that other alternatives are not technically feasible
  due to performance or safety requirements.

(a) What other alternatives does EPA find pose lower overall risk to 
human health and the environment?
    In the NPRM, EPA included a comparative analysis, end-use by end-
use, of the substitutes for which EPA proposed to change the status and 
the other available alternatives. 79 FR at 46151 to 46154. Most of the 
other alternatives that EPA identified as having lower risk than those 
for which we proposed to change the status have zero ODP or have 
negligible impact on stratospheric ozone. One alternative that contains 
chlorine, trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene 
(SolsticeTM 1233zd(E)), has an ODP of 0.00024 to 0.00034 and 
estimates of its maximum potential impact on the ozone layer indicate a 
statistically insignificant impact, comparable to that of other 
substitutes in the same end-uses that are considered to be non-ozone-
depleting.88 89 For the uses on which we are taking final 
action, the substitutes remaining acceptable have significantly lower 
GWP than the substitutes for which we are changing the status, with 
GWPs ranging from zero (water, vacuum panels) to 124 (HFC-152a) as 
compared with GWPs ranging from 725 to approximately 1,500. The 
substitutes changing status and the substitutes remaining acceptable 
all can be used such that the recommended workplace exposure limit for 
the substitute is not exceeded in the end-uses where they are listed as 
acceptable, and thus, toxicity risks are comparable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \88\ Wang D., Olsen S., Wuebbles D. 2011. ``Preliminary Report: 
Analyses of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' 
Department of Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, 
IL. September 26, 2011.
    \89\ Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and 
Ozone Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trichloropropylene and trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-
dimensional model.'' Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Most of the substitutes that remain acceptable are not VOC (e.g., 
water) or are exempt from the definition of VOC under CAA regulations 
(see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of SIPs to attain and 
maintain the national ambient air quality standards. Examples of VOC-
exempt blowing agents include acetone, CO2, ecomate, HFC-
152a, HFO-1234ze(E), methyl formate, and Solstice 1233zd(E). Other 
acceptable foam blowing agents are VOC, including saturated light HCs, 
Exxsol blowing agents, and methylal. In the risk screens that EPA 
performs when we review a substitute, we consider VOC emissions 
impacts, taking into account the rate of blowing agent

[[Page 42925]]

emissions of particular foam end-uses, estimated market size, and the 
presence of emission controls in manufacturing for different end-uses. 
Estimated emissions for these three substitutes is sufficiently low 
that we do not expect significant air quality impacts (ICF, 2014h). The 
manufacturer of HFO-1336mzz(Z) claims that this substitute has low 
photochemical reactivity and has petitioned EPA to exempt it from the 
definition of VOC for purposes of the development of SIPs to attain and 
maintain the national ambient air quality standards, but EPA has not 
yet acted on that petition. Given the large variety of alternatives 
that do not increase VOC emissions, and the estimated low impacts from 
those alternatives that are VOC, we believe that changing the status of 
certain HFC foam blowing agents through this action will not 
significantly increase environmental or health risks.
    Some of the substitutes that remain acceptable are flammable, but 
the hazards of these flammable compounds can be adequately addressed in 
the process of meeting OSHA regulations and fire codes in all end-uses 
except certain rigid PU spray foam applications. Examples of acceptable 
flammable blowing agents are HFC-152a, ecomate, Exxsol blowing agents, 
methylal, methyl formate, and saturated light hydrocarbons.
    Although EPA has listed a number of flammable alternatives as 
acceptable for most foam end-uses, that is not the case for rigid PU 
spray foams. Some of the lower-GWP, flammable alternatives that are 
listed as acceptable in other foam blowing end-uses, such as C3-C6 
hydrocarbons and methylal, are not acceptable for use in rigid PU spray 
foam. For rigid PU spray foam applications, flammability risks are of 
particular concern, because they are applied onsite, sometimes in 
proximity to hot, flammable substances such as tar. Flammability risks 
are more difficult to mitigate in rigid PU spray foam than in most 
other foam end-uses because, unlike in a factory setting, in many cases 
ventilation cannot be provided that removes flammable vapors and 
maintains them below the lower flammability limit, and it is not 
practical to make all electrical fixtures explosion proof when applying 
rigid PU spray foam in a residential building. There are three main 
types of rigid PU spray foam: High-pressure two-part spray foam 
systems, low-pressure two-part spray foam systems, and one-component 
foam sealants.
    For rigid PU spray foam, we are not taking final action in this 
rule. We intend to conduct a more extensive comparative risk analysis 
of the substitutes available before taking final action. Thus, the 
substitutes currently listed as acceptable for spray foam are not 
affected by this rule but may be the subject of future rulemaking.
    For more information on the environmental and health properties of 
the different foam blowing agents, please see the proposed rule at 79 
FR 46151 to 46154 and a technical support document that provides 
additional Federal Register citations (EPA, 2015d) in the docket.
(b) When will the status change?
    For foam blowing agents, the time at which the status will change 
varies by end-use.
    For the flexible PU, polystyrene extruded sheet, and phenolic 
insulation board and bunstock end-uses, many users have already 
transitioned from the foam blowing agents subject to the status change. 
No commenters suggested that, or provided information that would 
suggest, a later change of status date is necessary for these end-uses. 
Therefore, as proposed, we are establishing January 1, 2017 as the date 
of the status change for those end-uses.
    For PU integral skin, the systems house BASF stated that they have 
had limited success thus far with HFO blowing agents in this end-use 
and would require at least two years to formulate and test a system and 
another six months for the new system to be commercialized and accepted 
by their customers in this end-use. However, this commenter did not 
provide specific details of the technical challenges they face nor why 
they believe two years, rather than a shorter time, is required for 
formulation and testing. Nor did the commenter explain why customer 
acceptance of the new system was related to technical feasibility that 
would require an additional six months beyond the time needed for 
formulation and testing. A period of two and a half years after 
issuance of the NPRM would be January 2017, rather than the July 1, 
2017 suggested by the commenter. There are alternative foam blowing 
agents in addition to HFOs in this end-use that pose less risk overall 
to human health and the environment, such as HFC-152a and light 
saturated hydrocarbons. Therefore, as proposed, we are establishing 
January 1, 2017, as the date of the status change for PU integral skin 
foam.
    For the rigid PU and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock end-use, 
we did not receive any specific technical information nor any comments 
stating that a change of status date later than the proposed date of 
January 1, 2017, was warranted. We received a general comment from EIA 
that the change of status date should be January 1, 2016, but they 
provided no information supporting this earlier date. We received a 
comment from one systems house, Huntsman, that provided specific 
technical information supporting a later change of status date for 
other PU end-uses, but not PU and polyisocyanurate laminated 
boardstock. Another systems house, Dow Chemical, specifically mentioned 
that polyisocyanurate boardstock has previously safely transitioned to 
use of hydrocarbons. Therefore, as proposed, we are establishing 
January 1, 2017 as the date of the status change for PU and 
polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock.
    For all other foam blowing end-uses for which we are taking final 
action, we received comments identifying technical challenges that mean 
other alternatives would not be available until a later date than 
January 1, 2017. Systems houses and appliance manufacturers also 
mentioned the need for third-party testing for end-uses such as 
extruded polystyrene boardstock and billet, rigid PU appliance, and 
rigid PU commercial refrigeration and sandwich panels. Systems houses 
and DuPont, a manufacturer of foam blowing agents, also were concerned 
with the supply of lower-GWP foam blowing agents, especially supply of 
HFOs (HFO-1234ze(E) and HFO-1336mzz(Z)) and trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-
trifluoroprop-1-ene, and indicated this was a constraint that prevents 
transitioning away from higher GWP HFCs by January 1, 2017. EPA agrees 
that there is validity to these concerns, as discussed further below 
for each end-use.
    For rigid PU slabstock, a systems house (Huntsman) commented they 
need additional time for testing and suggested a change of status date 
of January 1, 2019. Huntsman gave three specific reasons for why there 
should be a later change of status date than January 1, 2017 for this 
end-use: They believe it will take more than two years to develop 
products with alternatives, including third-party certification; they 
believe the long-term performance of HFO foams is not widely proven; 
and they believe there is insufficient supply and competition in the 
market for HFOs. Huntsman mentioned specific technical challenges, such 
as testing the compatibility and stability of the blowing agents with 
the polyol blends (i.e., other components needed in the foam 
formulation) and difficulties with stability of the catalysts when used 
with HFO blowing agents. They also stated that extended testing of more 
than six months was required to test strength,

[[Page 42926]]

thermal insulation capability and dimensional stability of the foam, 
including aging testing. Huntsman also mentioned testing the fire 
properties of the foams with different foam blowing agents as well as 
optimization of the blends. Huntsman stated that these steps required 
one to one and a half years initial development by the systems house 
that would then be followed by trials and custom modification at their 
customers' facilities using their specific equipment and claimed that 
would require one to two years in addition. Considering the technical 
constraints described by the systems house such as the need to research 
different catalysts and the lower stability of some alternative foam 
blowing agents, we agree that it is reasonable to expect it would take 
three and a half years after this rule is final for alternatives to be 
available for this end-use. Therefore, we are establishing a change of 
status date of January 1, 2019, for rigid PU slabstock.
    For rigid PU appliance foam, one systems house, BASF, commented 
that it took five years for them to assist the appliance manufacturer 
Whirlpool in its conversion from an HFC-blown foam to an HFO-blown 
foam, excluding flammability certification testing. While the Agency 
recognizes that as industry builds experience with new blowing agents, 
future transitions may be quicker because of the knowledge gained from 
earlier transitions, the Agency also understands that it may not be 
possible by 2017 to complete a full transition to alternative blowing 
agents for all appliance manufacturers, particularly if appliance 
manufacturers are maintaining or improving the thermal insulating value 
of the foam to meet DOE energy conservation standards. Appliance 
manufacturers and BASF have described the difficulty and time needed to 
overcome technical difficulties when using alternative blowing agents, 
particularly olefins such as trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene 
or HFOs, that result in cracking, thinning of the foam, and irreparable 
field failures of the equipment. Appliance manufacturers and systems 
house Huntsman also mentioned the need for energy efficiency testing 
and third-party certification of equipment and claimed that would 
require at least one and a half to two years after the system house's 
development of foam formulations. However, the time required for 
ensuring adequate performance and third-party testing warrants a date 
as late as January 1, 2020. In addition to technical constraints, we 
also considered that there is unlikely to be a sufficient supply of 
alternatives before January 1, 2017, for appliance foam; the supply is 
likely to increase once a commercial plant for HFO-1336mzz(Z) opens 
(currently scheduled to open in 2017). We considered the supply 
constraints mentioned by both systems houses and chemical producers 
(until 2017), technical constraints with alternative foam blowing 
agents that could result in failed appliances with insufficient 
research (requiring one to two years), and the need for third-party 
certification of each model (requiring one and a half to two years), 
and we agree that it is reasonable to expect it would take until 2020 
for alternatives to be available for this end-use. We are establishing 
a change of status date of January 1, 2020, for appliance foam which 
allows sufficient time to work out these technical issues and to ensure 
a sufficient supply of various alternatives.
    For rigid PU commercial refrigeration and sandwich panels, 
equipment manufacturers and systems houses such as Huntsman, Dow and 
BASF mentioned similar issues to those raised for appliance foam. 
Huntsman mentioned technical challenges in developing new formulations 
for PU insulation foam, such as testing the compatibility and stability 
of the blowing agents with the polyol blends (i.e., other components 
needed in the foam formulation) and difficulties with stability of the 
catalysts when used with HFO blowing agents. They also stated that 
extended testing of more than six months was required to test strength, 
thermal insulation capability and dimensional stability of the foam, 
including aging testing. Huntsman also mentioned the need for testing 
fire properties of foams with different foam blowing agents and 
optimization of the blends. Huntsman stated that these steps required 
one to one and a half years initial development by the systems house in 
a process involving iterative testing. Huntsman specifically mentioned 
steps such as developing new foam formulations (one to one and a half 
years), trials at the customers' plants (half to one year), third-party 
certification by UL, Intertek or Factory Mutual (one to one and a half 
years), and implementation of engineering changes at the customers' 
facilities (half to one year). We also considered that based on the 
information and comments we have received, there is unlikely to be a 
sufficient supply of alternatives for this end-use before January 1, 
2017, as discussed above for appliance foam. The Laboratory Products 
Association, whose members manufacture very low temperature freezers 
such as those used in the pharmaceutical industry, mentioned that some 
laboratory products using alternative foam blowing agents are medical 
devices listed by FDA, which would require re-approval after changing 
the blowing agent. Representatives of this application suggested 
coordinating with timelines of EU regulations (2022), without 
describing specifically why more time might be required for very low 
temperature freezers than for foam blowing agents in other commercial 
refrigeration equipment which also require third-party review. It is 
reasonable to expect that the timeframe required for commercial 
refrigeration foam and sandwich panels is comparable to that for 
appliance foam, requiring until 2017 for sufficient supply, and then 
another three years for development and testing of formulations and 
third-party testing of the resulting equipment or panels. We are 
establishing a status change date of January 1, 2020, for commercial 
refrigeration and sandwich panel foams, based on the time needed to 
resolve technical issues and on supply of alternative foam blowing 
agents.
    For PU marine flotation foam, we received a comment from BASF 
indicating that systems houses will require at least a year for 
technical development, a year for certification testing to U.S. Coast 
Guard standards, a year for testing of the stability of the foam 
product, as well as one to two years for customer approval, given the 
large number of customers for this type of foam. BASF expected issues 
similar to those for appliance foam, such as dimensional stability and 
cracking, because injecting flotation foam is a similar process and 
uses similar polymers in the foam formulation. BASF asked that EPA 
clarify whether marine flotation foam fits under spray foam and whether 
this application is ``exempted'' or instead must transition to 
alternatives. EPA consulted with the U.S. Coast Guard regarding their 
certification process and the necessary time for manufacturers to test 
and certify that they meet the requirements at 33 CFR part 183 (Boats 
and Associated Equipment), Subparts F (Flotation Requirements for 
Inboard Boats, Inboard/Outdrive Boats, and Airboats), G (Flotation 
Requirements for Outboard Boats Rated for Engines of More than 2 
Horsepower), and H (Flotation Requirements for Outboard Boats Rated for 
Engines of 2 Horsepower or Less), which require all manufacturers of 
monohull recreational boats less than twenty feet in length

[[Page 42927]]

(except sailboats, canoes, kayaks, inflatable boats, submersibles, 
surface effect vessels, amphibious vessels, and race boats) to provide 
sufficient flotation foam within the boat to ensure that the boat will 
not sink if the boat swamps or capsizes. This requirement allows the 
occupants to hold onto the boat until they can be rescued. We also met 
with representatives from the marine industry and heard directly from 
them about the necessary steps for transition. After considering the 
various steps needed to complete the transition, we conclude that the 
need for the systems houses to perfect formulations that perform 
similar or better than what is being used today will take additional 
time beyond what the Agency considered. In particular, in order to 
research and test foam formulations sufficiently to avoid issues with 
dimensional stability and field failures, and to ensure safety of the 
flotation foam and boats built with it, we expect it would take at 
least another two and a half to three years beyond the proposed date of 
January 1, 2017. Thus, we are establishing January 1, 2020 as the 
change of status date for marine flotation foam. We do not believe 
there is sufficient information at this time to support a change of 
status date later than January 1, 2020. However, given the concern for 
safety associated with marine floatation foam, we will monitor the 
situation carefully and consult with the U.S. Coast Guard. Given that 
under 33 CFR 183 manufacturers are required to certify to the U.S. 
Coast Guard that their boats have sufficient flotation to meet the 
regulations, EPA recognizes that the U.S. Coast Guard may be able to 
provide information concerning certification with the alternatives. As 
January 2020 approaches, we will continue to consult with the U.S. 
Coast Guard and consider whether it is appropriate to adjust the change 
in status date or to otherwise modify the SNAP listing to address any 
uses for which there may be technical challenges beyond January 1, 
2020. We are listing this use separately from spray foam due to 
differences in the manner in which the foam is dispensed which make 
this use more similar to appliance foam and commercial refrigeration 
foam than spray foam. Our understanding is that flotation foam is 
typically injected rather than sprayed.
    For polyolefin, there are niche applications and specialized plants 
that may have particular difficulty in transitioning away from HFC-134a 
because of the time required to build a pilot plant to work with 
products using a new gaseous blowing agent and to retrofit current 
facilities to work with an alternative blowing agent. One manufacturer, 
Pregis, stated that they must upgrade facilities if they are to safely 
adopt flammable blowing agents when they have been using a nonflammable 
agent in the past. EPA recognizes that such changes to a facility may 
take several years. Considering the heightened challenges with these 
specialized facilities, we are establishing a change of status date of 
January 1, 2020, for polyolefin.
    For XPS, manufacturers of XPS raised concerns about the energy 
efficiency of the foam using alternative agents, the extensive testing 
required, third-party certification, and the lack of alternatives and 
recommended that the status of HFC-134a change on January 1, 2021. 
Owens Corning mentioned specific steps such as laboratory studies to 
develop or test an alternative blowing agent, pilot tests, conversion 
of pilot testing to line production, quality assurance and quality 
control testing of the final product, and product certification. Dow 
and Owens Corning estimated it would take at least six years to convert 
multiple lines and multiple facilities from HFC-134a to an alternative. 
Owens Corning and Dow also cited an EPA memorandum supporting a 
transition away from HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as foam blowing agents, 
which found that four years was necessary. Owens Corning raised 
concerns about the viability of CO2 based on its impact on 
energy efficiency; the safety of hydrocarbons because of their 
flammability and the need to consider impacts of additional flame 
retardants on the foam; and the commercial availability of HFO-
1234ze(E) and its technical viability. Dow stated that of the 
acceptable alternatives that EPA mentioned in the NPRM, only HFO-
1234ze(E) has sufficiently low thermal conductivity and low 
permeability to meet industry standards (e.g., ASTM C 578). We agree 
that additional time is required to test and improve the quality of XPS 
manufactured using alternative foam blowing agents to ensure that it 
meets or improves upon thermal insulation requirements and passes 
third-party certification testing; it is reasonable to expect that at 
least five years is likely to be required for all steps to transition 
away from HFC-134a, given the status of current efforts to adopt lower-
GWP alternatives for XPS. Members of the Extruded Polystyrene 
Association (XPSA) have stated that with XPS, it is not always possible 
to increase the thickness of the foam to maintain thermal insulation 
requirements, because other construction materials (e.g., boards) may 
limit the thickness of boardstock foam. Thus, if alternative foam 
blowing agents did not produce foam meeting thermal insulation 
requirements, the transition in this end-use might not reduce climate 
effects as intended. Given the technical constraints, the need for 
third-party certification testing, and building code requirements for 
energy efficiency that may limit the available blowing agents, we are 
establishing a change of status date of January 1, 2021, for XPS. EPA 
notes that there is now a plant producing HFO-1234ze(E) in commercial 
quantities (Honeywell, 2015) and thus we do not believe that supply 
will limit the availability of alternatives.
(c) Military and Space- and Aeronautics-Related Applications
    We proposed to create a narrowed use limit exception to the 
unacceptable listing for military and space, and aeronautics uses that 
would allow continued use of HFC and HFC blend foam blowing agents 
through December 31, 2021. These blowing agents were proposed to be 
unacceptable for military or space- and aeronautics-related 
applications as of January 1, 2022. For the reasons discussed in the 
proposed rule, we are finalizing these provisions as proposed.
    EPA received comments from DoD and NASA supporting EPA's proposed 
narrowed use limit, and suggesting that this additional time is needed 
to identify, test and qualify substitutes for certain specialty 
applications. Boeing commented that the DoD and NASA need adequate time 
to develop, test and qualify an acceptable substitute for HFC-245fa, 
which is used in many foams they rely on for density foam insulation 
for a number of space and defense applications (e.g., rockets). Boeing 
did not identify any specific technical challenges but raised a general 
concern that, based on its experience with developing substitutes for 
foam blowing agents and the normal course of time to develop and 
qualify a substitute, it will take until 2027 to fully test and qualify 
a substitute. We do not believe there is sufficient information at this 
time to support a change of status date later than January 1, 2022; 
however, as January 2022 approaches, we can consider whether it is 
appropriate to adjust the change in status date or to otherwise modify 
the SNAP listing to address any uses for which there may be technical 
challenges beyond January 1, 2022.
    Users that wish to use one of the substitutes listed as acceptable, 
subject

[[Page 42928]]

to narrowed use limits, in a military or space- and aeronautics-related 
application must make a reasonable effort to ascertain whether other 
substitutes or alternatives are technically feasible and, if not, to 
document such results. See 40 CFR 82.180(b)(3). Users are not required 
to report the results of their investigations to EPA, but must retain 
the documentation in their files for the purpose of demonstrating 
compliance.
    Documentation should include descriptions of:
     Process or product in which the substitute is needed;
     Substitutes examined and rejected;
     Reason for rejection of other alternatives, e.g., 
performance, technical or safety standards; and/or
     Anticipated date other substitutes will be available and 
projected time for switching.
(d) How will the requirements apply to exports and imports?
    Since regulations establishing the SNAP program were promulgated in 
1994, we have interpreted the unacceptability determinations in this 
sector to apply to blowing foam with the foam blowing agent and not to 
products made with foam (e.g., 65 FR 42653, 42656; July 11, 2000). That 
is, an unacceptable foam blowing agent may not be used in, imported 
into, or exported from the United States. However, products made 
overseas with unacceptable foam blowing agents may be imported. For 
example, commercial refrigerators containing appliance foam blown with 
an unacceptable blowing agent may be imported into the United States, 
though appliances manufactured in the United States may not be 
manufactured with foam blown by that same agent.
    In the proposal, EPA took comment on a different interpretation of 
our regulations under which the unacceptability determination would 
apply to imported products containing closed cell foam that contain any 
of the blowing agents listed as unacceptable, as well as applying to 
the blowing agent itself. Public commenters stated that this was a 
significant departure from the Agency's previous interpretation and 
suggested that EPA needed to explain the basis for such a change. In 
addition, some commenters pointed out that the proposal only allowed 60 
days before this change in interpretation would apply to HCFC-141b, 
which they viewed as insufficient time to adjust. EPA is not finalizing 
this change in its interpretation in this action; however, we plan to 
continue assessing the merits of this change and may provide further 
explanation and opportunity for comment in a subsequent rulemaking.
3. How is EPA responding to comments concerning foam blowing end-uses?
(a) Timeline
    Comment: EPA received comments from more than 500 commenters 
concerning the proposal of January 1, 2017, as the status change date 
for the foam blowing agents addressed in the proposed rule. EIA and 
Honeywell suggested an earlier date of January 1, 2016, for all or most 
foam end-uses. Most other commenters suggested later dates, varying 
from July 1, 2017, to January 1, 2025. Some commenters indicated that 
they are small companies and they believe additional time is needed 
beyond that in the NPRM to reduce cost pressures. Some commenters 
suggested different dates for specific uses and gave a number of 
reasons for which dates would be appropriate for those uses. General 
reasons given for the need for additional time include: Time needed for 
capital investments, for employee training, for re-formulating systems; 
for designing, purchasing, awaiting receipt of and converting 
equipment; for obtaining local permits for VOC emissions; for meeting 
company and external testing requirements (e.g., UL/Factory Mutual (FM) 
fire safety requirements, DOE energy conservation standards, building 
codes, R-value testing for aged foam), and if switching to a flammable 
foam blowing agent, facility engineering design and refurbishment. 
Several commenters stated that there are no ``drop in'' replacements, 
and that product research and development is an iterative process. 
Owens Corning cited EPA's previous recognition of time limitations in 
the conversion away from HCFC-142b to HFC-134a, including an EPA staff 
memorandum that estimated a four-year transition time period in the 
foam sector. Some commenters also suggested that EPA adopt the same 
dates for transition for foams as in the European Union's ``F-gas'' 
rule: 2020 for XPS and 2023 for other foam types. In addition, some 
commenters suggested that there is an insufficient supply of low-GWP 
foam blowing agents that will maintain energy efficiency and insulation 
value of foam. Huntsman stated that there will not be enough capacity 
and competition in the HFO foam blowing market by January 1, 2017, to 
meet the needs of the PU foam industry. DuPont commented that while 
multiple low GWP alternatives will be available for foam, they will not 
be broadly available in the proposed timeframe.
    Response: EPA notes that in a number of foam blowing end-uses, the 
industry has already effectively transitioned away from HFCs and any 
additional transitions for these end-uses can be made by January 1, 
2017. Further, we received no comments suggesting a later transition 
date is necessary specifically for these end-uses. We received comments 
suggesting that this change of status could be made by January 1, 2016, 
but in the unlikely event that there are any end users that have not 
already transitioned, we are concerned that this date may be too soon 
to finish adopting an alternative. Therefore, the final rule retains 
the proposed change of status date of January 1, 2017, for those uses 
(polystyrene extruded sheet, flexible polyurethane, and phenolic 
insulation board and bunstock). In addition, we received no comments 
specific to rigid PU and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock that 
indicated there were challenges for this end-use that would prevent a 
transition to alternatives that pose lower overall risk to human health 
and the environment by January 1, 2017. EIA suggested that we set a 
status change date of January 1, 2016, for this end-use, but did not 
provide information supporting an earlier transition for this end-use. 
Therefore, we are retaining this date in the final rule for rigid PU 
and polyisocyanurate laminated boardstock.
    EPA agrees that additional time is needed for other specific foam 
types and addresses the basis for establishing later change of status 
dates in the discussion of each end-use above. We appreciate and agree 
with commenters that note the importance of maintaining energy 
efficiency for appliances and buildings by ensuring there is adequate 
time to develop and deploy new formulations that meet or exceed 
existing thermal insulating values. Further, we recognize that third-
party testing or witness testing will require additional time that may 
be outside the control of the companies manufacturing the foam. Some of 
this testing, such as fire safety testing for construction foams, could 
help reduce any potential flammability risks associated with the use of 
flammable foam blowing agents. Businesses of all sizes will be able to 
benefit from the later change of status dates in this final rule. We 
discuss comments specific to each end-use below in this section.
    Comment: Huntsman, a systems house, commented they need additional 
time for testing alternatives in the PU slabstock end-use and suggested 
a change of status date of January 1, 2019. Huntsman mentioned specific 
technical challenges with reformulating these

