[Federal Register Volume 67, Number 19 (Tuesday, January 29, 2002)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4185-4203]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 02-1495]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[FRL-7130-7]
RIN 2060-AG12


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Removal of Restrictions on 
Certain Fire Suppression Substitutes for Ozone-Depleting Substances; 
and Listing of Substitutes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking direct 
final action to remove restrictions previously imposed on the use of 
certain substitutes for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) under the 
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. Specifically, EPA 
is rescinding use conditions imposed under the SNAP program that limit 
human exposure to halocarbon and inert gas agents used in the fire 
suppression and explosion protection industry. These use conditions are 
redundant with safety standards that have since been established by the 
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). These halocarbon and inert 
gas agents will now either be acceptable or acceptable subject to 
narrowed use limits, depending on the specific agent.
    Today, EPA is also taking direct final action to change the listing 
from acceptable, subject to use conditions, to unacceptable, for a fire 
suppressant which the manufacturer has withdrawn from the market 
because of concerns about fetal toxicity; add a substitute to the SNAP 
list of acceptable substitutes with narrowed use limits in the fire 
suppression and explosion protection sector; and change a listing 
decision to remove a restriction from one substitute and to make it an 
acceptable agent for fire suppression and explosion protection, without 
use conditions or narrowed use limits. EPA is issuing a companion 
proposal to this direct final rule elsewhere in today's Federal 
Register. If we receive any adverse comments in response to an 
amendment, table, or table entry of the rule, EPA will withdraw those 
amendments, tables, or table entries of this direct final action and 
will consider and respond to any comments prior to taking any new, 
final action.

DATES: This rule is effective on April 1, 2002 without further notice, 
unless EPA receives adverse comment or receives a request for a public 
hearing by February 28, 2002. If we receive adverse comment or a 
request for a public hearing, we will publish a timely withdrawal in 
the Federal Register informing the public that all or amendments, 
tables, or table entries of this rule will not take effect.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and data specific to this final rule to 
Docket A-91-42, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, OAR Docket and 
Information Center, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Mail Code 6102, 
Washington, DC 20460. The docket is physically located at 401 M Street, 
SW., Room M-1500. You may inspect the docket between 8 a.m. and 5:30 
p.m. on weekdays. Telephone (202) 260-7548; fax (202) 260-4400. As 
provided in 40 CFR part 2, a reasonable fee may be charged for 
photocopying. To expedite review, send a second copy of your comments 
directly to Margaret Sheppard at the address listed below under For 
Further Information. Information designated as Confidential Business 
Information (CBI) under 40 CFR, part 2, Subpart 2, must be sent 
directly to the contact person for this notice. 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: Margaret Sheppard at (202) 564-9163 or 
fax (202) 565-2155, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Global 
Programs Division, Mail Code 6205J, Washington, DC 20460. Overnight or 
courier deliveries should be sent to the office location at 501 3rd 
Street, NW., 4th floor; Washington, DC 20001. Also contact the 
Stratospheric Protection Hotline at (800) 296-1996 and EPA's Ozone 
Depletion World Wide Web site at ``http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/
snap/''.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In this direct final rule, EPA is removing, 
or in some cases, modifying, restrictions that were imposed on the use 
of certain substitutes for ODSs under the SNAP program in the fire 
suppression and explosion protection industry sector. Today's action 
also adds a fire suppression agent to the list of acceptable 
substitutes, subject to narrowed use limits. The regulations 
implementing the SNAP program are codified at 40 CFR part 82, subpart 
G. The appendices to subpart G list substitutes for ODSs that have had 
restrictions imposed on their use. The revisions in this direct final 
rule modify the appendices to subpart G.
    EPA is publishing today's revisions to the SNAP lists without prior 
proposal because the Agency views them as non-controversial and 
anticipates no adverse comment. The most significant position of this 
rule is to simply remove restrictions that are now duplicative of 
standards of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). In 
addition, we are adding a new agent to the list of acceptable 
substitutes, subject to narrowed use limits, and changing the listing 
from acceptable, subject to use conditions, to unacceptable for an 
agent that is no longer sold or produced because of fetal toxicity and 
a high ozone depletion potential. This action does not place any 
significant new burden on the regulated community. Rather, it removes 
mandatory conditions on use of certain substitutes under the SNAP 
program while encouraging voluntary compliance with NFPA's 2001 
Standard. For the only part of the action creating further 
restrictions, it is our understanding that the agent we are listing as 
unacceptable is not currently being used; thus, it should not add 
significantly to regulatory burden. Today's action decreases the 
regulatory burden on the fire protection community while continuing to 
protect human health and the environment. Members of the fire 
protection community participate on NFPA's technical committee that is 
responsible for developing and updating the 2001 standard and adhere to 
the standards set by NFPA. For these reasons, EPA anticipates that this 
action will be welcomed.
    However, in the ``Proposed Rules'' section of today's Federal 
Register publication, EPA is publishing a

[[Page 4186]]

companion proposed rule that proposes the same actions as this direct 
final rule. The direct final rule will be effective on April 1, 2002 
without further notice unless we receive adverse comment (or a request 
for a public hearing) by February 28, 2002. If EPA receives adverse 
comment, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the Federal Register 
informing the public that all or amendments, tables, or table entries 
of this rule will not take effect. EPA will address all public comments 
in a subsequent final rule based on the proposed rule. We will not 
institute a second public comment period on this action. Any parties 
interested in commenting must do so at this time.
    You may claim that information in your comments is confidential 
business information, as allowed by 40 CFR part 2. If you submit 
comments and include information that you claim as confidential 
business information, we request that you submit them directly to 
Margaret Sheppard in two versions: one clearly marked ``Public'' to be 
filed in the public docket, and the other marked ``Confidential'' to be 
reviewed by authorized government personnel only.

Table of Contents

I. The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program and How It 
Works
    A. What Are the Statutory Requirements and Authority for the 
SNAP Program?
    B. How Do the Regulations for the SNAP Program Work?
    C. Where Can I Get Additional Information about the SNAP 
Program?
II. Today's Regulatory Action
    A. How are ODSs and Their Substitutes Used in the Fire 
Suppression and Explosion Protection Industry Sector?
    1. How Does the SNAP Program Assess Risk for Total Flooding 
Agents?
    2. How Does the National Fire Protection Association Set Safety 
Standards for Total Flooding Agents?
    B. How Is EPA Changing the SNAP Program's Existing Substitute 
Listings for Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection To Coordinate 
with the NFPA 2001 Standard?
    C. How Will Exposure Limits and Egress Times Be Determined for 
New Halocarbon and Inert Gas Total Flooding Agents in the Future?
    D. How is EPA Responding to the Withdrawal of HBFC-22B1 from the 
Market?
    E. What New Fire Suppressant is EPA Finding Acceptable Subject 
to Narrowed Use Limits in Today's Action?
    F. How Is EPA's Decision on the Acceptability of Envirogel 
(Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension) Changing in Today's 
Rule?
    G. How Will Today's SNAP Listings Fit in with Previous SNAP 
Listings in the Code of Federal Regulations?
III. Administrative Requirements

I. The Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program and How 
It Works

A. What Are the Statutory Requirements and Authority for the SNAP 
Program?

    Section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) 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 substitute to or delete a substitute 
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 six 
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 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. How Do the Regulations for the SNAP Program Work?

    On March 18, 1994, EPA published the original rulemaking (59 FR 
13044) that 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; solvents cleaning; fire suppression and 
explosion protection; sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings and 
inks; and tobacco expansion. These sectors comprise the principal 
industrial sectors that historically consumed large volumes of ozone-
depleting substances.
    Anyone who produces a substitute for an ODS 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 chemical manufacturers, 
but may include importers, formulators or end-users when they are 
responsible for introducing a substitute into commerce.
    The Agency has identified four possible decision categories for 
substitutes: acceptable; acceptable subject to use conditions; 
acceptable subject to narrowed use limits; and unacceptable. Use 
conditions and narrowed use limits are both considered ``use 
restrictions'' and are explained below. Substitutes that are deemed 
acceptable with no use restrictions (no use conditions or narrowed use 
limits) can be used for all applications within the relevant sector 
end-use. Substitutes that are acceptable subject to use restrictions 
may be used only in accordance with such restrictions. It is illegal to 
replace an ODS with a substitute listed as unacceptable.
    After reviewing a substitute, the Agency may make a determination 
that a substitute is acceptable only if certain conditions of use are 
met to minimize risk to human health and the environment. Such 
substitutes are described as ``acceptable subject to use conditions.'' 
Use of such substitutes without meeting associated use conditions 
renders these substitutes unacceptable and subjects the user to 
enforcement for violation of section 612 of the Clean Air Act.
    For some substitutes the Agency may permit a narrowed range of use 
within a sector (that is, the Agency may limit the use of a substitute 
to certain end-uses or specific applications within an

[[Page 4187]]

industry sector), to allow agents to be used in specific uses that 
would otherwise be deemed unacceptable. Such substitutes are described 
as ``acceptable subject to narrowed use limits.'' Users intending to 
adopt a substitute that is acceptable subject to narrowed use limits 
must ascertain that other acceptable alternatives are not technically 
feasible. Users must document the results of their evaluation, and 
retain the results on file for the purpose of demonstrating compliance. 
This documentation shall include descriptions of substitutes examined 
and rejected, processes or products in which the substitute is needed, 
reason for rejection of other alternatives (for example, performance, 
technical or safety standards), and the anticipated date other 
substitutes will be available and projected time for switching to other 
available substitutes. Use of such substitutes in applications and end-
uses which are not specified as acceptable in the narrowed use limit 
renders these substitutes unacceptable.
    The Agency publishes its SNAP program decisions in the Federal 
Register. For those substitutes that are deemed acceptable subject to 
use restrictions (use conditions and/or narrowed use limits), or for 
substitutes deemed unacceptable, EPA first publishes these decisions as 
proposals to allow the public opportunity to comment, and final 
decisions are published as final rulemakings. In contrast, substitutes 
that are deemed acceptable with no restrictions are published as 
``notices of acceptability'', rather than as proposed and final rules. 
As described in the rule implementing the SNAP program (59 FR 13044), 
EPA does not believe that rulemaking procedures are necessary to list 
alternatives that are acceptable without restrictions because such 
listings neither impose any sanction nor remove any prior license to 
use a substitute.
    Many SNAP listings include statements in the column labelled 
``Further Information'' (or in earlier listings, ``Comments''). These 
comments provide additional information on substitutes determined to be 
either unacceptable, acceptable subject to narrowed use limits, or 
acceptable subject to use conditions. Since these statements are not 
part of the regulatory decision, they are not mandatory for use of a 
substitute unless they specifically reference regulatory requirements. 
Nor should the information be considered comprehensive with respect to 
other legal obligations pertaining to the use of the substitute. 
However, EPA encourages users of substitutes to apply all this 
information in their application of these substitutes, regardless of 
any regulatory requirements. In many instances, the information simply 
refers to sound operating practices that have already been identified 
in existing industry and/or building-code standards. Thus, many of the 
statements, if adopted, would not require significant changes in 
existing operating practices for the affected industry.

C. Where Can I Get Additional Information About the SNAP Program?

    For copies of the comprehensive SNAP lists or additional 
information on SNAP, contact the Stratospheric Protection Hotline at 
(800) 296-1996, Monday-Friday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. 
(EST). 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), and see also the Code of Federal Regulations at 
40 CFR part 82, subpart G. You can find a complete chronology of SNAP 
decisions and the appropriate Federal Register citations at EPA's Ozone 
Depletion World Wide Web site at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/snap/
chron.html.

