[Federal Register Volume 68, Number 17 (Monday, January 27, 2003)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 4004-4011]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 03-1623]



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Part IV





Environmental Protection Agency





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40 CFR Part 82



Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes for Ozone-
Depleting Substances; Final Rule and Proposed Rule

Federal Register / Vol. 68, No. 17 / Monday, January 27, 2003 / Rules 
and Regulations

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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[FRL-7443-4]


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes for 
Ozone-Depleting Substances

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: This action lists three substitutes for ozone-depleting 
substances (ODSs) in the fire suppression and explosion protection 
sector as acceptable (subject either to narrowed use limits or use 
conditions) under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) 
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. SNAP implements 
section 612 of the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990, which requires 
EPA to evaluate substitutes for ODSs to reduce overall risk to human 
health and the environment.
    In this Direct Final Rulemaking (FRM), EPA is issuing its decision 
on the acceptability of three halon substitutes in the fire suppression 
and explosion protection sector. EPA is issuing a companion proposal to 
this direct final rule elsewhere in today's Federal Register. If we 
receive any adverse comments, EPA will withdraw 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 March 28, 2003, without further 
notice, unless EPA receives adverse comment or receives a request for a 
public hearing by February 26, 2003. 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 this rule will not take 
effect.

ADDRESSES: Send your comments and data specific to this final rule to 
Docket A-2002-08, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, OAR Docket and 
Information Center, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Mailcode 6102T, 
Washington, DC 20004. The docket is physically located at 1301 
Constitution Avenue NW., Room B108, Washington, DC. You may inspect the 
docket between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. on weekdays. Telephone (202) 566-
1742; fax (202) 566-1741. 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 Bella Maranion at the address listed 
below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT. Information designated as 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) under 40 CFR part 2, subpart 2, 
must be 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: Bella Maranion at (202) 564-9749 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 Third 
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/snap/
index.html.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: In this direct final rule, EPA adds three 
fire suppression agents to the list of acceptable substitutes, subject 
to either narrowed use limits or use conditions. 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 action in this direct final rule 
will add these halon substitutes to 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. We are adding three new agents to the 
list of acceptable substitutes, subject to narrowed use limits or use 
conditions. This action does not place any significant burden on the 
regulated community but lists as acceptable, subject to narrowed use 
limits or use conditions, new halon substitutes while continuing to 
protect human health and the environment.
    In the ``Proposed Rules'' section of today's Federal Register 
publication, EPA is publishing a companion proposed rule that proposes 
the same actions as in this direct final rule. The direct final rule 
will be effective on March 28, 2003, without further notice unless we 
receive adverse comment (or a request for a public hearing) by February 
26, 2003. If EPA receives adverse comment, we will publish a timely 
withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that 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 Bella 
Maranion 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. Section 612 Program
    a. Statutory Requirements
    b. Regulatory History
II. Listing of Substitutes
III. Administrative Requirements
IV. Additional Information

I. Section 612 Program

A. Statutory Requirements

    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:
    [sbull] 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.
    [sbull] 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.
    [sbull] 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.
    [sbull] 90-day Notification: Section 612(e) directs EPA to require 
any person who produces a chemical substitute for a class I substance 
to notify the Agency not less than 90 days before new or

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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.
    [sbull] 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.
    [sbull] Clearinghouse: Section 612(b)(4) requires the Agency to set 
up a public clearinghouse of alternative chemicals, product 
substitutes, and alternative manufacturing processes that are available 
for products and manufacturing processes which use class I and II 
substances.