[[Page 42929]]

foam products, such as testing the compatibility and stability of the 
blowing agents with the polyol blends (i.e., other components needed in 
the foam formulation). They also stated that extended testing of more 
than six months was required to test strength, thermal insulation 
capability and dimensional stability of the foam, including aging 
testing. Huntsman also mentioned testing the fire properties of the 
foams with different foam blowing agents as well as optimization of the 
blends. Huntsman stated that these steps required one to one and a half 
years initial development by the systems house, to be followed by 
trials and custom modification at their customers' facilities using 
their specific equipment that would require another one to two years. 
The commenter also raised concerns about whether sufficient supply of 
alternative foam blowing agents would be available by January 1, 2017, 
and mentioned that there is currently a single supplier of a key low 
GWP foam blowing agent, trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene.
    Response: Considering the technical constraints raised by the 
systems house, such as the need to research different catalysts and 
fire retardants and the lower stability of some alternative foam 
blowing agents, we agree that safer alternatives will not be available 
for this end-use for three to three and a half years. Therefore, we are 
establishing a change of status date of January 1, 2019 for PU 
slabstock foams.
    Comment: Commenters suggested change of status dates for rigid PU 
appliance foam, ranging from July 1, 2017 to January 1, 2020. BASF 
suggested a transition date of July 1, 2017 for foam used in domestic 
refrigerators. In support of a July 1, 2017, change of status date, 
BASF indicated that HFO-containing foams are incompatible with common 
polymers used in household refrigerators and that it will take a 
minimum of six months to perform durability and field testing and 
possibly to change construction materials to resolve this known 
problem, as well as at least six months for testing for compliance with 
federal energy conservation standards and 12 more months for conversion 
at each customer's facility. BASF also stated that they had already 
developed commercially available systems using cyclopentane and HFOs, 
so they expected this transition to take less time than the five years 
that it took to assist the appliance manufacturer Whirlpool in its 
conversion from an HFC-blown foam to an HFO-blown foam, excluding 
flammability certification testing. Solvay commented that technical 
questions about alternatives still remain, such as whether substitutes 
other than HFCs attack panel walls or appliance walls, which could 
compromise product integrity and safety, and whether other alternatives 
adhere properly to appliance and panel walls, or to walls and roofs, 
which is necessary to satisfy energy efficiency mandates. Huntsman 
mentioned the need for energy efficiency testing and third-party 
certification of equipment that would require at least one and a half 
to two years after the system house's development of foam formulations, 
which it estimated to take one to one and a half years. Huntsman 
suggested a change of status date of 2019 for PU appliance foam. The 
Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) raised concerns 
about the potential adverse impacts on appliance quality, performance, 
and longevity, as well as costs, of a transition by January 1, 2017, 
and stated that the easiest and cheapest transitions have been done, 
and will be done, first. AHAM suggested a change of status date of 2020 
for appliance foam to allow for coordination with DOE energy 
conservation standards that could take effect in 2020 for household 
refrigerators and freezers. In addition, AHAM claimed a 2020 change of 
status date was necessary because of the extensive time required for 
testing and third-party certification of multiple models, and 
additional time needed to ensure proper development of new alternatives 
to avoid field failures of the equipment.
    Response: We agree that it is important that appliance 
manufacturers are able to ensure the quality, performance, and useful 
lifetime of their equipment. Multiple commenters provided information 
and photographs demonstrating that improperly implemented alternative 
foam blowing agents can create defects in the appliances, such as 
cracking or improper adhesion to the appliance cabinet. BASF suggested 
that it would take closer to two and a half to three years to work out 
the technical issues since they have already developed commercially 
available systems using HFOs and hydrocarbons for other appliance 
manufacturers. Because of the time required for ensuring adequate 
performance and third-party testing, we believe that other alternatives 
will not be available for an industry-wide transition until January 1, 
2020. In addition to technical constraints, we also considered that 
there is unlikely to be a sufficient supply of alternatives before the 
change of status date we proposed--January 1, 2017 for appliance foam. 
The supply is likely to increase once a commercial plant for HFO-
1336mzz(Z) opens (currently scheduled to open in 2017) and thus supply 
would not be a concern for a change of status date of January 1, 2020.
    Comment: For rigid PU commercial refrigeration foams and sandwich 
panels, commenters suggested change of status dates ranging from July 
1, 2018, to ten years after the rule is final. The majority of 
commenters suggested status change dates ranging from July 2018 to 
January 1, 2020. NAFEM and manufacturers of commercial refrigeration 
equipment such as Traulsen suggested a much later date of 2025 for all 
modifications required for commercial refrigeration equipment, 
including both foam blowing agents and refrigerant.
    As an initial matter, Huntsman and DuPont mentioned the lack of 
sufficient supply of alternatives to allow all foam users to convert in 
2017. In support of a later change of status date, equipment 
manufacturers and systems houses such as Huntsman, Dow and BASF 
mentioned similar technical issues to those for appliance foam, such as 
the compatibility and stability of the blowing agents with the polyol 
blends and dimensional stability of the blown foam. BASF specifically 
mentioned reactions between the new blowing agents and the catalysts in 
the foam that could cause the finished foam to shrink, as well as the 
need to develop a new set of flame retardants. Commenters also stated 
that extended testing of more than six months was required to test 
strength, thermal insulation capability and dimensional stability of 
the foam, including aging testing. Huntsman specifically mentioned 
steps such as developing new foam formulations (one to one and a half 
years), trials at the customers' plants (half to one year), third-party 
certification by UL, Intertek or Factory Mutual (one to one and a half 
years), and implantation of engineering changes at the customers' 
facilities (half to one year), with iterative testing often required. 
Unified Brands and NAFEM suggested that there are limitations to using 
methyl formate in commercial refrigeration foam that would not allow a 
transition by January 1, 2017, stating: ``Methyl Formate is also 
environmentally friendly, but has had significant shrinkage issues once 
units have been placed in the field. This agent requires very specific 
foaming processes to be developed to ensure proper stability of the 
foam over time.''
    Response: We agree that there are a number of technical challenges 
that will

[[Page 42930]]

require approximately four to five years for the industry as a whole to 
transition to alternatives, including stability of new formulations and 
difficulty with using existing catalysts with alternative foam blowing 
agents. We agree that there is unlikely to be a sufficient supply of 
alternatives for this end-use before the proposed change in status date 
January 1, 2017. However as discussed above for appliance foam, 
additional supply should be available in 2017 when a new manufacturing 
plant is scheduled to open and there should be a more than sufficient 
supply to meet a status change date of January 1, 2020.
    The later dates of ten years after finalization of the rule or 2025 
suggested by NAFEM and other OEMs, appear to be based on the assumption 
that stand-alone retail food refrigeration equipment would need to use 
propane or other flammable refrigerants and that changes would need to 
be made to building codes to support the adoption of these flammable 
refrigerants. However, as discussed above in section V.C on commercial 
refrigeration, there are other available refrigerants that are 
nonflammable. Moreover, the commenters did not make clear why, even 
assuming that alternative refrigerants would not be available until 
2025, the insulation foam for such equipment cannot be made using safer 
alternatives well before 2025. Thus we do not believe that safe 
alternative foam blowing agents will not be available before 2025.
    Comment: Honeywell stated that ``the technical requirements [for 
flotation foam in boats] may be much simpler than other industries in 
which customers are already transitioning'' and suggested that a 
transition date of January 1, 2016 might be achievable for this 
application. BASF commented that systems houses will require at least a 
year for technical development, a year for certification testing to 
U.S. Coast Guard standards, a year for testing of the stability of the 
foam product, as well as one to two years for customer approval, given 
the large number of customers for this type of foam. This commenter 
recommended that EPA set a change of status date no earlier than July 
1, 2019. BASF expected issues seen with appliance foam also to exist 
with marine flotation foam, such as dimensional stability and cracking, 
because injecting flotation foam is a similar process and uses similar 
polymers in the foam formulation. Ninety-four letters from the marine 
industry comment that, according to their suppliers in the boating 
industry, a drop-in replacement for HFC-134a currently does not exist, 
and will not be readily available by 2017. EPA received comments from 
436 boat manufacturers to the effect that the continued introduction of 
regulations on the boating industry disproportionately affects their 
small businesses because the cost of compliance with these standards is 
relatively equal across production scales. According to these comments, 
EPA's proposed timeline for ``phasing out'' HFC-134a will have highly 
negative consequences for all facets of the marine industry, but it 
will have the greatest impact on their small boats, small businesses, 
and middle class customers. EPA received 93 letters from the marine 
industry stating that the boating industry consists primarily of small 
businesses that would face severe impacts as a result of their limited 
financial resources and limited influence on markets and supply chains. 
The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) also commented 
that the NPRM date would present a financial and logistical hardship 
for many small boat builders. NMMA urged the EPA to provide an 
extension of the proposed timeline. Commenters from the marine industry 
suggested 2022 as a transition date and mentioned the lack of 
availability of feasible options and marine application's dependency 
upon chemical availability from the larger industry (e.g., HFC-134a for 
use in MVAC). These commenters also mentioned the need for testing to 
meet Coast Guard requirements at 33 CFR part 183.
    Response: Regarding the supply of alternatives, we recognize that a 
plant that would produce HFO-1234ze(E) in commercial quantities has 
recently been built (Honeywell, 2015). Additionally, supply of HFC-134a 
should not be an issue as many other uses of that substitute will be 
ending in the next several years. We do not agree that the 
certification processes will require additional time beyond EPA's 
understanding at the time of the proposal. It is our understanding that 
HFOs can be used in this type of foam. However, as with appliance 
foams, we agree that systems houses will need time to perfect 
formulations that perform similar or better than what is being used 
today. In particular, issues with stability of the blown foam likely 
will require several years to work out, as discussed above for 
appliance foam. Considering this information, we are establishing 
January 1, 2020, as the change of status date for marine flotation 
foam.
    Comment: DuPont stated that polyolefin plants typically are 
specialized plants for niche applications and that this end-use may 
have particular difficulty in transitioning away from HFC-134a; DuPont 
suggested that EPA consult with manufacturers in this end-use on 
appropriate transition timing. One manufacturer, Pregis, stated that 
they must upgrade facilities if they are to safely adopt flammable 
blowing agents when they have been using a nonflammable agent in the 
past. They also suggested that EPA consider a change of status date of 
2022 because of the time required to build a pilot plant to work with 
products using a new gaseous blowing agent (two years)--which has yet 
to begin--and the time to retrofit current facilities to work with an 
alternative blowing agent (another two years).
    Response: EPA recognizes that construction of a pilot plant and 
making the necessary changes to an existing facility could take 
approximately four years after this rule is final; however, it is not 
clear from Pregis's description that they will require six years or 
more. Considering the heightened challenges with these specialized 
facilities, we are establishing a change of status date of January 1, 
2020, for polyolefin.
    Comment: Manufacturers of XPS raised the energy efficiency of the 
foam using alternative agents as an issue, the extensive testing 
required, third-party certification, and the lack of alternatives as 
reasons for allowing until January 1, 2021 for a change of status. 
Owens Corning mentioned specific steps such as laboratory studies to 
develop or test an alternative blowing agent, pilot tests, conversion 
of pilot testing to line production, quality assurance and quality 
control testing of the final product, and product certification. Dow 
and Owens Corning estimated it would take at least six years to convert 
multiple lines and multiple facilities from HFC-134a to an alternative. 
Owens Corning and Dow also cited an EPA memorandum supporting a 
transition away from HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as foam blowing agents, 
which found that four years was necessary. Owens Corning and XPSA 
commented that a more realistic status change date of 2021 would also 
be consistent with the proposed status change date for MVAC.
    IP Moulding commented that it had tried to use CO2 and 
water in its extruded polystyrene molding process in the past and found 
it did not create sufficient internal pressure for their product; they 
are further investigating this option with their polystyrene supplier. 
Mexichem commented that carbon dioxide may not be suitable for the XPS 
industry because of its high thermal conductivity (low insulation 
value) and processing difficulties. Owens Corning raised concerns about

[[Page 42931]]

the viability of CO2 based on its impact on energy 
efficiency; the safety of hydrocarbons because of their flammability 
and the need also to consider impacts of additional flame retardants on 
the foam; and the commercial availability of HFO-1234ze(E) and its 
technical viability. Honeywell commented that CO2 is an 
option for XPS, and that Dow has commercialized other solutions to 
improve energy efficiency with CO2 such as Dow's XENERGY 
technology, which, according to Dow's Web site, has up to 20% higher 
insulating properties than its STYROFOAMTM polystyrene 
product that uses HFC-134a. XPSA commented that one of the alternatives 
in the proposed regulations (HFO-1234ze(E)) is commercially sub-
optimized, and thus, XPSA's members have not conducted testing to 
confirm that they can be used to produce products that provide 
comparable thermal efficiency or if there are any other issues that 
would make them an unacceptable alternative to HFC-134a. Dow stated 
that of the acceptable alternatives that EPA mentioned in the NPRM, 
only HFO-1234ze(E) has sufficiently low thermal conductivity and low 
permeability to meet industry standards (e.g., ASTM C 578).
    Response: Regarding concerns about the supply of HFO-1234ze(E), EPA 
notes that since the third quarter of 2014, there has been a plant 
producing HFO-1234ze(E) in commercial quantities (Honeywell, 2015), and 
a smaller plant was providing lots upon request before this. Based on 
the information we received, we agree that additional time is required 
to test and improve the quality of XPS produced using alternative foam 
blowing agents and for third-party certification testing. Thus, it is 
reasonable to expect up to three years to complete formulation 
development and to conduct pilot testing, an additional two years to 
convert the existing plant and test the quality of the final product 
(with some overlap with the pilot testing period), and a year for 
certification testing. The total time needed is five and a half to six 
years. Therefore, we are establishing a change of status date of 
January 1, 2021, for the XPS end-use.
    EPA agrees that additional work with CO2 as the blowing 
agent for XPS may be required to provide a better performing foam. 
Available information indicates CO2 has a higher thermal 
conductivity than HFC-134a or HFO-1234ze(E), and thus, would be 
expected to provide lower insulation value in the absence of major 
changes to the foam formulation. The information on Dow's Web site that 
Honeywell references, although encouraging, is not sufficient to 
determine if CO2 is the sole blowing agent and if the 
XENERGY technology that Honeywell mentions may be used in all the 
applications where XPS blown with HFC-134a is currently used. The 
information provided by Honeywell implies that with additional work, 
XPS blown with CO2 could be more broadly available and could 
result in XPS with better foam insulation properties than current XPS 
foam using HFC-134a. Regarding comments suggesting that a status change 
date of January 2021 is appropriate because it would be consistent with 
the status change date of MY 2021 for MVAC, we first note that the 
transition for MVAC is required as of MY 2021, which will be completed 
in calendar year 2020. More importantly, the change of status date for 
each end-use is based on an evaluation of when alternatives will be 
available within that specific end-use. The change of status date for 
MVAC is not relevant for purposes of determining when safer 
alternatives will be available for the XPS foam blowing end-use.
(b) Foam Blowing Agents Changing Status and Other Alternatives
    Comment: Some commenters, including commercial refrigeration 
equipment manufacturers and environmental groups, support EPA's 
proposal to find higher GWP HFCs unacceptable in all foam blowing end-
uses. Others, including manufacturers of household appliances and AHAM, 
advised EPA to reconsider the proposal, stating that it unnecessarily 
accelerates the transition away from widely used chemicals that still 
have ``significant beneficial uses'' in the United States (e.g., HFC-
245fa in appliance foam). Solvay stated that the entire foam blowing 
sector should have been excluded from the proposal to change the status 
of certain HFCs.
    Response: We disagree that this action ``unnecessarily 
accelerates'' the transition away from chemicals that have significant 
beneficial use. EPA applied the SNAP criteria when making 
determinations on what to include in the proposed rule. For the reasons 
provided above and in the proposed rule, we have determined in most 
foam blowing end-uses that there are other alternatives that pose less 
risk than those for which we are changing the status.
    Comment: DuPont commented that the category of Rigid Spray 
Polyurethane foam incorporates several product sub-categories, 
including high pressure spray foam and low pressure spray foam, each 
requiring different foam expansion agent characteristics and therefore 
different alternatives and different testing requirements. DuPont and 
the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry recommended that EPA create 
separate SNAP categories for high-pressure spray foam systems, low-
pressure foam systems, and one component spray foam sealants to allow 
appropriate change of status dates for each. DuPont suggested that EPA 
not change the status of HFC-134a in low-pressure two-part spray foam 
and in one-component foam sealants, because these applications require 
a gaseous foam blowing agent, and not a liquid agent such as HFC-245fa 
or HFC-365mfc.
    Response: EPA recognizes that a gaseous foam blowing agent is 
required for these uses, unlike for high-pressure two-part spray foam 
systems, and thus, there is reason to differentiate between low-
pressure two-part spray foam systems, one-component foam sealants, and 
high-pressure two-part spray foam. We intend to conduct a more 
extensive comparative risk analysis of the substitutes available in 
each of these spray foam categories before taking final action. Thus, 
the substitutes currently listed as acceptable for spray foam are not 
affected by this rule but may be the subject of future rulemaking.
    Comment: Unified Brands and NAFEM commented that water-based 
blowing agents are environmentally friendly, but suffer from poorer 
insulation performance and vulnerability towards processing 
temperatures that would consequently require improved control of 
fixture temperatures. Thermo Fisher commented that water-blown foam 
could lead to equipment with reduced energy efficiency and negative 
environmental impact because of its poor insulating properties.
    Response: It is EPA's understanding that water-blown foams offer 
lower energy efficiency than foams blown with a number of other blowing 
agents. This is not a barrier to use for foam applications that do not 
require thermal insulation or for which increased thickness of the foam 
is not an issue. However, thickness of the foam is likely to be an 
issue for foams where the dimensions cannot be increased, such as foams 
used in refrigerated transport or sometimes in construction foams such 
as XPS or PU spray foam.
    Comment: Mexichem commented that using hydrocarbons as a blowing 
agent may result in less thermally efficient XPS (as compared to use of 
HFC-134a). Unified Brands and NAFEM suggested there are complications 
with use of hydrocarbons in commercial refrigeration foam, and that 
``Pentane

[[Page 42932]]

based blowing agents are strong candidates due to their insulation 
performance, but require all foam fixtures and processes to be 
redeveloped'' due to flammability. Dow stated that that HC technology 
is well understood, and it has been broadly deemed inappropriate for 
use as a blowing agent for XPS and SPF building and construction 
products in the United States. Dow also stated that HCs have been 
proactively adopted for use with polyisocyanurate foams, where they may 
be used safely. EIA commented that hydrocarbons have been used as 
blowing agents in Europe since 1992, including in insulation foams.
    Response: It is EPA's understanding that hydrocarbons such as 
pentane and isopentane have better thermal conductivity than 
CO2, but not as good as that of HFCs or HFOs. This is not a 
barrier to use for foam applications that do not require thermal 
insulation or where increased thickness of the foam is acceptable. We 
also recognize that additional safeguards must be taken when using 
hydrocarbon foam blowing agents, such as improving ventilation, 
training staff, and explosion-proofing electrical fixtures. These steps 
can reasonably be taken in a manufacturing facility but are more 
difficult for installation in place, as with PU spray foam.
    Comment: Honeywell commented that in many instances, customers are 
seeing benefits such as better performance, energy efficiency, 
nonflammability, and better product yields (less foam for the same 
performance) when using 1233zd(E) (trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-
1-ene). This commenter claimed that this foam blowing agent has been 
commercial in the United States in spray foam applications for more 
than a year, and in Japan, EU and China for a variety of foam 
applications, including appliance, panel and spray foam. Several users 
of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene mentioned its properties, 
such as improved compressive strength, lower density, better 
dimensional stability, and higher R-value (All-Weather Insulated 
Panels, West Development Group for spray foam, UTMC for commercial 
refrigeration foam in refrigerated transport).
    Response: Available information indicates that trans-1-chloro-
3,3,3-trifluoroprop-1-ene has many performance characteristics, 
including improved insulation value, that should allow its adoption as 
a foam blowing agent in appliance foam, sandwich panels, and some spray 
foam applications.
(c) Environmental and Energy Impacts of Foam Blowing Agents
    Comment: A number of commenters provided comments on the potential 
impact of the proposal on greenhouse gas emissions. AHAM state that 
they believe the proposed rule is unnecessary to protect the 
environment, because the use and potential emissions of high GWP HFC 
blowing agents for household refrigerators sold in the U.S. market are 
far less than what EPA estimated. DuPont comments that given that HFCs 
remain in these closed cell foams and provide valuable insulating 
properties, emissions of HFCs from foam production are roughly one-
third of total HFC use in foams, or about 5% of total HFC emissions on 
a CO2 equivalent basis. Two commenters in the foam blowing 
industry comment that EPA should consider the greenhouse gas emissions 
and energy savings over the lifetime of a product.
    Response: Some commenters have suggested that because current HFC 
blowing agents, including HFC-134a in XPS, result in foams with energy 
efficiency that reduce overall GHG emissions, EPA should not change the 
status of HFC-134a, or at least should consider overall lifecycle 
climate impacts. While we do not consider energy efficiency as part of 
our overall risk analysis, we believe that other alternatives, such as 
olefin foam blowing agents, could improve energy efficiency even more 
than HFC-134a and other high GWP HFC blowing agents. Further, as 
explained below in our discussion of energy efficiency, listing higher 
GWP HFCs unacceptable likely would improve, rather than worsen, overall 
lifecycle GHG emissions. EPA recognizes that additional time is needed 
to ensure that the formulations provide equal or better thermal 
insulating value given the iterative process that can involve chemical 
manufacturers, system houses and end users. The change of status dates 
reflect the need to ensure that these technical challenges can be 
addressed.
    Comment: Imperial Brown comments they cannot know if what is 
developed as an alternative will enable the resulting foam panels to 
meet DOE thickness requirements, because there is not a Class 1 
polyurethane foam system on the market that utilizes a new blowing 
agent. Thermo-Kool comments that new foam formulations are not 
guaranteed to have insulating capabilities comparable to what is 
available today to satisfy DOE requirements. American Panel Corporation 
does not intend to use pentanes in its foam blowing application, 
because the U.S. DOE has established new requirements that do not 
permit pentanes for walk-in panel manufacturers, as they would increase 
the panel thickness size. International Cold Storage, Crown Tonka, and 
ThermalRite Walk-Ins stated that lower R-Values will require additional 
insulation thickness to meet the energy regulation, thereby requiring 
expensive, complex, and costly modifications to new walk-in coolers and 
freezers that may sit side-by-side with identical existing equipment 
that offers the same degree of performance and protection.
    Response: EPA recognizes that different foam blowing agents result 
in different insulation values. We note that some of the acceptable 
alternative foam blowing agents, such as HFO-1234ze(E), trans-1-chloro-
3,3,3,-trifluoroprop-1-ene, and HFO-1336mzz(Z), are expected to provide 
better insulation value than the HFC blowing agents listed as 
unacceptable in this action. EPA is not specifically aware of which, if 
any, of these alternatives has been tested by Factory Mutual (FM) and 
already qualifies as a ``Class 1 polyurethane system.'' Other foam 
blowing agents are expected to have comparable or lower insulation 
value, such as CO2, ecomate and hydrocarbons. Given the 
variety of foam blowing agents available, we expect that foam products 
that need higher energy efficiency will have foam blowing agents 
available that will result in lowering the GHG emissions and energy 
savings over the lifetime of a product.
    Comment: A number of commenters stated that they believed the 
proposed rule will result in increased energy consumption, potentially 
negating the overall net GHG emission reductions. One commenter, AMS, 
believes the effect of the proposed rule on energy consumption is a big 
unknown at this time. Structural Composites and Compsys, Inc., stated 
that the efficiency and reduced manufacturing impact of their PRISMA 
technology offsets the climate impacts from the small amount of HFC-
134a used in their foam. ACMA stated that composite panels made using 
foam blown with HFC-134a for refrigerated transport dramatically reduce 
fuel usage, and therefore, exhaust emissions, because the panels are so 
lightweight. They suggested, therefore, that the environmental benefits 
of a transition away from HFC-134a are outweighed by emissions 
reductions achieved through lighter, HFC-134a blown panels. Honeywell 
provided information on the relative energy efficiency, in terms of 
lambda values, for CO2, HFC-134a and HFO-

