US EPA proposal could put an end to R134a in MAC and stand-alone retail refrigeration

By Alexandra Maratou, Jul 11, 2014, 13:12 2 minute reading

R134a would be prohibited in mobile air conditioning (MAC) of new vehicles as of 2021, and new stand-alone retail food refrigeration and vending machines as of 2016, according to a proposal issued by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Additional proposed restrictions could mean an end to certain high-GWP HFCs in applications where safer, more climate-friendly substitutes such as R744 exist.

The proposed action would change the status of certain HFCs with high global warming potential (GWP) that were previously listed as acceptable under the US EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program to be unacceptable in several end-uses.
Today, we are issuing a new proposal that builds on the innovative work businesses across the country have already made to reduce and replace some of the most harmful chemicals with safer, more climate-friendly alternatives that are available and on the market today,” said US EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.

HFC134a could be unacceptable in new motor vehicle AC as of 2021

For the case of motor vehicle air conditioning systems in newly manufactured light-duty vehicles, the US EPA is proposing to list HFC134a as unacceptable starting with model year 2021. It also proposes to list several other HFC and HCFC refrigerant blends as unacceptable starting with model year 2017, namely SP34E, R-426A, R-416A, R-406A, R-414A, R-414B, HCFC Blend Delta, Freeze 12, GHG-X5, and HCFC Blend Lambda.

HFC134a could be unacceptable in new stand-alone retail food refrigeration and vending machines as of 2016

For new stand-alone retail food refrigeration and new vending machines, the US EPA is proposing to list HFC134a and certain other HFC refrigerant blends (e.g. R-404A, R-407C, R-410A, etc.) as unacceptable as of 1 January 2016.

Additional restrictions affecting new and retrofit stand-alone & centralised retail refrigeration

In addition, the proposed action would change the status of certain high-GWP HFCs to “unacceptable” in other end-uses, such as:
  • New and retrofit vending machines & new and retrofit retail food refrigeration, including stand-alone equipment, condensing units, direct supermarket systems, and indirect supermarket systems: The US EPA is proposing to list HFC blends R-507A and R-404A as unacceptable as of 1 January 2016

  • New and retrofit retail food refrigeration, including direct supermarket systems and indirect supermarket systems: The US EPA is proposing to list refrigerants HFC-227ea, R-407B, R-421B, R-422A, R-422C, R-422D, R-428A, and R-434A as unacceptable as of 1 January 2016

Next steps

The US EPA is accepting comments to the proposed rule until 60 days after its publication in the Federal Register. Moreover, it will be holding a public hearing to take place in Washington, DC about 30 days after the proposal is published in the Federal Register. 

MORE INFORMATION

By Alexandra Maratou

Jul 11, 2014, 13:12




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