B. Regulatory History

    On March 18, 1994, EPA issued a rule (69 FR 13044) which described 
the process for administering the SNAP program and published 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 
compounds.
    The Agency defines a ``substitute'' as any chemical, product 
substitute, or alternative manufacturing process, whether existing or 
new, that could replace a class I or class II substance. Anyone who 
produces a substitute must provide the Agency with health and safety 
studies on the substitute at least 90 days before introducing it into 
interstate commerce for significant new use as an alternative. This 
requirement applies to chemical manufacturers, but may include 
importers, formulators, or end-users when they are responsible for 
introducing a substitute into commerce.
    To develop the lists of unacceptable and acceptable substitutes, 
EPA conducts screens of health and environmental risk posed by various 
substitutes for ozone-depleting compounds in each use sector. The 
outcome of these risk screens can be found in the public docket, as 
described above in the ADDRESSES portion of this document.
    Under section 612, the Agency has considerable discretion in the 
risk management decisions it can make in SNAP. The Agency has 
identified four possible decision categories: acceptable; acceptable 
subject to use conditions; acceptable subject to narrowed use limits; 
and unacceptable. Fully acceptable substitutes, i.e., those with no 
restrictions, can be used for all applications within the relevant 
sector end-use. Conversely, it is illegal to replace an ODS with a 
substitute listed by SNAP 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.
    Even though the Agency can restrict the use of a substitute based 
on the potential for adverse effects, it may be necessary to permit a 
narrowed range of use within a sector end-use because of lack of 
alternatives for specialized applications. Users intending to adopt a 
substitute acceptable with narrowed use limits must ascertain that 
other acceptable alternatives are not technically feasible. Companies 
must document the results of their evaluation, and retain the results 
on file for purposes 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, e.g., 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.
    EPA does not believe that notice and comment rulemaking procedures 
are required to list alternatives as acceptable with no restrictions. 
Such listings do not impose any sanction, nor do they remove any prior 
license to use a substitute. Consequently, EPA adds substitutes to the 
list of acceptable alternatives without first requesting comment on new 
listings. Updates to the acceptable lists are published as separate 
Notices of Acceptability in the Federal Register.
    For more information on the Agency's process for administering the 
SNAP program or criteria for evaluation of substitutes, refer to the 
SNAP rule 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. A complete chronology of SNAP decisions and the appropriate 
Federal Register citations may be found at EPA's Ozone Depletion Web 
site at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/chron.html. For a complete 
listing of the Agency's decisions on acceptable and unacceptable 
substitutes, go to http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/lists/index.html.

II. Listing of Substitutes

    In this final rule, EPA is issuing its decision on the 
acceptability, subject to narrowed use limits or use conditions, of the 
following substitutes in the fire suppression and explosion protection 
sector: HFC227-BC, C6-perfluoroketone, and H Galden 
hydrofluoropolyethers (HFPEs). As described in the March 8, 1994 rule 
for the SNAP program (59 FR 13044), EPA believes that notice-and-
comment rulemaking is required to place any alternative on the list of 
prohibited substitutes, to list a substitute as acceptable only under 
certain use conditions or narrowed use limits, or to remove an 
alternative from either the list of prohibited or acceptable 
substitutes.
    The section below presents a detailed discussion of the fire 
suppression and explosion protection substitute listing determinations 
that are finalized in today's Final Rule. Tables summarizing these 
listing decisions are at the end of this document. The comments 
contained in the tables provide additional information on substitutes 
determined to be unacceptable, acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits, or acceptable subject to use conditions. The comments contained 
in the appendix are not a binding part of the regulatory decision and 
are, therefore, not mandatory for use of a substitute. Nor should such 
comments be considered comprehensive with respect to other legal 
obligations pertaining to the use of the substitute. However, EPA 
encourages users of substitutes to act consistent with all such 
comments in their use of these substitutes especially if any practices 
have not already been identified in existing industry standards such as 
fire and building codes, or occupational exposure guidelines.

A. Listing Decisions: Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--Total 
Flooding Agents

1. Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions
a. HFC227-BC
    HFC227-BC is acceptable, subject to use conditions, as a halon 1301