[[Page 42933]]

1234ze(E), and stated that HFO-1234ze(E)'s energy efficiency properties 
are comparable and in some instances better than HFC-134a for XPS. 
Mexichem claimed that HFO-1234ze(E) is not nearly as energy efficient 
as HFC-134a and stated that it is not clear that XPS produced with HFO-
1234ze(E) will provide the same thermal efficiency as achieved with 
HFC-134a, because HFO-1234ze(E) is not available for the industry to 
begin product testing. DuPont comments that the emerging low GWP HFO 
foam alternatives can deliver marked energy efficiency improvements 
over current alternatives when they become commercially available.
    Response: EPA notes that some of the acceptable alternative foam 
blowing agents, such as HFO-1234ze(E), trans-1-chloro-3,3,3,-
trifluoroprop-1-ene, and HFO-1336mzz(Z), can provide better insulation 
value than the HFC blowing agents we are listing as unacceptable. 
Contrary to Mexichem's unsupported assertion that HFO-1234ze(E) is not 
nearly as energy efficient as HFC-134a, another commenter provided 
information showing that HFC-134a has a lambda (thermal conductivity) 
value of 29 to 30, while HFO-1234ze(E) has a lambda value of 27 to 30 
that shows better insulation (Honeywell, 2014b). Other foam blowing 
agents have comparable or lower insulation value, such as 
CO2, ecomate and hydrocarbons. Given that there are multiple 
foam blowing agents available that have lower thermal conductivity and 
better insulation value in each of the end-uses where we are changing 
the status of one or more foam-blowing agent, we expect that foam 
products that require higher energy efficiency will be able to use foam 
blowing agents that will result in lowering the GHG emissions and 
energy savings over the lifetime of a product, rather than raising it. 
For example, home appliances that currently use HFC-245fa could use 
trans-1-chloro-3,3,3,-trifluoroprop-1-ene or HFO-1336mzz(Z) and thereby 
ensure they meet DOE energy conservation standards. Similarly, 
information from the supplier of HFO-1234ze(E) indicates that XPS would 
maintain or improve its energy efficiency if HFO-1234ze(E) were used 
instead of HFC-134a as the blowing agent. Manufacturers of alternative 
panels or composite materials have not provided information showing 
that use of an alternative blowing agent would adversely affect the 
weight of foam formulations and thereby reduce fuel efficiency.
(d) Cost Impacts
    Comment: Commenters express concern about the costs of the 
transition required by the proposal, including:
     capital costs;
     research, reformulation, and testing;
     technology and equipment;
     conversion, system re-design, and retrofit;
     certification;
     costs for the recreational boating industry;
     increasing cost of HFC-134a;
     increases in costs to consumers;
     market competitiveness impacts;
     reduction in new product development;
     retesting required due to lack of coordination with timing 
of requirements for DOE energy conservation standards;
     economic impacts on branding;
     cost savings; and
     other general economic concerns.
    Some commenters, such as Mexichem, Solvay, and AHAM, suggested that 
it was not necessary to change the status of HFC-134a and other HFC 
foam blowing agents or to require industry to incur the costs that 
these changes require. Other commenters, such as NMMA, NAFEM, XPSA, and 
their members, requested additional time for the change of status of 
HFC-134a and other HFC foam blowing agents in order to allow them to 
spread costs out over time and thus make costs of the transition more 
manageable. Imperial Brown suggested a later status change date to 
allow foam manufacturers to create sufficient supply, thereby 
alleviating a potential cost premium associated with scarcity of newer 
alternatives.
    Response: EPA recognizes that transitioning to new foam blowing 
agents is likely to require capital costs and investments in research, 
updated equipment, and related financial impacts. However, as explained 
in more detail in another response to comment, under the SNAP criteria 
for review in 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7), the only cost information that EPA 
considers as part of its SNAP review is the cost of the substitute 
under review (and not the cost of transition when a substitute is found 
unacceptable).
    Although cost is not a consideration in our decision to change the 
status of certain substitutes, we note that based on technical 
concerns, the final rule establishes a later change of status date in a 
number of end-uses, which will allow manufacturers to spread costs over 
time. Regarding whether there will be a sufficient supply of 
alternatives, we considered this issue in establishing the change of 
status dates and believe that there will be more than adequate supplies 
of alternatives. This will also contribute to lower costs. We have 
addressed elsewhere why it is necessary to change the status of 
substitutes for the various end-uses based on whether alternatives that 
pose lower risk are available. Where we concluded that safer 
alternatives were available, we determined it was necessary to change 
the status. Thus, we disagree with the commenters who suggest that it 
is not necessary to change the status of various HFC foam blowing 
agents.

VI. What is EPA finalizing for the HCFCs addressed in this rule?

A. What did EPA propose for HCFCs and what is being finalized in this 
rule?

    In the August 6, 2014 NPRM, EPA proposed to change the listings 
from acceptable to unacceptable for three HCFCs: HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, 
and HCFC-22 (79 FR 46155). As discussed in the proposed rule, EPA 
proposed to modify the listings for these three HCFCs and blends 
containing these HCFCs to align the SNAP listings with other parts of 
the stratospheric protection program, specifically section 605 and its 
implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 82 subpart A and section 610 
and its implementing regulations at 40 CFR part 82 subpart C. HCFCs are 
subject to the use restrictions in CAA section 605(a) and these 
specific HCFCs have been restricted under EPA's implementing 
regulations at 40 CFR part 82 subpart A since January 1, 2010. 
Additionally, the nonessential products ban under CAA section 610 
restricts sale and distribution of certain products containing or 
manufactured with these three HCFCs. We believe it is important that 
the SNAP listings not indicate that these HCFCs may be used when 
another program under title VI of the CAA would prevent such use. Thus, 
we are aligning the requirements. The HCFCs addressed in this rule were 
previously listed as acceptable or acceptable subject to use conditions 
in the aerosols, foam blowing, fire suppression and explosion 
protection, sterilants, and adhesives, coatings and inks sectors. For 
more information, please refer to the relevant section of the proposed 
rule as noted above. The change of status determinations for the HCFCs 
addressed in this rule are summarized in the following table:

[[Page 42934]]



  Table 9--Change of Status Decisions for HCFCs Addressed in This Rule
------------------------------------------------------------------------
      Sector and end-use              Substitutes           Decision
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Aerosols--Propellants.........  HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b.  Unacceptable
                                                         effective [DATE
                                                         60 DAYS AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF
                                                         FINAL RULE]
Aerosols--Solvents............  HCFC-141b and blends    Unacceptable
                                 thereof.                effective [DATE
                                                         60 DAYS AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF
                                                         FINAL RULE]
Foams--All end-uses...........  HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b,   Unacceptable
                                 HCFC-22, and blends     effective [DATE
                                 thereof                 60 DAYS AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF
                                                         FINAL RULE]
Fire suppression--Total         HCFC-22...............  Unacceptable
 flooding.                                               effective [DATE
                                                         60 DAYS AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF
                                                         FINAL RULE]
Sterilants....................  Blends containing HCFC- Unacceptable
                                 22.                     effective [DATE
                                                         60 DAYS AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF
                                                         FINAL RULE]
Adhesives, coatings, and inks-- HCFC-141b and blends    Unacceptable
 All end-uses.                   thereof.                effective [DATE
                                                         60 DAYS AFTER
                                                         PUBLICATION OF
                                                         FINAL RULE]
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Consistent with the proposal, in today's final rule, EPA is 
modifying the listings for HCFC-141b, HCFC-142b, and HCFC-22, as well 
as blends that contain these substances, from acceptable to 
unacceptable \90\ in non-refrigerant sectors--specifically, aerosols, 
foam blowing agents, fire suppressants, cleaning solvents, sterilants, 
and adhesives, coatings and inks.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \90\ These three HCFCs have previously been listed as 
unacceptable in several, but not all, SNAP sectors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As provided in the proposal, EPA is not addressing HCFC use for 
refrigeration and air conditioning in this rulemaking because CAA 
section 605(a) and our implementing regulations allow for continuing 
use of HCFCs to service equipment. Recognizing that other HCFCs became 
subject to the use and interstate commerce prohibitions in 40 CFR 
82.15(g) after issuance of the proposed rule, and that limited 
exemptions are available in section 82.15(g) for certain of those 
HCFCs, EPA is not modifying the SNAP listings for HCFCs other than 
HCFC-141b, -142b, and -22 and blends containing those substances at 
this time. EPA may revisit the acceptability of other HCFCs in a later 
rulemaking as appropriate. We are finalizing the proposal that the 
listings be modified 60 days following issuance of a final rule.

B. How is EPA responding to public comments concerning HCFCs?

    Comment: EPA received a few comments on the proposed modifications 
affecting HCFCs, primarily on whether the unacceptability determination 
should apply to imported products containing closed cell foam that 
contain any of the blowing agents listed as unacceptable, as well as 
applying to the blowing agent itself.
    Response: As explained in section V.D.2.c, above, EPA is not 
finalizing the proposed change to the import of closed cell foam 
products blown with an agent listed as unacceptable. We also explained 
that we plan to continue assessing the merits of this change and may 
provide further explanation and opportunity for comment in a subsequent 
rulemaking. Thus, as of the time of the status change, foam blowing 
agents containing HCFC-141b, -142b, and -22 and blends are prohibited 
from being used or imported into the United States, but foam products 
or products containing foam made with these agents, such as appliances 
or furniture, may still be imported.
    Comment: Hussmann Corporation asked for four years from the 
issuance of the final rule to make any changes to the acceptability of 
HCFC-141b in foam blowing applications, stating that considerable time 
is needed to review what impact new foam has to structural integrity 
and product efficiency. The commenter stated that this timing would 
would allow manufacturers to make a transition to new products while 
remaining within the EPA's new HCFC allocation rule (which will 
completely phase out HCFC refrigerants in five years).
    Response: EPA would like to clarify that anyone still using HCFC-
141b to blow foam in the United States is likely out of compliance with 
longstanding regulations promulgated under the SNAP program (CAA 
section 612), as well as the HCFC phaseout (CAA section 605). Under 
SNAP, HCFC-141b was listed as unacceptable effective on November 29, 
2004, for all foam uses, with a limited exemption for use in space 
vehicle, nuclear, and defense applications, as well as for research and 
development for foreign customers (see 69 FR 58269). Under the HCFC 
phaseout program, EPA stopped the production and import of HCFC-141b 
for use in foams in 2003 (40 CFR 82.16(b)) and prohibited its use as of 
January 1, 2010, with limited exceptions (40 CFR 82.15(g)). All 
remaining exemptions for the use of HCFC-141b ended on January 1, 2015. 
Therefore, this current rule does not affect the use of HCFC-141b to 
blow foam in the United States; it only ensures the SNAP list is 
aligned with other existing regulations under Title VI of the CAA.
    If the commenter is referring to applying the unacceptability 
determination for HCFC-141b to products containing HCFC-141b, as 
discussed above in this section, EPA is not finalizing the proposed 
change to the import of closed cell foam products blown with an agent 
listed as unacceptable.

VII. How is EPA responding to other public comments?

A. Authority

1. General Authority
    Comment: The Agency received several comments, including those from 
Solvay, Arkema, AHAM, BASF, Mexichem, NRDC and IGSD, Whirlpool, and 
Bally Refrigerated Boxes on its authority to change the status of HFC-
134a and other substitutes that were addressed in the proposed rule. 
NRDC and IGSD asserted that under section 612 of the CAA ((42 U.S.C. 
7671k), EPA has the authority--if not the affirmative mandate--to 
remove the proposed substances from the SNAP list of

[[Page 42935]]

acceptable substitutes. They quoted from section 612(a), emphasizing 
that replacement of ODS with substitutes that reduce overall risk is to 
occur ``to the maximum extent practicable'' (42 U.S.C. 7671k(a)). They 
stated that under section 612(c)(2), EPA has authority to decide which 
substances may and may not be used in the SNAP sectors. Finally, they 
asserted that in speaking of both alternatives ``currently'' available, 
and those that are ``potentially'' available, Congress recognized that 
the universe of alternatives will evolve over time, so that as 
additional alternatives become available, EPA has an obligation to 
revise the SNAP list to ensure that the substances included will 
minimize ``overall risks to human health and the environment'' (42 
U.S.C. 7671k(c)).
    In contrast, Mexichem, Solvay, AHAM/Electrolux and Arkema asserted 
that the proposed actions were outside the scope of Title VI, section 
612 of the CAA, and EPA's SNAP regulations. Specifically, these 
commenters asserted that Congress and EPA designed the SNAP program to 
safeguard stratospheric ozone, and not to address climate change and 
greenhouse gases. AHAM stated that Title VI of the CAA does not provide 
EPA broad authority to regulate refrigerants, foams and chemicals in 
circumstances unrelated to ozone depletion. Mexichem stated that the 
repeated references in section 612 to class I and class II substances 
demonstrate that Congress was concerned with ODS.
    Several commenters emphasized evaluation of a substitute in 
relation to ODS. Mexichem asserted that EPA recognized ``the limited 
nature of the statute'' in 1994 when it promulgated the statement of 
purpose and scope for the SNAP program (59 FR 13044, Mar. 18, 1994; 40 
CFR 82.170). In its comment, Mexichem provided a quotation from the 
statement of purpose and scope, suggesting that substitutes are to be 
compared only to ODS. Arkema quoted an EPA ``Guide to Completing a Risk 
Screen'' \91\ for the fire suppression sector as explaining that 
environmental effects would be evaluated by comparing the substitute's 
GWP to the GWP of the ODS it replaces. Solvay contended that changing 
the listing status of a previously approved substitute would eliminate 
the user's ability to use a substance that met the statutory objective 
of providing better overall health and safety in comparison to the use 
of an ODS in a specific end-use.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \91\ http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/fire/riskscreenfire.pdf
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Several commenters also asserted that nothing has happened with 
respect to any attribute or impact of the HFCs addressed in this 
rulemaking that would warrant a change in the initial decisions to list 
HFCs as acceptable.
    Response: EPA agrees with NRDC and IGSD's conclusion that the 
Agency has authority to take the change of status actions included in 
the proposed rulemaking and disagrees with comments suggesting that the 
sole purpose of section 612 and the SNAP program is to safeguard the 
ozone layer. Section 612(c) requires EPA to take action when the Agency 
(1) determines that a substitute may present adverse effects to human 
health and the environment, and (2) identifies an alternative that 
reduces overall risk to human health and the environment and is 
currently or potentially available. That provision makes clear that the 
mandate of section 612 is to reduce overall risk; it does not limit the 
risks of concern to those associated with ozone depletion. In addition, 
while section 612 refers repeatedly to class I and class II substances, 
it also refers repeatedly to substitutes or alternatives, requiring 
specific actions with regard to such substances.
    EPA cannot fulfill its section 612(c) mandate to compare 
alternatives with a view to reducing overall risk without considering 
impacts related to issues other than ozone depletion. Toward that end, 
the SNAP regulations require submitters to include information on a 
wide range of factors in addition to ODP, including GWP, toxicity, 
flammability, and the potential for human exposure (59 FR 13044, Mar. 
18, 1994 and codified at 40 CFR 82.178). Further, the SNAP regulations 
state that EPA will consider atmospheric effects (including GWP), 
exposure assessments, toxicity data, flammability, and other 
environmental impacts such as ecotoxicity and local air quality impacts 
(59 FR 13044, Mar. 18, 1994; 40 CFR 82.180).
    In addition, while section 612(a) states the Congressional policy 
of reducing overall risk in broad terms, section 612(c) specifically 
requires EPA to compare the risk of the substitute under review to 
other substitutes or alternatives. In that regard, Mexichem's comment 
omits a crucial phrase in the statement of ``purpose and scope'' in the 
SNAP regulations. The complete statement reads: ``The objectives of 
this program are . . . to promote the use of those substitutes believed 
to present lower overall risks to human health and the environment, 
relative to the class I and class II compounds being replaced, as well 
as to other substitutes for the same end-use, and to prohibit the use 
of those substitutes found, based on the same comparisons, to increase 
overall risks [emphasis added]'' (59 FR 13044, Mar. 18, 1994; 40 CFR 
82.170). In addition, Arkema's reference to a single document 
containing language mentioning a substitute-to-ODS comparison ignores 
the large number of risk screens that EPA has prepared over the years 
that compare the ODP and GWP, and other environmental and health 
attributes, of substitutes to those of other substitutes, as well to 
those of ODS (e.g., risk screens in the following dockets: EPA-HQ-OAR-
2013-0798 and EPA-HQ-OAR-2003-0118.) Further, EPA's listings over the 
years have included comparisons of substitutes to other available 
alternatives in the same end-uses (e.g., 67 FR 13272, 67 FR 77927, 68 
FR 50533, 69 FR 58903, 71 FR 15589, 71 FR 55140, 71 FR 56359, 74 FR 21, 
74 FR 50129, 75 FR 34017, 76 FR 17488, 76 FR 61269, 76 FR 78832, 77 FR 
47768, 77 FR 58035, 78 FR 29034, 79 FR 62863). The substitute-to-
substitute comparison is essential to fulfilling EPA's obligation under 
section 612(c) to determine whether there are alternatives that reduce 
overall risk as compared with the substitute under review.
    To the extent possible, the Agency has always sought to ensure that 
our SNAP decisions are informed by the most current overall 
understanding of environmental and human health impacts associated with 
available and potentially available alternatives. In that regard, the 
Agency has, since the inception of the SNAP program, asserted its 
authority, consistent with the language of section 612(c) and the 
section's statement of congressional policy, to review substitutes 
listed as acceptable and to take action with respect to those 
substitutes on the basis either of new information generally, including 
that related to overall risk, or of the availability of new 
alternatives that pose less overall risk. Specifically, in the preamble 
to the initial SNAP rule, EPA made clear that ``the Agency may revise 
these [listing] decisions in the future as it reviews additional 
substitutes and receives more data on substitutes already covered by 
the program'' (59 FR 13044, 13047). We interpret section 612 as 
allowing both addition of new, safer alternatives to the listings and 
removal from the listings of substitutes found to pose more risk 
overall than other available alternatives.
    With regard to additional data on substitutes already covered by 
the program, the Agency has previously responded to the evolution of 
scientific and technical information by revisiting the listing status 
of a substitute. For

[[Page 42936]]

example, on the basis of new information on toxicity, EPA took action 
in January of 2002 to change the listing for HBFC-22B1 from acceptable, 
subject to use conditions to unacceptable (67 FR 4185, January 29, 
2002; 40 CFR 82 subpart G, appendix J).
    With regard to additional alternatives, the suite of available or 
potentially available alternatives changes over time. For example, over 
the past several years, and as standards and familiarity with the safe 
use of various alternatives has developed, EPA has listed several 
specific flammable refrigerants as acceptable for some end-uses subject 
to use conditions (e.g., 76 FR 78832, December 20, 2011; 40 CFR 82 
subpart G appendix R; 80 FR 19453, April 10, 2015). Most of these 
refrigerants (e.g., ethane, propane, isobutane, HFC-32) are not new 
molecules; rather, their recent listing as acceptable subject to use 
conditions is based on an increased understanding of their ability to 
be used in a manner that would reduce overall risk. The availability of 
those alternatives enables a broader review of comparative risk under 
section 612(c).
    Further, we disagree with the notion that our understanding of the 
impact of HFCs has remained static. Our understanding of the impact 
that HFCs have on climate has evolved and become much deeper over the 
years. As mentioned elsewhere in this rulemaking, a significant 
indication of that change can be seen in EPA's December 7, 2009, 
Endangerment Finding (74 FR 66496, 66517, 66539) which makes clear that 
like the ODS they replace, HFCs are potent GHGs. In addition, HFCs are 
now in widespread usage. The most commonly used HFC is HFC-134a. HFC-
134a is 1,430 times more damaging to the climate system than carbon 
dioxide (see Table A-1 to subpart A of 40 CFR part 98). Further, HFC 
emissions are projected to accelerate over the next several decades; if 
left unregulated, emissions are projected to double by 2020 and triple 
by 2030.\92\ Additional information concerning the peer-reviewed 
scientific literature and emission scenarios related to HFCs is 
available in the docket for this rulemaking (e.g., Akerman, 2013; EPA, 
2013b and 2014; IPCC, 2007 and 2013; IPCC/TEAP 2005; Montzka, 2012; 
Velders et al., 2009). This information was taken into account in this 
rulemaking.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \92\ Climate Change and President Obama's Action Plan. June, 
2013. Available in the docket and online at www.whitehouse.gov/share/climate-action-plan.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Second Generation Substitutes
    Comment: Several comments focused on the term ``replace'' in 
section 612(c), suggesting that once a company has switched to a non-
ODS alternative, it is no longer ``replacing'' a Class I or Class II 
ODS in its products, and that it is unsupportable to read 
``replacement'' as a continuous process rather than as a single event. 
Solvay stated that the proposed rule would require users that have 
already ``replaced'' ODS with non-ODS to make a second replacement, and 
that EPA lacks authority to require this second replacement. Arkema 
stated that the statutory terms ``replace'' and ``replacement'' must be 
given their ordinary meanings, and that to replace an ODS means to take 
the place of an ODS. Arkema further noted that EPA defines a 
``substitute or alternative'' in its SNAP regulations as something 
``intended for use as a replacement for'' an ODS (59 FR 13044, Mar. 18, 
1994 and 40 CFR 82.172). Arkema concluded that Congress and EPA 
designed the SNAP program to regulate things taking the place of ODS, 
not to replace substances with no ozone depletion potential. Arkema 
contended that EPA has interpreted the statute and regulations as 
excluding non-ODS. In support of this argument, Arkema quoted the 
preamble to the initial SNAP rule as saying that ``a key issue'' was 
``whether there exists a point at which an alternative should no longer 
be considered a class I or class II substitute as defined by 612'' (59 
FR 13044, 13052). The commenter further quoted the preamble to that 
rule as saying that ``if a hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) is introduced as a 
first-generation refrigerant substitute for [an ODS], it is subject to 
review and listing under section 612. Future substitutions to replace 
the HFC would then be exempt from reporting under section 612 . . . .'' 
(id.). In addition, Arkema quoted a 1996 petition response \93\ as 
stating that EPA does not review substitutes for non-ozone-depleting 
substances such as HFC-134a. Arkema also quoted the SNAP Instruction 
Manual \94\ as instructing applicants to specify the ODS being 
replaced.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \93\ Response to Oz Technology's Petition (Aug 30, 1996).
    \94\ www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/submit/appguide.pdf.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    AHAM commented that the appliance industry no longer intends HFCs 
as a substitute or replacement for ODS. The commenter stated that there 
are very few remaining models that ever used ODS, and that the 
substances used in today's models are not substitutes or replacements 
in the common-sense meaning of those words.
    Arkema further stated that EPA should be precluded from comparing 
non-ODS first-generation alternatives (such as HFC-134a) to second-
generation non-ODS alternatives (such as HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and R-
744). Arkema contended that none of these second-generation compounds 
is a ``substitute'' for SNAP purposes.
    Response: In this rulemaking, the Agency is revising the listing 
status of substitutes that are direct replacements for ODS. Arkema 
admits as much on p. 8 of their comment letter, where they describe 
HFC-134a as a ``first generation refrigerant substitute.'' While we are 
not exploring the full scope of the ``first generation'' concept in 
this action, there is no question that HFC-134a directly replaced ODS 
in the relevant sectors. For example, with respect to foam blowing, 
when HFC-134a was listed as acceptable in foam blowing applications, 
foam was still being blown with HCFCs (59 FR 13044, March 18, 1994; 64 
FR 30410, June 8, 1999). In this action, we are not addressing the 
extent of EPA's authority to revise the listings of alternatives that 
are arguably indirect replacements for ODS, sometimes termed ``second-
generation alternatives.''
    EPA does not agree with the commenters who suggest that while HFC-
134a may have replaced ODS at one point in time, it no longer does so. 
The term ``replace'' is not defined in section 612, EPA therefore 
interprets this term as it is commonly used. Dictionary definitions can 
provide insight into how a reasonable or ordinary person would 
interpret the term. Dictionary definitions of ``replace'' include the 
following: ``to be used instead of'' \95\ ``to take the place of,'' 
\96\ and ``to provide a substitute or equivalent for.'' \97\ None of 
these definitions suggests that something used ``instead of'' or ``to 
take the place'' of something else ceases to ``replace'' it simply due 
to the passage of time. Nor does the Agency view the replacement of a 
ODS with a substitute (e.g., HFC-134a) as limited to the first time a 
product manufacturer uses the substitute. Indeed, in the preamble to 
the initial SNAP rule, we interpreted the term ``replace'' to apply 
``each time a substitute is used.'' (59 FR 13044, 13047). We noted that 
``[u]nder any other interpretation, EPA could never

