[Federal Register Volume 74, Number 200 (Monday, October 19, 2009)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 53445-53454]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: E9-25106]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664; FRL-8969-7]
RIN 2060-AP11


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: New Substitute in the Motor 
Vehicle Air Conditioning Sector Under the Significant New Alternatives 
Policy (SNAP) Program

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: The Clean Air Act requires the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) to review alternatives for ozone-depleting substances and to 
approve of substitutes that do not present a risk more significant than 
other alternatives that are available. Under that authority, the 
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program of EPA proposes to 
expand the list of acceptable substitutes for ozone-depleting 
substances (ODS). The substitute addressed in this proposal is for the 
motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) end-use within the refrigeration 
and air-conditioning sector. EPA proposes to find HFO-1234yf 
acceptable, subject to use conditions as a substitute for CFC-12 in 
motor vehicle air conditioning. The proposed substitute is a non ozone-
depleting gas and consequently does not contribute to stratospheric 
ozone depletion.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before December 18, 2009, unless 
a public hearing is requested. Comments must then be received on or 
before January 4, 2010. Any party requesting a public hearing must 
notify the contact listed below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
by 5 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on October 29, 2009. If a hearing is 
held, it will take place on November 3, 2009.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2008-0664, by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov. 
Follow the on-line instructions for submitting comments.
     E-mail: a-and-r-Docket@epa.gov.
     Fax: (202) 566-1741.
     Mail: Environmental Protection Agency. EPA Docket Center 
(EPA/DC), Mailcode 6102T, Attention Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664, 
1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: Public Reading Room, Room 3334, EPA West 
Building, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC.
    Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours 
of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of 
boxed information.
    Instructions: Direct your comments to Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2008-0664. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included 
in the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
http://www.regulations.gov, including any personal information 
provided, unless the comment includes information claimed to be 
Confidential Business Information (CBI) or other information whose 
disclosure is restricted by statute. Do not submit information that you 
consider to be CBI or otherwise protected through http://www.regulations.gov or e-mail. The http://www.regulations.gov Web site 
is an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your 
identity or contact information unless you provide it in the body of 
your comment. If you send an e-mail comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov your e-mail address will be 
automatically captured and included as part of the comment that is 
placed in the public docket and made available on the Internet. If you 
submit an electronic comment, EPA recommends that you include your name 
and other contact information in the body of your comment and with any 
disk or CD-ROM you submit. If EPA cannot read your comment due to 
technical difficulties and cannot contact you for clarification, EPA 
may not be able to consider your comment. Electronic files should avoid 
the use of special characters, any form of encryption, and be free of 
any defects or viruses.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the http://www.regulations.gov index. Although listed in the index, some 
information is not publicly available, e.g., CBI or other information 
whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain other material, such 
as copyrighted material, will be publicly available only in hard copy. 
Publicly available docket materials are available either electronically 
in http://www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air Docket, EPA/
DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. 
This Docket Facility is open from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday 
through Friday, excluding legal holidays. The telephone number for the 
Public Reading Room is (202) 566-1744, and the telephone number for the 
Air Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this 
proposed rule, contact Margaret Sheppard, Stratospheric Protection 
Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs; Environmental Protection 
Agency, Mail Code 6205J, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington DC 
20460; telephone number (202) 343-9163, fax number, (202) 343-2338; e-
mail address at sheppard.margaret@epa.gov. Notices and rulemakings 
under the SNAP program are available on EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web 
site at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regulations.html. For copies of 
the full list of SNAP decisions in all industrial

[[Page 53446]]

sectors, contact the EPA Stratospheric Protection Hotline at (800) 296-
1996.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This proposed action, if finalized, would 
provide motor vehicle manufacturers and their suppliers an additional 
refrigerant option for motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems. 
The refrigerant discussed in this proposed action is a non ozone-
depleting substance.

