[Federal Register Volume 62, Number 106 (Tuesday, June 3, 1997)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 30275-30279]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 97-14447]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[FRL-5833-7]


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of acceptability.

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SUMMARY: This notice expands the list of acceptable substitutes for 
ozone-depleting substances (ODS) under the U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency's (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) 
program.

EFFECTIVE DATE: June 3, 1997.

ADDRESSES: Information relevant to this notice is contained in Air 
Docket A-91-

[[Page 30276]]

42, Central Docket Section, South Conference Room 4, U.S. Environmental 
Agency, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, D.C. 20460. Telephone: (202) 
260-7548. The docket may be inspected between 8:00 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. 
weekdays. As provided in 40 CFR Part 2, a reasonable fee may be charged 
for photocopying.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Carol Weisner at (202) 233-9193 or fax 
(202) 233-9577, U.S. EPA, Stratospheric Protection Division, 401 M 
Street, S.W., Mail Code 6205J, Washington, D.C. 20460; EPA 
Stratospheric Ozone Protection Hotline at (800) 296-1996; EPA World 
Wide Web Site at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/snap/snap.html.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. Section 612 Program
    A. Statutory Requirements
    B. Regulatory History
II. Listing of Acceptable Substitutes
    A. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning: Substitutes for Class I 
Substances
    B. Foam Blowing
III. Additional Information

Appendix A-- Summary of Acceptable Decisions

I. Section 612 Program

A. Statutory Requirements

    Section 612 of the Clean Air Act authorizes EPA to develop a 
program for evaluating alternatives to ozone-depleting substances. EPA 
refers to this program as the Significant New Alternatives Policy 
(SNAP) program. The major provisions of section 612 are:
     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, and 
hydrobromofluorocarbon) or class II (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) 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.
     Listing of Unacceptable/Acceptable Substitutes--Section 
612(c) also requires EPA to publish a list of the substitutes 
unacceptable for specific uses. EPA must publish a corresponding list 
of acceptable alternatives for specific uses.
     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 6 
months.
     90-day Notification--Section 612(e) requires 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.
     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.
     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. Regulatory History

    On March 18, 1994, EPA published the Final Rulemaking (FRM) (59 FR 
13044) which described the process for administering the SNAP program 
and issued EPA's first acceptability lists for substitutes in the major 
industrial use sectors. These sectors include: refrigeration and air 
conditioning; foam blowing; solvent cleaning; fire suppression and 
explosion protection; sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings and 
inks; and tobacco expansion. These sectors compose the principal 
industrial sectors that historically consumed the largest volumes of 
ozone-depleting compounds.
    As described in the final rule for the SNAP program (59 FR 13044), 
EPA does not believe that rulemaking procedures are required to list 
alternatives as acceptable with no limitations. Such listings do not 
impose any sanction, nor do they remove any prior license to use a 
substance. Consequently, by this notice EPA is adding substances to the 
list of acceptable alternatives without first requesting comment on new 
listings.
    EPA does, however, believe that Notice-and-Comment rulemaking is 
required to place any substance on the list of prohibited substitutes, 
to list a substance as acceptable only under certain conditions, to 
list substances as acceptable only for certain uses, or to remove a 
substance from either the list of prohibited or acceptable substitutes. 
Updates to these lists are published as separate notices of rulemaking 
in the Federal Register.
    The Agency defines a ``substitute'' as any chemical, product 
substitute, or alternative manufacturing process, whether existing or 
new, that could replace a class I or class II substance. Anyone who 
produces a substitute must provide the Agency with health and safety 
studies on the substitute at least 90 days before introducing it into 
interstate commerce for significant new use as an alternative. This 
requirement applies to substitute manufacturers, but may include 
importers, formulators or end-users, when they are responsible for 
introducing a substitute into commerce.
    EPA published notices listing acceptable alternatives on August 26, 
1994 (59 FR 44240), January 13, 1995 (60 FR 3318), July 28, 1995 (60 FR 
38729), February 8, 1996 (61 FR 4736), and September 5, 1996 (61 FR 
47012), and published final rulemakings restricting the use of certain 
substitutes on June 13, 1995 (60 FR 31092), May 22, 1996 (61 FR 25585), 
October 16, 1996 (61 FR 54030), and March 10, 1997 (62 FR 10700).