II. Today's Regulatory Action

A. How Are ODSs and Their Substitutes Used in the Fire Suppression and 
Explosion Protection Industry Sector?

    Substitutes for halons in the fire suppression and explosion 
protection industry are classified as either total flooding agents or 
streaming agents under the SNAP program. Today's action removes or 
modifies restrictions pertaining to workplace exposures on certain 
substitutes used as total flooding agents.
    A total flooding fire protection system can be defined as ``a 
system consisting of an agent supply and distribution network designed 
to achieve a total flooding condition in a hazard volume,'' when total 
flooding is defined as ``the act and manner of discharging an agent for 
the purpose of achieving a specified minimum agent concentration 
throughout a hazard volume'' (National Fire Protection Association 2001 
Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, 2000 Edition).
1. How Does the SNAP Program Assess Risk for Total Flooding Agents?
    Beginning with the original SNAP rulemaking (March 18, 1994, 59 FR 
13044) and continuing in subsequent rulemakings, EPA has listed several 
halocarbon and inert gas agents as acceptable substitutes for halons as 
total flooding agents. However, because of health risks associated with 
exposures at elevated concentrations of these agents, the acceptability 
decisions for halocarbon and inert gas agents were made subject to use 
conditions that are intended to limit human exposure to these agents.
    For halocarbon agents, the health effect of concern is cardiac 
sensitization (an increase in the sensitivity of the heart to 
adrenaline). The use conditions for halocarbon substitutes under the 
SNAP program are based on the no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) 
and lowest observed adverse effect level (LOAEL) for cardiac 
sensitization. See 59 FR 13098 (March 18, 1994).
    For inert gas agents, the human health effect of concern is 
reduction of oxygen to potentially unsafe levels. The use conditions 
under the SNAP program for inert gas substitutes are based on minimum 
oxygen levels associated with use of the agent. See 59 FR 13098 (March 
18, 1994).
    In establishing standards for safe use of halocarbon total flooding 
alternatives, EPA based exposure limits on available animal 
toxicological data and established exposure times to be consistent with 
the exposure limits for halon 1301 in the Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration's (OSHA) standard on fixed fire suppression 
equipment (see 29 CFR 1910, subpart L sections 1910.162 and 1910.160). 
Section 1910.162 limits workers' exposure to halon 1301 by linking 
percent agent concentration in air with the length of time required to 
safely leave an area (the egress time). EPA developed standards for 
safe use of halocarbons that link percent concentration in air of the 
agent (based on the cardiac sensitization NOAEL and LOAEL as determined 
by animal testing) with egress times.
    In establishing standards for safe use of inert gases used as 
alternatives to halons for total flooding applications, EPA linked 
minimum oxygen concentration in air with egress times. This is similar 
to the approach for setting exposure limits for halocarbon agents. For 
inert gases, we used 12% and 10% oxygen as functional equivalents of 
the NOAEL and LOAEL, respectively. See 59 FR 13108 and 13142 (March 18, 
1994) and 61 FR 25588-25590 (May 22, 1996).
2. How Does the National Fire Protection Association Set Safety 
Standards for Total Flooding Agents?
    The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is an independent,

[[Page 4188]]

voluntary membership, non-profit international organization that is 
dedicated to reducing the burden of fire on the quality of life by 
advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, 
research, and education for fire and related safety issues. NFPA codes 
and standards are developed through a consensus process accredited by 
the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). NFPA codes and 
standards are used by the fire protection community throughout the 
United States and the world, and are widely used as a basis for 
legislation and regulation at all levels of government, from local to 
international.
    Since 1896, the NFPA has been developing and updating 
scientifically based consensus codes and standards concerning all areas 
of fire safety. There are currently more than 300 NFPA fire codes and 
standards in use. Examples include NFPA 10 on Portable Extinguishers, 
NFPA 12 on Carbon Dioxide Systems, and NFPA 12A on Halon 1301 Systems. 
These standards allow for safe use of fire protection agents and 
systems.
    NFPA codes and standards are developed and updated through an open, 
consensus-based process involving thousands of volunteers with 
technical expertise in a wide range of areas. Volunteers come from the 
fire services, educational institutions, businesses, insurance 
companies, industry, labor, consumers, and governing agencies. Any 
person can submit a proposal to NFPA for a new document or to update an 
existing one. Various technical committees, made up of volunteers 
representing a balance of different interests, are assigned to each 
project. The technical committee develops an initial draft of the 
project, and issues public notices asking for proposals to include in 
the document. The committee meets to consider all proposals on a 
project, and the proposals and the committee's action on them are 
published and made widely available to the public. Anyone may attend 
the committee meetings, and address technical committees. If a 
committee votes to approve their action on the proposals, a 60-day 
public comment period begins, after which the committee meets again to 
act on the comments (again anyone may attend the meeting and address 
the committee). If the committee votes to approve the comments, a 
report on the comments is published and is made available to anyone for 
review. The proposals and comments are then submitted for open debate 
at either of NFPA's twice annual Association meetings. Anyone 
(regardless of whether they are an NFPA member or not) can present 
their views on the proposal and comments at the annual meetings. After 
deliberation, the NFPA membership votes to either approve, amend, or 
return portions or the entire document to the technical committee. The 
technical committee then votes on any amendments to the document that 
were made at the NFPA Association meeting. Any person can file an 
appeal to NFPA if they are dissatisfied with actions taken during the 
development of codes and standards.
    Building codes (or other local codes) specify requirements for fire 
protection systems based on the specific level of fire hazard present. 
These codes apply to the design, installation and operation of the fire 
protection system and assign the approval authority (or ``authority 
having jurisdiction,'' AHJ) that is responsible for determining that 
all systems installed meet the codes. The design and installation 
requirements for individual systems are based on compliance with 
applicable NFPA standards. NFPA standards apply to the fire protection 
agents, and the equipment and devices that make up the entire fire 
protection system. NFPA standards establish applicability of fire 
protection agents in particular system applications, and require that 
all equipment and devices used in a system be listed by a third party 
organization that is acceptable to the approval authority and is 
concerned with product evaluation. (``Listed'' means ``Equipment, 
materials or services included in a list published by an organization 
that is acceptable to the authority having jurisdiction and concerned 
with evaluation of products or services, that maintains periodic 
inspection of production of listed equipment or materials or periodic 
evaluation of services, and whose listing states that either the 
equipment, material, or service meets appropriate designated standards 
or has been tested and found suitable for a specified purpose.'' 
National Fire Protection Association 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire 
Extinguishing Systems, 2000 Edition)
    At the time that EPA developed the original SNAP rule, neither a 
relevant regulatory agency (for example, OSHA) nor a voluntary 
consensus standard setting body (for example, NFPA) had yet established 
use conditions that would adequately limit human exposure to 
alternatives to halons used as total flooding agents, nor had they 
established a procedure for determining use conditions. Thus, we 
developed exposure criteria under the SNAP program to allow for safe 
use of these alternative agents (that is, halocarbon and inert gas 
agents) in the interim. In the original SNAP rule, EPA established use 
conditions to allow halocarbon and inert gas alternative agents to be 
safely used and to facilitate the transition from use of halon 1301 to 
these agents. See 59 FR 13102 and 13139 through 13143 (March 18, 1994).
    As halocarbon and inert gas total flooding alternatives were being 
developed to replace halon 1301, NFPA began work on a voluntary 
consensus standard to address design, installation, maintenance and 
operation of systems using these alternatives. The resulting standard, 
first published February 11, 1994, is called NFPA 2001 Standard on 
Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems. The NFPA 2001 Standard is 
approved by the American National Standards Institute. The NFPA 
technical committee that developed and updates the 2001 standard is the 
Technical Committee on Alternative Protection Options to Halon.
    NFPA 2001 established use conditions designed to limit human 
exposure to the alternative total flooding agents. The original NFPA 
2001 Standard restricted use of agents to areas that are not normally 
occupied, if used in concentrations exceeding the NOAEL concentration. 
Concentrations less than the NOAEL were allowed in areas that are 
normally occupied. However, these earlier versions of the NFPA standard 
did not set limits on the duration of exposure at concentrations less 
than the NOAEL, and did not establish egress times. Thus, the February 
11, 1994 version of the standard did not include as much protection for 
human health as the March 18, 1994 final SNAP rule. Only the most 
recent revision to NFPA 2001 established standard egress times 
consistent with OSHA requirements and the SNAP use conditions.
    The latest edition of NFPA 2001 was published in March 2000 (NFPA 
2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems 2000 Edition). 
This most recent version of the standard includes the following 
revisions to the exposure limits and times for halocarbon and inert gas 
agents:
     For halocarbon agents, the NFPA 2001 Standard has been 
revised to adopt the use of a physiologically-based pharmacokinetic 
(PBPK) model to establish limits on exposure concentrations and times. 
Use of the PBPK model is a more precise method of determining safe 
human exposure concentrations and times than the method contained in 
previous editions of NFPA 2001 and EPA's SNAP listings.

[[Page 4189]]

     For inert gas agents, the NFPA 2001 Standard has been 
revised to adopt the findings of an expert panel on health effects of 
hypoxic (low oxygen) atmospheres. This expert panel was convened by EPA 
to re-evaluate egress times for inert gas agents using the latest 
technical information. Based on the expert panel's findings, the egress 
times in the NFPA 2001 Standard were revised.
    The latest NFPA 2001 Standard is based on the most current 
scientific information and procedures for assessing risks associated 
with the use of halocarbon and inert gas fire suppression agents. 
NFPA's 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems is now 
the basis for regulation of halon replacement systems throughout North 
America and is also widely used in other parts of the world. Based on 
these developments, EPA has concluded that NFPA has established a 
standard that:
    (1) Adequately addresses safe exposure limits and times for 
halocarbon and inert gas agents;
    (2) Takes into account the latest science and;
    (3) Is more up-to-date than the SNAP exposure limits and egress 
times for these agents. Thus, we believe that there now exists a 
standard industry procedure with a scientific basis to establish 
exposure levels and egress times and that the use conditions required 
by the SNAP program, which establish exposure levels and egress times 
for these agents, are redundant and should be rescinded.

B. How Is EPA Changing the SNAP Program's Existing Substitute Listings 
for Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection To Coordinate With the 
NFPA 2001 Standard?

