[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 100 (Wednesday, May 23, 2001)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 28379-28383]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-12893]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[FRL-6982-1]


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Notice 15 for Significant New 
Alternatives Policy Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of acceptability.

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SUMMARY: This document expands the list of acceptable substitutes for 
ozone-depleting substances (ODS) under the

[[Page 28380]]

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Significant New 
Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The substitutes are for use in the 
refrigeration and air conditioning sector.

EFFECTIVE DATE: May 23, 2001.

ADDRESSES: Information relevant to this document is contained in Air 
Docket A-91-42, Room M-1500, Waterside Mall, U.S. Environmental 
Protection Agency, 401 M Street, SW., Washington, DC 20460, telephone: 
(202) 260-7548. You may inspect the docket between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. 
weekdays. As provided in 40 CFR part 2, a reasonable fee may be charged 
for photocopying. Submissions to EPA for the use of the substitutes 
listed in this document may be found under category VI-D of EPA docket 
A-91-42. Other materials supporting the decisions herein may be found 
under category IX-B of EPA docket A-91-42.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Dave Godwin by telephone at (202) 564-
3517, by fax at (202) 565-2155, by e-mail at Godwin.Dave@epa.gov, or by 
mail at U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, 
NW., Mail Code 6205J, Washington, DC 20460. Overnight or courier 
deliveries should be sent to 501 3rd Street, NW., Washington, DC 20001.
    Further information can be found by calling the Stratospheric 
Protection Hotline at (800) 296-1996, Monday through Friday, between 
the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 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 original SNAP 
rulemaking published in the Federal Register on March 18, 1994 (59 FR 
13044). Notices and rulemakings under the SNAP program, as well as 
other EPA publications on protection of stratospheric ozone, are 
available from EPA's Ozone Depletion World Wide Web site at http://
www.epa.gov/ozone/ including the SNAP portion at http://www.epa.gov/
ozone/title6/snap/.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:
I. Listing of Acceptable Substitutes
    Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
II. Section 612 Program
    A. Statutory Requirements
    B. Regulatory History
Appendix A--Summary of Acceptable Decisions

I. Listing of Acceptable Substitutes

    This section presents EPA's most recent acceptable listing 
decisions for substitutes in the refrigeration and air conditioning 
sector. For copies of the full list of SNAP decisions in all industrial 
sectors, contact the EPA Stratospheric Protection Hotline at (800) 296-
1996.
    The sections below discuss the substitute listing in detail. 
Appendix A contains a table summarizing today's listing decisions. The 
comments contained in the table provide additional information, but are 
not legally binding under section 612 of the Clean Air Act. In 
addition, these comments are not a comprehensive list of other legal 
obligations you may need to meet when using the substitute. Although 
you are not required to follow recommendations in the comments section 
of the table to use a substitute, EPA strongly encourages you to apply 
the comments when using these substitutes. In many instances, the 
comments simply refer to standard operating practices in existing 
industry and/or building-code standards. Thus, many of these comments, 
if adopted, would not require significant changes to existing operating 
practices.