II. Listing of Acceptable Substitutes

    This section presents EPA's most recent acceptable listing 
decisions for substitutes for class I and class II substances in the 
following industrial sectors: refrigeration and air conditioning, and 
foam blowing. In this Notice, EPA has split the refrigeration and air 
conditioning sector into two parts: substitutes for class I substances 
and substitutes for class II substances. For copies of the full list, 
contact the EPA Stratospheric Protection Hotline at (800) 296-1996.
    Parts A and B below present a detailed discussion of the substitute 
listing determinations by major use sector. Tables summarizing today's 
listing decisions are in Appendix A. The comments contained in Appendix 
A provide additional information on a substitute, but for listings of 
acceptable substitutes, they are not legally binding under section 612 
of the Clean Air Act. Thus, adherence to recommendations in the 
comments is not mandatory for use as a substitute. In addition, the 
comments should not be considered comprehensive with respect to other 
legal obligations pertaining to the use of the substitute. However, EPA 
encourages users of acceptable substitutes to apply all comments to 
their use of these substitutes. In many instances, the comments simply 
allude to sound operating practices that have

[[Page 30277]]

already been identified in existing industry and/or building-code 
standards. Thus, many of the comments, if adopted, would not require 
significant changes in existing operating practices for the affected 
industry.

A. Refrigeration and Air Conditioning: Class I

1. Clarification on the Use of Fittings With Manifold Gauges
    EPA has issued several rules imposing the condition that motor 
vehicle refrigerants be used with unique fittings. Specifically, 
regulations require that

The fittings must be used on all containers of the refrigerant, on 
can taps, on recovery, recycling, and charging equipment, and on all 
air conditioning system service ports. A refrigerant may only be 
used with the fittings and can taps specifically intended for that 
refrigerant and designed by the manufacturer of the refrigerant. 
Using a refrigerant with a fitting designed by anyone else, even if 
it is different from fittings used with other refrigerants, is a 
violation of this use condition. Using an adapter or deliberately 
modifying a fitting to use a different refrigerant is a violation of 
this use condition.