Table of Contents

I. Section 612 Statutory and Regulatory Background
    A. Rulemaking
    B. Listing of Unacceptable/Acceptable Substitutes
    C. Petition Process
    D. 90-day Notification
    E. Outreach
    F. Clearinghouse
    G. EPA's Regulations Implementing Section 612
II. EPA's Proposed Decision on HFO-1234yf
III. SNAP Criteria for Evaluating Alternatives
IV. SNAP Evaluation of HFO-1234yf
    A. Atmospheric Effects and Related Health and Environmental 
Impacts
    B. General Population Risks from Ambient Exposure to Compounds 
with Direct Toxicity and to Increased Ground-Level Ozone
    C. Ecosystem Risks
    D. Occupational Risks
    E. Consumer Risks
    F. Flammability
    G. Cost and Availability of the Substitute
    H. Proposed Conclusion on Overall Impacts on Human Health and 
the Environment
V. HFO-1234yf MVAC System Proposed Use Conditions
VI. Additional Information Requested
VII. Section 609 Requirements for HFO-1234yf
VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review
    B. Paperwork Reduction Act
    C. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)
    D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
    E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism
    F. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination with 
Indian Tribal Governments
    G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children from 
Environmental Health and Safety Risks
    H. Executive Order 13211: Actions that Significantly Affect 
Energy Supply, Distribution, or Use
    I. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions to Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
IX. References

I. Section 612 Statutory and Regulatory Background

    Section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires 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 and implementing 
regulations are:

A. Rulemaking

    Section 612(c) requires EPA to promulgate rules making it unlawful 
to replace any class I (e.g., chlorofluorocarbon, halon, carbon 
tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, and 
hydrobromofluorocarbon) or class II (e.g., 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.

B. Listing of Unacceptable/Acceptable Substitutes

    Section 612(c) requires EPA to publish a list of the substitutes 
unacceptable for specific uses and to publish a corresponding list of 
acceptable alternatives for specific uses. The list of acceptable 
substitutes may be found at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/lists/index.html and the lists of unacceptable substitutes, acceptable 
substitutes subject to use conditions and acceptable substitutes 
subject to narrowed use limits may be found at 40 CFR part 82 subpart 
G.

C. Petition Process

    Section 612(d) grants the right to any person to petition EPA to 
add a substance to, or delete a substance from, the lists published in 
accordance with section 612(c). The Agency has 90 days to grant or deny 
a petition. Where the Agency grants the petition, EPA must publish the 
revised lists within an additional six months.

D. 90-day Notification

    Section 612(e) directs EPA to require any person who produces a 
chemical substitute for a class I substance to notify the Agency not 
less than 90 days before new or existing chemicals are introduced into 
interstate commerce for significant new uses as substitutes for a class 
I substance. The producer must also provide the Agency with the 
producer's unpublished health and safety studies on such substitutes.

E. Outreach

    Section 612(b)(1) states that the Administrator shall, where 
appropriate, 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.

F. Clearinghouse

    Section 612(b)(4) requires the Agency to maintain 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.

G. EPA's Regulations Implementing Section 612

    On March 18, 1994, EPA published the original rulemaking (59 FR 
13044) which established the process for administering the SNAP program 
and issued EPA's first lists identifying acceptable and unacceptable 
substitutes in the major industrial use sectors. 40 CFR part 82, 
subpart G. These sectors include: Refrigeration and air conditioning; 
foam blowing; solvents cleaning; fire suppression and explosion 
protection; sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings and inks; and 
tobacco expansion. These sectors compose the principal industrial 
sectors that historically consumed the largest volumes of ODS.
    For the purposes of SNAP, the Agency defines a ``substitute'' as 
any chemical, product substitute, or alternative manufacturing process, 
whether existing or new, intended for use as a replacement for a class 
I or class II substance in a sector that has historically used ODS. 
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. CAA section 612(e); 40 CFR 82.176(a). This requirement 
applies to substitute manufacturers, but may include importers, 
formulators, or end-users, when they are responsible for introducing a 
substitute into commerce.
    You can find a complete chronology of SNAP decisions and the 
appropriate Federal Register citations at EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web 
site at: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/chron.html. This information is 
also available from the Air Docket (see ADDRESSES section above for 
contact information).