    Today EPA is rescinding the SNAP use conditions that limit human 
exposure to halocarbon and inert gas total flooding alternatives, and 
is instead referring to the latest NFPA 2001 Standard for safe use of 
these agents. EPA originally established exposure limits and egress 
times for these alternatives to allow for their safe use in the absence 
of existing standards that addressed these issues. In setting those 
conditions, EPA did not intend to preempt other regulatory authorities 
or standard-setting bodies from establishing exposure levels for these 
agents. In fact, as stated in the proposal for the original SNAP rule 
(58 FR 28098; May 12, 1993), EPA intended only to fill regulatory gaps 
until other controls or standards were developed; we intended to 
rescind any conditions that became redundant or irrelevant once such 
gaps were filled.
    EPA has worked with NFPA on development of each edition of the 2001 
standard, including the latest revisions, and plans to work with NFPA 
on future editions. Rather than modifying SNAP exposure limits and 
times to reflect the same changes as are in the latest NFPA 2001 
Standard, EPA is rescinding the SNAP exposure limits and times and is 
instead deferring to NFPA 2001, as the appropriate American national 
industry standard.
    Although EPA is removing use conditions on the use of halocarbon 
and inert gas alternatives, we believe that the fire protection 
community will continue to use these agents safely because the NFPA 
2001 Standard establishes exposure limits and times for safe use of 
these agents. EPA believes that by rescinding the SNAP regulation's use 
conditions for halocarbon and inert gas agents, these agents will be 
used more efficiently for the following two reasons:
    (1) The fire protection industry is familiar with NFPA standards 
and is accustomed to using the 2001 Standard in design, installation 
and use of systems with these agents, and will now only have to look to 
one source (the 2001 Standard) to determine conditions for safe use 
instead of looking to both the 2001 Standard and SNAP's exposure limits 
and times; and
    (2) The recent revisions to the halocarbon exposure limits and 
times in NFPA 2001 (that is, incorporating use of PBPK model data to 
set concentrations and times) allow for more efficient use of the 
agents themselves. They allow for safe use of optimal concentrations of 
agents designed to extinguish a fire more quickly and thus reduce the 
development of hazardous breakdown products as the agents themselves 
are exposed to fire.
    Relying on NFPA's 2001 Standard for the establishment of safe 
exposure limits and times for halocarbon and inert gas alternatives is 
consistent with the government's goal of adopting voluntary consensus 
standards where appropriate. EPA has served and plans to continue to 
participate in NFPA's Technical Committee on Halon Alternative 
Protection Options, the committee responsible for development of the 
2001 Standard, in keeping with the government's goal of Federal agency 
participation in the development of voluntary consensus standards. 
These goals are outlined in Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
Circular No. A-119 on Federal Participation in the Development and Use 
of Voluntary Consensus Standards and in Conformity Assessment 
Activities.
    EPA is rescinding SNAP use conditions that limit human exposure to 
halocarbon and inert gases used as substitutes for halons in the total 
flooding end use because we believe the NFPA standard will provide 
necessary protection for human health and the environment. As required 
by section 612 of the Clean Air Act, the SNAP program will continue to: 
review halon alternatives to ensure that they reduce overall risks to 
human health and the environment; publish lists of acceptable and 
unacceptable substitutes; and prohibit the use of any substitute that 
may present adverse effects to human health or the environment (where 
EPA has identified an alternative that reduces overall risk and is 
currently or potentially available). In the future, we expect to defer 
to the NFPA and other standard-setting bodies where they establish 
appropriate voluntary consensus standards that are accepted and 
followed by the relevant industry.
    As a result of our decision to rescind the use conditions described 
above, EPA is revising the SNAP listings for halocarbon and inert gas 
alternatives to include the following comment, ``Use of this agent 
should be in accordance with the safety guidelines in the latest 
edition of the NFPA 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing 
Systems.'' In the edition of NFPA 2001 that was published in March 
2000, safety guidelines for halocarbon and inert gas agents are found 
in section 1-6, entitled ``Safety.''
    As described below under the heading ``How Do the Regulations for 
SNAP Program Work?'', the SNAP program includes four possible listing 
decisions. An alternative may be listed as: (1) Acceptable with no 
restrictions; (2) acceptable with use conditions; (3) acceptable with 
narrowed use limits; or (4) unacceptable. Use conditions and narrowed 
use limits are two different types of regulatory restrictions that 
affect use of alternatives. Use conditions govern how an alternative 
may be used (for example, establishing maximum concentrations and times 
that people may be exposed to an agent). In contrast, narrowed use 
limits govern where an alternative may be used (for example, 
restricting use of an agent to nonresidential uses only).
    Each of the inert gas agents previously listed as acceptable total 
flooding agents under SNAP were subject to use conditions that limit 
human exposure to the agents, but no other restrictions. As these use 
conditions are rescinded as of today's action, the inert gas agents now 
fall under the category of acceptable

[[Page 4190]]

alternatives without restrictions. Most of the halocarbon agents 
previously listed as acceptable total flooding agents under SNAP were 
subject to use conditions that limit human exposure to the agents (with 
no other restrictions). Likewise, these now fall under the category of 
acceptable alternatives without restrictions. Acceptable substitutes 
without restrictions are not listed in appendix G to subpart G of part 
82. However, you can find lists of acceptable substitutes on EPA's SNAP 
Program web site at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/snap/lists/
index.html. Table 1, below, summarizes today's acceptability listings.

  Table 1.--Summary of Acceptable Total Flooding Substitutes, Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             End-use                         Substitute                   Decision           Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding...................  IG-01........................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 5.
Total flooding...................  IG-100.......................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 5.
Total flooding...................  IG-541.......................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            This agent contains
                                                                                             CO2, which is
                                                                                             intended to
                                                                                             increase blood
                                                                                             oxygenation and
                                                                                             cerebral blood flow
                                                                                             in low oxygen
                                                                                             atmospheres. The
                                                                                             design
                                                                                             concentration
                                                                                             should result in no
                                                                                             more than 5% CO2.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 5.
Total flooding...................  IG-55........................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 5.
Total flooding...................  HFC-227ea....................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5.
Total flooding...................  HFC-125......................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5.
Total flooding...................  HFC-23.......................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5.
Total flooding...................  HCFC-124.....................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5.
Total flooding...................  HCFC Blend A.................  Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                                                                             should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5.
Total flooding...................  HFC-134a.....................  Acceptable..............  Use of blends
                                                                                             containing this
                                                                                             agent should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5, 6.
Total flooding...................  HCFC-22......................  Acceptable..............  Use of blends
                                                                                             containing this
                                                                                             agent should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             edition of the NFPA
                                                                                             2001 Standard for
                                                                                             Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5, 6.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and
  1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the
  area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance
  requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and
  recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective
  equipment (e.g., respiratory protection), fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other
  occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.
6--The NFPA 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems gives guidelines for blends that contain
  HFC-134a or HCFC-22 and other acceptable total flooding agents, rather than referring to HFC-134a or HCFC-22
  alone.

    Two of the halocarbon agents in the above table, HFC-134a and HCFC-
22, are not addressed in NFPA's 2001 Standard. Currently, neither of 
these agents is used (outside of blends) in total flooding systems in 
the U.S. For either of these agents to be used as total flooding agents 
(outside of any blend containing these agents that is already

[[Page 4191]]

addressed by NFPA 2001), a proposal would need to be submitted to NFPA 
to have the agent added to the 2001 Standard under NFPA's usual 
procedure for updating existing standards, and a total flooding system 
would need to be in compliance with any other local requirements. 
(NFPA's procedure for updating codes and standards is described above, 
under the heading ``NFPA's Safety Standards for Total Flooding 
Agents.'')
    As noted, in previous SNAP listings, most of the halocarbons that 
are alternatives to halons for use as total flooding agents were 
subject to use conditions that limit human exposure without any 
additional restrictions. However, three halocarbon agents (HFC-236fa, 
C3F8 and C4F10) that we 
previously listed as acceptable were also subject to narrowed use 
limits that restrict where these alternatives may be used (in addition 
to use conditions that limit human exposure to the agents). Although 
EPA is today rescinding the use conditions regarding safe exposure to 
HFC-236fa, C3F8 and C4F10, 
the Agency is maintaining the narrowed use limits for these three 
agents. Therefore, these agents are still subject to restrictions under 
SNAP, and fall into the category of acceptable alternatives subject to 
narrowed use limits. The listings for these three agents are summarized 
in Table 2, below. EPA established the narrowed use limits imposed on 
the use of HFC-236fa, C3F8 and 
C4F10 to restrict the use of these agents because 
of their relatively long atmospheric lifetimes and high global warming 
potentials, which are particularly high in the case of the 
perfluorocarbons (PFCs) C3F8 and 
C4F10 (see Appendix H to subpart G of part 82).
    Some agents have been listed in more than one appendix to subpart G 
of part 82. For example, when OSHA introduced standards for the use of 
C3F8 and C4F10, EPA revised 
the SNAP listing for those agents and placed them in a new Appendix, 
which then contained all relevant information for those agents. Thus, 
although C3F8 appeared both in Appendix B and 
appendix H, and C4F10 appeared in both appendix A 
and appendix H, the listings in Appendices A and B for these agents 
were obsolete. Since we are revising the appendices to subpart G of 
part 82 at this time, we decided to leave only the more recent, 
complete decisions, found in appendix H, and to delete the obsolete 
listings in appendices A and B.
    In reviewing the listings for total flooding agents, we found that 
there were a few agents that should be subject to a narrowed use limit, 
rather than subject to a use condition. For example, EPA had previously 
listed CF3I as ``acceptable for use in normally unoccupied 
areas, subject to use conditions.'' We had originally stated in our 
decision that it is acceptable only for use in normally unoccupied 
areas, as well as subject to use conditions for the exposure limits and 
egress times. Although we are removing the use conditions regarding 
exposure limits and egress times, we believe that it is still 
appropriate to restrict the use of CF3I to normally 
unoccupied areas. This is because we have not received information 
showing that this agent is safe to use in occupied areas. Consistent 
with our past practice for other substitutes, EPA now believes that 
this restriction should be included on the ``narrowed use'' list, 
rather than the ``use condition'' list. Thus, as an administrative 
matter, EPA is shifting CF3I, with the limit on use to 
normally unoccupied areas, to the narrowed use list. This shift does 
not modify the substantive requirements applicable to use of 
CF3I. (The same need to retain restrictions applies to some 
uses of the agent known as Gelled Halocarbon / Dry Chemical Suspension 
or Envirogel. Because there are additional actions that EPA is taking 
with respect to Envirogel and we believe it would be confusing to 
discuss our actions with respect to Envirogel in a piecemeal fashion, 
we discuss the retention of the restrictions as well as the other 
actions pertaining to Envirogel below in section II.D. of the preamble 
under the heading ``How is EPA's Decision on the Acceptability of 
Envirogel (Gelled Halocarbon / Dry Chemical Suspension) Changing in 
Today's Rule?''. For that reason, Envirogel is not included on Table 2 
below; Tables 5 and 6 reflect all of the actions that EPA is taking on 
Envirogel in this notice.)
    Finally, we also are changing the wording of the listing for 
SF6 to list it as ``acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits'' with a narrowed use limit that it be used only as a discharge 
testing agent in military applications and in civilian aircraft. (As 
new alternatives are now available for discharge testing, EPA will re-
assess the acceptability listing of SF6 in this application 
as part of a future regulatory review.) Currently, this restriction is 
listed in the ``use conditions'' list and, as with CF3I, EPA 
believes that this restriction is more appropriately included in the 
narrowed use table. Thus, this also is a clarification of the 
limitations in the original decision, rather than a substantive change 
to the SNAP listings.
    We also have slightly revised some information in the ``comments'' 
column, for the agents in Table 2 below. These are minor changes for 
consistency with current information and in presenting information 
about the Agency's decision. For example, we have added a note about 
the global warming potential and atmospheric lifetime of HFC-236fa to 
be consistent with the current comments for 
C4H10, C3F8, and 
SF6. We also removed an obsolete reference about ODP data 
for the agent CF3I.