    One interpretation of this requirement is that manifold gauge sets 
must be dedicated to a single refrigerant. They are frequently used as 
part of ``recovery, recycling, and recharging equipment'' and would, 
therefore, have to use a permanently attached set of fittings unique to 
one refrigerant. Furthermore, adapters to change the manifold gauges 
from one refrigerant to -another would be illegal. EPA believes this 
interpretation is overly restrictive and costly to service shops.
    Manifold gauges allow technicians to diagnose system problems and 
to charge, recover, and/or recycle refrigerant. A standard fitting has 
traditionally been used at the end of the hoses attached to the 
manifold gauges (designated ``end 1'' for purposes of this discussion). 
In contrast, the SNAP use conditions require the use of unique fittings 
at the other ends of the hoses that attach to vehicle air conditioning 
systems and recovery or recycling equipment (designated as ``end 2''). 
This use condition still applies; once a unique fitting is attached to 
end 2, it may not be removed. However, it is legal to continue to use a 
standard fitting at end 1, changing hoses with unique fittings on end 2 
to allow the use of the manifold gauges with multiple refrigerants.
    An example will clarify the application of these requirements. 
Assume a technician has been working on a car that contains refrigerant 
X. The car and recovery or recycling equipment have permanently 
attached fittings unique to X. End 2 of the manifold gauge hoses also 
have permanently attached matching fittings unique to X. Before working 
on a car containing refrigerant Y, the technician must: (1) Recover 
refrigerant remaining in the hoses to the vacuum specified in the 
appropriate EPA standard for recovery and/or recycling, (2) disconnect 
the hoses from the vehicle and the recovery or recycling equipment, (3) 
disconnect the hoses from the manifold gauges, (4) using standard 
fittings, attach end 1 of the new hoses to the manifold gauges (these 
hoses must have permanently attached fittings at end 2 that are unique 
to refrigerant Y), and (5) attach end 2 of the new hoses to the vehicle 
containing refrigerant Y and to recovery or recycling equipment that 
meet the applicable standards for refrigerant Y.
    Following this procedure will benefit the environment, the vehicle 
owner, and the shop. Refrigerants will not be released from the hoses, 
different refrigerants and lubricants will not be mixed within the 
hoses, and shops will not have to purchase multiple manifold gauges.
2. Acceptable Substitutes
    Note that EPA acceptability does not mean that a given substitute 
will work in a specific type of equipment within an end-use. 
Engineering expertise must be used to determine the appropriate use of 
these and any other substitutes. In addition, although some 
alternatives are listed for multiple refrigerants, they may not be 
appropriate for use in all equipment or under all conditions.
a. MT-31
    MT-31, the composition of which has been claimed as confidential 
business information, is acceptable as a substitute for CFC-12 in the 
following retrofitted and new systems:
     Centrifugal and Reciprocating Chillers.
     Industrial Process Refrigeration.
     Cold Storage Warehouses.
     Refrigerated Transport.
     Retail Food Refrigeration.
     Vending Machines.
     Water Coolers.
     Commercial Ice Machines.
     Household Refrigerators.
     Household Freezers.
and as a substitute for HCFC-22 in all retrofitted end-uses.
    Because this blend contains an HCFC, it contributes to ozone 
depletion. However, this concern is mitigated by the scheduled phaseout 
of this chemical. Regulations regarding recycling and reclamation 
issued under section 608 of the Clean Air Act apply to this blend. This 
blend does not contain any flammable components, and all components are 
low in toxicity. Note that although this blend was submitted for motor 
vehicle use, the submission did not include the technical drawings, 
sample fittings, or sample label required by the final rule that took 
effect on November 15, 1996. This part of the submission remains 
incomplete, and it therefore remains illegal to use this blend as a 
CFC-12 substitute in motor vehicle air conditioning systems.
b. GHG-X5
    GHG-X5, which consists of HCFC-22, HFC-227ea, HCFC-142b, and 
isobutane, is acceptable as a substitute for CFC-12 and R-500 in the 
following retrofitted and new systems:
     Centrifugal and Reciprocating Chillers.
     Industrial Process Refrigeration.
     Cold Storage Warehouses.
     Refrigerated Transport.
     Retail Food Refrigeration.
     Vending Machines.
     Water Coolers.
     Commercial Ice Machines.
     Household Refrigerators.
     Household Freezers.
     Residential Dehumidifiers.
     Motor Vehicle Air Conditioners (both automotive and non-
automotive).
    Because HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b contribute to ozone depletion, they 
will be phased out of production. Therefore, these blends will be used 
primarily as retrofit refrigerants. However, these blends are also 
acceptable for use in new systems. Regulations regarding recycling and 
reclamation issued under section 608 of the Clean Air Act apply to 
these blends. HCFC-142b has one of the highest ODPs among the HCFCs. 
The GWPs of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b are 1700 and 2000, respectively, 
which are somewhat high. However, this concern is mitigated by the 
scheduled phaseout of these refrigerants. Although HCFC-142b and 
isobutane are flammable, these blends are not. In addition, testing of 
this blend has shown that it does not become flammable after leaks. All 
components are low in toxicity.
    On October 16, 1996, (61 FR 54029), EPA promulgated a final rule 
that prospectively applied certain conditions on the use of any 
refrigerant used as a substitute for CFC-12 in motor vehicle air 
conditioning systems. That rule provided that EPA would list new 
refrigerants in future Notices. This Notice marks the first such 
determination. Therefore, the use of GHG-X5 as a CFC-12 substitute in 
motor vehicle air conditioning systems is governed by the standard 
conditions that have been imposed on previous