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substitute for total flooding uses. HFC227-BC, which contains a 
combination of HFC-227ea and sodium bicarbonate, is designed for total 
flooding use in military combat vehicle crew and engine compartments 
and for industrial fire and explosion suppression systems in occupied 
and unoccupied areas. HFC-227ea, the main ingredient in HFC227-BC, is a 
halocarbon fire extinguishing agent that has previously been approved 
as a total flooding and streaming agent under EPA's SNAP program. It 
has no ozone-depletion potential and has a global warming potential 
(GWP) of 3800 compared to CO2 on a 100-year time horizon. 
HFC-227ea is non-flammable. Its No Observed Adverse Effect Level 
(NOAEL) is 9.0% and the Lowest Observed Adverse Effect Level (LOAEL) is 
10.5%. The calculated design concentration of HFC-227ea is 7.0% which 
provides a sufficient margin of safety for use in normally occupied 
areas in accordance with the safety guidelines in the latest edition of 
the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) 2001 Standard for Clean 
Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems (see discussion below).
    EPA is providing specific use conditions designed to protect 
military crew members and workplace personnel who may be present in 
areas where HFC227-BC is discharged. HFC227-BC is approved for use in 
military combat and vehicle crew and engine compartments and industrial 
fire or explosion suppression systems for occupied and unoccupied 
areas. Extinguisher bottles should be clearly labeled with the 
potential hazards associated with the use of HFC-227ea and sodium 
bicarbonate, as well as handling procedures to reduce risk resulting 
from these hazards. Sodium bicarbonate, while low in toxicity, also has 
the ability to affect blood pH level; therefore, its release in all 
settings should be targeted so that increased blood pH level would not 
adversely affect those exposed.
    The addition of sodium bicarbonate in the mixture is to minimize 
the formation of toxic hydrofluoric acid (HF) formed by the 
decomposition of HFC-227ea during a fire. Sample calculations and 
assumptions for respirable and released sodium bicarbonate for varied 
enclosure sizes are included in the risk screen conducted for this 
substitute and available in public Docket A-2002-08 for this rule.
    EPA is also providing additional comments regarding use of HFC227-
BC. Use of HFC-227ea, the primary ingredient in HFC227-BC, should be in 
accordance with the safety guidelines in the latest edition of the NFPA 
2001 Standard for Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems. Use of 
HFC227-BC should conform with relevant Occupational Safety and Health 
Administration (OSHA) requirements, including 29 CFR part 1910, subpart 
L, sections 1910.160 and 1910.162. Per OSHA requirements, protective 
gear (self-contained breathing apparatus) should be available in the 
event personnel should reenter the area. Discharge testing should be 
strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or 
performance requirements. The agent should be recovered from the fire 
protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and 
recycled for later use or destroyed.
    On January 29, 2002, EPA published a Direct Final Rule (67 FR 4185) 
to replace the use conditions imposed under SNAP for halocarbon and 
inert gas agents used in the fire suppression and explosion protection 
industry with safety standards that have been established by the 
National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). NFPA is an independent, 
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 used by the fire protection community throughout the 
United States and the world.
    Based on the above rule, the revised SNAP listings for halocarbon 
alternatives, such as HFC-227ea, 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.''
    EPA's precautionary requirements are consistent with worker safety 
conditions required by OSHA and the NFPA 2001 Standard, as mentioned 
above. Individuals must adhere to OSHA regulations in all commercial 
applications. 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. As 
stated in the preamble to the original SNAP rule at 59 FR 13099, ``EPA 
has no intention to assume responsibility for regulating workplace 
safety especially with respect to fire protection, nor does the Agency 
intend SNAP regulations to bar OSHA from regulating under its Pub. L. 
91-596 authority.''
    HFC227-BC reduces risk to the public compared to the ODS it 
replaces because it has no ODP. HFC227-BC also has a lower global 
warming impact and produces less toxic, caustic HF than HFC-227ea 
alone, because less of the halocarbon agent is needed when sodium 
bicarbonate is also being used. Other substitutes already listed as 
acceptable for total flooding have a higher global warming impact and 
comparable toxicity. Thus, we find that HFC227-BC is acceptable, 
subject to use conditions, because it reduces overall risk to public 
health and the environment in the end use listed.

