The EPA is proposing to increase the options for refrigerants in the US that offer better climate protection without harming the ozone layer.
This is the agency’s first action that addresses refrigerants under the Climate Action Plan, which calls on the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to identify and approve additional climate-friendly chemicals.
This proposed action would expand the list of SNAP-approved substitutes to include more low-global warming potential (GWP) alternatives that can replace both the ozone-depleting substances and high-GWP hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).
After receiving input from industry, environmental groups and others, the EPA is proposing to list additional low GWP hydrocarbon refrigerants in six refrigeration and air conditioning applications: stand-alone commercial and household refrigerators and freezers, very low temperature refrigeration, non-mechanical heat transfer, vending machines and room air conditioning units. The proposal also adds one lower-GWP HFC (HFC-32) that has just one-third the GWP of the conventional refrigerants currently being used in room air conditioning units.
These refrigerants are already in use in many of these applications in Europe and Asia.
The EPA is also revising the current venting prohibition to account for four of these substitutes, as current evidence suggests that their venting, release or disposal does not pose a threat to the environment.
The EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 60 days following publication in the Federal Register.