[[Page 30278]]

refrigerants, including the use of unique fittings designed by the 
refrigerant manufacturer, the application of a detailed label, the 
removal of the original refrigerant prior to charging with GHG-X5, and 
the installation of a high-pressure compressor cutoff switch on systems 
equipped with pressure relief devices. In addition, because GHG-X5 
contains HCFC-22, barrier hoses must be used with this refrigerant. The 
October 16, 1996 rule gives full details on these use conditions, and 
it takes precedence in any conflict with this Notice. The fittings to 
be used with GHG-X5 are as follows:

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                                                                           Thread pitch                         
               Fitting type                      Diameter (inches)        (threads/inch)      Thread direction  
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Low-side service port....................  .5625 (9/16)................                18  Left.                
High-side service port...................  .5 (8/16)...................                20  Left.                
large (>20 lb. containers)...............  .5625 (9/16)................                18  Left.                
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    Note: There is no fitting for small cans; until such time as a 
fitting is developed and listed in a future notice, it remains 
illegal to distribute this product in small cans. The labels will 
have an orange background and black text.
c. HCFC-142b/HCFC-22 (ICOR)
    This blend, which consists of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b, is acceptable 
as a substitute for CFC-12 in the following retrofitted and new 
systems: 
     Centrifugal and Reciprocating Chillers.
     Industrial Process Refrigeration.
     Cold Storage Warehouses.
     Refrigerated Transport.
     Retail Food Refrigeration.
     Vending Machines.
     Water Coolers.
     Commercial Ice Machines.
     Household Refrigerators.
     Household Freezers.
     Residential Dehumidifiers.
    Because HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b contribute to ozone depletion, they 
will be phased out of production. Therefore, this blend will be used 
primarily as a retrofit refrigerant. However, is also acceptable for 
use in new systems. Regulations regarding recycling and reclamation 
issued under section 608 of the Clean Air Act apply to this blend. 
HCFC-142b has one of the highest ODPs among the HCFCs. The GWPs of 
HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b are 1700 and 2000, respectively, which are 
somewhat high. However, these concerns are mitigated by the scheduled 
phaseout of these refrigerants. Although HCFC-142b is flammable, the 
blend's worst-case formulation is not. After significant leakage, this 
blend may become weakly flammable. However, the worst-case 
fractionation will result in 100% HCFC-142b remaining in the system, 
which is similar to the result of a significant leak of R-406A, a 
refrigerant previously found acceptable. Therefore, this blend should 
be at least as safe to use as R-406A. Both components are low in 
toxicity.

B. Foam Blowing

1. Clarification on Overlap of Sec. 610 Non-essential Use Ban and SNAP 
in the Regulation of Integral Skin Foams
    Section 610 of the Clean Air Act required EPA to ban the sale and 
distribution of integral skin foam and many other products manufactured 
with HCFCs (with the exception of integral skin foam utilized to 
provide for motor vehicle safety in accordance with Federal Motor 
Vehicle Safety Standards) as of January 1, 1994 (58 FR 69637; 12/30/
93). HCFCs were banned from motor vehicle safety integral skin foam 
effective January 1, 1996. See 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart C for details on 
integral skin or other products where CFCs and/or HCFCs are prohibited 
under the Non-essential Products Ban.
    In the initial SNAP listing of acceptable and unacceptable 
substitutes for integral skin, EPA listed a number of HCFCs and zero-
ODP substitutes as acceptable (59 FR 13044; March 18, 1994). Users of 
substitutes listed under SNAP are, however, subject to all other 
environmental, health or safety regulations. Consequently, between 
January 1, 1994 and January 1, 1996, only the sale and distribution of 
integral skin foam used for motor vehicle safety could legally be 
manufactured with HCFCs. After, January 1, 1996 all use of HCFCs was 
banned in integral skin foam.
    Persons who violate Title VI of the Clean Air Act may be subject to 
civil and administrative penalties of up to $25,000 per day for each 
violation. Any person who knowingly violates Title VI may be subject to 
criminal penalties of imprisonment of up to two years or a fine of up 
to $10,000.
2. Acceptable Substitutes
    Under section 612 of the Clean Air Act, EPA is authorized to review 
substitutes for class I (CFCs) and class II (HCFCs) chemicals. The 
following listing expands the list of acceptable substitutes for HCFCs 
in integral skin applications. a. Polyurethane Integral Skin Foam
a. Polyurethane Integral Skin Foam
(a) Saturated Light Hydrocarbons C3-C6
    Saturated Light Hydrocarbons C3-C6 are acceptable substitutes for 
HCFCs in polyurethane integral skin foam. Hydrocarbons are more 
flammable than CFCs and HCFCs and use would likely require additional 
investment to assure safe handling, use and shipping. These 
hydrocarbons have zero global warming potential (GWP) but are volatile 
organic compounds (VOCs) and must be controlled as such under Title I 
of the Clean Air Act. Relevant consumer product and other safety 
requirements necessary for use of hydrocarbon-blown integral skin foam 
would have to be met.