Refrigeration and Air Conditioning

1. HFC-134a/HBr (92/8)
    The chemical blend of 92% by weight HFC-134a (1,1,1,2-
tetrafluoroethane) and 8% by weight HBr (hydrogen bromide) is 
acceptable for use as the primary heat transfer fluid in new secondary-
loop equipment for not-in-kind replacements of systems using:
     CFC-12 and R-502 in retail food refrigeration; and
     CFC-12 and R-502 in cold storage warehouses
    HFC-134a/HBr (92/8) is also acceptable as a substitute in new 
equipment for:
     CFC-11, CFC-12, CFC-114, CFC-115, and R-502 in industrial 
process refrigeration; and
     CFC-12 and R-502 in refrigerated transport
    The submitter of this blend claims that the blend is protected 
under U.S. Patent Number 5,989,448. This submission may be found under 
EPA Air Docket A-91-42, item VI-D-275.
    Environmental information: The ozone depletion potential (ODP) of 
HBr is estimated to be less than 0.02, while its atmospheric lifetime 
is estimated at 2 to 7 days (ICF Risk Screen, EPA Air Docket A-91-42, 
item IX-B-68).
    Due to its short atmospheric lifetime, the global warming potential 
(GWP) of HBr is very low, while the GWP of HFC-134a is 1600 (100-year 
integrated time horizon referenced to carbon dioxide) [WMO, Scientific 
Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 1998]. The contribution of this blend to 
global warming will be minimized in each end-use through the 
implementation of the venting prohibition under section 608(c)(2) of 
the Clean Air Act (see 40 CFR part 82, subpart F). This section and 
EPA's implementing regulations prohibit venting or release of 
substitutes for class I and class II ozone depleting substances used in 
refrigeration and air-conditioning and require proper handling and 
disposal of these substances, such as recycling or recovery.
    HFC-134a has been exempted from the list of volatile organic 
compounds (VOCs) under Clean Air Act regulations (40 CFR 51.000) for 
purposes of the State implementation plan (SIP) provisions of the Clean 
Air Act; HBr has not. Emissions of HBr should be controlled in 
accordance with VOC restrictions in approved SIPs.
    Flammability information: Neither component of this blend is 
flammable.
    Toxicity and exposure data: HBr has an OSHA-established eight-hour 
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL) of only 3 ppm. The American Council of 
Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) has recommended a Threshold 
Limit Value (TLV) of 3 ppm as well. EPA has previously listed HFC-134a, 
with a Workplace Environmental Exposure Level (WEELs) from the American 
Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) of 1000 ppm, as an acceptable 
substitute in a variety of applications. EPA expects users of this 
blend to follow all recommendations specified in the Material Safety 
Data Sheets (MSDSs) for HBr, HFC-134a and the blend. The Agency also 
expects that users will adhere to any acceptable exposure limits set by 
any voluntary consensus standards organization, including the TLVs from 
the ACGIH and WEELs from the AIHA as stated above.
    Because of the health risks, EPA has at this time only evaluated 
this blend in limited applications. Within the retail food 
refrigeration and cold storage warehouse end uses, EPA is finding the 
use of HFC-134a/HBr (92/8) acceptable only for secondary-loop systems; 
accidental releases of the chemical in these applications are expected 
to generate negligible potential exposure to the public and workers. 
Within the refrigerated transport end use, direct exposure to high 
quantities of the refrigerant is not likely because of the small charge 
size and the typical placement of the unit away from direct human 
contact. Within the industrial process refrigeration end use, such as 
at chemical or other industrial plants, proper exposure controls and 
ventilation are generally available as well as established protocols 
for handling potentially hazardous materials, and therefore overall 
occupational risk is mitigated.

[[Page 28381]]

