[Federal Register Volume 66, Number 100 (Wednesday, May 23, 2001)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 28408-28410]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 01-12896]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[FRL-6981-9]


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Notice of Data Availability; 
New Information Concerning SNAP Program Proposal on HCFC Use in Foams

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of data availability and request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making available 
to the public information related to a July 11, 2000, proposal under 
the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program under section 
612 of the Clean Air Act. The SNAP program reviews alternatives to 
Class I and Class II ozone depleting substances and approves use of 
alternatives which reduce the overall risk to public health and the 
environment. The July 11, 2000 proposal concerned use of 
hydrochlorfluorocarbons (HCFCs) in foam blowing applications. The 
official comment period for the proposal ended on September 11, 2000. 
However, EPA received information after September 11, 2000 from outside 
parties through letters, meetings and the Agency's own efforts to 
obtain information to address public comments. Today, the Agency is 
making new information obtained after the close of the comment period 
available for public review and comment. The information being made 
available includes: sector description and size, alternatives currently 
used in each sector and technically viable alternatives. Because we 
plan to use this information in the future when developing a final 
rule, EPA wants to provide the public with an opportunity to comment on 
it.

[[Page 28409]]

    Readers should note that we will only consider comments about the 
information referenced in this notice and are not soliciting comments 
on any other topic. In particular, we are not reopening the comment 
period for the July 11, 2000, proposed rule through this Notice of Data 
Availability. Neither are we soliciting comments on the HCFC production 
phaseout established in EPA's December 10, 1993 rulemaking (58 FR 
65018).

DATES: We will accept comments on the data through June 22, 2001.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments to Docket A-2000-18, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Air and Radiation (OAR) 
Docket and Information Center (6102), 401 M Street, SW., Room M-1500, 
Washington, DC 20460, phone: (202) 260-7548; fax (202) 260-4400. You 
may submit comments electronically by sending electronic mail through 
the Internet to: A-and-R-Docket@epamail.epa.gov. Also identify your 
comments in electronic format with Docket No. A-2000-18. See the 
SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section of this notice for further 
information about filing comments. The docket may be inspected between 
8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. As provided in 40 CFR part 2, a 
reasonable fee may be charged for photocopying. To expedite review, a 
second copy of the comments should be sent to Ms. Anhar Karimjee at the 
address listed below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Information 
designated as Confidential Business Information (CBI) under 40 CFR part 
2, subpart 2, must be marked confidential and sent directly to Ms. 
Anhar Karimjee. However, the Agency is requesting that all respondents 
submit a non-confidential version of their comments to the docket as 
well.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions concerning today's action 
should be addressed to Ms. Anhar Karimjee at phone: (202) 564-2683, 
fax: (202) 565-2095, or e-mail: karimjee.anhar@epa.gov, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., 
Mailcode 6205J, Washington, DC 20004. Overnight or courier deliveries 
should be sent to the office location at 501 3rd Street, NW., 
Washington, DC 20001.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:   

Outline

    1. What is today's action?
    2. What information is EPA making available for review and 
comment?
    3. Where can I get the information?
    4. How is this action related to the July 11, 2000 proposed 
rule?
    5. What is EPA not taking comment on?
    6. What supporting documentation do I need to include in my 
comments?

1. What Is Today's Action?

    Today, we are making information available on foam blowing 
applications that could be potentially affected by a Significant New 
Alternatives Policy (SNAP) action under section 612 of the Clean Air 
Act. The proposed action, published in the Federal Register on July 11, 
2000 (65 FR 42653), addressed use of HCFCs in all foam end-uses. EPA 
proposed 3 actions: (1) Listing HCFC-141b as unacceptable in all foam 
end-uses, with existing users grandfathered until 2005; (2) listing 
HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b as unacceptable in all foam end-uses, with 
existing users grandfathered until 2005; and (3) listing HCFC-124 as 
unacceptable in all foam end-uses (65 FR 42653). The Agency allowed 60 
days for public comment and received 45 responses to the proposal by 
the close of the comment period (September 11, 2000). The Agency 
received comments from chemical manufacturers, appliance manufacturers, 
spray foam manufacturers, associations, and others. Copies can be 
obtained through the Air Docket by referencing A-2000-18, IV-D-1 
through 45 (see ADDRESSES section above for docket contact info).
    Since the comment period closed, EPA has acquired additional 
information pertaining to the availability and technical viability of 
alternatives and the market size and economic impact of the proposal on 
various industries. This information was obtained through meetings held 
at the request of industry representatives, letters sent through 
congressional representatives, letters sent directly to the Agency, and 
through EPA's own efforts to obtain additional information in order to 
fully address comments received during the comment period. The purpose 
of making data available for comment is to ensure that information 
provided to the Agency since September 11, 2000 (the end of the comment 
period) is accurate and complete. The information provided will be used 
to help respond to comments and finalize the July 11, 2000 proposal.