III. Additional Information

    Contact the Stratospheric Protection Hotline at 1-800-296-1996, 
Monday-Friday, between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. (Eastern 
Standard Time).
    For more information on the Agency's process for administering the 
SNAP program or criteria for evaluation of substitutes, refer to the 
SNAP final rulemaking published in the Federal Register on March 18, 
1994 (59 FR 13044). Federal Register notices can be ordered from the 
Government Printing Office Order Desk (202) 783-3238; the citation is 
the date of publication. This notice may also be obtained on the World 
Wide Web at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/snap/snap.html.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental Protection, Administrative Practice and Procedure, 
Air Pollution Control, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements.

    Dated: May 23, 1994.
Mary D. Nichols,
Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation.

    Note: The following Appendix will not appear in the Code of 
Federal Regulations.

[[Page 30279]]



                                  Appendix A.--Summary of Acceptable Decisions                                  
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              End-use                     Substitute                 Decision                   Comments        
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                                                  Foam Blowing                                                  
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HCFCs, Polyurethane Integral Skin.  Saturated Light         Acceptable...............  Additional investment is 
                                     Hydrocarbons C3-C6                                 likely to be required to
                                                                                        ensure safe handling,   
                                                                                        use and shipping.       
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                                       Refrigeration and Air Conditioning                                       
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CFC-12 Centrifugal and              GHG-X5                  Acceptable...............  Only the composition     
 Reciprocating Chillers,                                                                submitted is acceptable;
 Industrial Process Refrigeration,                                                      compositions with       
 Cold Storage Warehouses,                                                               different percentages of
 Refrigerated Transport, Retail                                                         the components require  
 Food Refrigeration, Vending                                                            new submissions.        
 Machines, Water Coolers,                                                                                       
 Commercial Ice Machines,                                                                                       
 Household Refrigerators,                                                                                       
 Household Freezers, and                                                                                        
 Residential Dehumidifiers                                                                                      
 (Retrofitted and New).                                                                                         
                                    MT-31                   Acceptable...............  Only the composition     
                                                                                        submitted is acceptable;
                                                                                        compositions with       
                                                                                        different percentages of
                                                                                        the components require  
                                                                                        new submissions.        
                                    HCFC-22/HCFC-142b       Acceptable...............  Only the composition     
                                                                                        submitted is acceptable;
                                                                                        compositions with       
                                                                                        different percentages of
                                                                                        the components require  
                                                                                        new submissions.        
CFC-12 Motor Vehicle Air            GHG-X5                  Acceptable...............  Only the composition     
 Conditioning, Automotive and Non-                                                      submitted is acceptable;
 Automotive (Retrofitted and New).                                                      compositions with       
                                                                                        different percentages of
                                                                                        the components require  
                                                                                        new submissions.        
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[FR Doc. 97-14447 Filed 6-2-97; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P