    Additional precautions could include installation of warning signs, 
worker education and technician training. Such practices will further 
reduce the likelihood of exposure, and are therefore recommended for 
all approved end uses.
2. Through 13. PFC-330ST, PFC-550HC, PFC-660HC, PFC-1100HC, PFC-1100LT, 
PGC-100, PGC-150, PFC-331ST, PFC-551HC, PFC-661HC, PFC-1101HC and PGC-
151
    The chemical blends submitted to EPA with the unregistered trade 
names listed above are acceptable for use in new and retrofit equipment 
as substitutes for:
     CFC-13, CFC-113, CFC-114 and blends thereof in very low 
temperature refrigeration.
    IGC Polycold Systems Inc., the submitter of the above-listed 
blends, claims that the compositions of these blends, tailored for use 
in its equipment, are confidential business information. A redacted 
version of this submission may be found under EPA Air Docket A-91-42, 
item VI-D-267.
    Environmental information: Each of these blends contain one or more 
hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) component(s), and thus the blends do not 
have a zero ozone depletion potential (ODP).
    The global warming potentials (GWPs) of some of the blend 
components are very high; however, the GWPs of the blends as formulated 
are less than the GWPs of the refrigerants they are replacing and less 
than most other alternatives approved for use within the very low 
temperature refrigeration end use. EPA strongly encourages the 
continued search for lower-GWP alternatives for use in this end use and 
prompt identification and repair of any leaks that may occur. The 
contribution of these blends to global warming will be minimized 
through the implementation of the venting prohibition under section 
608(c)(2) of the Clean Air Act (see 40 CFR part 82, subpart F). This 
section and EPA's implementing regulations prohibit venting or release 
of substitutes for class I and class II ozone depleting substances used 
in refrigeration and air-conditioning and require proper handling and 
disposal of these substances, such as recycling or recovery.
    Some components of these blends have not been exempted from listing 
as VOCs under Clean Air Act regulations for purposes of the SIP 
program. Emissions should be controlled in accordance with requirements 
in approved SIPs.
    Flammability information: The submitter states that tests conducted 
by Hauser Engineering Services determined that all of the blends, 
except PGC-100, PGC-150 and PGC-151, are flammable in accordance with 
ASTM E-681-85. However, a flammability analysis and risk assessment 
provided by the submitter found little to no associated risk, due in 
part to the small charge size used and the low probability of a leak 
occurring in the semi-hermetically-sealed equipment. To further reduce 
flammability risks, EPA recommends that adequate personnel training and 
room ventilation be provided.
    Toxicity and exposure data: All components in these blends have 
eight-hour time-weighted average occupational exposure limits, such as 
Threshold Limit Values (TLVs) from the American Council of Governmental 
Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) and Workplace Environmental Exposure 
Levels (WEELs) from the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA), 
on the order of 1,000 ppm, with one exception. Although one component 
does have a WEEL significantly less than 1,000 ppm, the EPA risk screen 
and occupational exposure scenarios indicate that likely exposure to 
this chemical or any of the other components of these blends will 
remain below the recommended limits within the proposed end use, 
including manufacture and disposal scenarios. Further, the company's 
Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDSs) for all 12 blends recommend an 
acceptable exposure limit (AEL) of 30 ppm. These exposure limits for 
the blends are lower than the WEELs for the components; therefore, EPA 
believes that the company's recommended AELs are protective of human 
health. EPA expects users to follow all recommendations specified in 
the MSDSs for the blends and other safety precautions common in the 
refrigeration and air conditioning industry.
14. SP34E
    On December 18, 2000, EPA listed SP34E as acceptable for use as a 
substitute for CFC-12 for retrofit and new motor vehicle air 
conditioning (65 FR 78979). Based on a final rule promulgated by EPA on 
October 16, 1996 (61 FR 54029), all substitutes listed as acceptable 
for use in motor vehicle air conditioning must be used with unique 
fittings for service ports and refrigerant containers. In the original 
SP34E listing, low-side and high-side service port fittings, as well as 
fittings for large refrigerant containers (>20 pounds) were identified, 
but fittings for small cans were not. Since then, the following 
fittings have been developed for small cans, and use of these fittings 
is required to use SP34E in motor vehicle air conditioning systems:

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                                                    Diameter       Thread pitch
                 Fitting type                       (inches)      (threads/inch)         Thread  direction
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Small cans....................................   0.3125 (5/16)               24   Left.
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II. 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, it must publish the revised lists within an additional six 
months.

[[Page 28382]]

     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.
     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 (59 FR 13044) 
which described the process for administering the SNAP program. In the 
same document, EPA issued its first acceptability lists for substitutes 
in the major industrial use sectors. These sectors include:

 Refrigeration and air conditioning;
 Foam blowing;
 Solvents 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 this original rule for the SNAP program, 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. Therefore, by this action 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 the lists 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, intended for use as a replacement for 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.
    You can find a complete chronology of SNAP decisions and the 
appropriate Federal Register citations from the SNAP section of EPA's 
Ozone Depletion World Wide Web site at www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/snap/
chron.html. This information is also available from the Air Docket (see 
ADDRESSES section above for contact information).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: May 7, 2001.
Avis C. Robinson,
Acting Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and 
Radiation.