[[Page 42937]]

effectively prohibit the use of any substitute, as some user could 
always start to use it prior to EPA's completion of the rulemaking 
required to list it as unacceptable'' (Id.). Thus, the fact that HFC-
134a is already in use as a replacement for ODS does not mean that its 
future use is any less of a replacement. In context, the language that 
Arkema quotes (``whether there exists a point at which an alternative 
should no longer be considered a class I or II substitute'') does not 
suggest that a substance that directly replaces the ODS might somehow 
cease to qualify as an ODS substitute. Rather, it raises the question 
of whether a substance that indirectly replaces the ODS might fail to 
qualify. That question is not addressed in this rulemaking because this 
rulemaking addresses only substances that are direct replacements for 
ODS in the relevant sectors.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \95\ Merriam-Webster, http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/replace.
    \96\ Collins, www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/american/replace.
    \97\ Id.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Similarly, the mere passage of time does not mean that the 
substances addressed in this rulemaking have somehow ceased to be 
``substitutes or alternatives'' under the regulatory definition at 40 
CFR 82.172. No commenter suggests that at the time of their initial 
SNAP listing these substances were anything other than ``chemicals . . 
. intended for use as a replacement for a class I or II compound.'' 
Rather, commenters assert that these substances are no longer intended 
for use as an ODS replacement. However, introducing a temporal aspect 
into this definition would mean that a product manufacturer could make 
an initial substitution for a class I or II substance 90 days after 
providing the required notification to EPA and thereafter continue to 
use the substitute while disclaiming any intent to replace the ODS. 
This is not a supportable interpretation because it would allow the 
manufacturer to circumvent SNAP requirements simply by beginning to use 
a substitute prior to its SNAP listing.
    In addition, EPA implements the section 612(c) mandate to list 
substances as acceptable or unacceptable ``for specific uses'' by 
listing substitutes on an end-use or sector basis.\98\ Similarly, the 
Agency views transition as occurring on an end-use by end-use or 
sector-by-sector basis, not--as one commenter suggests--on a model-by-
model basis. Thus, the act of ``replacing'' is not limited to the 
redesign of a particular model, or the introduction of a new model, but 
instead occurs repeatedly within a given end-use or sector.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \98\ This is reflected in the appendices to 40 CFR part 82, 
subpart G.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Contrary to Solvay's comment, EPA has authority to regulate the 
continuing replacement of ODS with HFC-134a and the other substitutes 
whose listing status is addressed in this action. In this rulemaking, 
EPA considered whether such replacement should continue to occur given 
the expanded suite of other alternatives to ODS in the relevant end-
uses and our evolving understanding of risks to the environment and 
public health. The commenter's line of reasoning would undermine EPA's 
ability to comply with the statutory scheme reflected in section 
612(c), under which EPA's authority to prohibit use of a substitute is 
tied to information on overall risk and the availability of 
substitutes.
    Regarding Arkema's suggestion that HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a, and R-744 
are not ``substitutes'' for SNAP purposes and thus they cannot be used 
as part of a review of whether EPA should change the status of HFC-
134a, we disagree. HFO-1234yf, HFC-152a and R-744 (as well as the other 
substances we used for comparison purposes in this rulemaking) \99\ are 
currently listed as acceptable or acceptable, subject to use conditions 
under SNAP. Thus, we have separately taken action to treat these 
substances as substitutes for the purposes of section 612(c) and the 
corresponding regulatory provisions. We are not re-examining in this 
rulemaking whether the substances used for comparison purposes in this 
action qualify as substitutes. Rather, in this rule, we are making 
listing determinations for substances that are direct substitutes for 
ODS based on their overall risk compared to these other alternatives.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \99\ We note that the requirement under section 612 does not 
limit our analysis of whether there are ``safer'' alternatives only 
to ``substitutes'' listed under the SNAP program. Rather section 
612(c) refers to ``alternatives'' that are currently or potentially 
available. Thus, in instances where we are aware of other 
alternatives that may not have completed SNAP review and we have 
sufficient information for those alternatives relative to the SNAP 
review criteria, we may include those alternatives in our 
comparative analysis. In this action, for purposes of the 
refrigeration end-uses, we included in our comparative analysis 
several substances we were concurrently reviewing under SNAP and 
which we have taken action to list as acceptable, subject to use 
conditions (April 10, 2015, 80 FR 19453) and for which we are taking 
action concurrently with this rule to list as acceptable.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

3. GWP Considerations
    Comment: The Agency received several comments relating to EPA's 
authority to consider GWP in its comparative risk evaluation, and to 
take action on the basis of GWP. Specifically, Solvay and Mexichem 
stated that while section 602 of the CAA requires EPA to publish the 
GWP of each listed class I and class II substance, the Agency's 
authority is limited by the language stating that it ``shall not be 
construed to be the basis of any additional regulation under this 
chapter.'' Solvay stated that this language expresses Congress's intent 
that no provision of Title VI--including, but not limited to, Sec.  
602, Sec.  608, Sec.  612, and Sec.  615--provides statutory authority 
for the Agency to implement an overarching program under which it can 
force users to cease using substances with global warming, but not 
ozone-depleting, potentials. Mexichem commented that if GWPs of listed 
compounds cannot be the basis of further regulation under Title VI, it 
follows that regulation based on comparisons of GWPs of both listed 
substances and unlisted alternatives was intended by Congress equally 
to be foreclosed. Commenters asserted that EPA inappropriately used the 
physical characteristic of GWP as a surrogate for risk; failed to 
assess the significance to climate change of the emissions reductions 
estimated to be brought about by the action as they relate to risk for 
each substance in each sector covered; failed to assess and account for 
indirect climate impacts; and failed to apply its customary tests for 
consideration of atmospheric effects.
    BASF commented that EPA proposed to find HFCs unacceptable because 
they have ``high GWPs as compared with other available or potentially 
available substitutes in those end-uses and pose significantly greater 
overall risk to human health and the environment.'' BASF noted that 
while CAA section 612 does require an assessment of risk, it does not 
explain how that assessment should be done. BASF added that whatever 
that assessment should involve, it is possible that Congress did not 
intend GWP to be part of that assessment.
    Response: As noted by some commenters, section 602 of the CAA calls 
on EPA to publish the GWP for each class I or class II substance, but 
goes on to say that this mandate ``shall not be construed to be the 
basis of any additional regulation under this chapter.'' Consistent 
with this provision, we are not relying on section 602 as authority for 
the action being taken in this rulemaking. Rather, we are relying on 
section 612, which specifically provides that EPA is required to list a 
substance as unacceptable if it ``may present adverse effects to human 
health or the environment'' where EPA has identified

[[Page 42938]]

alternatives that are currently or potentially available and that 
``reduce the overall risk to human health and the environment.''
    Considerations of atmospheric effects and related health and 
environmental impacts have always been a part of SNAP's comparative 
review process, and the provision of GWP-related information is 
required by the SNAP regulations (see 40 CFR 82.178 and 82.180). The 
issue of EPA's authority to consider GWP in its SNAP listing decisions 
was raised in the initial rule establishing the SNAP program. In the 
preamble to the final 1994 SNAP rule, EPA stated: ``The Agency believes 
that the Congressional mandate to evaluate substitutes based on 
reducing overall risk to human health and the environment authorizes 
use of global warming as one of the SNAP evaluation criteria. Public 
comment failed to identify any definition of overall risk that 
warranted excluding global warming'' (59 FR 13044, March 18, 1994).
    Consistent with that understanding, the 1994 SNAP rule specifically 
included ``atmospheric effects and related health and environmental 
impacts'' as evaluation criteria the Agency uses in undertaking 
comparative risk assessments (59 FR 13044, March 18, 1994; 40 CFR 
82.180(a)(7)(i)). That rule also established the requirement that 
anyone submitting a notice of intent to introduce a substitute into 
interstate commerce provide the substitute's GWP (see 40 CFR 
82.178(a)(6)). Accordingly, we have considered the relative GWP of 
alternatives in many SNAP listing decisions. For example, in the 
decision to list C7-Fluoroketone as acceptable we noted that ``C7 
Fluoroketone's GWP of about 1 is lower than or comparable to that of 
other non-ozone-depleting substitutes in heat transfer uses, such as 
HFE-7100 with GWP of 297, HFC-245fa with a GWP of 1030, and 
CO2 with a GWP of 1'' (77 FR 47768, August 10, 2012). In 
that same action, EPA also considered ODP, VOC status, flammability, 
toxicity and exposure, concluding that ``EPA finds C7 Fluoroketone 
acceptable in the end-use listed above because the overall 
environmental and human health risk posed by C7 Fluoroketone is lower 
than or comparable to the risks posed by other substitutes found 
acceptable in the same end-use'' (id). Similarly, in finding the use of 
isobutane and R-441 acceptable subject to use conditions in household 
refrigeration, we included an-in depth discussion of the relative GWP 
of these and other alternatives listed for household refrigeration (76 
FR 78832, December 20, 2011).
    In response to comments that EPA inappropriately used the physical 
characteristic of GWP as a surrogate for risk and that EPA failed to 
assess the significance to climate change of the emissions reductions 
estimated to be brought about by the action, as they relate to risk for 
each substance in each sector covered, we note that GWP is a relative 
measure and that if comparable amounts of two substitutes are used, 
then the relative climate effects of resultant emissions will be higher 
for the substitute with higher GWP. EPA considers factors such as 
charge size of refrigeration equipment and total estimates of 
production in its assessment of environmental and health risks of new 
alternatives, so we can consider if there would be substantial 
differences that might affect total atmospheric emissions. We believe 
that we have appropriately considered GWP as a metric for comparing 
climate effects of substitutes.
    In response to comments that EPA failed to assess and account for 
indirect climate impacts, we note that we do not have a practice in the 
SNAP program of including indirect climate impacts in the overall risk 
analysis. We do consider issues such as technical needs for energy 
efficiency (e.g., to meet DOE standards) in determining whether 
alternatives are ``available,'' and have followed that practice in this 
rulemaking. We believe that there is a sufficient range of acceptable 
alternatives that end users will be able to maintain energy efficiency 
levels We also note that federal energy conservation standards will 
continue to ensure that equipment regulated by this rule will not 
increase its indirect climate impacts. See in particular section V.C.7 
for a discussion on energy efficiency for commercial refrigeration 
products and section V.D.3.c for a response to comments on energy 
efficiency of foams.
    In this action, EPA used the same comparative risk approach it has 
used in the past, including the consideration of GWP.
4. Takings
    Comment: Solvay asserted that the delisting of already approved 
alternatives constitutes a taking in violation of the Fifth Amendment 
to the U.S. Constitution. Solvay commented that the delisting would 
effectuate a regulatory taking for which the United States would owe 
``just compensation'' to regulated parties, including Solvay, that have 
made significant investments in furtherance of U.S. policies under the 
CAA and the Montreal Protocol. Solvay quoted the Supreme Court case 
Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council as saying that ``any limitation 
[that prohibits all economically beneficial uses of real property] . . 
. cannot be newly legislated or decreed (without compensation), but 
must inhere in the title itself, in the restriction that background 
principles of the State's law of property and nuisance already place 
upon land ownership'' (505 U.S. 1003, 1029 (1992)).
    Response: The first question in a takings analysis is whether there 
is a property interest protected by the Fifth Amendment. The commenter 
does not identify the property interest that is the subject of the 
alleged ``taking.'' While the commenter cites a case involving real 
property, no real property is at stake here. To the extent the 
commenter has a property interest in the HFCs it imports or produces, 
such interest would be limited to quantities already in existence, and 
not those that might be produced or imported in the future. In any 
event, EPA's change in the listing status of HFCs does not effectuate a 
taking. First, EPA's action does not ``completely deprive'' the 
commenter of ``all economically beneficial us[e]'' of the HFCs it 
produces or imports. See Lingle v. Chevron, 544 U.S. 528, 538 (2005), 
quoting Lucas v. South Carolina Coastal Council, 505 U.S. 1003, 1019 
(1992). EPA is not listing all HFCs as unacceptable in all end-uses; 
rather, EPA is listing certain HFCs as unacceptable in specified end-
uses. In addition, EPA is adopting change of status dates that provide 
ample time for HFCs already in existence to be sold. Thus, some 
``economically beneficial use'' of the HFCs remains. In such 
situations, courts typically consider several factors in determining 
whether a regulatory taking has occurred. Those factors include ``the 
character of the governmental action, its economic impact, and its 
interference with reasonable investment-backed expectations.'' 
PruneYard Shopping Center v. Robbins, 447 U.S. 74, 83 (1980).
    Here, the change in the listing status of certain HFCs for 
specified end-uses is designed to ``promote the common good'' (see Penn 
Central Transportation Co. v. New York City, 438 U.S. 104, 124 (1978)). 
The alternatives to which EPA compared these HFCs in this action were 
found to pose less overall risk to human health and the environment in 
the specified end-uses. Thus, removing these HFCs from the list of 
acceptable substitutes for these end-uses provides a public benefit. 
Regarding the economic impact of this action, EPA recognizes

[[Page 42939]]

that the impact will vary for the different end-uses. For example, for 
some foam blowing agent end-uses, transitioning to other alternatives 
is likely to require capital costs and investments in research, updated 
equipment, and their related financial impacts. In comparison, for some 
aerosol propellant uses and some refrigeration end-uses, depending on 
the alternative selected, there may be little or no need for capital 
costs or research. However, EPA notes that chemical producers have been 
investing in low-GWP alternatives for years, and many have either 
submitted SNAP notifications or expressed interest in submitting SNAP 
notifications concerning new molecules and blends of existing 
molecules.
    The commenter could not have had a reasonable investment-backed 
expectation that these HFCs would continue to be listed as acceptable 
indefinitely in all end-uses, or in any specific end-use, because EPA 
expressly stated in the preamble to the initial SNAP rule that ``the 
Agency may revise these [listing] decisions in the future as it reviews 
additional substitutes and receives more data on substitutes already 
covered by the program'' (59 FR 13044, 13047). In addition, EPA also 
noted the ``significant global warming potentials'' of some HFCs and 
stated ``EPA is concerned that rapid expansion of the use of some HFCs 
could contribute to global warming'' (id. at 13,071). EPA characterized 
HFCs as a ``near-term option for moving away from CFCs,'' not as a 
long-term solution.
5. Montreal Protocol/International
    Comment: Solvay comments that HFCs are not regulated under the 
Montreal Protocol and are not Class I or Class II substances under 
Title VI. Mexichem states that the United States, Canada, and Mexico 
have proposed to amend the Montreal Protocol to provide an across-the-
board phase down of HFCs, but until then, EPA's regulatory authority 
under Title VI is limited to ODS. AHAM adds that if at some point EPA 
is authorized to phase out HFCs consistent with future international 
obligations that may constitute a more appropriate avenue for phase-
down measures. AHAM believes there is minimal purpose in promoting an 
international regulatory regime if EPA is going to apply what it 
considers to be a ``blunt and inappropriate'' regulatory instrument 
domestically, regardless of the shape of a future international scheme. 
AHAM comments that the appliance industry's transition from HFCs is 
well underway, and EPA's proposal should reflect and support this 
progress, rather than impede it. Five commenters commented on the 
perceived inconsistency of the proposed timeline and the proposed 
amendments to the Montreal Protocol to adopt a gradual phase down of 
HFCs.
    Response: EPA agrees that the Montreal Protocol does not currently 
regulate HFCs. Nevertheless, several sections of Title VI call on EPA 
to take measures that are not required by the Montreal Protocol but are 
complementary to the ODS phaseout. These sections include, in addition 
to section 612, sections 608 (national emissions reduction program), 
610 (nonessential products), and 611 (labeling). In addition, while 
HFCs are not a Class I or Class II substance under the Clean Air Act, 
HFCs are substitutes for Class I and Class II ODS, and section 612 and 
its implementing regulations specifically call on the agency to 
restrict substitutes for ODS where the Agency has identified other 
available or potentially available alternatives that reduce overall 
risk to human health and the environment.
    The CAP considers both domestic and multilateral action to address 
HFCs. The United States co-proposed and is strongly advocating for an 
amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down production and 
consumption of HFCs. EPA sees no conflict between the United States' 
strong support for a global phase-down and this domestic action. The 
amendment proposal calls for a phase-down of production and consumption 
of a group of HFCs, including HFC-134a as well as HFC-125 and HFC-143a 
(components of R-404A, R-507A and other blends), on a total 
CO2-equivalent basis. It applies phase-down steps to this 
group of HFCs as a basket and does not assign individual deadlines to 
specific HFCs or address specific uses.
6. Absence of Petitions
    Comment: Solvay questioned whether the Agency has the authority to 
issue this proposed rule in the absence of one or more petitions that 
fully satisfy the requirements of Sec.  612(d). Solvay commented that 
while Congress granted EPA the authority to create an initial list of 
approved substitutes for ODS under Sec.  612(c), Sec.  612(d) specifies 
that additions or deletions to the SNAP list must be proposed via 
petition, and that petitions ``shall include a showing by the 
petitioner that there are data on the substance adequate to support the 
petition.'' Solvay stated that the CAA puts the burden on a petitioner 
to demonstrate that the substance it proposes to list satisfies all of 
the SNAP criteria. Solvay contended that EPA should not attempt to 
delist any substances on its own initiative. Solvay commented that to 
the extent it does, EPA has the burden, standing in the shoes of a 
petitioner, to demonstrate that it has data adequate to support the 
petition.
    Response: The Agency disagrees with the commenter regarding EPA's 
authority to independently review and, where appropriate, change the 
status of substitutes under the SNAP program. In the preamble to the 
initial SNAP rule, the Agency stated that ``section 612 authorizes it 
to initiate changes to the SNAP determinations independent of any 
petitions or notifications received. These amendments can be based on 
new data on either additional substitutes or on characteristics of 
substitutes previously reviewed'' (59 FR 13044, 13047). Nothing in 
section 612(c) contravenes this interpretation. The existence of 
section 612(d), which provides a right for persons to petition the 
Agency to revise a listing, does not address in any manner whether EPA 
has authority to change a listing on its own. Furthermore, section 
612(c) requires EPA to take action when the Agency (1) determines that 
a substitute may present adverse effects to human health and the 
environment, and (2) identifies an alternative that reduces overall 
risk to human health and the environment and is currently or 
potentially available. Section 612(c) does not limit such EPA 
determinations to initial review of substitutes.
    For petitions under section 612(d), the petition must ``include a 
showing . . . that there are data on the substance adequate to support 
the petition.'' The Agency disagrees that EPA stands in the shoes of a 
petitioner under 612(d) when it proposes to change the listing status 
of an alternative. Rather, EPA's action is governed by section 612(c), 
and EPA considers the criteria used in reviewing substitutes as 
provided in 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7). Regardless, we note that we also 
review section 612(d) petitions based on the same SNAP criteria and 
thus the ``data on the substance adequate to support the petition'' 
necessarily are the data required for review under 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7).
    EPA has changed the listing status of substitutes in the past 
without having received a petition under section 612(d), as, for 
example, when we changed the listing status of MT-31 (64 FR 3861, Jan. 
26, 1999; 40 CFR part 82 subpart G appendix E) and HBFC-22B1 (67 FR 
4185, Jan. 29, 2002; 40 CFR part 82 subpart G appendix J).
    While EPA has the right to act in the absence of a petition, as 
described above, EPA did receive three petitions filed under section 
612(d) that are