[[Page 4192]]



           Table 2.--Total Flooding Substitutes, Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits, Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector*
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
               End-use                           Substitute                         Decision                    Conditions          Further information
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total Flooding......................  HFC-236fa.......................  Acceptable subject to narrowed    Acceptable when         Use of this agent
                                                                         use limits.                       manufactured using      should be in
                                                                                                           any process that does   accordance with the
                                                                                                           not convert             safety guidelines in
                                                                                                           perfluoroisobutylene    the latest edition of
                                                                                                           (PFIB) directly to      the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                           HFC-236fa in a single   Standard for Clean
                                                                                                           step:                   Agent Fire
                                                                                                          -for use in explosion    Extinguishing
                                                                                                           suppression and         Systems.
                                                                                                           explosion inertion     Users should observe
                                                                                                           applications and.       the limitations on
                                                                                                          -for use in fire         HFC-236fa
                                                                                                           suppression             acceptability by
                                                                                                           applications where      taking the following
                                                                                                           other non-PFC agents    measures:
                                                                                                           or alternatives are    (i) conduct an
                                                                                                           not technically         evaluation of
                                                                                                           feasible due to         foreseeable
                                                                                                           performance or safety   conditions of end-
                                                                                                           requirements:.          use;
                                                                                                          (a) because of their    (ii) determine that
                                                                                                           physical or chemical    the physical or
                                                                                                           properties, or.         chemical properties
                                                                                                          (b) where human          or other technical
                                                                                                           exposure to the         constraints of the
                                                                                                           extinguishing agents    other available
                                                                                                           may result in failure   agents preclude their
                                                                                                           to meet safety          use; and
                                                                                                           guidelines in the      (iii) determine that
                                                                                                           latest edition of the   human exposure to the
                                                                                                           NFPA 2001 Standard      other alternative
                                                                                                           for Clean Agent Fire    extinguishing agents
                                                                                                           Extinguishing Systems.  may result in failure
                                                                                                                                   to meet safety
                                                                                                                                   guidelines in the
                                                                                                                                   latest edition of the
                                                                                                                                   NFPA 2001 Standard
                                                                                                                                   for Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                                                   Extinguishing
                                                                                                                                   Systems.
 
                                                                                                                                  Documentation of such
                                                                                                                                   measures should be
                                                                                                                                   available for review
                                                                                                                                   upon request.
                                                                                                                                  The principal
                                                                                                                                   evironmental
                                                                                                                                   characteristic of
                                                                                                                                   concern for HFC-236fa
                                                                                                                                   is its high GWP of
                                                                                                                                   9400 and long
                                                                                                                                   atmospheric lifetime
                                                                                                                                   of 226 years. Actual
                                                                                                                                   contributions to
                                                                                                                                   global warming depend
                                                                                                                                   upon the quantities
                                                                                                                                   emitted.
                                                                                                                                  See additional
                                                                                                                                   comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                                                                   5.
Total flooding......................  C3F8............................  Acceptable subject to narrowed    Acceptable for          Use of this agent
                                                                         use limits.                       nonresidential uses     should be in
                                                                                                           where other             accordance with the
                                                                                                           alternatives are not    safety guidelines in
                                                                                                           technically feasible    the latest edition of
                                                                                                           due to performance or   the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                           safety requirements:    Standard for Clean
                                                                                                          (a) because of their     Agent Fire
                                                                                                           physical or chemical    Extinguishing
                                                                                                           properties, or.         Systems.
                                                                                                          (b) where human         Users should observe
                                                                                                           exposure to the         the limitations on
                                                                                                           extinguishing agents    PFC acceptability by
                                                                                                           may result in failure   taking the following
                                                                                                           to meet safety          measures:
                                                                                                           guidelines in the      (i) conduct an
                                                                                                           latest edition of the   evaluation of
                                                                                                           NFPA 2001 Standard      foreseeable
                                                                                                           for Clean Agent Fire    conditions of end-
                                                                                                           Extinguishing Systems.  use;
                                                                                                                                  (ii) determine that
                                                                                                                                   the physical or
                                                                                                                                   chemical properties
                                                                                                                                   or other technical
                                                                                                                                   constraints of the
                                                                                                                                   other available
                                                                                                                                   agents preclude their
                                                                                                                                   use; and
                                                                                                                                  (iii) determine that
                                                                                                                                   human exposure to the
                                                                                                                                   other alternative
                                                                                                                                   extinguishing agents
                                                                                                                                   may result in failure
                                                                                                                                   to meet safety
                                                                                                                                   guidelines in the
                                                                                                                                   latest edition of the
                                                                                                                                   NFPA 2001 Standard
                                                                                                                                   for Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                                                   Extinguishing
                                                                                                                                   Systems.
                                                                                                                                  Documentation of such
                                                                                                                                   measures should be
                                                                                                                                   available for review
                                                                                                                                   upon request.
                                                                                                                                  The principal
                                                                                                                                   environmental
                                                                                                                                   characteristic of
                                                                                                                                   concern for PFCs is
                                                                                                                                   that they have high
                                                                                                                                   GWPs and long
                                                                                                                                   atmospheric
                                                                                                                                   lifetimes. Actual
                                                                                                                                   contributions to
                                                                                                                                   global warming depend
                                                                                                                                   upon the quantities
                                                                                                                                   of PFCs emitted.

[[Page 4193]]

 
                                                                                                                                  See additional
                                                                                                                                   comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                                                                   5.
Total flooding......................  C4F10...........................  Acceptable subject to narrowed    Acceptable for          Use of this agent
                                                                         use limits.                       nonresidential uses     should be in
                                                                                                           where other             accordance with the
                                                                                                           alternatives are not    safety guidelines in
                                                                                                           technically feasible    the latest edition of
                                                                                                           due to performance or   the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                           safety requirements:    Standard for Clean
                                                                                                          (a) because of their     Agent Fire
                                                                                                           physical or chemical    Extinguishing
                                                                                                           properties, or.         Systems.
                                                                                                          (b) where human         Users should observe
                                                                                                           exposure to the         the limitations on
                                                                                                           extinguishing agents    PFC acceptability by
                                                                                                           may result in failure   taking the following
                                                                                                           to meet safety          measures:
                                                                                                           guidelines in the      (i) conduct an
                                                                                                           latest edition of the   evaluation of
                                                                                                           NFPA 2001 Standard      foreseeable
                                                                                                           for Clean Agent Fire    conditions of end-
                                                                                                           Extinguishing Systems.  use;
                                                                                                                                  (ii) determine that
                                                                                                                                   the physical or
                                                                                                                                   chemical properties
                                                                                                                                   or other technical
                                                                                                                                   constraints of the
                                                                                                                                   other available
                                                                                                                                   agents preclude their
                                                                                                                                   use; and
                                                                                                                                  (iii) determine that
                                                                                                                                   human exposure to the
                                                                                                                                   other alternative
                                                                                                                                   extinguishing agents
                                                                                                                                   may result in failure
                                                                                                                                   to meet safety
                                                                                                                                   guidelines in the
                                                                                                                                   latest edition of the
                                                                                                                                   NFPA 2001 Standard
                                                                                                                                   for Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                                                   Extinguishing
                                                                                                                                   Systems.
                                                                                                                                  Documentation of such
                                                                                                                                   measures should be
                                                                                                                                   available for review
                                                                                                                                   upon request.
                                                                                                                                  The principal
                                                                                                                                   enviromental
                                                                                                                                   characteristic of
                                                                                                                                   concern for PFCs is
                                                                                                                                   that they have high
                                                                                                                                   GWPs and long
                                                                                                                                   atmospheric
                                                                                                                                   lifetimes. Actual
                                                                                                                                   contributions to
                                                                                                                                   global warming depend
                                                                                                                                   upon the quantities
                                                                                                                                   of PFCs emitted.
                                                                                                                                  See additional
                                                                                                                                   comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                                                                   5.
Total flooding......................  CF3I............................  Acceptable subject to narrowed    Use only in normally    Use of this agent
                                                                         use limits.                       unoccupied areas.       should be in
                                                                                                                                   accordance with the
                                                                                                                                   safety guidelines in
                                                                                                                                   the latest edition of
                                                                                                                                   the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                                                   Standard for Clean
                                                                                                                                   Agent Fire
                                                                                                                                   Extinguishing
                                                                                                                                   Systems.
                                                                                                                                  See additional
                                                                                                                                   comments 1, 2, 3, 4,
                                                                                                                                   5.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*The decisions for Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension (Envirogel) are summarized below in Section II.D. in Tables 5 and 6.
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and 1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective equipment (e.g., respiratory protection),
  fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

    As noted, the Agency is rescinding the SNAP use conditions that 
limit human exposure to halocarbons or inert gases used as total 
flooding agents, and EPA is not rescinding any other use restrictions 
on any other substitutes for halons at this time. For example, narrowed 
use limits on substitutes used as total flooding agents remain the 
same, such as restrictions that limit use of a substitute to normally 
unoccupied areas. Existing use restrictions for total flooding 
substitutes other than halocarbons and inert gases also are not 
affected by today's action. Use conditions and narrowed use limits for 
substitutes for halons used as streaming agents are unaffected by 
today's direct final rule.
    Previously listed total flooding agents other than halocarbon and 
inert gas agents that are not addressed by the NFPA 2001 standard are 
not affected by today's action. These include Inert Gas/Powdered 
Aerosol Blend, Powdered Aerosol C, Powdered Aerosol A, Carbon Dioxide, 
Foam A, Water, and Water mist (using potable or natural sea water). 
Today's action does not affect the existing SNAP listings for these 
agents in any way (use restrictions and/or comments apply to the use of 
many of these agents; see 40 CFR part 82 Subpart

[[Page 4194]]

G for complete listings). EPA may reconsider these listings in the 
future, depending upon the availability of technically feasible 
alternative methods to evaluate these other total flooding agents.

C. How Will Exposure Limits and Egress Times Be Determined for New 
Halocarbon and Inert Gas Total Flooding Agents in the Future?

    EPA does not intend to establish exposure limits or egress times as 
use conditions for halocarbon and inert gas fire suppressants used as 
total flooding agents in future SNAP submissions. Instead, for any fire 
suppressant to be used as a total flooding agent that was previously 
unlisted, the manufacturer would need to submit a proposal to NFPA to 
have the agent added to the 2001 Standard under NFPA's usual procedure 
for updating existing standards. (described above under the heading 
``NFPA's Safety Standards for Total Flooding Agents.'') A total 
flooding system would need to be in compliance with any other local 
requirements. The NFPA 2001 standard would take over the role of 
establishing exposure limits and egress times for total flooding 
agents.
    As halocarbon or inert gas total flooding agents are submitted to 
the SNAP program in the future, EPA's regulations will continue to 
require the same information (including complete toxicological data) as 
has been required previously. The SNAP program will continue to 
evaluate these agents based on overall human health and environmental 
risks, and will publish listing decisions in the Federal Register. We 
plan to provide information on occupational exposure limits in future 
listing decisions, including the NOAEL and LOAEL. However, the SNAP 
listing would not specify exposure limits or egress times for 
halocarbon or inert gas total flooding agents; rather, we would expect 
submitters to request the NFPA 2001 committee to establish those 
values. A submitter would not need to receive exposure limits and 
egress times from the NFPA on their substitute, however, before EPA 
could decide on its acceptability under the SNAP program. To avoid 
confusion, we choose not to establish temporary exposure guidelines or 
use conditions under the SNAP program that could conflict with future, 
more appropriate exposure limits and egress times from the NFPA 2001 
Committee. Not issuing use conditions on exposure for new agents also 
reduces administrative burden for the Agency and for submitters.
    Importantly, we believe this approach will sufficiently protect 
public health and the environment. Generally, local fire codes 
reference NFPA standards where they exist. Therefore, we expect that 
the NFPA 2001 Committee will include new agents in the standard before 
new agents will be used. In addition, mentioning the NOAEL and LOAEL in 
SNAP decisions will assist users in assessing the health impacts of 
fire suppression agents, while avoiding potential conflicts with 
decisions of the NFPA committee. We expect that submitters of new 
agents will continue to work with the NFPA to have their agents 
included in the 2001 Standard, as has been the practice. We plan to 
participate in NFPA's voluntary consensus process on future editions of 
the 2001 Standard.