Appendix A.--Summary of Acceptable Decisions

                                       Refrigeration and Air Conditioning
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               End-Use                        Substitute             Recommendation              Comments
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Retail food refrigeration, for use as  HFC-134a/HBr (92/8) as   Acceptable.............  Users are expected to
 the primary heat transfer fluid in     a substitute for CFC-                             adhere to the 3 ppm
 new secondary-loop equipment for not-  12 and R-502.                                     Permissible Exposure
 in-kind replacements of systems.                                                         Limit and Threshold
                                                                                          Limit Value set by
                                                                                          OSHA and ACGIH,
                                                                                          respectively. Users
                                                                                          are expected to follow
                                                                                          all recommendations
                                                                                          specified in Material
                                                                                          Safety Data Sheets for
                                                                                          HBr, HFC-134a and the
                                                                                          blend. Additional
                                                                                          warning signs, worker
                                                                                          education and
                                                                                          technician training is
                                                                                          recommended to
                                                                                          minimize exposures.
Cold storage warehouses, for use as    HFC-134a/HBr (92/8) as   Acceptable.............  Users are expected to
 the primary heat transfer fluid in     a substitute for CFC-                             adhere to the 3 ppm
 new secondary-loop equipment for not-  12 and R-502.                                     Permissible Exposure
 in-kind replacements of systems.                                                         Limit and Threshold
                                                                                          Limit Value set by
                                                                                          OSHA and ACGIH,
                                                                                          respectively. Users
                                                                                          are expected to follow
                                                                                          all recommendations
                                                                                          specified in Material
                                                                                          Safety Data Sheets for
                                                                                          HBr, HFC-134a and the
                                                                                          blend. Additional
                                                                                          warning signs, worker
                                                                                          education and
                                                                                          technician training is
                                                                                          recommended to
                                                                                          minimize exposures.

[[Page 28383]]

 
Industrial process refrigeration       HFC-134a/HBr (92/8) as   Acceptable.............  Users are expected to
 (new).                                 a substitute for CFC-                             adhere to the 3 ppm
                                        11, CFC-12, CFC-114,                              Permissible Exposure
                                        CFC-115 and R-502.                                Limit and Threshold
                                                                                          Limit Value set by
                                                                                          OSHA and ACGIH,
                                                                                          respectively. Users
                                                                                          are expected to follow
                                                                                          all recommendations
                                                                                          specified in Material
                                                                                          Safety Data Sheets for
                                                                                          HBr, HFC-134a and the
                                                                                          blend. Additional
                                                                                          warning signs, worker
                                                                                          education and
                                                                                          technician training is
                                                                                          recommended to
                                                                                          minimize exposures.
Refrigerated transport (new).........  HFC-134a/HBr (92/8) as   Acceptable.............  Users are expected to
                                        a substitute for CFC-                             adhere to the 3 ppm
                                        12 and R-502.                                     Permissible Exposure
                                                                                          Limit and Threshold
                                                                                          Limit Value set by
                                                                                          OSHA and ACGIH,
                                                                                          respectively. Users
                                                                                          are expected to follow
                                                                                          all recommendations
                                                                                          specified in Material
                                                                                          Safety Data Sheets for
                                                                                          HBr, HFC-134a and the
                                                                                          blend. Additional
                                                                                          warning signs, worker
                                                                                          education and
                                                                                          technician training is
                                                                                          recommended to
                                                                                          minimize exposures.
Very low temperature refrigeration     PFC-330ST, PFC-550HC,    Acceptable.............
 (retrofit and new).                    PFC-660HC, PFC-1100HC,
                                        PFC-1100LT, PGC-100,
                                        PGC-150, PFC-331ST,
                                        PFC-551HC, PFC-661HC,
                                        PFC-1101HC and PGC-151
                                        assubstitutes for CFC-
                                        13, CFC-113, CFC-114
                                        and blends thereof.
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[FR Doc. 01-12893 Filed 5-22-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P