[[Page 42940]]

relevant to this rulemaking. Specifically, NRDC filed a petition on May 
7, 2010. On February 14, 2011, EPA found that petition complete for 
MVAC in new passenger cars and light-duty vehicles and determined it 
was incomplete for other uses of HFC-134a. This rule responds to the 
aspect of that petition that we found complete. In addition, EIA filed 
a petition on April 26, 2012, and NRDC, EIA, and IGSD filed a petition 
on April 27, 2012. Although EPA found both of these petitions 
incomplete, our action in this final rule may be considered responsive 
to certain aspects of the petitions, given that we are changing the 
listing of certain HFCs used in sectors noted in those petitions from 
acceptable to unacceptable for most uses, and placing use conditions or 
narrowed use limits on some of the remaining uses. A more detailed 
discussion of the petitions can be found in section IV of this rule.
7. Application of Criteria for Review of Alternatives
    Comment: Solvay commented that EPA has failed to properly apply the 
SNAP factors to a delisting situation, has given undue weight to GWP in 
its analysis, and has based its decision on comparative GWPs of various 
non-ODS options to the exclusion of all other factors. Solvay commented 
that the proposal was deficient in that EPA failed to consider many 
relevant codes, standards and regulations, including parallel energy 
efficiency regulations issued by the DOE; building code standards; fire 
code requirements; and Coast Guard regulations. Solvay also stated that 
EPA should have considered technical concerns like solubility, 
compatibility, and shelf stability; equipment limits; supply chain 
considerations; and safety concerns that affect many end-use products.
    Solvay further commented that in making a determination whether to 
list a substance as an approved substitute to replace an ODS, the 
Agency must conduct a comprehensive analysis of each alternative in 
each end-use, including considerations of the cost of the alternative, 
availability, and the overall practicability of effectuating a 
replacement. Solvay focused on the phrase ``to the maximum extent 
practicable'' in section 612(a) of the CAA, stating that Congress 
deliberately chose the term ``practicable'' to mandate an orderly 
transition from ODS. Solvay stated that the term ``practicable'' 
ordinarily includes consideration of cost and availability. Solvay 
further argued that EPA had acknowledged and agreed with this 
understanding of the term by including cost and availability in its 
list of criteria. Solvay referred to dictum in Honeywell v. EPA, 374 
F.3d 1363, 1373 (D.C. Cir. 2004) stating that ``it is at least facially 
plausible to read the term `available' in section 612(c) as permitting 
consideration of `economic or practicality' concerns.''
    Mexichem commented that the text of the proposed rule and the 
underlying docket, including the SNAP program's comparative risk 
framework, are vague on how EPA reached the required section 612(c) 
conclusion that the alternatives reduce overall risks to human health 
and the environment, leaving the impression that it considered only 
GWP. Specifically, they state that out of the seven documents that may 
be relevant to the comparative risk framework analysis, only the 
``Climate Benefits of the SNAP Program Status Change Rule'' report 
refers to human health and the environment, with a focus on climate 
benefits, but that the report itself is silent on estimated reduction 
of ``overall risks to human health.'' Mexichem also noted that EPA 
promised to prepare a consolidated analysis document in the proposed 
rule, but no such document was available at the time the comments were 
drafted. Mexichem further stated that an assessment of HFC-134a and 
related alternatives is missing, and that such an assessment should 
have included several specific questions related to the following 
factors: Performance, availability, hazard, exposure, and cost of the 
alternatives. These questions include whether the other alternatives 
perform as well as HFC-134a in the specific end-use; whether the other 
alternatives will be available in the necessary quantities; whether the 
other alternatives present a better overall hazard profile; whether the 
other alternatives present a better overall exposure profile; whether 
use of the other alternatives involves an equivalent cost; and whether 
use of the other alternatives represents a cost-effective mitigation of 
CO2 emissions in each end-use.
    Bally Refrigerated Boxes, Inc. questioned whether the CAA 
authorizes EPA to delist non-ODS solely on the basis of GWP. Arkema 
commented that EPA is focusing on the potential hazard of GWP alone and 
stated that EPA is not evaluating HFC-134a within a comparative risk 
framework. Arkema stated that if the CAA were to authorize the SNAP 
program to ``delist'' previously approved non-ozone depleting 
substances based on climate, then EPA would need to develop an 
objective measure for deciding which substitute poses a greater risk 
and communicate that standard to the regulated community. Arkema 
claimed that any such measure would need to include methods for 
weighing different types of risks against one another (such as 
flammability versus climate) and for including mitigation, as the 
existing SNAP program, which did not originally provide for 
quantitative indexing of risks, does not convey sufficient information 
to the Agency or the regulated community regarding risk management 
decisions.
    Response: EPA disagrees with the commenters' views regarding the 
Agency's consideration of overall risk. In this rule, we applied the 
same comparative risk framework that was established for the SNAP 
program in 1994 and that has been used successfully for over 20 years. 
When we issued the proposal, we did not re-open fundamental parts of 
the SNAP program, such as the factors we evaluate and the manner in 
which we weigh them. Under the SNAP regulations, proponents of a 
substitute are required to submit a wide array of information, 
including information on ODP, GWP, toxicity, environmental fate and 
transport, flammability, exposure data and the cost and availability of 
the substitute under review (see 40 CFR 82.178 for a full list of the 
information required with SNAP submissions). EPA reviews these data and 
applies the regulatory criteria adopted in 1994, which include, in 
addition to atmospheric effects, general population risks from ambient 
exposure to compounds with direct toxicity and to increased ground-
level ozone, ecosystem risks, occupational risks, consumer risks, 
flammability, and cost and availability of the substitute under review 
(see 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7)). As regards specific quantification of 
reductions in overall risk to human health and the environment, in the 
1994 rulemaking, we considered and rejected comments suggesting that we 
develop an index to rank all substitutes based on risk. In the preamble 
to the rule, we specifically noted that ``a strict quantitative index 
would not allow for sufficient flexibility in making appropriate risk 
management decisions'' (59 FR 13044, March 18, 1994). Our subsequent 
experience with the SNAP program has given us no reason to revisit this 
approach.
    While EPA prepared a variety of documents in association with the 
proposed rule, the bulk of the comparison of human health and 
environmental impacts of alternatives appeared in the preamble to the

[[Page 42941]]

NPRM.\100\ For this final rule, we have added a technical support 
document to the docket which provides the Federal Register citations 
for information such as ODP, GWP, VOC status, flammability, and 
workplace exposure limits both for the substitutes remaining acceptable 
and for those with a changed status (EPA, 2015d). This information was 
discussed in the preambles to both the NRPM and the final rule and is 
provided in tabular format in the technical support document for easier 
comparison and consistency of presentation.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \100\ EPA also placed in the docket a document on exposure 
limits for alternatives in the foam blowing sector, titled, 
``Information on workplace exposure limits for foam blowing 
agents.''
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    As stated in the NPRM, the documentation associated with the 
proposed rule includes ``market characterizations, analyses of costs 
associated with sector transitions, estimated benefits associated with 
the transition to alternatives, and potential small business impacts'' 
(79 FR 46126). These documents provide information to the public about 
estimated environmental benefits, the affected markets, and potential 
cost impacts, as well as provide EPA's screening analyses to determine 
whether this rule may have significant economic impacts or significant 
impacts on a substantial number of small businesses; they are not part 
of EPA's comparison of human health and environmental effects of 
alternatives.
    Mexichem noted in its comments that EPA had included these 
documents in the docket for the proposed rule, but raised a concern 
about the availability of the consolidated analysis document 
anticipated in the NPRM. The consolidated analysis is included in the 
docket for the final rule, but was not available during the public 
comment period (ICF, 2015a). This document is a consolidated sector-by-
sector market characterization for those sectors addressed in this 
action. While it incorporates some suggestions and information provided 
by commenters, it otherwise does not add new substantive information 
other than that provided in the individual market characterizations at 
the time of the proposed rulemaking. It merely consolidates the 
information for ease of reference.
    We disagree with the comments suggesting that EPA did not consider 
factors other than GWP. In the NPRM, for each end-use or sector, EPA 
provided information comparing the alternatives and applying the full 
set of regulatory criteria, not solely GWPs, in deciding whether to 
change the status of a listed substitute, consistent with SNAP's past 
practices. As one example, in discussing the change in status for HFC-
227ea in the aerosol propellant end-use, the Agency explained in the 
preamble that other available substitutes have zero ODP, are relatively 
low in toxicity, are capable of remaining below their respective 
exposure limits, and are expected to have negligible impact on ground-
level ozone levels (79 FR 46126, 46173). In each case, consistent with 
the decision criteria listed at 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7), EPA has considered 
environmental impacts, flammability, toxicity, and exposure. In the 
context of this review, we considered a large amount of information 
including, among other things: Scientific findings, information 
provided by the Technology and Economic Assessment Panel (TEAP) that 
supports the Montreal Protocol, journal articles, submissions to the 
SNAP program, dockets for other EPA rulemakings, presentations and 
reports presented at domestic and international conferences, and 
materials from trade associations and professional organizations. 
References cited in the NPRM were listed in section IX of that document 
and the references cited in this final action are listed in section IX 
of this document.
    Solvay suggested a number of considerations they believe should 
have been included as part of EPA's decision-making criteria, such as 
various standards and codes, product shelf-life, and equipment limits. 
Solvay does not discuss how the various considerations mentioned relate 
to the existing SNAP review process. In general, we took such 
considerations into account to the extent relevant to the criteria for 
review of a substitute or to the availability of other alternatives. 
For example, we considered such issues as the supply and 
characteristics of alternatives as well as the status of various 
regulations and codes and standards as they relate to the availability 
of the alternatives and thus the appropriate time for the change of 
status. EPA specifically mentioned building codes (id. at 46143) and 
energy efficiency and requested comment on ``the effect, if any, [the] 
proposal would have on meeting applicable DOE standards.'' (id. at 
46147). We also noted that plans for the production of an alternative 
to HFC-134a in the MVAC end-use ``are in place to make it available in 
volumes that meet current and projected domestic auto industry 
demand.'' (id. at 46141)
    We also addressed certain of these issues in the context of the 
potential mitigation of risks both for those substitutes subject to the 
status change and those that remain available. For example, we noted in 
the preamble to the NPRM, in the context of alternatives in several of 
the foams end-uses, that flammability issues would be addressed in the 
process of meeting OSHA regulations and fire codes (id. at 46,152, 
46,153); and in the context of the retail food refrigeration and 
vending machine end-uses, that exposure limits for the alternatives, 
including workplace exposure limits of the AIHA and from OSHA and 
NIOSH, would be met. (id. at 46,144). Concerning other technical 
concerns such as solubility, compatibility, and shelf stability, this 
is not information that the SNAP program has routinely requested or 
received, either for the substitutes used for comparison purposes or 
for those being evaluated for listing. We have recognized, and when 
warranted, made changes responding to such technical considerations in 
this final rule where commenters provided information relevant to the 
availability of alternatives: For example, in establishing the change 
of status date for stand-alone refrigeration equipment, we took into 
consideration that certain larger capacity commercial stand-alone 
refrigeration equipment requires charge sizes larger than those 
established in the use conditions for most flammable refrigerants.
    Similarly, Mexichem suggested that EPA was required to evaluate 
specific questions regarding performance, availability, hazard, 
exposure, and cost. Again, this ignores the established criteria that 
EPA uses in determining whether a substitute is acceptable or 
unacceptable in a specified end-use. In the NPRM, in determining 
whether other substitutes were available that posed lower risk than 
those for which we proposed to change the status, EPA evaluated the 
ozone-depletion, climate, local air quality, toxicity and flammability 
risks of the substitutes undergoing a change of status as well as of 
other alternatives, thereby addressing hazard and exposure concerns. We 
note that the statute refers to overall risk to human health and the 
environment, and does not require that the substitutes be better in 
terms of each potential human health and environmental concern. EPA 
does not typically compare the performance or efficacy of substitutes 
except in considering whether a substitute is technically feasible (see 
definition of ``potentially available'' at 40 CFR 82.172). In other 
words, it is not necessary for EPA to evaluate whether other 
alternatives perform as well as HFC-134a (or other HFCs) in the 
specific end-use in order to determine that overall risks to human 
health and

[[Page 42942]]

the environment would be reduced through use of those alternatives.
    We have considered whether other alternatives will be available in 
sufficient quantities as part of our analysis of the availability of 
alternatives. As discussed in the NPRM, we set dates for the proposed 
status changes that reflect when there will be a sufficient supply of 
the alternatives. (id. at 46,141) In some instances, we have revised 
those dates in this final action after taking into account information 
on supply of alternatives submitted by commenters.
    One of the regulatory criteria for review of a substitute is the 
``cost and availability of the substitute'' (59 FR 13044, Mar. 18, 
1994; 40 CFR 82.180(7)(vii)). The consideration of cost under this 
criterion is limited to the cost of the substitute under review; it is 
distinct from consideration of costs associated with the use of other 
alternatives to which the substitute is being compared. See Honeywell, 
374 F.3d at 1,378 (J. Rogers, concurring in part and dissenting in 
part) (``While the SNAP regulations make the `cost and availability of 
the substitute' an element of acceptability . . . that concern is 
limited to whether EPA `has . . . reason to prohibit its use,' not to 
whether cleaner alternatives for the substance are already `currently 
or potentially available'. . . . Consideration of transition costs is 
thus precluded by the SNAP regulations as currently written, 
irrespective of whether it might be permitted under CAA Sec.  612(c). . 
. .'') Contrary to Solvay's contention, including the cost of the 
substitute in the list of review criteria does not amount to an 
acknowledgment that the term ``practicable'' as used in section 612(a) 
necessarily involves consideration of the costs associated with using 
other alternatives. EPA has not determined whether the term 
``practicable,'' the term ``available,'' or other terms in section 612 
provide discretion to consider such costs. Similarly, our existing 
regulations do not direct us to consider whether use of the other 
alternatives involves an equivalent cost to that of HFC-134a or a cost-
effective mitigation of CO2 emissions. We are not addressing 
in this rulemaking whether to revise the regulatory criteria to include 
an expanded role for the consideration of costs in SNAP listing 
decisions. We have simply applied the existing regulatory criteria in 
determining whether to change the listing status of the substitutes 
addressed in this action. Thus, we have not considered the costs of 
transition to other alternatives.
    Several commenters suggested or implied that EPA's action was based 
``excessively'' or solely on GWP. As discussed above, we performed a 
full comparative risk analysis for each of the substitutes and for each 
end-use for which we are changing the status. However, as noted in the 
preamble to the NPRM, EPA issued this proposal in response to the CAP. 
As such, in determining which substitutes and end-uses to address in 
the proposed rule, we evaluated the existing listing decisions in the 
eight sectors covered by the SNAP program. In three of the sectors, we 
identified a subset of substitutes that have a high GWP relative to 
other listed alternatives and for which we also had reason to believe 
other alternatives were ``available'' for the end-use. For those 
substitutes included in the proposed rule on the basis of having a 
relatively higher GWP, in most cases, EPA did not find significant 
potential differences in risk with respect to the other criteria, with 
the exceptions of flammability and local air quality impacts. However, 
where flammability risk was a potential concern, we concluded that such 
risk is mitigated by the existing use conditions or through other 
existing regulations (e.g., OSHA). In the case of spray foam, we 
proposed to change the status of fewer HFCs than in other foam blowing 
end-uses in consideration of greater flammability risks in that end-
use. Regarding VOC emissions and potential impacts on local air 
quality, for the aerosol propellant end-use, we did not propose to 
change the status of HFC-152a, a VOC-exempt aerosol propellant.

B. Cost and Economic Impacts of Proposed Status Changes

    EPA received a number of comments on the cost and economic impacts 
of the proposed rule. Some of these comments are summarized in the 
response to comments sections for the end-uses addressed in this final 
rule. We summarize and respond to the more general cost comments below.
1. Costs of Proposed Rule
    Comment: EPA received several comments indicating that the 
commenters believe EPA should provide more time in order to avoid undue 
burden on the U.S. economy. NAFEM comments that if this rule is 
finalized as proposed, the change from using R-404A will be very 
costly. NAFEM stated that compliance cost estimates range from $500,000 
to several million dollars depending on the number and variety of 
custom products the manufacturer offers. They further comment that 
testing costs are routinely several hundred thousand dollars and 
increase with the variety and level of customization. NAFEM comments 
that in addition, manufacturers will lose revenues waiting for the 
limited number of testing facilities able to accommodate the industry's 
products. The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy (the 
Alliance) requests that greater weight be given to economic 
considerations where the Agency is determining dates for availability 
of new alternatives, or changing the listing status, which unlike SNAP 
listing, may require businesses to alter practices and business models. 
The Alliance also requests that these economic considerations also be 
undertaken cognizant of competing regulatory initiatives. The Alliance 
also comments that the SNAP change of status process should be used 
sparingly, since its economic implications should require a higher 
scrutiny in considering transition dates and market assumptions than is 
needed for the SNAP listing approval process. DuPont comments that it 
is important to reduce emissions in a way that does not slow down 
global trade, and to achieve emissions reductions in a cost-effective 
manner. Arkema comments that no SNAP rule should impose unreasonable 
burdens on the U.S. economy. Arkema believes that EPA must allow more 
time for transitions to avoid that outcome. Mexichem believes EPA 
failed to take into account the economic implications of the proposed 
rule.
    Response: As discussed more fully in section VII.A.7, under the 
SNAP criteria for review in 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7), the only cost 
information that EPA considers as part of its SNAP review of 
substitutes is the cost of the substitute under review. The transition 
timelines in this final rule are based on information concerning the 
availability of alternatives.
    Comment: Arkema commented that EPA underestimated the costs of the 
NPRM. Arkema believes EPA's cost estimates are unduly optimistic given 
all that must be done to redesign equipment. Arkema further commented 
on three areas of economic analysis that they state need to be 
addressed. First, Arkema stated that EPA does not include the ``wasted 
costs'' incurred by those manufacturers that have actually changed 
designs of their equipment to meet DOE standards, based on the 
continued availability of existing SNAP substitutes, but that now may 
need to change their designs again. Second, Arkema suggested that EPA 
should account for ``economic effects'' on U.S. plants that produce 
HFC-134a and the other HFCs and HFC blends whose listing the Agency 
proposed to change. Third, Arkema suggested that the

[[Page 42943]]

economic analyses should disclose how EPA expects prices and 
availability to change once it eliminates competing products, including 
stimulation of short-term demand for the HFCs and HFC blends whose 
listing the Agency proposed to change, longer term increases in prices 
for the HFCs and HFC blends, and increased demand for next-generation 
fluorinated products. Solvay commented that given the cumulative 
regulatory burden, EPA has dramatically underestimated the costs of the 
NPRM. As an example, Solvay pointed to the DOE energy conservation 
standards.
    Response: Although EPA did not consider the costs of transitioning 
to other alternatives in making the listing decisions in this 
rulemaking, we did prepare a cost analysis and a small business impacts 
analysis for this rule for businesses that are directly regulated.
    We do not typically analyze cumulative regulatory burden in our 
cost analyses. Nonetheless, EPA notes that to the extent that affected 
entities recently incurred costs to comply with DOE rulemakings, the 
change of status dates in the final rule for the foam blowing sector 
and for some of the refrigeration end-uses (e.g., vending machines) may 
reduce the potential for additional costs due to complying with both 
rules compared to the change of status dates in the NPRM, since 
equipment manufacturers should better be able to coordinate DOE's 
requirements and these SNAP requirements. For example, the change of 
status date for rigid PU appliance foam is January 1, 2020, while based 
on the 2014 compliance date of the most recent DOE standards, the 
compliance date for any revised energy conservation standard for 
household refrigerators and freezers would be no earlier than 2020. For 
vending machines, the final change of status date is January 1, 2019, 
which will likely coincide with compliance requirements for any new or 
amended DOE refrigerated beverage vending machine standards, as 
compliance with such standards would be required three years after the 
publication of a final rule. Material in the docket for that action 
indicate DOE's plans for a final rule with a compliance date three 
years later (see EERE-2013-BT-STD-0022).
    Second, EPA has analyzed the costs of users that are directly 
regulated and has not analyzed the impacts on chemical producers, which 
are indirectly affected by the regulation. The commenters did not 
provide specific cost or supply information regarding redesigning 
equipment or specific information on operating costs for chemical 
plants that would have allowed us to analyze the impacts as requested 
by Arkema. We disagree with Arkema that it is necessary or appropriate 
to analyze the indirect impacts upon chemical plants and producers. 
Such analysis would be highly speculative about the degree of cost 
pass-through from producers to consumers of these chemicals. The total 
cost estimates would be unchanged; rather such an analysis would relate 
to transfers between producers of the substitutes undergoing a change 
of status, producers of the acceptable alternatives for the same uses, 
and consumers of these products rather than losses to the economy or to 
a market sector as a whole. We note that the transition affecting the 
majority of HFC-134a production, the transition away from HFC-134a in 
MVAC, is already occurring because of other regulations, and therefore 
changes to production and cost of HFC-134a cannot easily be attributed 
to this action.
    EPA recognizes that transitioning to other alternatives is likely 
to require capital costs and investments in research, updated 
equipment, and their related financial impacts. Many chemical producers 
have either submitted SNAP notifications or expressed interest in 
submitting SNAP notifications concerning new molecules and blends of 
existing molecules. EPA agrees with Arkema that this rule is likely to 
stimulate demand in next-generation alternatives further.
    EPA also notes that, for example, HFC-134a likely will be a 
component of many low-GWP blends that are being developed specifically 
to replace HFC-134a. EPA listed as acceptable one of those blends, R-
450A, on October 21, 2014 at 79 FR 62863. The Agency is aware of 
additional blends that multiple chemical producers are developing. As 
noted throughout this document, the range of alternatives includes new 
molecules and existing compounds, encompassing fluorinated, non-
fluorinated and in some cases not-in-kind alternatives.
    Third, we question Arkema's assumption that competition will 
decrease and thus cost for low-GWP alternatives will rise. For each of 
the status changes in this final action, more than one other 
alternative is currently listed as acceptable or acceptable, subject to 
use conditions, for the relevant end-use. Moreover, we expect new SNAP 
submissions that would result in the introduction of further 
alternatives to increase, rather than reduce, competition. Further, 
because this rule does not regulate production of individual chemicals 
directly and allows servicing of existing refrigeration and AC 
equipment with the refrigerants for which they are designed, we expect 
there will continue to be a market for HFC-134a and other HFC 
refrigerants for years to come.
    In those cases where commenters provided specific, detailed cost 
information, we used that information to revise the cost assumptions in 
our updated cost analysis for this final rule. For additional 
information on economic analysis conducted for this rule, see the 
supporting document ``Revised Cost Analysis for Regulatory Changes to 
the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives'' (ICF, 2015c).
    Comment: NRDC and IGSD commented that the rule is important because 
it provides a needed signal to various industrial sectors that as safer 
alternatives are brought to market, substitutes with high GWPs will be 
removed from the SNAP list. NRDC and IGSD commented that this provides 
American companies with an opportunity to become industry leaders as 
the global market moves away from high-GWP substances, by developing 
new chemicals and processes to transition the refrigeration, cooling, 
aerosol and foams markets as quickly as possible. NRDC further 
commented that this rule will establish U.S. industry as a leader in 
safer chemicals, helping pave the way for global action under the 
Montreal Protocol. NRDC noted that when EPA previously proposed phasing 
down CFCs and ODS, there were warnings about dire impacts on industry 
that did not come to pass, and NRDC expects this will be true for this 
rule as well. NRDC commented that 25 years of experience with the 
Montreal Protocol and the CAA has shown us that transitioning to safer 
chemicals works smoothly.
    Response: EPA appreciates this comment and agrees that there are 
many innovative U.S. companies bringing new low-GWP, energy-efficient 
products to market.
2. EPA's Cost Analysis and Small Business Impacts Screening Analysis
    Comment: EPA received a number of comments indicating that small 
businesses bear a disproportionate share of the regulatory burden and 
that the NPRM represents a ``significant regulatory action,'' NAFEM 
comments that EPA must conduct a complete analysis of the impacts on 
small entities before any final regulation can be promulgated. NAFEM 
comments that EPA's analysis is too narrow, is incomplete, and that its 
conclusions are unsupported. NAFEM further comments that the NPRM 
disproportionately affects small entities. NAFEM comments

[[Page 42944]]

that the NPRM represents a major rule and will have a $100 million 
effect on the economy and a major impact on the commercial 
refrigeration industry and its consumers. NAFEM commented that the 
docket lacks a robust industry analysis of the effects on small 
business manufacturers and customers, or reasonable support for EPA's 
Regulatory Flexibility Act conclusions. NAFEM recommends that EPA 
initiate a Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act (SBREFA) 
Small Entity Representative review panel to help inform final 
rulemaking, as required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Solvay also 
commented that EPA should convene a Small Business Advocacy Review 
Panel under the SBREFA.
    Response: E.O. 12866 states that rules that have an impact on the 
economy of $100 million per year qualify as significant regulatory 
actions. EPA disagrees that this rule would have an impact on the 
economy of $100 million more per year. We performed an analysis of the 
costs of the proposed rule on businesses and estimated the total 
annualized upfront compliance costs to range from $8.9 million to $41.6 
million; total annual savings are estimated to be about $25.1 million 
(ICF, 2014g). This cost analysis did not evaluate the share of costs 
likely to be borne by consumers, since it is not clear what proportion 
of cost impacts may be carried on to consumers, and further, such 
economic analyses typically look at costs to the regulated community 
rather than indirect impacts on consumers. We updated this analysis 
based upon the regulatory options and change of status dates in the 
final rule, and using cost information provided by commenters. The 
changes in the final rule--especially with respect to compliance 
dates--reduce the cost impacts on small businesses, while the updated 
cost information resulted in higher cost estimates. In this updated 
analysis, we estimated the total annualized upfront compliance costs to 
range from $28.0 million to $50.6 million, using a 7% discount rate, 
and from $19.5 million to $37.8 million, using a 3% discount rate. 
Total annual savings are estimated to be about $19.3 million (ICF, 
2015c). In either case, this is well below the $100 million per year 
threshold to consider this an economically significant rule on economic 
grounds.
    EPA disagrees with the commenter that the ``docket lacks a robust 
industry analysis on the effects on small business manufacturers and 
customers, or reasonable support for EPA's Regulatory Flexibility Act 
conclusions.'' The Agency's screening analysis at proposal stage is 
included in the docket (ICF, 2014f). The commenters do not point to any 
specific aspect of that analysis that they believe are deficient. A 
Small Business Advocacy Panel is convened when a proposed rulemaking is 
expected to have a significant impact on a substantial number of small 
entities, or ``SISNOSE.'' We have updated our small business impacts 
screening analysis using the change of status decisions and dates in 
the final rule, adding boat manufacturers as affected entities, and 
using detailed cost information provided by commenters (ICF, 2015b). 
EPA's preliminary and final screening analyses concluded that this 
rulemaking would not pose a SISNOSE. In the analyses, EPA recognized 
that some small businesses may experience significant costs, but 
concluded that the number of small businesses that would experience 
significant costs was not substantial.
    Both the screening analysis for purposes of determining whether 
there was a SISNOSE and the analysis to determine whether the rule was 
significant based upon economic grounds were conducted based on the 
best market and cost information available to the Agency. Where 
commenters provided specific market or cost information, the Agency 
used that information to update these analyses. The updated analyses 
came to the same conclusions: That the final rule would not pose a 
SISNOSE and that it is not an economically significant rule (ICF, 
2015b,c).