D. How is EPA Responding to the Withdrawal of HBFC-22B1 From the 
Market?

    EPA previously listed HBFC-22B1 (tradename FM-100) as acceptable 
subject to use conditions for the total flooding end use for fire 
suppression in the March 18, 1994 SNAP rule. Since then, the 
manufacturer of HBFC-22B1 withdrew this fire suppression agent from the 
market because it was found to be a fetal toxin. Furthermore, this 
substitute has a high ozone depletion potential of 0.74, and its 
production was required to be phased out by January 1, 1996 (except for 
essential uses). Therefore, EPA is removing it from the list of 
acceptable substitutes and is listing it as an unacceptable substitute.
    EPA reviewed the presentation of all listings for total flooding 
agents in the Code of Federal Regulations as part of rescinding use 
conditions for halocarbon and inert gas agents, as discussed above in 
section II.B. During that review, we decided that it was inappropriate 
to rescind the use conditions on HBFC-22B1 and list it as an acceptable 
substitute for halon 1301. We reasoned that if an agent is too toxic 
for the manufacturer to sell it, then the agent should be considered 
unacceptable under the SNAP program. In addition, because HBFC-22B1 has 
a relatively high ODP and because the manufacturer has withdrawn HBFC-
22B1 from the market, we cannot consider this to be a viable substitute 
for halons that would help in the transition away from ozone depleting 
substances. Since listing this substitute as acceptable is contrary to 
the purpose of the SNAP program, we are listing it as an unacceptable 
substitute for halon 1301 in the total flooding end use in the fire 
protection sector. As a result of this listing, it will be unlawful to 
use HBFC-22B1 as a fire suppression agent as of the effective date of 
this regulation. This decision is summarized below in Table 3.

Table 3.--Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector, Total Flooding Substitutes, Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
              End-use                       Substitute                   Decision           Further information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halon 1301........................  HBFC-22B1.................  Unacceptable.............  HBFC-22B1 is a Class
                                                                                            I ozone depleting
                                                                                            substance with an
                                                                                            ozone depletion
                                                                                            potential of .74.
                                                                                            Production was
                                                                                            phased out January
                                                                                            1, 1996.
Total Flooding Agents.............  ..........................  .........................  The manufacturer of
                                                                                            this agent removed
                                                                                            it from the market
                                                                                            because it is a
                                                                                            fetal toxin.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Because this agent has not been produced for more than five years, 
because it is not available for sale, and because we believe no one is 
currently using this agent, we expect that our decision will not have a 
substantial impact on the industry or users. Because there should be 
little or no impact and because the manufacturer has recognized its 
toxicity, we expect our decision will not be controversial. Therefore, 
EPA is giving notice today of our decision to find HBFC-22B1 
unacceptable without prior proposal.

E. What New Fire Suppressant Is EPA Finding Acceptable Subject to 
Narrowed Use Limits in Today's Action?

    A manufacturer of fire suppression agents submitted the new agent 
Halotron II for review by the SNAP program. The submitter for Halotron 
II requested that it be listed only for areas that are not normally 
occupied. EPA finds Halotron II acceptable as a substitute for halon 
1301 for use as a total flooding agent in the fire suppression and 
explosion protection sector, subject to the following narrowed use 
limits: it may be used

[[Page 4195]]

only in areas that are not normally occupied. This agent is a blend of 
halocarbon and other gases.
    EPA has reviewed the potential environmental impacts of this blend 
and concluded that, by comparison to halon 1301 and other substitutes 
for halon 1301, this blend reduces overall risk to the environment. The 
components of this blend have negligible ozone-depletion potential. 
EPA's review of all of the environmental and human health impacts of 
this blend is contained in the public docket for this rulemaking. This 
listing decision is summarized in Table 4, below.

 Table 4.--Total Flooding Substitutes, Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits, Fire Suppression and Explosion
                                                Protection Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                                                                    Further
             End-use                  Substitute           Decision           Conditions          information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding..................  Halotron II.......  Acceptable subject  Acceptable in       See additional
                                                       to narrowed use     areas that are      comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                       limits.             not normally        4, 5.
                                                                           occupied only.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and
  1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the
  area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance
  requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and
  recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective
  equipment (e.g., respiratory protection), fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other
  occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

    EPA is adding Halotron II to the SNAP lists without prior proposal 
because the Agency views this as a non-controversial action and 
anticipates no adverse comment. We stated in the original SNAP rule 
that for substitutes that are deemed acceptable subject to use 
restrictions (use conditions and/or narrowed use limits), or for 
substitutes deemed unacceptable, we would publish these decisions as 
proposals to allow the public opportunity to comment on the decision. 
Although EPA is restricting use of this agent to areas that are not 
normally occupied, this limitation was requested by the submitter. 
Thus, we do not expect adverse comment. By listing Halotron II through 
direct final rulemaking, the Agency is expediting the addition of this 
agent to the list of acceptable substitutes, thereby providing greater 
opportunities for the public to transition from the use of halon to 
non-ozone-depleting alternatives.

F. How Is EPA's Decision on the Acceptability of Envirogel (Gelled 
Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension) Changing in Today's Rule?

    Envirogel (Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension) is a blend of 
any of several hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) with an additive. Today EPA is 
listing Envirogel as an acceptable substitute for total flooding in the 
fire suppression and explosion protection sector, using any of the HFCs 
that are addressed by NFPA's 2001 Standard.
    EPA previously listed Envirogel as an acceptable substitute subject 
to use conditions for halon 1301 as a total flooding agent only in 
normally unoccupied areas in the Federal Register on June 13, 1995 (60 
FR 31092) under the generic name Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical 
Suspension.\1\ Although we used a generic name to list this agent in 
the past, today we are listing the agent under its trade name, 
Envirogel.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ Envirogel also was previously listed as an acceptable 
substitute for halon 1211 as a streaming agent on August 26, 1994 
(59 FR 44240) under the generic name Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical 
Suspension.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The submitter of this agent originally requested SNAP review for 
unoccupied areas only. The submitter of Envirogel later re-submitted 
the agent with an ammonium polyphosphate additive for use in occupied 
areas. The SNAP program evaluated this agent for use in occupied areas 
and has determined that it is acceptable for such use. Thus, in today's 
action EPA is determining that Envirogel with the ammonium 
polyphosphate additive is acceptable for use in both occupied and 
unoccupied areas.
    The original SNAP listing for this agent found it acceptable for 
use only in unoccupied areas, subject to use conditions on the exposure 
concentration and egress time, as discussed above in section II.B of 
the preamble (``How is EPA Changing the SNAP Program's Existing 
Substitute Listings for Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection to 
Coordinate with the NFPA 2001 Standard?''). Today's action rescinds 
those use conditions. Although Envirogel itself is not listed in NFPA's 
2001 Standard, the hydrofluorocarbon gases that are used in this agent 
are addressed by the 2001 Standard. Use of Envirogel should be in 
accordance with the exposure limits set forth in NFPA 2001 for the 
particular hydrofluorocarbon gas used.
    The original SNAP listing for this agent (60 FR 31092; June 13, 
1995) included a discussion in the preamble regarding the use of either 
of two different additives (ammonium polyphosphate or monoammonium 
phosphate) with halocarbon gases. Note that today's decision, which 
broadens the acceptability of this agent to include use in occupied 
areas, only applies to the ammonium polyphosphate additive. Before this 
agent could be used in occupied areas with any additive other than 
ammonium polyphosphate, it would need separate review by the Agency. 
Envirogel used with monoammonium phosphate additive, when used as a 
total flooding agent as a substitute for halon 1301, is still subject 
to narrowed use limits.
    Consistent with the discussion of CF3I in section II.B 
of the preamble above, we are revising the previous listing from 
acceptable subject to use conditions (``acceptable for use in normally 
unoccupied areas'') to acceptable subject to narrowed use limits (``use 
only in normally unoccupied areas''). You can find the revised 
regulatory language below in Table 6. The EPA considers this an 
administrative revision that has no substantive implication for the use 
of Envirogel.
    As discussed above, EPA is rescinding the use conditions on 
exposure limits for each of the SNAP-listed halocarbon fire protection 
agents that are addressed by NFPA's 2001 Standard. Use of Envirogel 
(Gelled Halocarbon / Dry Chemical Suspension) should be in accordance 
with the exposure limits set forth in the NFPA 2001 Standard, for 
whichever HFC gas is employed. The

[[Page 4196]]

listing decisions for Envirogel are summarized in Tables 5 and 6, 
below.

        Table 5.--Acceptable Total Flooding Substitutes, Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                         Substitute                     Decision                Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding...............  Envirogel with ammonium            Acceptable..............  Use of this agent
                                polyphosphate additive.                                      should be in
                                                                                             accordance with the
                                                                                             safety guidelines
                                                                                             in the latest
                                                                                             additive edition of
                                                                                             the NFPA 2001
                                                                                             Standard for Clean
                                                                                             Agent Fire
                                                                                             Extinguishing
                                                                                             Systems, for
                                                                                             whichever
                                                                                             hydrofluorocarbon
                                                                                             gas is employed.
                                                                                            Envirogel is listed
                                                                                             as a streaming
                                                                                             substitute under
                                                                                             the generic name
                                                                                             Gelled Halocarbon/
                                                                                             Dry Chemical
                                                                                             Suspension.
                                                                                             Envirogel was also
                                                                                             previously listed
                                                                                             as a total flooding
                                                                                             substitute under
                                                                                             the same generic
                                                                                             name.
                                                                                            See additional
                                                                                             comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                                             4, 5.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and
  1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the
  area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance
  requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and
  recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective
  equipment (e.g., respiratory protection), fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other
  occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.


            Table 6.--Total Flooding Substitutes, Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits, Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        End-use                    Substitute                         Decision                         Conditions                      Comments
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding........  Envirogel with any additive       Acceptable subject to narrowed    Use only in normally unoccupied   Use of this agent should
                         other than ammonium               use limits.                       areas.                            be in accordance with the
                         polyphosphate.                                                                                        safety guidelines in the
                                                                                                                               latest edition of the
                                                                                                                               NFPA 2001 Standard for
                                                                                                                               Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                                               Extinguishing Systems,
                                                                                                                               for whichever
                                                                                                                               hydrofluorocarbon gas is
                                                                                                                               employed.
                                                                                                                              Envirogel is listed as a
                                                                                                                               streaming substitute
                                                                                                                               under the generic name
                                                                                                                               Gelled Halocarbon/Dry
                                                                                                                               Chemical Suspension.
                                                                                                                               Envirogel was also
                                                                                                                               previously listed as a
                                                                                                                               total flooding substitute
                                                                                                                               under the same generic
                                                                                                                               name.
                                                                                                                              See additional comments 1,
                                                                                                                               2, 3, 4, 5.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and 1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective equipment (e.g., respiratory protection),
  fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

    Envirogel (Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension) has already 
been listed as an acceptable substitute under SNAP for total flooding 
applications. In today's decision, EPA does not impose any additional 
restrictions on the use of this agent, but rather is broadening the 
scope of its use as a substitute by finding Envirogel with ammonium 
polyphosphate additive to be acceptable as a substitute for halon 1301 
for use as a total flooding agent in occupied areas. Thus, we do not 
expect adverse comment and EPA is giving notice today of our decision 
to broaden the scope of the existing SNAP listing for Envirogel without 
prior proposal.