B. Listing Decisions: Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection--
Streaming Agents

1. Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
a. C6-perfluoroketone
    C6-perfluoroketone is acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, 
as a halon 1211 substitute for streaming agent uses. The narrowed use 
limits require that C6-perfluoroketone be used only in nonresidential 
applications. C6-perfluoroketone is comprised of a perfluoroalkyl 
ketone (1,1,1,2,2,4,5,5,5-nonafluoro-4-(trifluoromethyl)-3-pentanone). 
C6-perfluoroketone has no ozone-depletion potential, a global warming 
potential of 6-100 compared to CO2 on a 100-year time 
horizon, and an atmospheric lifetime of less than one year. It is 
marketed under the trade name Novec-1230. The NFPA 2001 standard refers 
to C6-perfluoroketone as FK-5-1-12myy2. In studies on C6-
perfluoroketone, the NOAEL is 10% and the LOAEL is 10%.
    EPA has reviewed the potential environmental impacts of this 
substitute and has concluded that, by comparison to halon 1211, C6-
perfluoroketone significantly reduces overall risk to the environment. 
With no ozone-depletion potential, a global warming potential value of 
less than 1, and an atmospheric lifetime of less than three days, C6-
perfluoroketone provides an improvement over use of 
hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) and hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) in fire 
protection. EPA's review of environmental and human health impacts of 
this blend is contained in the public docket for this rulemaking.

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    EPA is providing additional comments regarding use of C6-
perfluoroketone for streaming agent uses. Appropriate protective 
measures should be taken and proper training administered for the 
manufacture, clean-up and disposal of this product. The acceptable 
exposure limit (AEL) is set at a level believed to protect workers who 
are regularly exposed, such as in the manufacturing or filling 
processes, from chronic adverse effects; the estimated AEL for C6-
perfluoroketone is 100 ppm as an 8-hour time-weighted average. EPA 
recommends the following for establishments filling canisters to be 
used in streaming applications: adequate ventilation should be in 
place; all spills should be cleaned up immediately in accordance with 
good industrial hygiene practices; and training for safe handling 
procedures should be provided to all employees that would be likely to 
handle the containers of the agent or extinguishing units filled with 
the agent. We find that C6-perfluoroketone is acceptable subject to 
narrowed use limits (for use only in non-residential areas) because it 
reduces overall risk to public health and the environment in the end 
use and application requested by the submitter and listed above.
b. H Galden Hydrofluoropolyethers
    H Galden Hydrofluoropolyethers (HFPEs) is acceptable, subject to 
narrowed use limits, as a halon 1211 substitute for streaming agent 
uses. The narrowed use limits require that HFPEs be used only in 
nonresidential applications. This substance is a mixture of fractions 
of hydrofluoropolyethers of similar composition. H Galden HFPEs have an 
ozone depletion potential of zero. They have an atmospheric lifetime 
from 12 to 25 years. H Galden HFPEs have a global warming potential 
(GWP) that varies for the particular fraction, ranging from 2790 to 
6230 for the fractions having the highest GWP. Despite the relatively 
high GWP values, use of H Galden HFPEs are anticipated to have a 
smaller impact on global warming than the use of HFCs. H Galden HFPEs 
are non-flammable. In studies on H Galden HFPEs, the NOAEL was 3.5% and 
a LOAEL was not identified. H Galden HFPEs are expected to be blended 
with other compounds (e.g., HFC-227ea, HFC-125) that have previously 
been approved under SNAP.
    EPA is providing additional comments regarding use of H Galden 
HFPEs in streaming agent applications. The estimated AEL for H-Galden 
HFPEs 1163 ppm for workplace exposure, typically during the 
manufacturing and filling processes. Because the AEL is above 1000 ppm, 
a level that can be achieved using generally employed good housekeeping 
and industrial practices, EPA recommends that exposure levels be kept 
below 1000 ppm on an 8-hour TWA basis. Further, EPA recommends that H 
Galden HFPEs should not exceed its ceiling concentration of 6000 ppm at 
any time. EPA recommends the following procedures should be followed to 
ensure that this level is not exceeded:

--Adequate ventilation should be in place;
--All spills should be cleaned up immediately in accordance with good 
industrial hygiene practices; and
--Training for safe handling procedures should be provided to all 
employees that would be likely to handle the containers of H Galden 
HFPEs or extinguishing units filled with the material.

    H-Galden HFPEs have no ODP, relatively low atmospheric lifetimes of 
from 13-25 years, and comparable impact on global warming with the 
SNAP-approved HFC. H Galden HFPEs reduce risk overall compared to halon 
1211, the ODS they replace. EPA's review of environmental and human 
health impacts of this blend is contained in the public docket for this 
rulemaking. Thus, we find that H-Galden HFPEs are acceptable subject to 
narrowed use limits (for use only in non-residential applications) 
because they reduce overall risk to public health and the environment 
in the end use and application requested by the submitter and listed 
above.