C. Environmental Effects of Proposed Status Changes

    EPA received submissions from 42 commenters related to the 
environmental impacts of the proposed status changes. Additionally, EPA 
received 7,022 mass mailing letters commenting on the importance of 
transitioning away from HFCs to more climate-friendly alternatives. Ten 
commenters referred to the CAP.
1. General Comments
    Comment: EPA received over 7,000 substantially identical comments 
regarding the climate impacts of HFCs and supporting action to address 
the growth in usage of these potent greenhouse gases. The commenters 
also stated that that the rest of the world, including Europe and 
Japan, is taking action to reduce HFC emissions, so the United States 
should also transition away from HFCs to protect the planet from the 
catastrophic impacts of climate change. They also stated that it is of 
the utmost importance to limit ``super-potent'' greenhouse gases from 
use in refrigerators, air conditioners, aerosols and foams and 
substitute them with safer, more climate-friendly alternatives. They 
also noted that some HFCs remain in the atmosphere for decades or even 
centuries after they are released, so that they have a strong 
cumulative effect. NRDC stated that if EPA were only considering human 
health risks, HFCs should be banned immediately given the climate 
risks. NRDC commented that we know these chemicals are extremely potent 
agents of climate change, and we know that continuing to use them only 
exacerbates the climate problem. EIA requested that EPA continue to 
remove high GWP HFCs from the lists of acceptable substitutes, given 
that HFC emissions are set to double by 2020 and triple by 2030, and 
given that this rule has the potential to reduce 42 MMTCO2eq 
by 2020. EIA urged EPA to address all sectors covered in the SNAP 
program, given the needs of climate and the existence of climate-
friendly alternatives. DuPont commented that they acknowledge the 
environmental need to avoid future growth in GHG emissions, and have 
thus developed low-GWP, energy efficient products.
    Response: The Agency appreciates the support of actions to list 
change the status of certain HFCs. Other actions urged by the 
commenters are outside the scope of this rulemaking.
2. EPA's Benefits Analysis
    Comment: EPA received a number of comments regarding the 
importance, significance, and magnitude of the environmental benefits 
of avoided HFC emissions that would result based on the proposed rule.
    CARB comments the current regulations and the SNAP proposal meet 
only half of the 80% reduction necessary for the HFC sector if 
California is to meet its overall GHG reduction goal contained in 
California Executive Order (EO) S-3-05 (2005). Therefore, CARB believes 
additional HFC reductions are required to reduce this fastest-growing 
source of GHGs.
    NRDC and IGSD comment that even though HFCs may currently make up a 
small piece of global climate emissions, their projected rapid growth 
underscores the urgent need to replace these chemicals with lower-GWP 
alternatives. Further, NRDC and IGSD comment that without stringent 
rules in place, HFC emissions increases could counteract the progress 
EPA is striving to make in other sectors to reduce carbon pollution.
    Response: EPA appreciates the support for reducing GHG emissions, 
and appreciates the estimates of the benefits in terms of 
MMTCO2eq that the

[[Page 42945]]

commenters provide. CARB's comment concerning meeting GHG reduction 
goals in a California EO are beyond the scope of this rule; we may 
consider additional status changes in a future rule. We agree with NRDC 
and IGSD that HFC emissions are growing rapidly and that it is timely 
to act now to encourage use of lower-GWP alternatives and ensure 
continuing progress. The Agency notes that both EPA's estimates cited 
in the NPRM and the estimates the commenters provide are based on the 
provisions of the proposed rule, and that the benefits from this final 
rule differ. For further information, see EPA, 2014 and EPA, 2015b.
    Comment: Arkema comments that at this time, it is not possible to 
provide a more detailed critique of the Vintaging Model's assumptions 
and the levels of sector emissions given the lack of meaningful 
information in the docket. Arkema comments that the docket does not 
provide all the model inputs, nor does EPA disclose the specific 
emission factors that it used to derive its estimates, how recent those 
estimates are, and how they are expected to change over time. Arkema 
comments that EPA's benefits analysis nowhere details the extent of the 
uncertainties in its emissions estimates, even though the record 
elsewhere acknowledges that such emissions estimates may be unreliable.
    Response: As an initial matter, EPA did not rely on the Vintaging 
Model in reaching decisions about whether other alternatives present 
lower overall risk. Nor did EPA otherwise rely on the benefits analysis 
that accompanied the proposed rule. We estimated emissions reductions 
resulting from this rulemaking in order to provide information to the 
public. Consistent with section 612(c) of the CAA, EPA relied on the 
criteria for review specified in the SNAP regulations at 40 CFR 
82.180(a)(7) in determining whether the substitutes for which we 
proposed to change the status presented greater risk to human health 
and the environment than other available alternatives.
    As part of the process for listing alternatives, EPA evaluates 
information concerning a substitute according to the criteria in EPA's 
regulations at 82.180(a)(7) (e.g., atmospheric effects, ecosystem 
risks, occupational and consumer risks, availability) in comparison 
with other available substitutes for the same end-uses. At the time of 
review, we prepare a risk screen and place it in the relevant public 
docket for our listing decisions. It is rare for risk screens to 
include information from the Vintaging Model, although such information 
may be used in some cases to estimate emissions (e.g., VOC emissions 
from an end-use where the submitter has provided insufficient 
information). The preambles to this final rule and the NPRM include 
information summarizing the comparisons to other alternatives. In 
addition, we also have docketed a document which provides the Federal 
Register citations for the information on the health and environmental 
characteristics of various alternatives in the end-uses covered in this 
final rule (EPA, 2015d).
    See the next response for further information about where one can 
find information on the modeling assumptions and methodology.
    Comment: Arkema commented that in order to calculate HFC sector 
emission savings, the Vintaging Model needs to be revised since it is 
over-estimating chemical demand. Arkema also commented that the basis 
and methodology for the Vintaging Model's emissions estimates are 
unclear, but a comparison to publicly available information should have 
raised red flags because a steady growth rate of HFC emissions in the 
U.S. is extremely unlikely for at least three of the four covered 
sectors (i.e., MVAC, aerosols, and foams). For MVAC, Arkema comments 
that refrigerant charge sizes have been dropping, and new cars will be 
transitioning to low-GWP alternatives over time. Arkema notes that for 
aerosols, a significant portion of the aerosol product manufacturing 
industry has already transitioned out of the HFCs proposed for 
regulation. In addition, Arkema points out that UNEP's 2014 TEAP report 
shows that hydrocarbon technologies already dominate the foam sector.
    Response: EPA's Vintaging Model has been explained annually in the 
Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gases and Sinks \101\ report and other 
places. For example, the 2015 annual Inventory of U.S. Greenhouse Gas 
Emissions and Sinks report, EPA Report 430-R-15-004 (EPA, 2015c), 
covers emissions, including emissions of HFCs used as ODS alternatives, 
for the years 1990 through 2013 and provides in detail the basis and 
methodologies used. The commenter is misinformed with respect to the 
assumptions used in the model. Specifically, the model does assume that 
MVAC refrigerant charge sizes have dropped over time, and it utilizes 
detailed sector information to calculate such changes. In addition, it 
does assume that a significant portion of the aerosol product 
manufacturing industry has transitioned out of HFCs. Although the cited 
2014 TEAP report--which the commenter states indicates hydrocarbon 
technologies dominate the foam sector--applies globally rather than 
specifically to the United States, EPA notes that its Vintaging Model 
does specifically assume that significant transition in the foam 
industry to non-ozone-depleting, low-GWP substances, including 
hydrocarbons, has occurred.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \101\ Available online at www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport/2014.html.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment: Arkema comments that as far as they are aware, EPA has 
never submitted its Vintaging Model for external peer review. Arkema 
comments that the Vintaging Model qualifies under the Agency's Peer 
Review Handbook as ``influential scientific information'' for which 
external peer review is warranted. Arkema believes that the underlying 
data has been kept a secret. Arkema comments that EPA's NPRM is not 
consistent with Administrator McCarthy's three pillars of EPA's 
scientific conclusions: Transparency, rigorous peer review, and robust, 
meaningful public comment. Arkema comments that EPA cannot obtain 
robust, meaningful comments if the Vintaging Model is not subject to 
peer review and if underlying data is kept secret.
    Response: As explained above, EPA used its Vintaging Model to 
provide information to the public, but does not rely on that 
information to support today's rule. Thus, the issue of whether the 
Vintaging Model should be subject to a peer review process is outside 
the scope of this rulemaking action.
3. Energy Efficiency
    Comment: EPA received a number of comments regarding energy 
efficiency and LCCP of refrigeration equipment. NAFEM commented that 
the life-cycle climate performances of manufacturers show that only 
about 10% of the environmental impact is due to a combination of 
refrigerant leak, charge amount and GWP of the refrigerant; the rest 
relates to energy efficiency. NAFEM asserted that the proposed SNAP 
rule does not account for nor can EPA claim any significant 
environmental benefits to offset significant costs. The Alliance noted 
that given the important energy efficiency consequences of this 
proposed rule, it is unclear how this action will meet the statutory 
standard of no greater risk to human health and the environment. The 
Alliance commented that by taking previously acceptable substitutes off 
the market, these proposals could result in less efficiency in the near 
term. The Alliance further comments as EPA evaluates the

[[Page 42946]]

timing of transitions in various end-use segments, it is important that 
life cycle greenhouse gas emissions, including those associated with 
energy use, are given proper consideration as part of ensuring the 
alternative presents ``no greater risk to human health and the 
environment.''
    Response: EPA provided estimates of the climate benefits associated 
with the NPRM, and we have also estimated the climate benefits 
associated with this final rule (EPA, 2014; EPA, 2015b). These 
estimates are based on avoided direct HFC emissions. They are distinct 
from our evaluation of whether other alternatives are currently or 
potentially available that present less overall risk to human health 
and the environment. EPA does not have a practice in the SNAP program 
of including indirect climate impacts or energy efficiency in the 
overall risk analysis. We do consider issues such as technical needs 
for energy efficiency (e.g., to meet DOE standards) in determining 
whether alternatives are ``available.'' Elsewhere in this final action, 
EPA addressed and responded to comments concerning energy efficiency 
(see in particular sections V.C.3.c, V.C.4.c, V.C.7 and V.D.3.c). EPA 
notes that the refrigerant is only one of many factors affecting energy 
efficiency. Moreover, even as refrigerant transitions have taken place 
over past decades, we have seen improved energy efficiency. This is 
often due to equipment redesigns and technology advancements that 
include factors besides the choice of refrigerant. EPA notes that a 
number of models are already commercially available that do not use the 
refrigerants subject to a change of status in this final rule and also 
meet or exceed the relevant energy conservation standards and thus 
reduce both direct and indirect climate impacts.
4. The Climate Action Plan
    Comment: EPA received six comments commending the EPA for quickly 
proposing a rule to achieve the goals in the President's CAP.
    Response: EPA appreciates the support from this wide variety of 
interested stakeholders on addressing the goals in the President's CAP.
    Comment: EPA received two comments questioning whether the 
President's CAP provides authority to regulate HFCs.
    Response: Section 612 of the CAA, not the CAP, provides the 
authority for this action. CAA section 612(c) requires EPA to list a 
substitute as unacceptable if other available alternatives pose lower 
risk to human health and the environment.
    Comment: Two comments stated that EPA's response to the President's 
CAP in the NPRM did not consider full ramifications of the challenges 
to industry.
    Response: The NPRM proposed changes to listings based on the 
information the Agency had at the time of the proposal. We requested 
comments to further our understanding of any potential challenges 
relating to technical feasibility or supply. We considered that 
additional information as we developed the final rule.

D. Potential Exemptions

    Comment: EIA commented on potential exemptions, specifically the 
need for a mechanism to petition for an essential use exemption or for 
more time with a valid basis. The commenter recognized that the 
potential for the misuse of such a mechanism could overwhelm the 
resources of the EPA available for this transition. As a result, EIA 
recommended that EPA grant no blanket exemptions or delays due to the 
needs of one or a few sectors but that EPA establish an exemption 
mechanism with a penalty clause to avoid misuse.
    Response: The SNAP regulations do not currently contain an across-
the-board mechanism for petitioning for an exemption, and EPA did not 
propose such a mechanism in the NPRM. To make such a change in our 
regulations, we would first need to provide an opportunity for public 
comments. In some instances in the final rule EPA has changed a listing 
to acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits. The narrowed use limits 
identify a narrow part of the end-use in which an end user could use an 
otherwise unacceptable substitute if they can support that no other 
acceptable substitutes are available for their specific application.

E. Interactions With Other Rules

    Comment: The Alliance, AHAM, AHRI, and a number of other commenters 
in the commercial refrigeration and home appliance industries expressed 
concern about the feasibility of using other alternatives to meet DOE 
energy conservation standards. AHRI and Coca-Cola stated that DOE's 
federal minimum energy conservation standards are based on refrigerants 
and foam blowing agents that EPA is now proposing to list as 
unacceptable. NAFEM comments that manufacturers are now finding that 
developing a product to meet both the energy conservation standards and 
also utilizes acceptable alternative refrigerants and blowing agents is 
daunting if not impossible. Commenters pointed out that they have 
redesigned products to meet DOE energy conservation standards due to 
take effect in 2017. See section V.C.1.b for a discussion of DOE energy 
conservation standards that apply to the equipment affected by this 
rule.
    Response: Given that today's rule contains later deadlines than 
proposed, as well as a phased-in approach with different status change 
dates for different kinds of equipment as suggested by many commenters, 
this should address commenters' concern about meeting both sets of 
requirements.\102\ EPA continues to coordinate with DOE as EPA reviews 
alternative refrigerants and foam blowing agents, DOE tests energy 
efficiency of certain alternative refrigerants, and the two agencies 
discuss each other's rulemakings in development. EPA sees the redesign 
of products as an integral part of business operations, and believes 
redesigning equipment to use refrigerants that pose a lower overall 
risk to human health and the environment is in many ways similar to 
past redesigns. We believe that manufacturers can incorporate lower-GWP 
refrigerants in stand-alone retail food refrigeration equipment and 
remote condensing units while designing for DOE energy conservation 
standards for commercial refrigeration equipment and for walk-in 
coolers and freezers, both of which have compliance dates in 2017, and 
can incorporate lower-GWP foam blowing agents while designing for DOE 
standards for household refrigerators/freezers. Based on the 2014 
compliance date of the most recent DOE standards for residential 
refrigerators and freezers, the compliance date for any revised energy 
conservation standard for household refrigerators and freezers would be 
no earlier than 2020. As discussed in the previous and following 
responses and in sections V.C.7 and V.D.3.c) as well as other sections 
of this preamble, there are both refrigerants and foam blowing agents 
with lower GWPs available that allow for improved energy efficiency 
compared to the substitutes we are finding unacceptable in this rule. 
EPA anticipates that innovative companies

[[Page 42947]]

will seize this opportunity to develop more efficient and profitable 
designs.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \102\ If a manufacturer believes that its design is subjected to 
undue hardship by DOE's regulations, the manufacturer may petition 
DOE's Office of Hearing and Appeals (OHA) for exception relief or 
exemption from the standard pursuant to OHA's authority under 
section 504 of the DOE Organization Act (42 U.S.C. 7194), as 
implemented at subpart B of 10 CFR part 1003. OHA has the authority 
to grant such relief on a case-by-case basis if it determines that a 
manufacturer has demonstrated that meeting the standard would cause 
hardship, inequity, or unfair distribution of burdens.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Comment: A number of manufacturers of commercial refrigeration 
products commented on the relative energy efficiency of alternative 
refrigerants, compared to the refrigerants proposed to be unacceptable. 
Lennox commented that the substitution of R-407 family refrigerants in 
place of R-404A and R-507A will negatively affect the efficiency 
performance of refrigeration equipment for walk-in coolers and 
freezers. Structural Concepts stated that switching from R-404A to R-
744, and consequently switching to thicker piping and new compressors, 
would increase energy usage overall by 45%, which would cause the unit 
to exceed the allowable energy level determined by the DOE. AMS 
commented that after studying the suitability of the acceptable (R-744) 
and proposed acceptable (R-290, R-600a and R-441A) alternatives 
extensively, it concluded that only R-290 will allow it to meet DOE 
energy conservation mandates. NAMA stated that because of DOE 
requirements, CO2's use would be limited to indoor self-
contained units, limiting locations of refrigerated vending machines, 
reducing revenues for the entire supply chain and reducing consumer 
choice. Information in the Agency's possession describes a 
manufacturer's testing of the energy efficiency of condensing units 
with R-404A compared to R-407A, finding that the energy efficiency was 
typically higher with R-407A in medium-temperature equipment but was 
typically lower with R-407A in low-temperature equipment (EPA-HQ-OAR-
2014-1098-0184). Structural Concepts comments that R-744 is not 
flammable, but it is less energy efficient than the acceptable, 
flammable refrigerant propane, and to meet the EPA proposed regulation 
would likely mean they fail to meet DOE regulations or go out of 
business trying to meet them.
    Response: EPA expects that no single refrigerant will improve 
energy efficiency compared to the unacceptable refrigerants in every 
type of equipment or in every situation. For example, the information 
regarding a manufacturer's test results indicates that R-407A may 
provide improved energy efficiency compared to R-404A for medium-
temperature refrigeration equipment (refrigerators), but not 
necessarily for low-temperature refrigeration equipment (freezers); 
this information indicates that Lenox's comment about lower energy 
efficiency of R-407A compared to R-404A or R-507A may be correct for 
low-temperature equipment and incorrect for medium-temperature 
equipment. We agree with the commenters who noted that R-744 may be 
more energy efficient in locations with lower ambient temperatures and 
thus may be more suitable for use indoors than outdoors. R-290 may 
provide better energy efficiency than HFC refrigerants in many 
situations, but not necessarily all, and not all end users will want to 
use a flammable refrigerant. In response to the comment from Structural 
Concepts expressing concern about the ability to meeting energy 
conservation standards using CO2 and the cost of using 
propane, we note that there are additional refrigerant choices 
available for stand-alone refrigeration equipment and vending machines 
besides CO2 and hydrocarbon refrigerants, such as the 
nonflammable refrigerants R-448A, R-449A, R-450A and R-513A. As 
discussed in section V.C.7, these blends may show improved energy 
efficiency over HFC-134a and R-404A. In addition, design and operation 
of refrigeration equipment affects energy efficiency and not just the 
refrigerant used. Given the variety of currently or potentially 
available alternatives, EPA believes it is unlikely that manufacturers 
will have to use refrigerants that will result in reduced energy 
efficiency compared to the refrigerants being listed as unacceptable or 
otherwise restricted in this final rule, and we expect that 
manufacturers will be able to meet DOE energy conservation standards 
with the remaining available alternatives.
    Comment: Some manufacturers of commercial refrigeration products 
commented on how design changes needed to accommodate alternative 
refrigerants may negatively affect energy efficiency. Parker Hannifin 
stated that most of the alternatives result in higher discharge 
temperatures and that some of the discharge temperature control methods 
employed negatively affect system efficiency. Nor-Lake and Structural 
Concepts indicated that they expected to need dual compressor systems, 
and stated that the increased energy usage of the dual system may 
outweigh the environmental gains of using the alternate lower-GWP 
refrigerant.
    Response: EPA agrees that some design changes could have negative 
impacts on energy efficiency if they were done without broader 
considerations for the overall performance of the appliance. As stated 
elsewhere, many models that comply with DOE energy conservation 
standards are already commercially available that do not use the 
refrigerants subject to a change of status in this final rule. We agree 
with Nor-Lake and Structural Concepts that dual compressor systems are 
more likely needed for larger equipment, particularly larger equipment 
using hydrocarbon refrigerants which have use limits restricting the 
refrigerant charge in a single refrigeration circuit. Recent listings 
of additional nonflammable refrigerants (e.g., R-450A) allow for 
additional options that would not require dual compressors. In response 
to Parker Hannifin's comment about discharge temperatures, we note that 
producers of some alternative refrigerant blends under review by the 
SNAP program claim that these new blends have operating properties 
similar to those of HFC refrigerants, such as similar operating 
pressures and discharge temperatures.
    Given the variety of currently or potentially available 
alternatives, EPA believes it is unlikely that manufacturers will have 
to use refrigerants that will result in reduced energy efficiency 
compared to the refrigerants being listed unacceptable in this final 
rule.
    Comment: The Alliance, AHAM, AHRI, and a number of other commenters 
in the commercial refrigeration and home appliance industries suggested 
that the SNAP rulemaking schedule should be better coordinated with the 
ongoing DOE energy conservation standard rulemaking schedules. AHAM 
comments that firms have invested millions of dollars to meet new DOE 
conservation standards that were based on the assumption of the 
availability of HFCs, and have diverted the scarce capital that is 
available for regulation-driven investment. The National Association of 
Manufacturers (NAM) requested that the EPA harmonize the rule with the 
DOE rule in order to ease the capital- and design-intensive 
manufacturer transition. Scotsman Ice Systems and Whirlpool Corporation 
stated that as a result of the potential regulatory measures, their 
ability to develop any customer focused products or new product 
features during this time will be constrained. GE Appliances notes that 
the burden of overlapping regulatory requirements between SNAP and the 
DOE require consideration and review under the executive orders issued 
by President Obama and his predecessors that require consideration of 
cumulative regulatory burden.
    Response: EPA's timeframes are based upon our understanding of the 
availability of alternatives, considering technical challenges and 
supply. The timeframes in this final rule take into account additional 
information on availability provided to the Agency

[[Page 42948]]

during the comment period. These timeframes account for the time needed 
to meet the technical challenge of designing equipment using 
alternative refrigerants that can meet the DOE requirements. We note 
that EPA and DOE coordinate to the extent possible. For example, each 
agency has reviewed the other's rules. The list of acceptable SNAP 
alternatives is evolving. EPA is also coordinating with DOE to ensure 
more alternative refrigerants are being tested for energy efficiency. 
We recognize that as manufacturers focus on designing equipment to meet 
the DOE standards and to use refrigerants acceptable under the SNAP 
program, they may need to divert design resources from other projects 
for that period of time. However, as provided in section VII.A.7, this 
type of transition cost is not a part of the SNAP review criteria. As 
explained in the Statutory and Executive Order sections at the end of 
the NPRM and of this final rule, EPA has complied with those 
requirements.
    Comment: The National Restaurant Association (NRA) comments that 
the food industry is already being affected by the EPA's rule Listing 
of Substitutes for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and Revision of 
the Venting Prohibition for Certain Refrigerant Substitutes. NRA 
believes the EPA should consider the impacts of the cumulative 
regulatory burden of rulemakings and standards imposed nearly 
simultaneously on manufacturers of this equipment in the final 
rulemaking.
    Response: The rule entitled ``Listing of Substitutes for 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and Revision of the Venting 
Prohibition for Certain Refrigerant Substitutes'' lists additional 
substitutes as acceptable, subject to use conditions. It does not 
mandate use of the newly listed substitutes. Thus, it is unclear how it 
might result in cumulative regulatory burden together with this rule. 
Equipment designed using the refrigerants in that rule is not affected 
by this rule, which concerns different refrigerants. Finally, that rule 
also has an exemption from requirements under section 608 of the CAA 
that will reduce regulatory burden.
    Comment: Danfoss commented that several of the refrigerants listed 
as acceptable in the rule titled Listing of Substitutes for 
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and Revision of the Venting 
Prohibition for Certain Refrigerant Substitutes are severely restricted 
by building codes and would not be acceptable for use in most areas of 
the U.S, mainly due to their flammability. Danfoss stated they believe 
that the proposed replacement refrigerants are not able to be used as 
short term alternatives to those being found unacceptable because 
changes to model building codes and subsequent adoption by states and 
localities will likely be much later than 2020.
    Response: EPA acknowledges that some building codes may currently 
restrict or prohibit use of flammable refrigerants. We note that other 
available or potentially available refrigerants that are not flammable 
and have relatively low GWP (roughly 600 or less), including R-744 and 
R-450A, are listed as acceptable for use in retail food refrigeration 
and in vending machines.
    Comment: A number of manufacturers of laboratory refrigeration 
equipment and several foam manufacturers suggested that EPA align the 
timelines for transition of foam blowing agents and refrigerants with 
the requirements of the EU F-Gas regulations. The commenters summarized 
the deadlines for foams as: 2008 for one-component foams, January 1, 
2020, for XPS, January 1, 2023, for other foams, and provisions for a 
four-year extension of time where (1) ``alternatives are not available 
or cannot be used for technical or safety reasons'' or (2) ``the use of 
technically feasible and safe alternatives would entail 
disproportionate costs.'' Commenters summarized the deadlines for 
refrigerants in commercial refrigerators and freezers as being January 
1, 2020, for HFCs with GWP of 2,500 and January 1, 2022, for HFCs with 
GWP of 150 or more.
    Reasons given for this coordination of timeline with EU regulations 
include: Many companies are trans-national and had already been 
planning on a transition in line with the EU regulatory deadlines; the 
SNAP program has deferred to other regulations in the past; and the 
later deadlines will allow for redesign of refrigeration equipment for 
both alternative, flammable refrigerants and for new foam blowing 
agents and for needed third-party testing. Commenters stated that the 
proposed deadlines would create an extreme burden, particularly on 
small businesses; that part supplies needed for compliance are not 
offered in the United States; and that the transition is a complicated 
undertaking that cannot be performed in 18 months.
    Response: EPA disagrees that it should align the timelines in this 
rule with the EU timelines. The EU regulations are based upon different 
authority from the SNAP program and we must decide upon timelines based 
upon the availability of alternatives in the United States. Concerning 
the suggestion that EPA has deferred to other regulations, we note that 
there are several key differences. As an initial matter, we have 
deferred to U.S. regulations. More importantly, we have not deferred to 
other regulations in a manner that overrides the statutory mandate 
governing the SNAP program. Rather, in the context evaluating risks of 
alternatives under our comparative risk framework we have looked to 
regulations in effect, such as workplace regulations from OSHA or the 
National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, to determine 
whether a specific alternative may be used as safely as other available 
alternatives. This is different from aligning with a timeline in 
another nation's regulations that are not effective within the United 
States or deferring to considerations in those regulations, such as 
transition costs, that are not part of the SNAP decision criteria.