G. How Will Today's SNAP Listings Fit in With Previous SNAP Listings in 
the Code of Federal Regulations?

    Today's action revises many of the existing SNAP listings for total 
flooding halon substitutes. EPA is taking this opportunity to explain 
how today's listings will fit into the existing SNAP listings in the 
CFR, to avoid any confusion that might arise when comparing today's 
listings with previous SNAP listings.
    The SNAP program has historically published listing decisions in 
separate tables depending on decision category. That is, separate 
tables have been published for substitutes that are deemed acceptable 
with no restrictions, for substitutes deemed acceptable subject to use 
conditions, for substitutes deemed acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits, and for unacceptable substitutes. For substitutes that are 
subject to both use conditions and narrowed use limits (i.e., HFC-
236fa, C3F8 and C4F10), the 
SNAP program has historically included such substitutes in two separate 
tables (that is, in a table of substitutes subject to use conditions as 
well as in a table of substitutes subject to narrowed use limits).
    When the original regulation implementing the SNAP program was 
published in March 1994, EPA also published the initial lists of 
substitutes (59 FR 13044). In that rulemaking, substitutes deemed 
acceptable subject to use restrictions (use conditions or narrowed use 
limits) or unacceptable were published in an appendix to the

[[Page 4197]]

regulation itself, and are therefore codified into the Code of Federal 
Regulations (CFR) as appendices to Subpart G of 40 CFR part 82. By 
contrast, substitutes that were deemed acceptable with no restrictions 
were only listed within the language of the preamble to the rule. 
Preamble language does not become codified in the CFR, and thus 
listings of substitutes that were deemed acceptable with no 
restrictions were not codified in the CFR. However, you can find lists 
of acceptable substitutes on the SNAP program web site or you may 
obtain a copy from EPA's Stratospheric Protection Hotline, as described 
below in the section I. C., ``Where Can I Get Additional Information 
about the SNAP Program? ''
    Subsequent SNAP listing decisions have been published in the same 
manner. That is, acceptable substitutes with no restrictions have 
continued to be listed only in preamble language (and thus not codified 
in the CFR), while substitutes in all other decision categories have 
continued to be published as additional appendices to the SNAP 
regulation (and 40 CFR part 82 subpart G has been amended to include 
these additional appendices). Each time a SNAP rulemaking has been 
published that would add substitutes to the lists of acceptable 
substitutes with restrictions or unacceptable substitutes, additional 
appendices have simply been added at the end of the existing appendices 
in Subpart G. Note that even in cases where a new listing modifies a 
previous listing, the new listings have simply been appended to the 
existing appendices in Subpart G without removal of previous listings. 
Thus, users generally should look to the latest appendices found in 
Subpart G to be sure that they are aware of the most current SNAP 
requirements for a particular substitute.
    By rescinding the use conditions for previously listed halocarbon 
and inert gas agents today, many agents that had previously been listed 
in Subpart G as acceptable, subject to use conditions, now fall into 
the category of acceptable without restrictions. In keeping with the 
manner in which SNAP listing decisions have historically been 
published, we summarized these substitutes within this preamble (see 
Table 1, above). Under past practice, these listings would not become 
part of the regulations at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G because they merely 
present acceptable substitutes and do not impose any restrictions. 
Similarly, in today's rule we are removing from the Code of Federal 
Regulations those substitutes for halon 1301 that previously were 
subject to use conditions for use as total flooding agents and now are 
acceptable without restriction. These are the halocarbons or inert 
gases that are listed in the NFPA 2001 standard. As a result, for 
appendices A, C, H and I, we are removing the entire table for 
substitutes for halons for use as total flooding agents subject to use 
conditions. For appendix B, we are revising the table for total 
flooding agents subject to use conditions so that it will only include 
those total flooding agents that are neither halocarbons nor inert 
gases.
    Envirogel (Gelled Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension) was 
previously listed in appendix B of subpart G as an acceptable 
substitute subject to use conditions for use as a total flooding agent. 
That listing is now being deleted from appendix B. Today we are listing 
Envirogel with the ammonium polyphosphate additive as an acceptable 
substitute for halon 1301 as a total flooding agent. Because this 
listing does not require use conditions or narrowed use limits, it will 
not appear in the regulatory language at the end of this action and 
will not appear in the Code of Federal Regulations. We are also issuing 
a new listing for Envirogel with any additive other than ammonium 
polyphosphate as an acceptable substitute subject to narrowed use 
limits for use as a total flooding agent. This listing will appear in 
the new appendix J to Subpart G in the regulatory language at the end 
of this action and in the Code of Federal Regulations.
    Three of the halocarbon substitutes for which the use conditions 
have been rescinded today (HFC-236fa, C3F8 and 
C4F10) were previously listed as acceptable 
subject to both use conditions and narrowed use limits. Although no 
longer subject to use conditions, these three substitutes still fall 
into the category of acceptable subject to narrowed use limits 
(summarized in Table 2, above). The previous listings for these agents 
will still appear in appendix H of Subpart G, with revisions to delete 
the use conditions and to refer to the NFPA 2001 standard, while 
earlier, outdated decisions for C4F10 from 
Appendix A and for C3F8 from appendix B will be 
removed. The narrowed use limits for these three agents include a 
requirement for a demonstration that other alternatives are not 
technically feasible. Part of that demonstration references 
``applicable use conditions.'' Those use conditions for exposure limits 
and egress times are being rescinded in today's rule and replaced with 
a recommendation to observe the guidelines in the NFPA 2001 Standard. 
Therefore, in our listings in today's rule, we are changing the second 
part of the conditions to refer to ``safety guidelines in the latest 
edition of the NFPA 2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing 
Systems,'' rather than referring to ``applicable use conditions.''
    In summary, we are making the following changes in regulatory text:
     Deleting the existing tables for total flooding agents 
that are acceptable subject to use conditions in appendices A, C, H and 
I.
     Deleting the existing tables for total flooding agents 
that are acceptable subject to narrowed use limits in appendix A.
     Revising the existing table for total flooding agents that 
are acceptable subject to use conditions in appendix B.
     Revising existing tables for total flooding agents that 
are acceptable subject to narrowed use limits in appendices B and H.
     Adding a new appendix J with tables for total flooding 
agents that are acceptable subject to narrowed use limits and for 
unacceptable total flooding agents.

III. Administrative Requirements

A. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), Public 
Law 104-4, establishes requirements for Federal agencies to assess the 
effects of their regulatory actions on State, local, and tribal 
governments and the private sector.
    Under section 202 of the UMRA, EPA generally must prepare a written 
statement, including a cost-benefit analysis, for proposed and final 
rules with ``Federal mandates'' that may result in expenditures by 
State, local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or by the 
private sector, of $100 million or more in any one year. Before 
promulgating an EPA rule for which a written statement is needed, 
section 205 of the UMRA generally requires EPA to identify and consider 
a reasonable number of regulatory alternatives and adopt the least 
costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative that 
achieves the objectives of the rule. The provisions of section 205 do 
not apply when they are inconsistent with applicable law. Moreover, 
section 205 allows EPA to adopt an alternative other than the least 
costly, most cost-effective or least burdensome alternative if the 
Administrator publishes with the final rule an explanation why that 
alternative was not adopted. Section 204 of the UMRA requires the 
Agency to develop a process to allow elected state, local, and tribal 
government officials to provide input in the development of any

[[Page 4198]]

proposal containing a significant Federal intergovernmental mandate.
    Before EPA establishes any regulatory requirements that may 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments, including tribal 
governments, it must have developed under section 203 of the UMRA a 
small government agency plan. The plan must provide for notifying 
potentially affected small governments, enabling officials of affected 
small governments to have meaningful and timely input in the 
development of EPA regulatory proposals with significant Federal 
intergovernmental mandates, and informing, educating, and advising 
small governments on compliance with the regulatory requirements.
    Today's rule contains no Federal mandates (under the regulatory 
provisions of Title II of the UMRA) for State, local, or tribal 
governments or the private sector. Because this rule imposes no 
enforceable duty on any State, local or tribal government it is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 and 205 of the UMRA. EPA 
has also determined that this rule contains no regulatory requirements 
that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments; 
therefore, EPA is not required to develop a plan with regard to small 
governments under section 203. Finally, because this rule does not 
contain a significant intergovernmental mandate, the Agency is not 
required to develop a process to obtain input from elected state, 
local, and tribal officials under section 204.

B. Executive Order 12866

    Under Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), the 
Agency must determine whether this regulatory action is significant and 
therefore subject to OMB review and the requirements of the Executive 
Order. The Order defines significant regulatory action as one that is 
likely to result in a rule that may:
    (1) Have an annual effect on the economy of $100 million or more, 
or adversely affect in a material way the economy, a sector of the 
economy, productivity, competition, jobs, the environment, public 
health or safety, or State, local, or tribal governments or 
communities;
    (2) Create a serious inconsistency or otherwise interfere with an 
action taken or planned by another agency;
    (3) Materially alter the budgetary impact of entitlement, grants, 
user fees, or loan programs or the rights and obligations of recipients 
thereof; or
    (4) Raise novel legal or policy issues arising out of legal 
mandates, the President's priorities, or the principles set forth in 
the Executive Order.
    Pursuant to the terms of Executive Order 12866, OMB notified EPA 
that it considers this a ``significant regulatory action'' within the 
meaning of the Executive Order and EPA submitted this action to OMB for 
review. Changes made in response to OMB suggestions or recommendations 
will be documented in the public record.

C. Paperwork Reduction Act

    EPA has determined that this final rule contains no information 
requirements subject to the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et 
seq., that are not already approved by the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB). OMB has reviewed and approved two Information Collection 
Requests (ICRs) by EPA which are described in the March 18, 1994 
rulemaking (59 FR 13044, at 13121, 13146-13147) and in the October 16, 
1996 rulemaking (61 FR 54030, at 54038-54039). These ICRs included five 
types of respondent reporting and record-keeping activities pursuant to 
SNAP regulations: submission of a SNAP petition, filing a SNAP/TSCA 
Addendum, notification for test marketing activity, record-keeping for 
substitutes acceptable subject to narrowed use limits, and record-
keeping for small volume uses. The OMB Control Numbers are 2060-0226 
and 2060-0350.
    Burden means the total time, effort, or financial resources 
expended by persons to generate, maintain, retain, or disclose or 
provide information to or for a Federal agency. This includes the time 
needed to review instructions; develop, acquire, install, and utilize 
technology and systems for the purposes of collecting, validating, and 
verifying information, processing and maintaining information, and 
disclosing and providing information; adjust the existing ways to 
comply with any previously applicable instructions and requirements; 
train personnel to be able to respond to a collection of information; 
search data sources; complete and review the collection of information; 
and transmit or otherwise disclose the information.
    An Agency may not conduct or sponsor, and a person is not required 
to respond to, a collection of information unless it displays a 
currently valid OMB control number. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15.

D. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    Executive Order 13175, entitled ``Consultation and Coordination 
with Indian Tribal Governments'' (65 FR 67249, November 6, 2000), 
requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure ``meaningful 
and timely input by tribal officials in the development of regulatory 
policies that have tribal implications.'' ``Policies that have tribal 
implications'' is defined in the Executive Order to include regulations 
that have ``substantial direct effects on one or more Indian tribes, on 
the relationship between the Federal government and the Indian tribes, 
or on the distribution of power and responsibilities between the 
Federal government and Indian tribes.''
    This direct final rule does not have tribal implications. It will 
not have substantial direct effects on tribal governments, on the 
relationship between the Federal government and Indian tribes, or on 
the distribution of power and responsibilities between the Federal 
government and Indian tribes, as specified in Executive Order 13175. 
This direct final rule will remove regulatory restrictions on the use 
of certain fire suppressants and replace them with a recommendation to 
use industry standards. These standards are typically already required 
by state or local fire codes, and this rule does not require tribal 
governments to change their regulations. Thus, Executive Order 13175 
does not apply to this rule.

E. Regulatory Flexibility Analysis

    EPA has determined that it is not necessary to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis in connection with this final rule. EPA has also 
determined that this rule will not have a significant economic impact 
on a substantial number of small entities. For purposes of assessing 
the impact of today's rule on small entities, small entities are 
defined as (1) a small business that produces or uses fire suppressants 
as total flooding agents with 500 or fewer employees or total annual 
receipts of $5 million or less; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction 
that is a government of a city, county, town, school district or 
special district with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small 
organization that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is 
independently owned and operated and is not dominant in its field.
    After considering the economic impacts of today's final rule on 
small entities, EPA has concluded that this action will not have a 
significant

[[Page 4199]]

economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. Primarily, 
the rule removes regulatory restrictions on the use of most fire-
suppressants used as total flooding agents and, instead, defers to the 
voluntary consensus standards set by the National Fire Protection 
Association. Thus, users of these substitutes are being relieved of 
regulatory constraints. For this action, EPA is also changing the 
listing of a substitute from acceptable subject to use conditions to 
unacceptable. This agent, HBFC-22B1, was phased out of production more 
than five years ago, except for a few essential uses. Later, the 
manufacturer withdrew it from the market because of its toxicity. 
Because this agent is generally unavailable and because of the 
potential liability associated with its toxic effects, EPA believes it 
is extremely unlikely that anyone is currently using this agent. We 
expect that listing this agent as an unacceptable substitute will have 
no significant impact on a substantial number of small entities. With 
respect to EPA's decision on Halotron II, EPA is finding it acceptable 
for all uses requested by the manufacturer. Moreover, the manufacturer 
of the new fire suppressant, Halotron II, has not yet sold it, so 
today's action does not affect, in any way, current usage. For 
Envirogel, today's action removes the use conditions and narrowed use 
limit on Envirogel with one additive, while maintaining the existing 
narrowed use limit on Envirogel used with all other additives. Thus, 
EPA is removing several regulatory constraints on the current ability 
of any entity, including small entities, to use this substitute. In 
addition, today's rule prevents potential conflicts between EPA 
regulations and existing state, local and tribal fire code requirements 
that incorporate NFPA standards by referring to standards of the NFPA.
    Although this final rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities, EPA nonetheless has 
tried to reduce the impact of this rule on small entities. By 
introducing new substitutes and removing regulatory restrictions on a 
number of acceptable substitutes, today's rule gives additional 
flexibility to small entities that are concerned with fire suppression. 
EPA also has worked closely together with the National Fire Protection 
Association, which conducts regular outreach with, and involves small 
state, local, and tribal governments in developing and implementing 
relevant fire protection standards and codes.

F. Applicability of Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From 
Environmental Health Risks and Safety Risks

    Executive Order 13045: ``Protection of Children from Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks'' (62 FR 19885, April 23, 1997) applies 
to any rule that: (1) Is determined to be ``economically significant'' 
as defined under Executive Order 12866, and (2) concerns an 
environmental health or safety risk that EPA has reason to believe may 
have a disproportionate effect on children. If the regulatory action 
meets both criteria, the Agency must evaluate the environmental health 
or safety effects of the planned rule on children, and explain why the 
planned regulation is preferable to other potentially effective and 
reasonably feasible alternatives considered by the Agency.
    This final rule is not subject to the Executive Order because it is 
not economically significant as defined in Executive Order 12866, and 
because the Agency does not have reason to believe the environmental 
health or safety risks addressed by this action present a 
disproportionate risk to children. The acceptability listings and the 
removal of use conditions on the use of halocarbon and inert gas fire 
suppressants in this final rule primarily apply to the workplace, and 
thus, do not put children at risk disproportionately. The Agency finds 
HCFC-22B1 unacceptable in today's action. This agent is a fetal toxin, 
and thus, could be considered to put children at risk 
disproportionately. However, because this agent is generally 
unavailable and because of the potential liability associated with its 
toxic effects, EPA believes it is extremely unlikely that anyone is 
currently using this agent. Therefore, our action on this chemical is 
not likely to change the risk to children. This rule is not subject to 
Executive Order 13045 because it is not economically significant as 
defined in Executive Order 12866 and because the Agency does not have 
reason to believe the environmental health or safety risks addressed by 
this action present a disproportionate risk to children.

G. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Public Law No. 104-113, section 12(d) (15 
U.S.C. 272 note) directs EPA to use voluntary consensus standards in 
regulatory activities unless to do so would be inconsistent with 
applicable law or otherwise impractical. Voluntary consensus standards 
are technical standards (e.g., materials specifications, test methods, 
sampling procedures, and business practices) that are developed or 
adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies. The NTTAA directs EPA 
to provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides 
not to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This rulemaking involves technical standards. EPA has decided to 
use the NFPA 2001 Standard on Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, 
2000 edition, a voluntary consensus standard developed by the National 
Fire Protection Association (NFPA). You can obtain copies of this 
standard by calling the NFPA's telephone number for ordering 
publications at 1-800-344-3555 and requesting order number S3-2003-00. 
The NFPA 2001 standard meets the objectives of the rule by setting 
scientifically-based guidelines for exposure to halocarbon and inert 
gas agents used to extinguish fires. In addition, EPA has worked in 
consultation with OSHA to encourage development of technical standards 
to be adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

H. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    Executive Order 13132, entitled ``Federalism'' (64 FR 43255, August 
10, 1999), requires EPA to develop an accountable process to ensure 
``meaningful and timely input by State and local officials in the 
development of regulatory policies that have federalism implications.'' 
``Policies that have federalism implications'' is defined in the 
Executive Order to include regulations that have ``substantial direct 
effects on the States, on the relationship between the national 
government and the States, or on the distribution of power and 
responsibilities among the various levels of government.''
    This direct final rule does not have federalism implications. It 
will not have substantial direct effects on the States, on the 
relationship between the national government and the States, or on the 
distribution of power and responsibilities among the various levels of 
government, as specified in Executive Order 13132. This final rule will 
remove regulatory restrictions on the use of certain fire suppressants 
and replace them with a recommendation to use industry standards. These 
standards are typically already required by state or local fire codes, 
and this rule does not require state, local, or tribal governments to 
change their regulations. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not apply to 
this rule.

[[Page 4200]]

I. Judicial Review

    Under section 307(b)(1) of the Act, EPA finds that these 
regulations are of national applicability. Accordingly, judicial review 
of the action is available only by the filing of a petition for review 
in the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia 
Circuit within sixty days of publication of the action in the Federal 
Register. Under section 307(b)(2), the requirements of this rule may 
not be challenged later in the judicial proceedings brought to enforce 
those requirements.

J. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    This rule is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211, ``Actions Concerning Regulations That 
Significantly Affect Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use'' (66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001)) because it is not likely to have a significant adverse 
effect on the supply, distribution, or use of energy. Primarily, the 
rule removes regulatory restrictions on the use of most fire-
suppressants used as total flooding agents and, instead, defers to a 
voluntary consensus standard. Thus, users of these substitutes are 
being relieved of regulatory constraints. In addition, the rule allows 
wider use of substitutes, providing greater flexibility for industry. 
For the one substitute not acceptable, EPA believes it is unlikely that 
anyone is currently using this agent because this agent is generally 
unavailable and because of the potential liability associated with its 
toxic effects. Further, we have concluded that this rule is not likely 
to have any adverse energy effects.

K. Submittal to Congress and General Accounting Office

    The Congressional Review Act (CRA), 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added 
by the Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, 
generally provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency 
promulgating the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy 
of the rule, to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller 
General of the United States. EPA will submit a report containing this 
rule and other required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House 
of Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States 
prior to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A major rule 
cannot take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2). This rule will be effective on April 1, 2002.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

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

    Dated: January 15, 2002.
Christine Todd Whitman,
Administrator.


    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR part 82 is amended 
as follows:

PART 82--PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE

    1. The authority citation for part 82 continues to read as follows:

    Authority: 42 U.S.C. 7414, 7601, 7671-7671q.

Subpart G--Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

    2. Appendix A to Subpart G of part 82 is amended by:
    a. Removing the heading and table for ``Fire Suppression and 
Explosion Protection Total Flooding Agents, Substitutes Acceptable 
Subject To Use Conditions.''
    b. Removing the heading and table for ``Fire Suppression and 
Explosion Protection Total Flooding Agents, Substitutes Acceptable 
Subject To Narrowed Use Limits.''

    3. Appendix B of Subpart G of part 82 is amended by:
    a. Amending the table entitled ``Fire Suppression and Explosion 
Protection--Acceptable Subjects to Use Conditions: Total Flooding 
Agents'' by removing the entries ``C3H8'', ``CF3I'' and ``Gelled 
Halocarbon/Dry Chemical Suspension'.
    b. Adding a sentence to the end of footnote 1 to the table entitled 
``Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--Acceptable Subjects to Use 
Conditions: Total Flooding Agents''.
    c. Revising the table entitled ``Fire Suppression And Explosion 
Protection-Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits: Total Flooding 
Agents''.
    The revisions read as follows:

Appendix B to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Subject to Use 
Restrictions and Unacceptable Substitutes

* * * * *

Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--Acceptable Subjects to 
Use Conditions: Total Flooding Agents

* * * * *
    \1\ * * * You should use clean agents in accordance with the safety 
guidelines in the latest edition of the NFPA 2001 Standard for Clean 
Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems.
* * * * *

Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--Acceptable Subject to 
Narrowed Use Limits: Total Flooding Agents

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        End-use                   Substitute                         Decision                           Conditions                Further information
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding........  Sulfurhexafluoride (SF6)......  Acceptable subject to narrowed use  May be used as a discharge test    This agent has an
                                                         in limits.                          agent in military uses and in      atmospheric lifetime
                                                                                             civilian aircraft uses only.       greater than 1,000
                                                                                                                                years, with an estimated
                                                                                                                                100-year, 500-year, and
                                                                                                                                1,000-year GWP of
                                                                                                                                16,100, 26,110 and
                                                                                                                                32,803 respectively.
                                                                                                                                Users should limit
                                                                                                                                testing only to that
                                                                                                                                which is essential to
                                                                                                                                meet safety or
                                                                                                                                performance
                                                                                                                                requirements.
                                                                                                                               This agent is only used
                                                                                                                                to test new Halon 1301
                                                                                                                                systems.
                                                                                                                               See additional comments
                                                                                                                                1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Total flooding........  CF3I..........................  Acceptable subject to narrowed use  Use only in normally unoccupied    Use of this agent should
                                                         limits.                             areas.                             be in accordance with
                                                                                                                                the safety guidelines in
                                                                                                                                the latest edition of
                                                                                                                                the NFPA 2001 Standard
                                                                                                                                for Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                                                Extinguishing Systems.
                                                                                                                               Manufacturer has not
                                                                                                                                applied for listing for
                                                                                                                                use in normally occupied
                                                                                                                                areas. Preliminary
                                                                                                                                cardiosensitization data
                                                                                                                                indicates that this
                                                                                                                                agent would not be
                                                                                                                                suitable for use in
                                                                                                                                normally occupied areas.
                                                                                                                               See additional comments
                                                                                                                                1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:

[[Page 4201]]

 
1--Must conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and 1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective equipment (e.g., respiratory protection),
  fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

* * * * *

    4. Appendix C to Subpart G of part 82 is amended by removing the 
heading and table for ``Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--
Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions: Total Flooding Agents.''