2. What Information Is EPA Making Available for Review and Comment?

    Since the comment period ended on September 11, 2000, EPA received 
18 letters in response to the proposal mentioned above. These letters 
can be obtained through the Air Docket, A-2000-18 reference number IV-
D-46 through 64. Many of these letters express concern over economic 
impacts of the proposal including potential small business impacts. The 
letters also address technical viability and availability of 
alternatives. Notes from meetings requested by industry representatives 
are also available in the Air Docket. In general, the purpose of these 
meetings was for industry representatives to go over comments already 
formally submitted to EPA and offer the Agency an opportunity to ask 
clarifying questions. A summary of these meetings along with any new 
information provided to the Agency during these meetings is available 
through the Air Docket, A-2000-18 reference number IV-E-1 through 6. 
The following items in the docket include technical information such as 
industry overviews and surveys: Air Docket, A-2000-18 reference number 
IV-D-55, IV-D-61, IV-D-76, IV-E-4, IV-E-6, 7, 8, 9.
    EPA obtained additional information through attending public 
conferences and literature reviews. Although this information is 
publicly available, the Agency is including it in this notice because 
some of the information may be used when the Agency takes final action 
on the proposal. These documents can be obtained through the Air 
Docket, A-2000-18 reference number IV-D-65 through 75.
    Some comments received on the July 11, 2000 proposal suggested that 
EPA developed the proposal without sufficient up-to-date information on 
certain sectors of the foam industry. Comments also indicated that the 
Agency should have evaluated the viability of alternatives in each foam 
end-use application and the potential small business impacts of the 
proposal. In an effort to address these concerns, the Agency hired a 
consultant to gather additional information on certain sectors and is 
making this information available to the public for review and comment 
prior to taking final action on the July 11 proposal. The Agency is 
seeking comments on the accuracy and thoroughness of the following 
reports:

--Synopsis of comments received from the extruded polystyrene industry
--Overview of challenges facing the polyurethane spray foam industry 
and other systems house based applications
    (a) Comments from the polyurethane systems houses (non-spray foam)
    (b) Comments from the polyurethane spray foam systems houses and 
contractors

    EPA has also summarized information available on all foam sectors 
currently using HCFCs. This information is presented in table format 
and is

[[Page 28410]]

available through Air Docket A-2000-18 reference number IV-D-79. The 
table consolidates information obtained in response to the proposal 
along with information collected during the development of the 
documents outlined above. EPA is soliciting comment on the accuracy of 
the information presented in the table. In addition to obtaining 
comments on the accuracy of the information provided, the Agency would 
like to know if there any other foam applications that use HCFC blowing 
agents but are not listed in the table.

3. Where Can I Get the Information?

    All of the information can be obtained through the Air Docket (see 
ADDRESSES section above for docket contact info). The reports covering 
the polystyrene, spray, sandwich panels and other foam applications can 
be obtained through the docket. Reference numbers are as follows:

--Synopsis of comments received from the extruded polystyrene industry: 
Air Docket A-2000-18 reference number IV-D-77
--Overview of challenges facing the polyurethane spray foam industry 
and other systems house based applications: Air Docket A-2000-18 
reference number IV-D-78
    (a) Comments from the polyurethane systems houses (non-spray foam): 
Air Docket A-2000-18 reference number IV-D-78a
    (b) Comments from the polyurethane spray foam systems houses and 
contractors: Air Docket A-2000-18 reference number IV-D-78b

4. How Is This Action Related to the July 11, 2000 Proposed Rule?

    We are soliciting comment to ensure that we use the best 
information available when making final decisions regarding the July 
11, 2000 proposal. Because the information provided in this Federal 
Register document will be used by EPA to addresses comments received on 
the proposal, the Agency is providing the public with an opportunity to 
comment on the quality of the available information. This information 
will be used to ensure that issues relating to the technical viability 
of alternatives and industry impacts are fully considered by EPA prior 
to moving forward with a rulemaking in the foams sector.

5. What Is EPA Not Taking Comment On?

    EPA is only accepting comments on accuracy and completeness of the 
information outlined in today's Federal Register Notice. EPA is not 
accepting comment on the following:

--HCFC foams proposal published on July 11, 2000 (65 FR 42653)
--HCFC production phaseout established in EPA's December 10, 1993 
rulemaking (58 FR 65018)
--Allowance System for Controlling HCFC Production, Import and Export 
(draft proposal that may be published during comment period on this 
NODA)

6. What Supporting Documentation Do I Need To Include in My Comments?

    Please provide any published studies or raw data supporting your 
position.

    Dated: May 4, 2001.
Paul Stolpman,
Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 01-12896 Filed 5-22-01; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-U