F. Other Comments

    Additional public comments not already discussed above along with 
EPA's responses are available in the Response to Comments document 
which accompanies this action (EPA, 2015a).

VIII. Additional Analyses

    EPA does not consider the cost of transition to other alternatives 
in making listing decisions because under the SNAP criteria for review 
in 40 CFR 82.180(a)(7), consideration of cost is limited to cost of the 
substitute under review. However, EPA has prepared technical support 
documents including analyses of costs associated with sector 
transitions, estimated avoided GHG emissions associated with the 
transition to alternatives, and potential small business 
impacts.103 104 105
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \103\ ICF, 2015a. Revised Cost Analysis for Regulatory Changes 
to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives. July 2015.
    \104\ ICF, 2015b. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives--
Revised. July 2015.
    \105\ EPA, 2015. Climate Benefits of the SNAP Program Status 
Change Rule, July 2015.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The transition scenarios analyzed possible ways to comply with the 
final rule. The transition scenario in the cost analysis reflects a 
direct compliance cost method and does not assume the regulated 
community chooses higher-cost solutions where known less costly 
solutions exist. The scenarios analyzed in the avoided GHG emissions 
analysis reflect possible transitions for compliance based on 
considerations of the market and activity towards lower-GWP solutions. 
While the emission reductions have been quantified, they have not been 
monetized. Thus, higher or lower GHG emission reductions do

[[Page 42949]]

not necessarily correlate to higher or lower costs due to the different 
assumptions and methodologies used in the different analyses. However, 
the transitions assumed in the lower, less aggressive scenario here are 
similar to the transitions assumed in the cost analysis.
    To extend the assessment to all-sized businesses potentially 
affected by the rulemaking, EPA conducted an analysis on costs to all-
sized businesses building on the approach taken to estimate potential 
economic impacts on small businesses. Using a 7% discount rate, total 
annualized compliance costs across affected businesses are estimated to 
range from $28.0 million to $50.6 million; total annual savings are 
estimated to be about $19.3 million. Using a 3% discount rate, total 
annualized compliance costs across affected businesses are estimated to 
range from $19.5 million to $37.8 million, total annual savings are 
estimated be about $19.3 million.
    EPA conducted an analysis on the potential avoided GHG emissions 
associated with implementation of this final rule. The emissions 
avoided from this final rule are estimated to be 26 to 31 
MMTCO2eq in 2020. The avoided emissions are estimated to be 
54 to 64 MMTCO2eq in 2025 and 78 to 101 MMTCO2eq in 2030 
(EPA, 2015b) .

IX. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

    Additional information about these statutes and Executive Orders 
can be found at www2.epa.gov/laws-regulations/laws-and-executive-orders.

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is a significant regulatory action that was submitted 
to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) for review. Any changes 
made in response to OMB recommendations have been documented in the 
docket.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden. 
OMB has previously approved the information collection requirements 
contained in the existing regulations and has assigned OMB control 
number 2060-0226. This final rule contains no new requirements for 
reporting or recordkeeping.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities. The requirements of 
this final rule with respect to HFCs, will impact manufacturers of some 
consumer and technical aerosol products, retail food refrigeration 
equipment, vending machines, motor vehicles, and products containing 
phenolic, polyisocyanurate, polyolefin, PU, and polystyrene foams. The 
requirements of this final rule with respect to HCFCs could 
theoretically affect manufacturers of aerosols, foams, industrial 
cleaning solvents, fire suppressants, and adhesives, coatings, and 
inks; however, due to existing regulations that restrict the use of 
HCFCs in these products, no actual impact is expected. In some uses, 
there is no significant impact of the final rule because the 
substitutes proposed to be prohibited are not widely used (e.g., use of 
HFC-134a as a propellant in consumer aerosol products, use of HFC-134a 
as a foam blowing agent in various polyurethane foams). A significant 
portion of the businesses regulated under this rule are not small 
businesses (e.g., car manufacturers, appliance manufacturers). About 
500,000 small businesses could be subject to the rule, although more 
than 99% of those businesses are expected to experience zero compliance 
costs because other available substitutes for supermarket refrigeration 
systems and condensing units have costs similar to those of the 
refrigerants listed as unacceptable. For those small businesses with 
compliance costs, impacts are estimated to range from 0% to 48% of 
annual sales, with approximately 57 businesses expected to experience 
an impact of 3.0% of annual sales or more. Details of this analysis are 
presented in the document, Economic Impact Screening Analysis for 
Regulatory Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives--
Revised (ICF, 2015b). In our analysis, we found that while some small 
businesses may experience significant costs, the number of small 
businesses that would experience significant costs is not substantial. 
We have therefore concluded that this action will not have a 
significant impact on a substantial number of small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act (UMRA)

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in 
UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any 
state, local, or tribal governments or the private sector.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in EO 
13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on tribal 
governments, on the relationship between the Federal government and 
Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal government and Indian tribes. Thus, Executive Order 
13175 does not apply to this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health and Safety Risks

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13045 (62 FR 19885, 
April 23, 1997) because it is not economically significant as defined 
in EO 12866, and because the environmental health or safety risks 
addressed by this action do not present a disproportionate risk to 
children. This action restricts the use of certain substitutes that 
have greater overall risks for human health and the environment, 
primarily due to their high global warming potential. The reduction in 
GHG emissions would provide climate benefits for all people, including 
benefits for children and future generations.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211, (66 FR 28355 (May 22, 2001)) because it is not 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. Aerosol uses are not related to the 
supply, distribution, or use of energy. For the end-uses that are 
related to energy effects, including refrigeration and air conditioning 
and some rigid cell PU and polystyrene insulation foams, a number of 
alternatives are available to replace those refrigerants and foam 
blowing agents that are listed as unacceptable in this action; many of 
the alternatives are as energy-efficient or more energy-efficient than 
the substitutes being listed as unacceptable. As described in more 
detail in this document, energy efficiency is influenced, but not 
determined, by the refrigerant. Similarly, although foam blowing agents 
influence the insulation properties of rigid cell foams, this also can 
vary due

[[Page 42950]]

to other properties of the foam (e.g., thickness). Thus, we have 
concluded that this rule is not likely to have any adverse energy 
effects.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This action does not involve technical standards.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    EPA has determined that this action will not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations because it increases the 
level of environmental protection for all affected populations without 
having any disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on any population, including any minority or low-
income population. This action would prohibit a number of substances 
with ODPs or high GWPs. The reduction in ODS and GWP emissions would 
assist in restoring the stratospheric ozone layer and provide climate 
benefits.

K. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and the EPA will submit a rule 
report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of 
the United States. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

X. References

    This preamble references the following documents, which are also in 
the Air Docket at the address listed in section I.B.1. Unless specified 
otherwise, all documents are available electronically through the 
Federal Docket Management System, Docket #EPA-HQ-OAR-2014-0198.

AGC, 2014. AGC to Supply Honeywell with HFO-1234yf--New-generation 
Automobile Refrigerant, 23 January 2014. This document is accessible 
at: https://www.agc.com/english/news/2014/0123e.pdf.
Akerman, Nancy H. Hydrofluorocarbons and Climate Change: Summaries 
of Recent Scientific and Papers, 2013.
Andersen, S.O., Sherman, N.J., Craig, T., Baker, J., ``Secondary 
Loop Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning Systems (SL-MACs). Using Low-
Global Warming Potential (GWP) Refrigerants.'' In Leak-Tight Systems 
in Climates with High Fuel Prices and Long, Hot and Humid Cooling 
Seasons. Building on the Previous Success of Delphi, Fiat, General 
Motors, Volvo, Red Dot, SAE Cooperative Research Projects, and Other 
Engineering Groups.'' MACS Briefing, 2015.
Arkema, 2013. Arkema is announcing the construction of production 
capacities for new refrigerant fluorinated gas 1234yf, September 4, 
2013. This document is accessible at: www.arkema.com/en/media/news/news-details/Arkema-is-announcing-the-construction-of-production-capacities-for-new-refrigerant-fluorinated-gas-1234yf/?back=true.
Ben and Jerry's, 2014. Cleaner, Greener Freezers. This document is 
accessible at www.benjerry.com/values/how-we-do-business/cleaner-greener-freezers.
CCAC, 2012. Technology Forum on Climate-Friendly Alternatives in 
Commercial Refrigeration. Meeting Summary, December 8, 2012.
Coca Cola, 2012. 2012/2013 GRI Report. This document is accessible 
at: assets.coca-colacompany.com/44/d4/e4eb8b6f4682804bdf6ba2ca89b8/2012-2013-gri-report.pdf.
Coca Cola, 2014. Coca-Cola Installs 1 Millionth HFC-Free Cooler 
Globally, Preventing 5.25MM Metric Tons of CO2, January 
22, 2014. This document is accessible at: www.coca-colacompany.com/press-center/press-releases/coca-cola-installs-1-millionth-hfc-free-cooler-globally-preventing-525mm-metrics-tons-of-co2.
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eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/
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Greenhouse Gases under section 202 (a) of the Clean Air Act. 
Technical Support Document. December 7, 2009.
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accessible at: www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/gc_storecertprogram08232011.pdf.
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Refrigeration Retrofits''. August 2011. This document is accessible 
at http://www2.epa.gov/sites/production/files/documents/retrofit_guideline_august_2011.pdf.
EPA, 2012a. Factsheet: Summary of Refrigerant Reclamation 2000-2013. 
This document is accessible at: www.epa.gov/spdpublc/title6/608/reclamation/recsum_merged.pdf.
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Corporate Average Fuel Economy Standards, EPA-420-R-12-016, August 
2012.
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June, 2013.
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July 2015.
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1990-2013, EPA Report 430-R-15-004. April 15, 2015. This document is 
accessible at: www.epa.gov/climatechange/ghgemissions/usinventoryreport.html.
EPA, 2015d. Table of Alternatives for End-Uses Considered in the 
Final Rule, Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing 
Status for Certain Substitutes Under the Significant New 
Alternatives Policy Program. February, 2015.
FTOC, 2010. 2010 Report of the Foams Technical Option Committee.
Gaved, 2015. Emerson Climate Technologies Offers to Help Supply 
Chain Move to Lower-GWP Refrigerants. January 28, 2015. This 
document is accessible at: http://www.racplus.com/news/-emerson-climate-technologies-offers-to-help-supply-chain-move-to-lower-gwp-refrigerants/8677708.article.
GE, 2008. General Electric Significant New Alternatives Policy 
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Agency, October 2008.
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Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for 
Certain Substitutes Under the Significant New Alternatives Policy 
Program. October 20, 2014.
Honeywell, 2015. Honeywell Starts Full-Scale Production of Low-
Global-Warming Propellant, Insulating Agent, and Refrigerant. 
January 6, 2015. This document is accessible at: honeywell.com/News/Pages/Honeywell-Starts-Full-Scale-Production-Of-Low-Global-Warming-Propellant-Insulating-Agent-And-Refrige.aspx.
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Prepared for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. May, 2014.
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[[Page 42951]]

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Protection Agency. May, 2014.
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Protection Agency. May, 2014.
ICF, 2014e. Assessment of the Potential Impact of Hydrocarbon 
Refrigerants on Ground Level Ozone Concentrations. February, 2014.
ICF, 2014f. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for Regulatory 
Options to Change Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives. June 
2014.
ICF, 2014g. Revised Preliminary Cost-Analysis for Regulatory Options 
to Change Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives. June 2014.
ICF, 2014h. Risk Screen on Substitutes in Rigid Polyurethane 
Appliance Foam; Rigid Polyurethane Commercial Refrigeration and 
Sandwich Panels; Rigid Polyurethane & Polyisocyanurate Laminate 
Boardstock; Rigid Polyurethane Slabstock; Flexible Polyurethane; 
Integral Skin Polyurethane Substitute: Methylal October, 2014.
ICF, 2015a. Market Characterization of the U.S. Motor Vehicle Air 
Conditioning Industry, U.S. Foams Industry, U.S. Aerosols Industry, 
and U.S. Commercial Refrigeration Industry. July, 2015.
ICF, 2015b. Economic Impact Screening Analysis for Regulatory 
Changes to the Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives--Revised. 
July, 2015.
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Listing Status of High-GWP Alternatives. July, 2015.
IPCC 2006, 2006 IPCC Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas 
Inventories, Prepared by the National Greenhouse Gas Inventories 
Programme, Eggleston H.S., Buendia L., Miwa K., Ngara T. and Tanabe 
K. (eds). Published: Institute for Global Environmental Strategies 
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IPCC, 2007. Climate Change 2007: The Physical Science Basis. 
Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment Report of 
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Miller (eds.). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom 
and New York, NY, USA. This document is accessible at: www.ipcc.ch/
publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/contents.html.
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Nauels, Y. Xia, V. Bex and P.M. Midgley (eds.)]. Cambridge 
University Press, Cambridge, United Kingdom and New York, NY, USA.
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the Global Climate System: Issues Related to Hydrofluorocarbons and 
Perfluorocarbons (Cambridge Univ Press, New York).
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News, December 30, 2013. This document is accessible at: 
www.autonews.com/article/20131230/OEM01/312309996/warmingto-the-idea.
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Patten and Wuebbles, 2010. ``Atmospheric Lifetimes and Ozone 
Depletion Potentials of trans-1-chloro-3,3,3-trichloropropylene and 
trans-1,2-dichloroethylene in a three-dimensional model.'' Atmos. 
Chem. Phys., 10, 10867-10874, 2010.
PepsiCo, 2009. PepsiCo Brings First Climate-Friendly Vending 
Machines to the U.S., March 30, 2009. This document is accessible at 
http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/pepsico-brings-first-climate-friendly-vending-machines-to-the-us-61975262.html.
Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Magazine, 2015. ``Coca Cola to 
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Shapiro, Doron. ``System Drop-In Tests of R-134a, R-1234yf, 
OpteonTM XP10, R-1234ze(E), and N13a in a Commercial 
Bottle Cooler/Freezer'', January 25, 2013. This document is 
accessible at http://www.ahrinet.org/App_Content/ahri/files/RESEARCH/AREP_Final_Reports/AHRI%20Low-GWP%20AREP-Rpt-008.pdf.
Shecco, 2013a. Guide 2013: Natural Refrigerants--Market Growth for 
North America. This document is accessible at 
publication.shecco.com/publications/view/6.
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NAFEM Show--Part 1, February 18, 2013. This document is accessible 
at http://www.hydrocarbons21.com/news/viewprintable/3891.
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NAFEM Show, February 24, 2015. This document is accessible at http://www.hydrocarbons21.com/news/viewprintable/6143.
UNEP, 2010. Report of the Rigid and Flexible Foams Technical Options 
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Ozone Layer, A UNEP Synthesis Report. November, 2011. This document 
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Implementation of Paragraph 9 of Decision XIX/6 to Promote a 
Transition from Ozone-Depleting Substances That Minimizes 
Environmental Impact (Decision XXV/5, Paragraph 3). November, 2014. 
This document is accessible at: conf.montreal-protocol.org/meeting/mop/cop10-mop26/presession/PreSession%20Documents/MOP-26-9E.pdf.
Velders, G. J. M., D. W. Fahey, J. S. Daniel, M. McFarland, S. O. 
Andersen (2009). ``The large contribution of projected HFC emissions 
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of tCFP's Potential Impact on Atmospheric Ozone.'' Department of 
Atmospheric Sciences. University of Illinois, Urbana, IL. September 
26, 2011.
Weissler, Paul, ``A/C Industry Faces Challenges From Daimler R-
1234yf Issue, Explores Other Options,'' Automotive Engineering 
International, April 2, 2013.
WMO, 2010. World Meteorological Organization, Global Ozone Research 
and Monitoring Project--Report No. 52, 516 pp., Geneva, Switzerland, 
2011.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Recycling, Reporting 
and recordkeeping requirements, Stratospheric ozone layer.

    Dated: July 2, 2015.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.

    For the reasons stated in the preamble, 40 CFR part 82 is amended 
as follows:

[[Page 42952]]

PART 82--PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE

0
1. The authority citation for part 82 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7414, 7601, 7671-7671q.

Subpart G--Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

0
2. Appendix B to subpart G of part 82 is amended as follows:
0
a. By removing the first entry and adding four entries in its place in 
the table titled ``Refrigerants--Acceptable Subject to Use 
Conditions''.
0
b. By adding a new entry at the bottom of the table ``Refrigerants--
Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits''.
0
c. By adding three new entries at the end of the table titled 
``Refrigerants--Unacceptable Substitutes''.
    The revisions and additions read as follows:

Appendix B to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes

                               Refrigerants--Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           Application                Substitute           Decision           Conditions           Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
CFC-12 Automobile Motor Vehicle   HFC-134a..........  Acceptable subject  --must be used      EPA is concerned
 Air Conditioning (New Equipment/                      to use              with unique         that the
 NIKs only).                                           conditions, for     fittings.           existence of
                                                       passenger cars     --must be used       several
                                                       and light-duty      with detailed       substitutes in
                                                       trucks              labels.             this end-use may
                                                       manufactured for                        increase the
                                                       Model Year 2020                         likelihood of
                                                       or earlier, and                         significant
                                                       for vehicles                            refrigerant cross-
                                                       other than                              contamination and
                                                       passenger cars or                       potential failure
                                                       light-duty trucks.                      of both air
                                                                                               conditioning
                                                                                               systems and
                                                                                               recovery/
                                                                                               recycling
                                                                                               equipment.
CFC-12 Automobile Motor Vehicle   HCFC Blend Beta (R- Acceptable subject  --must be used      EPA is concerned
 Air Conditioning (New Equipment/  416A).              to use              with unique         that the
 NIKs only).                                           conditions, for     fittings.           existence of
                                                       passenger cars     --must be used       several
                                                       and light-duty      with detailed       substitutes in
                                                       trucks              labels.             this end-use may
                                                       manufactured for                        increase the
                                                       Model Year 2016                         likelihood of
                                                       or earlier, and                         significant
                                                       for vehicles                            refrigerant cross-
                                                       other than                              contamination and
                                                       passenger cars or                       potential failure
                                                       light-duty trucks.                      of both air
                                                                                               conditioning
                                                                                               systems and
                                                                                               recovery/
                                                                                               recycling
                                                                                               equipment.
CFC-12 Automobile Motor Vehicle   R-401C............  Acceptable subject  --must be used      EPA is concerned
 Air Conditioning (New Equipment/                      to use conditions.  with unique         that the
 NIKs only).                                                               fittings.           existence of
                                                                          --must be used       several
                                                                           with detailed       substitutes in
                                                                           labels.             this end-use may
                                                                                               increase the
                                                                                               likelihood of
                                                                                               significant
                                                                                               refrigerant cross-
                                                                                               contamination and
                                                                                               potential failure
                                                                                               of both air
                                                                                               conditioning
                                                                                               systems and
                                                                                               recovery/
                                                                                               recycling
                                                                                               equipment.
CFC-12 Automobile Motor Vehicle   HFC-134a, R-401C,   Acceptable subject  --must be used      EPA is concerned
 Air Conditioning (Retrofit        HCFC Blend Beta     to use conditions.  with unique         that the
 Equipment only).                  (R-416A).                               fittings.           existence of
                                                                          --must be used       several
                                                                           with detailed       substitutes in
                                                                           labels.             this end-use may
                                                                          --all CFC-12 must    increase the
                                                                           be removed from     likelihood of
                                                                           the system prior    significant
                                                                           to retrofitting.    refrigerant cross-
                                                                          Refer to the text    contamination and
                                                                           for a full          potential failure
                                                                           description.        of both air
                                                                                               conditioning
                                                                                               systems and
                                                                                               recovery/
                                                                                               recycling
                                                                                               equipment. No
                                                                                               distinction is
                                                                                               made between
                                                                                               ``retrofit'' and
                                                                                               ``drop-in''
                                                                                               refrigerants;
                                                                                               retrofitting a
                                                                                               car to use a new
                                                                                               refrigerant
                                                                                               includes all
                                                                                               procedures that
                                                                                               result in the air
                                                                                               conditioning
                                                                                               system using a
                                                                                               new refrigerant.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                             Refrigerants--Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute               Decision                   Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Motor vehicle air conditioning (new  HFC-134a..............  Acceptable for use in   Vehicle manufacturers must
 equipment in passenger cars and                              Model Year (MY) 2021    document their
 light-duty trucks only).                                     through MY 2025         determination that the
                                                              passenger cars and      infrastructure is not in
                                                              light-duty trucks       place for each country to
                                                              destined for export,    which they plan to export
                                                              where reasonable        vehicles and must retain
                                                              efforts have been       the documentation in their
                                                              made to ascertain       files for at least five
                                                              that other              years after date of its
                                                              alternatives are not    creation for the purpose
                                                              technically feasible    of demonstrating
                                                              because of lack of      compliance.
                                                              infrastructure for     Documentation is to include
                                                              servicing with          descriptions of:
                                                              alternative             Products in which
                                                              refrigerants in the     the substitute is needed;
                                                              destination country.    Substitutes
                                                                                      examined and rejected for
                                                                                      the destination country;
                                                                                      Reason for
                                                                                      rejection of other
                                                                                      alternatives; and
                                                                                      Anticipated date
                                                                                      other substitutes will be
                                                                                      available and projected
                                                                                      date of transition in the
                                                                                      destination country.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


[[Page 42953]]


                                     Refrigerants--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute               Decision                   Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
Motor vehicle air conditioning (new  HFC-134a..............  Unacceptable as of      HFC-134a has a Chemical
 equipment in passenger cars and                              Model Year 2021         Abstracts Service Registry
 light-duty trucks only).                                     except where allowed    Number (CAS Reg. No.) of
                                                              under narrowed use      811-97-2 and it is also
                                                              limit.                  known by the name 1,1,1,2-
                                                                                      tetrafluoropropane. HFC-
                                                                                      134a has a GWP of 1,430.
                                                                                      Other substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
                                                                                     This listing does not
                                                                                      prohibit the servicing or
                                                                                      replacement of motor
                                                                                      vehicle air conditioning
                                                                                      systems manufactured to
                                                                                      use HFC-134a.
Motor vehicle air conditioning (new  R-406A, R-414A (HCFC    Unacceptable as of      These refrigerants all
 equipment in passenger cars and      Blend Xi, GHG-X4), R-   Model Year 2017.        contain HCFCs. They have
 light-duty trucks only).             414B (HCFC Blend                                GWPs ranging from 1,080 to
                                      Omicron), HCFC Blend                            2,340 and ODPs ranging
                                      Delta (Free Zone),                              from 0.008 to 0.056. Other
                                      Freeze 12, GHG-X5,                              substitutes will be
                                      HCFC Blend Lambda                               available for this end-use
                                      (GHG-HP), R-416A                                with lower overall risk to
                                      (FRIGC FR-12, HCFC                              human health and the
                                      Blend Beta).                                    environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Motor vehicle air conditioning (new  SP34E, R-426A (RS-24,   Unacceptable as of      These blends have GWPs
 equipment in passenger cars and      new formulation).       Model Year 2017.        ranging from approximately
 light-duty trucks only).                                                             1,410 to 1,510. Other
                                                                                      substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