    5. Appendix H of Subpart G of part 82 is amended by:
    a. Removing the heading and table for ``Fire Suppression and 
Explosion Protection--Total Flooding Agents--Acceptable Subject to Use 
Conditions.''
    b. Revising the table for ``Fire Suppression and Explosion 
Protection Total Flooding Agents--Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use 
Limits'' to read as follows:

Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--Acceptable Subject to 
Narrowed Use Limits: Total Flooding Agents

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
           End-use                     Substitute                         Decision                        Conditions              Further information
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding..............  HFC-236fa...................  Acceptable subject to narrowed use   Acceptable when              Use of this agent should
                                                             limits.                              manufactured using any       be in accordance with the
                                                                                                  process that does not        safety guidelines in the
                                                                                                  convert                      latest edition of the
                                                                                                  perfluoroisobutylene         NFPA 2001 Standard for
                                                                                                  (PFIB) directly to HFC-      Clean Agent Fire Systems.
                                                                                                  236fa in a single step:     Users should observe the
                                                                                                 for use in explosion          limitations on HFC-236fa
                                                                                                  suppression and explosion    acceptability by taking
                                                                                                  inertion applications, and.  the following measures:
                                                                                                 for use in fire suppression  (i) conduct an evaluation
                                                                                                  applications where other     of foreseeable conditions
                                                                                                  non-PFC agents or            of end-use;
                                                                                                  alternatives are not        (ii) determine that the
                                                                                                  technically feasible due     physical or chemical
                                                                                                  to performance or safety     properties, or other
                                                                                                  requirements:.               technical constraints of
                                                                                                 (a) because of their          the other available
                                                                                                  physical or chemical         agents preclude their
                                                                                                  properties, or.              use; and
                                                                                                 (b) where human exposure to  (iii) determine that human
                                                                                                  the extinguishing agents     exposure to the other
                                                                                                  may result in failure to     alternative extinguishing
                                                                                                  meet safety guidelines in    agents may result in
                                                                                                  the latest edition of the    failure to meet safety
                                                                                                  NFPA 2001 Standard for       guidelines in the latest
                                                                                                  Clean Agent Fire             edition of the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                  Extinguishing Systems..      Standard for Clean Agent
                                                                                                                               Fire Extinguishing
                                                                                                                               Systems.
                                                                                                 ...........................  Documentation of such
                                                                                                                               measures should be
                                                                                                                               available for review upon
                                                                                                                               request.
                                                                                                                              The principal
                                                                                                                               environmental
                                                                                                                               characteristic of concern
                                                                                                                               for HFC-236fa is its high
                                                                                                                               GWP of 9400 and long
                                                                                                                               atmospheric lifetime of
                                                                                                                               226 years. Actual
                                                                                                                               contributions to global
                                                                                                                               warming depend upon the
                                                                                                                               quantities emitted.
                                                                                                                              See additional comments 1,
                                                                                                                               2, 3, 4, 5.
Total flooding..............  C3F8........................  Acceptable subject to narrowed use   Acceptable for               Use of this agent should
                                                             limits.                              nonresidential uses where    be in accordance with the
                                                                                                  other alternatives are not   safety guidelines in the
                                                                                                  technically feasible due     latest edition of the
                                                                                                  to performance or safety     NFPA 2001 Standard for
                                                                                                  requirements:.               Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                 (a) because of their          Extinguishing Systems.
                                                                                                  physical or chemical        Users should observe the
                                                                                                  properties, or.              limitations on PFC
                                                                                                 (b) where human exposure to   acceptability by taking
                                                                                                  the extinguishing agents     the following measures:
                                                                                                  may result in failure to    (i) conduct an evaluation
                                                                                                  meet safety guidelines in    of foreseeable conditions
                                                                                                  the latest edition of the    of end-use;
                                                                                                  NFPA 2001 Standard for      (ii) determine that the
                                                                                                  Clean Agent Fire             physical or chemical
                                                                                                  Extinguishing Systems..      properties or other
                                                                                                                               technical constraints of
                                                                                                                               the other available
                                                                                                                               agents preclude their
                                                                                                                               use; and

[[Page 4202]]

 
                                                                                                                              (iii) determine that human
                                                                                                                               exposure to the other
                                                                                                                               alternative extinguishing
                                                                                                                               agents may result in
                                                                                                                               failure to meet safety
                                                                                                                               guidelines in the latest
                                                                                                                               edition of the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                                               Standard for Clean Agent
                                                                                                                               Fire Extinguishing
                                                                                                                               Systems.
                                                                                                                              Documentation of such
                                                                                                                               measures should be
                                                                                                                               available for review upon
                                                                                                                               request.
                                                                                                                              The principal
                                                                                                                               environmental
                                                                                                                               characteristic of concern
                                                                                                                               for PFCs is that they
                                                                                                                               have high GWPs and long
                                                                                                                               atmospheric lifetimes.
                                                                                                                               Actual contributions to
                                                                                                                               global warming depend
                                                                                                                               upon the quantities of
                                                                                                                               PFCs emitted.
                                                                                                                              See additional comments 1,
                                                                                                                               2, 3, 4, 5.
Total flooding..............  C4F10.......................  Acceptable subject to narrowed use   Acceptable for               Use of this agent should
                                                             limits.                              nonresidential uses where    be in accordance with the
                                                                                                  other alternatives are not   safety guidelines in the
                                                                                                  technically feasible due     latest edition of the
                                                                                                  to performance or safety     NFPA 2001 Standard for
                                                                                                  requirements:                Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                 (a) because of their          Extinguishing Systems.
                                                                                                  physical or chemical        Users should observe the
                                                                                                  properties, or.              limitations on PFC
                                                                                                 (b) where human exposure to   acceptability by taking
                                                                                                  the extinguishing agents     the following measures:
                                                                                                  may result in failure to    (i) conduct an evaluation
                                                                                                  meet safety guidelinesin     of foreseeable conditions
                                                                                                  the latest edition of the    of end-use;
                                                                                                  NFPA 2001 Standard for      (ii) determine that the
                                                                                                  Clean Agent Fire             physical or chemical
                                                                                                  Extinguishing Systems.       properties or other
                                                                                                                               technical constraints of
                                                                                                                               the other available
                                                                                                                               agents preclude their
                                                                                                                               use; and
                                                                                                                              (iii) determine that human
                                                                                                                               exposure to the other
                                                                                                                               alternative extinguishing
                                                                                                                               agents may result in
                                                                                                                               failure to meet safety
                                                                                                                               guidelines in the latest
                                                                                                                               edition of the NFPA 2001
                                                                                                                               Standard for Clean Agent
                                                                                                                               Fire Extinguishing
                                                                                                                               Systems
                                                                                                                              Documentation of such
                                                                                                                               measures should be
                                                                                                                               available for review upon
                                                                                                                               request.
                                                                                                                              The principal
                                                                                                                               environmental
                                                                                                                               characteristic of concern
                                                                                                                               for PFCs is that they
                                                                                                                               have high GWPs and long
                                                                                                                               atmospheric lifetimes.
                                                                                                                               Actual contributions to
                                                                                                                               global warming depend
                                                                                                                               upon the quantities of
                                                                                                                               PFCs emitted.
                                                                                                                              See additional comments 1,
                                                                                                                               2, 3, 4, 5.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and 1910.162.
2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the area.
3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance requirements.
4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and recycled for later use or destroyed.
5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective equipment (e.g., respiratory protection),
  fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.

* * * * *

    6. Appendix I to Subpart G of part 82 is amended by removing the 
heading and table for ``Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--
Total Flooding Agents [Substitutes Acceptable Subject to Use 
Conditions].''

    7. Subpart G of part 82 is amended by adding Appendix J to read as 
follows: Appendix J to Subpart G of Part 82-Substitutes listed in the 
January 29, 2002 Final Rule, effective April 1, 2002.

[[Page 4203]]



                 Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector--Total Flooding Substitutes--Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
        End-use                    Substitute                         Decision                         Conditions                 Further information
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding........  Halotron II.....................  Acceptable subject to narrowed    Acceptable in areas that are not  See additional comments 1,
                                                           use limits.                       normally occupied only.           2, 3, 4, 5.
Total flooding........  Envirogel with any additive       Acceptable subject to narrowed    Acceptable in areas that are not  Use of this agent should
                         other than ammonium               use limits.                       normally occupied only.           be in accordance with the
                         polyphosphate.                                                                                        safety guidelines in the
                                                                                                                               latest edition of the
                                                                                                                               NFPA 2001 Standard for
                                                                                                                               Clean Agent Fire
                                                                                                                               Extinguishing Systems,
                                                                                                                               for whichever
                                                                                                                               hydrofluorocarbon gas is
                                                                                                                               employed.
                                                                                                                              Envirogel is listed as a
                                                                                                                               streaming substitute
                                                                                                                               under the generic name
                                                                                                                               Gelled Halocarbon / Dry
                                                                                                                               Chemical Suspension.
                                                                                                                               Envirogel was also
                                                                                                                               previously listed as a
                                                                                                                               total flooding
                                                                                                                               substitutes under the
                                                                                                                               same generic name.
                                                                                                                              EPA has found Envirogel
                                                                                                                               with the ammonium
                                                                                                                               polyphosphate additive to
                                                                                                                               be acceptable as a total
                                                                                                                               flooding agent in both
                                                                                                                               occupied and unoccupied
                                                                                                                               areas.
                                                                                                                              See additional comments 1,
                                                                                                                               2, 3, 4, 5.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Additional comments:
 1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR 1910, Subpart L, Sections 1910.160 and 1910.162.
 2--Per OSHA requirements, protective gear (SCBA) should be available in the event personnel should reenter the area.
 3--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance requirements.
 4--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and recycled for later use or destroyed.
 5--EPA has no intention of duplicating or displacing OSHA coverage related to the use of personal protective equipment (e.g., respiratory protection),
  fire protection, hazard communication, worker training or any other occupational safety and health standard with respect to halon substitutes.


     Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector--Total Flooding Substitutes--Unacceptable Substitutes
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
             End-Use                      Substitute                   Decision             Further Information
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Halon 1301......................  HBFC-22B1.................  Unacceptable..............  HBFC-22B1 is a Class I
                                                                                           ozone depleting
                                                                                           substance with an
                                                                                           ozone depletion
                                                                                           potential of 0.74.
Total Flooding Agents...........  ..........................  ..........................  The manufacturer of
                                                                                           this agent terminated
                                                                                           production of this
                                                                                           agent January 1,
                                                                                           1996, except for
                                                                                           critical uses, and
                                                                                           removed it from the
                                                                                           market because it is
                                                                                           a fetal toxin.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[FR Doc. 02-1495 Filed 1-28-02; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P