III. Administrative Requirements

A. 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 on 
October 3, 2002, that it considers this a ``non-significant regulatory 
action'' within the meaning of the Executive Order and, therefore, did 
not require EPA to submit this action to OMB for review.

B. 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 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.
    Copies of the ICR document(s) may be obtained from Sandy Farmer, by 
mail at the Office of Environmental Information, Collection Strategies 
Division; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (2822); 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave., NW., Washington, DC 20004, by E-mail at 
farmer.sandy@epa.gov, or by calling (202) 566-1676. A copy may also be 
downloaded off the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/icr. Include the ICR 
and/or OMB number in any correspondence.
    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

[[Page 4008]]

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.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    The RFA generally requires an agency to prepare a regulatory 
flexibility analysis of any rule subject to notice and comment 
rulemaking requirements under the Administrative Procedure Act or any 
other statutes unless the agency certifies that the rule will not have 
a significant economic impact on a substantial number of small 
entities. Small entities include small businesses, small organizations, 
and small governmental jurisdictions.
    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 and/or streaming 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 economic impact on a substantial number of small entities.
    Use of halon 1211 as a streaming agent in portable extinguishers 
has historically been in industrial and commercial applications with 
limited residential uses. Residential users typically use lower cost 
alternatives such as dry chemical and carbon dioxide hand-held 
extinguishers. In industrial and commercial applications, the newer 
chemical agents compete for specialized segments of the halon 1211 
market where lower cost alternatives such as dry powder and carbon 
dioxide extinguishers may not be an appropriate option and where 
factors such as cleanliness and efficacy of the agent are important. 
With respect to EPA's decision on H Galden HFPEs, EPA is finding it 
acceptable for all uses requested by the manufacturer. Moreover, the 
manufacturer of the new fire suppressant, H Galden HFPEs, has not yet 
sold it, so today's action does not affect, in any way, current usage. 
The manufacturer of the new fire suppressant, C6-perfluoroketone, is 
selling it in the non-residential market, so today's action does not 
affect, in any way, current usage. Thus, EPA is providing additional 
options for any entity, including small entities, to replace halon 1211 
in streaming applications.
    Use of halon 1301 total flooding systems have historically been in 
the protection of essential electronics, civil aviation, military 
mobile weapon systems, oil and gas and other process industries, and 
merchant shipping with smaller segments of use including libraries, 
museums, and laboratories. The majority of halon 1301 system owners 
continue to maintain and refurbish existing systems since halon 1301 
supplies continue to be available in the U.S. Owners of new facilities 
make up the market for the new alternative agent systems and may also 
consider employing other available fire protection options including 
new, improved technology for early warning and smoke detection. The 
primary party intending to use HF227-BC as a total flooding agent is 
the U.S. Army, which is not a small entity. The Army has not yet used 
this fire suppressant, so the regulatory restrictions imposed in 
today's rule will not affect current use. Thus, EPA is providing more 
options to any entity, including small entities, to use these 
substitutes.
    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, 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.

D. 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 
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.

[[Page 4009]]

E. 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 direct final 
rule will provide additional options for fire protection subject to 
safety guidelines in 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.

F. 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 provide additional options for fire 
protection subject to safety guidelines in 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.

G. 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 in this 
final rule primarily apply to the workplace, and thus, do not put 
children at risk disproportionately. 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.

H. 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. The rule allows 
wider use of substitutes, providing greater flexibility for industry. 
Further, we have concluded that this rule is not likely to have any 
adverse energy effects.

I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    Section 12(d) of the National Technology Transfer and Advancement 
Act of 1995 (``NTTAA''), Public Law 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 defers to 
existing National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) voluntary 
consensus standards and Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
(OSHA) regulations that relate to the safe use of halon substitutes 
reviewed under SNAP. EPA refers users to the NFPA 2001 Standard on 
Clean Agent Fire Extinguishing Systems, 2000 edition, which provides 
for exposure and safe use of halocarbon and inert gas agents used to 
extinguish fires. Copies of this standard may be obtained 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.