0
3. Appendix D to subpart G of part 82 is amended by revising the third 
paragraph to read as follows:

Appendix D to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes

Summary of Decisions

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector Acceptable Subject to Use 
Conditions

* * * * *
    In addition, the use of a) R-406A/``GHG''/``McCool'', ``HCFC Blend 
Lambda''/``GHG-HP'', R-414A/``HCFC Blend Xi''/``GHG-X4/``Autofrost''/
``Chill-It'', R-414B/``Hot Shot''/``Kar Kool'', and R-416A/``HCFC Blend 
Beta''/``FREEZE 12'' as CFC-12 substitutes in retrofitted MVACs, and b) 
all refrigerants submitted for, and listed in, subsequent Notices of 
Acceptability as substitutes for CFC-12 in MVACs, must meet the 
following conditions.
* * * * *

0
4. Appendix U to subpart G of part 82 is added to read as follows:

Appendix U to Subpart G of Part 82--Unacceptable Substitutes and 
Substitutes Subject to Use Restrictions Listed in the July 20, 2015 
Final Rule, Effective August 19, 2015

                                       Aerosols--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                    Substitute                 Decision               Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Propellants.................  HFC-125..................  Unacceptable as of        HFC-125 has a Chemical
                                                          January 1, 2016.          Abstracts Service Registry
                                                                                    Number (CAS Reg. No.) of 354-
                                                                                    33-6 and it is also known by
                                                                                    the name 1,1,1,2,2-
                                                                                    pentafluoropropane. HFC-125
                                                                                    has a GWP of 3,500. Other
                                                                                    substitutes will be
                                                                                    available for this end-use
                                                                                    with lower overall risk to
                                                                                    human health and the
                                                                                    environment by the status
                                                                                    change date.
                                                                                   Products using this
                                                                                    propellant that are
                                                                                    manufactured prior to
                                                                                    January 1, 2016 may be sold,
                                                                                    imported, exported,
                                                                                    distributed and used after
                                                                                    that date.
Propellants.................  HFC-134a.................  Unacceptable as of July   HFC-134a has a Chemical
                                                          20, 2016, except uses     Abstracts Service Registry
                                                          listed as acceptable,     Number (CAS Reg. No.) of 811-
                                                          subject to use            97-2 and it is also known by
                                                          conditions.               the name 1,1,1,2-
                                                                                    tetrafluoropropane. HFC-134a
                                                                                    has a GWP of 1,430. Other
                                                                                    substitutes will be
                                                                                    available for this end-use
                                                                                    with lower overall risk to
                                                                                    human health and the
                                                                                    environment by the status
                                                                                    change date.
                                                                                   Products using this
                                                                                    propellant that are
                                                                                    manufactured prior to July
                                                                                    20, 2016 may be sold,
                                                                                    imported, exported,
                                                                                    distributed and used after
                                                                                    that date.
Propellants.................  HFC-227ea and blends of    Unacceptable as of July   HFC-227ea has a Chemical
                               HFC-134a and HFC-227ea.    20, 2016, except uses     Abstracts Service Registry
                                                          listed as acceptable,     Number (CAS Reg. No.) of 431-
                                                          subject to use            89-0 and it is also known by
                                                          conditions.               the name 1,1,1,2,3,3,3-
                                                                                    heptafluoropropane. HFC-134a
                                                                                    has a Chemical Abstracts
                                                                                    Service Registry Number (CAS
                                                                                    Reg. No.) of 811-97-2 and it
                                                                                    is also known by the name
                                                                                    1,1,1,2-tetrafluoropropane.
                                                                                   HFC-227ea and HFC-134a have
                                                                                    GWPs of 3,220 and 1,430,
                                                                                    respectively. Other
                                                                                    substitutes will be
                                                                                    available for this end-use
                                                                                    with lower overall risk to
                                                                                    human health and the
                                                                                    environment by the status
                                                                                    change date.

[[Page 42954]]

 
                                                                                   Products using these
                                                                                    propellants that are
                                                                                    manufactured prior to July
                                                                                    20, 2016 may be sold,
                                                                                    imported, exported,
                                                                                    distributed and used after
                                                                                    that date.
Propellants.................  HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b....  Unacceptable effective    Use or introduction into
                                                          September 18, 2015.       interstate commerce of
                                                                                    virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b
                                                                                    for aerosols is prohibited
                                                                                    as of January 1, 2010 under
                                                                                    EPA's regulations at 40 CFR
                                                                                    part 82 subpart A. These
                                                                                    propellants have ozone
                                                                                    depletion potentials of
                                                                                    0.055 and 0.065,
                                                                                    respectively.
Solvents....................  HCFC-141b and blends       Unacceptable effective    Use or introduction into
                               thereof.                   September 18, 2015.       interstate commerce of
                                                                                    virgin HCFC-141b for
                                                                                    aerosols is prohibited as of
                                                                                    January 1, 2015 under EPA's
                                                                                    regulations at 40 CFR part
                                                                                    82 subpart A. HCFC-141b has
                                                                                    an ozone depletion potential
                                                                                    of 0.11.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                Substitutes Acceptable Subject To Use Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Further
       End-use               Substitute            Decision             Use conditions            information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Propellants..........  HFC-134a.............  Acceptable         The classes of products       HFC-134a has a
                                               subject to use     listed below are acceptable   Chemical
                                               conditions.        for use from July 20, 2016    Abstracts
                                                                  through December 31, 2017     Service Registry
                                                                  and are unacceptable          Number (CAS Reg.
                                                                  thereafter.                   No.) of 811-97-2
                                                                  products for          and it is also
                                                                  functional testing of smoke   known by the
                                                                  detectors.                    name 1,1,1,2-
                                                                  products for which    tetrafluoropropa
                                                                  new formulations require      ne. HFC-134a has
                                                                  governmental review,          a GWP of 1,430.
                                                                  including: EPA pesticide      Use is allowed
                                                                  registration, approval for    for the
                                                                  conformance with military     specified uses
                                                                  or space agency               because of the
                                                                  specifications, or FDA        technical and
                                                                  approval (other than MDIs).   safety demands
                                                                 The classes of products        in these
                                                                  listed below are acceptable   applications.
                                                                  for use and other uses are   Aerosol products
                                                                  unacceptable as of July 20,   using this
                                                                  2016:.                        propellant that
                                                                  metered dose          are manufactured
                                                                  inhalers approved by the      prior to July
                                                                  U.S. Food and Drug            20, 2016, may be
                                                                  Administration for medical    sold, imported,
                                                                  purposes.                     exported,
                                                                  cleaning products     distributed and
                                                                  for removal of grease, flux   used after that
                                                                  and other soils from          date.
                                                                  electrical equipment or
                                                                  electronics.
                                                                  refrigerant flushes
                                                                  products for
                                                                  sensitivity testing of
                                                                  smoke detectors.
                                                                  lubricants and
                                                                  freeze sprays for
                                                                  electrical equipment or
                                                                  electronics.
                                                                  sprays for aircraft
                                                                  maintenance.
                                                                  sprays containing
                                                                  corrosion preventive
                                                                  compounds used in the
                                                                  maintenance of aircraft,
                                                                  electrical equipment or
                                                                  electronics, or military
                                                                  equipment..
                                                                  pesticides for use
                                                                  near electrical wires or in
                                                                  aircraft, in total release
                                                                  insecticide foggers, or in
                                                                  certified organic use
                                                                  pesticides for which EPA
                                                                  has specifically disallowed
                                                                  all other lower-GWP
                                                                  propellants..
                                                                  mold release agents
                                                                  and mold cleaners..
                                                                  lubricants and
                                                                  cleaners for spinnerettes
                                                                  for synthetic fabrics..
                                                                  duster sprays
                                                                  specifically for removal of
                                                                  dust from photographic
                                                                  negatives, semiconductor
                                                                  chips, specimens under
                                                                  electron microscopes, and
                                                                  energized electrical
                                                                  equipment..
                                                                  adhesives and
                                                                  sealants in large
                                                                  canisters..
                                                                  document
                                                                  preservation sprays..
                                                                  wound care sprays..
                                                                  topical coolant
                                                                  sprays for pain relief..
                                                                  products for
                                                                  removing bandage adhesives
                                                                  from skin..
Propellants..........  HFC-227ea and blends   Acceptable         Acceptable for use in         HFC-227ea has a
                        of HFC-227ea and HFC-  subject to use     metered dose inhalers         Chemical
                        134a.                  conditions.        approved by the U.S. Food     Abstracts
                                                                  and Drug Administration for   Service Registry
                                                                  medical purposes and          Number (CAS Reg.
                                                                  unacceptable for all other    No.) of 431-89-0
                                                                  uses as of July 20, 2016.     and it is also
                                                                                                known by the
                                                                                                name
                                                                                                1,1,1,2,3,3,3-
                                                                                                heptafluoropropa
                                                                                                ne. HFC-227ea
                                                                                                has a GWP of
                                                                                                3,220.

[[Page 42955]]

 
                                                                                               Aerosol products
                                                                                                using this
                                                                                                propellant that
                                                                                                are manufactured
                                                                                                prior to July
                                                                                                20, 2016 may be
                                                                                                sold, imported,
                                                                                                exported,
                                                                                                distributed and
                                                                                                used after that
                                                                                                date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                          Refrigeration and Air Conditioning--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                       Substitute                 Decision           Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Retail food refrigeration           HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B,  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 (supermarket systems) (new).        R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-  January 1, 2017.       GWPs ranging from 2,729
                                     422D, R-428A, R-434A, R-                           to 3,985. Other
                                     507A.                                              substitutes will be
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Retail food refrigeration           R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 (supermarket systems) (retrofit).   422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-    July 20, 2016.         GWPs ranging from 2,729
                                     428A, R-434A, R-507A.                              to 3,985. Other
                                                                                        substitutes will be
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Retail food refrigeration (remote   HFC-227ea, R-404A, R-407B,  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 condensing units) (new).            R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-  January 1, 2018.       GWPs ranging from 2,729
                                     422D, R-428A, R-434A, R-                           to 3,985. Other
                                     507A.                                              substitutes will be
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Retail food refrigeration (remote   R-404A, R-407B, R-421B, R-  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 condensing units) (retrofit).       422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-    July 20, 2016.         GWPs ranging from 2,729
                                     428A, R-434A, R-507A.                              to 3,985. Other
                                                                                        substitutes will be
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Retail food refrigeration (stand-   FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 alone medium-temperature units      HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/     January 1, 2019.       GWPs ranging from
 with a compressor capacity below    290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/                           approximately 900 to
 2,200 Btu/hr and not containing a   42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-                              3,985. Other substitutes
 flooded evaporator) (new).          407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-                           will be available for
                                     407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-                           this end-use with lower
                                     417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-                           overall risk to human
                                     422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-                           health and the
                                     422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-                           environment by the
                                     428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-                           status change date.
                                     438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002                          ``Medium-temperature''
                                     formulation), RS-44 (2003                          refers to equipment that
                                     formulation), SP34E, THR-                          maintains food or
                                     03.                                                beverages at
                                                                                        temperatures above
                                                                                        32[deg]F (0 [deg]C).
Retail food refrigeration (stand-   FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 alone medium-temperature units      HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/     January 1, 2020.       GWPs ranging from
 with a compressor capacity below    290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/                           approximately 900 to
 2,200 Btu/hr and containing a       42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-                              3,985. Other substitutes
 flooded evaporator) (new).          407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-                           will be available for
                                     407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-                           this end-use with lower
                                     417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-                           overall risk to human
                                     422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-                           health and the
                                     422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-                           environment by the
                                     428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-                           status change date.
                                     438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002                          ``Medium-temperature''
                                     formulation), RS-44 (2003                          refers to equipment that
                                     formulation), SP34E, THR-                          maintains food or
                                     03.                                                beverages at
                                                                                        temperatures above
                                                                                        32[deg]F (0 [deg]C).
Retail food refrigeration (stand-   FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 alone medium-temperature units      HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/     January 1, 2020.       GWPs ranging from
 with a compressor capacity equal    290/134a/600a (55.0/1.0/                           approximately 900 to
 to or greater than 2,200 Btu/hr)    42.5/1.5), R-404A, R-                              3,985. Other substitutes
 (new).                              407A, R-407B, R-407C, R-                           will be available for
                                     407F, R-410A, R-410B, R-                           this end-use with lower
                                     417A, R-421A, R-421B, R-                           overall risk to human
                                     422A, R-422B, R-422C, R-                           health and the
                                     422D, R-424A, R-426A, R-                           environment by the
                                     428A, R-434A, R-437A, R-                           status change date.
                                     438A, R-507A, RS-24 (2002                          ``Medium-temperature''
                                     formulation), RS-44 (2003                          refers to equipment that
                                     formulation), SP34E, THR-                          maintains food or
                                     03.                                                beverages at
                                                                                        temperatures above
                                                                                        32[deg]F (0 [deg]C).
Retail food refrigeration (stand-   HFC-227ea, KDD6, R-125/290/ Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 alone low-temperature units)        134a/600a (55.0/1.0/42.5/   January 1, 2020.       GWPs ranging from
 (new).                              1.5), R-404A, R-407A, R-                           approximately 1,800 to
                                     407B, R-407C, R-407F, R-                           3,985. Other substitutes
                                     410A, R-410B, R-417A, R-                           will be available for
                                     421A, R-421B, R-422A, R-                           this end-use with lower
                                     422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-                           overall risk to human
                                     424A, R-428A, R-434A, R-                           health and the
                                     437A, R-438A, R-507A, RS-                          environment by the
                                     44 (2003 formulation).                             status change date.
                                                                                        ``Low-temperature''
                                                                                        refers to equipment that
                                                                                        maintains food or
                                                                                        beverages at
                                                                                        temperatures at or below
                                                                                        32[deg]F (0 [deg]C).

[[Page 42956]]

 
Retail food refrigeration (stand-   R-404A, R-507A............  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
 alone units only) (retrofit).                                   July 20, 2016.         GWPs of approximately
                                                                                        3,922 and 3,985. Other
                                                                                        substitutes will be
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Vending machines (new only).......  FOR12A, FOR12B, HFC-134a,   Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
                                     KDD6, R-125/290/134a/600a   January 1, 2019.       GWPs ranging from
                                     (55.0/1.0/42.5/1.5), R-                            approximately 1,100 to
                                     404A, R-407C, R-410A, R-                           3,985. Other substitutes
                                     410B, R-417A, R-421A, R-                           will be available for
                                     422B, R-422C, R-422D, R-                           this end-use with lower
                                     426A, R-437A, R-438A, R-                           overall risk to human
                                     507A, RS-24 (2002                                  health and the
                                     formulation), SP34E.                               environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
Vending machines (retrofit only)..  R-404A, R-507A............  Unacceptable as of     These refrigerants have
                                                                 July 20, 2016.         GWPs of approximately
                                                                                        3,922 and 3,985. Other
                                                                                        substitutes will be
                                                                                        available for this end-
                                                                                        use with lower overall
                                                                                        risk to human health and
                                                                                        the environment by the
                                                                                        status change date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Foam Blowing Agents--Substitutes Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                          Narrowed use
            End-use                  Substitute          Decision            limits         Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Rigid Polyurethane: Appliance..  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
                                  245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2020,   document and retain
                                  365mfc and         Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Rigid Polyurethane: Commercial   HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
 Refrigeration and Sandwich       245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2020,   document and retain
 Panels.                          365mfc, and        Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Flexible Polyurethane..........  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
                                  245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2017,   document and retain
                                  365mfc, and        Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof.    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                                                        military or        investigation of
                                                                        space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Rigid Polyurethane: Slabstock    HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
 and Other.                       245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2019,   document and retain
                                  365mfc and         Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.

[[Page 42957]]

 
Rigid Polyurethane and           HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
 Polyisocyanurate Laminated       245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2017,   document and retain
 Boardstock.                      365mfc and         Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof.    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                                                        military or        investigation of
                                                                        space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Rigid Polyurethane: Marine       HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
 Flotation Foam.                  245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2020,   document and retain
                                  365mfc and         Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Polystyrene: Extruded Sheet....  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
                                  245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2017,   document and retain
                                  365mfc, and        Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Polystyrene: Extruded            HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
 Boardstock and Billet.           245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2021,   document and retain
                                  365mfc, and        Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI,                          military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel B, and                       space- and         alternatives for the
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Integral Skin Polyurethane.....  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
                                  245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2017,   document and retain
                                  365mfc, and        Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.

[[Page 42958]]

 
Polyolefin.....................  HFC-134a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
                                  245fa, HFC-        Subject to         January 1, 2020,   document and retain
                                  365mfc, and        Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof;    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                  Formacel TI, and                      military or        investigation of
                                  Formacel Z-6.                         space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
Phenolic Insulation Board and    HFC-143a, HFC-     Acceptable         Acceptable from    Users are required to
 Bunstock.                        134a, HFC-245fa,   Subject to         January 1, 2017,   document and retain
                                  HFC-365mfc, and    Narrowed Use       until January 1,   the results of their
                                  blends thereof.    Limits.            2022, only in      technical
                                                                        military or        investigation of
                                                                        space- and         alternatives for the
                                                                        aeronautics-       purpose of
                                                                        related            demonstrating
                                                                        applications       compliance.
                                                                        where reasonable   Information should
                                                                        efforts have       include descriptions
                                                                        been made to       of:
                                                                        ascertain that     Process or
                                                                        other              product in which the
                                                                        alternatives are   substitute is needed;
                                                                        not technically    Substitutes
                                                                        feasible due to    examined and
                                                                        performance or     rejected;
                                                                        safety             Reason for
                                                                        requirements.      rejection of other
                                                                                           alternatives, e.g.,
                                                                                           performance,
                                                                                           technical or safety
                                                                                           standards; and/or
                                                                                           Anticipated
                                                                                           date other
                                                                                           substitutes will be
                                                                                           available and
                                                                                           projected time for
                                                                                           switching.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                            Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute               Decision             Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
All Foam Blowing End-uses..........  HCFC-141b and blends    Unacceptable effective  HCFC-141b has an ozone
                                      thereof.                September 18, 2015.     depletion potential of
                                                                                      0.11 under the Montreal
                                                                                      Protocol. EPA previously
                                                                                      found HCFC-141b
                                                                                      unacceptable in all foam
                                                                                      blowing end-uses (appendix
                                                                                      M to subpart G of 40 CFR
                                                                                      part 82). HCFC-141b has an
                                                                                      ozone depletion potential
                                                                                      (ODP) of 0.11.
All Foam Blowing end-uses..........  HCFC-22, HCFC-142b,     Unacceptable effective  Use or introduction into
                                      and blends thereof.     September 18, 2015.     interstate commerce of
                                                                                      virgin HCFC-22 and HCFC-
                                                                                      142b for foam blowing is
                                                                                      prohibited after January
                                                                                      1, 2010 under EPA's
                                                                                      regulations at 40 CFR part
                                                                                      82 subpart A unless used,
                                                                                      recovered, and recycled.
                                                                                      These compounds have ODPs
                                                                                      of 0.055 and 0.065,
                                                                                      respectively.
Flexible Polyurethane..............  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
                                      HFC-365mfc, and         January 1, 2017         have global warming
                                      blends thereof.         except where allowed    potentials (GWPs) ranging
                                                              under a narrowed use    from 725 to 1,430. Other
                                                              limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Polystyrene: Extruded Sheet........  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
                                      HFC-365mfc, and         January 1, 2017         have GWPs ranging from
                                      blends thereof;         except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      Formacel TI, and        under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                      Formacel Z-6.           limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Phenolic Insulation Board and        HFC-143a, HFC-134a,     Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
 Bunstock.                            HFC-245fa, HFC-         January 1, 2017         have GWPs ranging from 725
                                      365mfc, and blends      except where allowed    to 4,470. Other
                                      thereof.                under a narrowed use    substitutes will be
                                                              limit.                  available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Integral Skin Polyurethane.........  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
                                      HFC-365mfc, and         January 1, 2017         have GWPs ranging from
                                      blends thereof;         except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      Formacel TI, and        under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                      Formacel Z-6.           limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Rigid Polyurethane: Slabstock and    HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
 Other.                               HFC-365mfc and blends   January 1, 2019         have GWPs ranging from
                                      thereof; Formacel TI,   except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      and Formacel Z-6.       under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                                              limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Rigid Polyurethane and               HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
 Polyisocyanurate Laminated           HFC-365mfc and blends   January 1, 2017         have GWPs ranging from 725
 Boardstock.                          thereof.                except where allowed    to 1,430. Other
                                                              under a narrowed use    substitutes will be
                                                              limit.                  available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.

[[Page 42959]]

 
Rigid Polyurethane: Marine           HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
 Flotation Foam.                      HFC-365mfc and blends   January 1, 2020         have GWPs ranging from
                                      thereof; Formacel TI,   except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      and Formacel Z-6;.      under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                                              limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Rigid Polyurethane: Commercial       HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
 Refrigeration and Sandwich Panels.   HFC-365mfc, and         January 1, 2020         have GWPs ranging from
                                      blends thereof;         except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      Formacel TI, and        under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                      Formacel Z-6.           limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Rigid Polyurethane: Appliance......  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
                                      HFC-365mfc and blends   January 1, 2020         have GWPs ranging from
                                      thereof; Formacel TI,   except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      and Formacel Z-6.       under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                                              limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Polystyrene: Extruded Boardstock     HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
 and Billet.                          HFC-365mfc, and         January 1, 2021         have GWPs ranging from
                                      blends thereof;         except where allowed    higher than 140 to
                                      Formacel TI, Formacel   under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                      B, and Formacel Z-6.    limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
Polyolefin.........................  HFC-134a, HFC-245fa,    Unacceptable as of      These foam blowing agents
                                      HFC-365mfc, and         January 1, 2020         have GWPs ranging from
                                      blends thereof;         except where allowed    higher than 370 to
                                      Formacel TI, and        under a narrowed use    approximately 1,500. Other
                                      Formacel Z-6.           limit.                  substitutes will be
                                                                                      available for this end-use
                                                                                      with lower overall risk to
                                                                                      human health and the
                                                                                      environment by the status
                                                                                      change date.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                   Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Agents--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute               Decision             Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Flooding.....................  HCFC-22...............  Unacceptable effective  Use or introduction into
                                                              September 18, 2015.     interstate commerce of
                                                                                      virgin HCFC-22 for total
                                                                                      flooding fire suppression
                                                                                      and explosion protection
                                                                                      is prohibited as of
                                                                                      January 1, 2010 under
                                                                                      EPA's regulations at 40
                                                                                      CFR part 82 subpart A.
                                                                                      This chemical has an ozone
                                                                                      depletion potential of
                                                                                      0.055.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                                      Sterilants--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute               Decision             Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Sterilants.........................  Blends containing HCFC- Unacceptable effective  Use or introduction into
                                      22.                     September 18, 2015.     interstate commerce of
                                                                                      virgin HCFC-22 for
                                                                                      sterilants is prohibited
                                                                                      as of January 1, 2010
                                                                                      under EPA's regulations at
                                                                                      40 CFR part 82 subpart A.
                                                                                      This chemical has an ozone
                                                                                      depletion potential of
                                                                                      0.055.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


                             Adhesives, Coatings and Inks--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                      Substitute               Decision             Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Adhesives, coatings and inks.......  HCFC-141b and blends    Unacceptable effective  Use or introduction into
                                      thereof.                September 18, 2015.     interstate commerce of
                                                                                      virgin HCFC-141b for
                                                                                      adhesives, coatings and
                                                                                      inks is prohibited as of
                                                                                      January 1, 2015 under
                                                                                      EPA's regulations at 40
                                                                                      CFR part 82 subpart A.
                                                                                      This chemical has an ozone
                                                                                      depletion potential of
                                                                                      0.11.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 2015-17066 Filed 7-17-15; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P