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Refrigerant Review: EPA Eyes Changes in Classifications




The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a pre-publication Federal Register notice of proposed rulemaking on the listing status change for certain substitutes under the Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) program. This rulemaking is the result of the president's Climate Action Plan that called on the EPA to use its authority under SNAP to encourage private-sector investment in low-emission technology.

The rulemaking proposes to change the listing status of certain high-global warming potential refrigerants to "unacceptable," effective as soon as Jan. 1, 2021, in new retail food refrigeration, refrigerated food processing, and dispensing equipment, and Jan. 1, 2023, in new cold-storage warehouses. The rule also proposes to list the following as unacceptable:

• several refrigerants used in new centrifugal and positive displacement chillers — with the exception of R-134a and R-404A used for military marine vessels, human-rated spacecraft, and related support equipment — effective Jan. 1, 2024

• all ASHRAE 34 Class 3 refrigerants used in retrofit residential and light commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, and unitary split air conditioning and heat pump systems

• R-443

• Propylene in new residential and light commercial air conditioners and heat pumps, new centrifugal chillers, positive displacement chillers, and new cold-storage warehouses.

Finally, the rule seeks to list propane, subject to certain use conditions, as an acceptable alternative in commercial ice makers, water coolers, and very low temperature refrigeration equipment. EPA will accept comments until 45 days after the publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register.

Read the notice at: http://newsmanager.commpartners.com/ahri/downloads/March%202016/snap_scr_2_nprm_factsheet_final_032916.pdf This Quick Read was submitted by Dan Hounsell, editor-in-chief of Facility Maintenance Decisions, dan.hounsell@tradepressmedia.com. Read about chiller retrofits and refrigerant management at http://www.facilitiesnet.com/14039FMD.

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