J. 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.

K. Submittal to Congress and General Accounting Office

    The Congressional Review Act (CRA), 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added 
by the

[[Page 4010]]

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 March 28, 2003.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

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

    Dated: January 17, 2003.
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. Subpart G of part 82 is amended by adding Appendix L to read as 
follows:

Appendix L to Subpart G of Part 82--Substitutes Listed in the January 
27, 2003, Final Rule, Effective March 28, 2003.

     Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection Sector--Total Flooding Substitutes--Acceptable Subject to Use
                                                   Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          End-use                 Substitute            Decision             Conditions            Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Total flooding.............  HFC227-BC            Acceptable subject    Sodium bicarbonate   Use of the agent,
                                                   to use conditions.    release in all       HFC-227ea, should
                                                                         settings should be   be in accordance
                                                                         targeted so that     with the safety
                                                                         increased pH level   guidelines in the
                                                                         would not            latest edition of
                                                                         adversely affect     the NFPA 2001
                                                                         exposed              Standard for Clean
                                                                         individuals. Users   Agent Fire
                                                                         should provide       Extinguishing
                                                                         special training     Systems.
                                                                         to individuals      See additional
                                                                         required to be in    comments 1, 2, 3,
                                                                         environments         4, 5.
                                                                         protected by
                                                                         HFC227-BC
                                                                         extinguishing
                                                                         systems.
                                                                        Each HFC227-BC
                                                                         extinguisher
                                                                         should be clearly
                                                                         labelled with the
                                                                         potential hazards
                                                                         from use and safe
                                                                         handling
                                                                         procedures..
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Additional comments''
 1--Should conform with relevant OSHA requirements, including 29 CFR part 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--Streaming Agents--Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          End-use                Substitute           Decision           Conditions              Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Streaming.................  C6-perfluoroketone   Acceptable subject  For use only in     For operations that
                             (FK-5-1-12MYY2).     to narrowed use     nonresidential      fill canisters to be
                                                  limits.             areas.              used in streaming
                                                                                          applications, EPA
                                                                                          recommends the
                                                                                          following:
                                                                                         --Adequate ventilation
                                                                                          should be in place;
                                                                                         --All spills should be
                                                                                          cleaned up immediately
                                                                                          in accordance with
                                                                                          good industrial
                                                                                          hygiene practices; and
                                                                                         --Training for safe
                                                                                          handling procedures
                                                                                          should be provided to
                                                                                          all employees that
                                                                                          would be likely to
                                                                                          handle containers of
                                                                                          the agent or
                                                                                          extinguishing units
                                                                                          filled with the agent.
                                                                                         See additional comments
                                                                                          1, 2, 3, 4.

[[Page 4011]]

 
Streaming.................  H Galden HFPEs.....  Acceptable subject  For use only in     For operations that
                                                  to narrowed use     nonresidential      fill canisters to be
                                                  limits.             areas.              used in streaming
                                                                                          applications, EPA
                                                                                          recommends the
                                                                                          following:
                                                                                         --Adequate ventialtion
                                                                                          should be in place;
                                                                                         --All spills should be
                                                                                          cleaned up immediately
                                                                                          in accordance with
                                                                                          good industrial
                                                                                          hygiene practices; and
                                                                                         --Training for safe
                                                                                          handling procedures
                                                                                          should be provided to
                                                                                          all employees that
                                                                                          would be likely to
                                                                                          handle containers of
                                                                                          the agent or
                                                                                          extinguishing units
                                                                                          filled with the agent.
                                                                                         See additional comments
                                                                                          1, 2, 3, 4.
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 Additional comments.
 1--Discharge testing should be strictly limited to that which is essential to meet safety or performance
  requirements.
 2--The agent should be recovered from the fire protection system in conjunction with testing or servicing, and
  recycled for later use or destroyed.
 3--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--As with other streaming agents, EPA recommends that potential risks of combustion by-products be labelled on
  the extinguisher (see UL 2129)

[FR Doc. 03-1623 Filed 1-24-03; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P