[[Page 53447]]

II. EPA's Proposed Decision on HFO-1234yf

    EPA proposes that hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-1234yf \1\ is acceptable 
as a substitute for CFC-12 \2\ in new motor vehicle air conditioning 
systems (passenger cars and trucks), subject to use conditions. EPA 
proposes the following use conditions:
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    \1\ HFO-1234yf is also known as HFC-1234yf, R-1234yf or 2,3,3,3-
tetrafluoroprop-1-ene, CAS Reg. No. 754-12-1.
    \2\ CFC-12 is also known as dichlorodifluoromethane, R-12, or 
Freon[reg]-12, CAS Reg. No. 75-71-8.
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     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must incorporate engineering 
strategies and/or devices so that leaks into the passenger compartment 
do not result in HFO-1234yf concentrations at or above the lower 
flammability limit (LFL) \3\ of 6.2% v/v for more than 15 seconds;
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    \3\ Unless stated otherwise, flammability limits discussed here 
are by volume.
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     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must incorporate engineering 
strategies and/or devices so that leaks into the engine compartment or 
vehicle electric power source storage areas do not result in HFO-1234yf 
concentrations at or above the LFL of 6.2% v/v for any period of time;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must incorporate protective 
devices, isolation and/or ventilation techniques in areas where 
processes, procedures or upset conditions such as leaks have the 
potential to generate HFO-1234yf concentrations at or above 6.2% v/v in 
proximity to hybrid/electric vehicle electric power sources and exhaust 
manifold surfaces;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must use unique fittings to be 
identified pursuant to SAE standard J639 and subject to EPA approval;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must include a detailed label 
identifying the refrigerant and that the refrigerant is flammable;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must have a high-pressure 
compressor cutoff switch installed on systems equipped with pressure 
relief devices; and
     Manufacturers must conduct and keep on file Failure Mode 
and Effect Analysis (FMEA) on the MVAC as stated in SAE J1739.
    The proposed decision for HFO-1234yf applies to new MVAC systems 
only in passenger cars and trucks. We have previously determined that 
use of flammable refrigerants (which would include HFO-1234yf) in 
existing equipment as a retrofit is unacceptable (40 CFR part 82, 
subpart G, appendix B). We seek comment on whether these use conditions 
should be more protective or should be less protective.

III. SNAP Criteria for Evaluating Alternatives

    To determine whether a substitute is acceptable or unacceptable as 
a replacement for class I or II compounds, the Agency evaluates 
substitutes according to the criteria in Sec.  82.180(a)(7). The Agency 
considers, among other things, toxicity, flammability, potential for 
occupational and general population exposure, and environmental effects 
including ozone depletion potential, atmospheric lifetime, impacts on 
local air quality and climate as well as ecosystem effects of the 
alternatives.
    This proposal reflects additional information on flammable 
refrigerants in MVAC systems that has become available since the HFC-
152a September 2006 proposed rule (71 FR 55140) and 2008 final rule (73 
FR 33304), as well as EPA's latest understanding of all the available 
information. These additional or revised considerations include the 
increased proportion of new hybrid and electric vehicle sales in the 
U.S., passenger compartment volume, and improved assumptions for 
modeling exercises. In this rulemaking, HFO-1234yf risks are considered 
in relation to the risks associated with HFC-134a and other approved 
SNAP MVAC alternatives. HFC-134a is the predominant ODS refrigerant 
substitute used in passenger vehicle MVAC systems. Other SNAP-approved 
MVAC substitutes have not been implemented by car manufacturers or car 
air conditioning system manufacturers.
    The EPA's SNAP program does not require that new substitutes be 
found risk-free to be found acceptable. In reviewing the acceptability 
of proposed substitutes, EPA considers how each substitute can be used 
within a specific end-use and the resulting risks and uncertainties 
surrounding potential health and environmental effects.

IV. SNAP Evaluation of HFO-1234yf

    In the following section, HFO-1234yf is evaluated in terms of the 
SNAP criteria defined in Sec.  82.180(a)(7).

A. Atmospheric Effects and Related Health and Environmental Impacts

    HFO-1234yf has an ozone-depletion potential (ODP) of nearly zero 
\4\ (Papadimitriou, 2007). By comparison, CFC-12 has an ODP of 1.0 and 
HFC-134a has an ODP of 0 (WMO, 2006). Generally, the other approved 
SNAP MVAC substitutes have an ODP of less than 0.2.
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    \4\ The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is 
currently reviewing the ODP of HFO-1234yf and we will place this 
information in the docket if it becomes available during the course 
of this rulemaking.
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    The global warming potential (GWP) of HFO-1234yf is 4, based on a 
100 year time horizon (Papadimitriou, 2007), compared to a value of 1 
for carbon dioxide. For basis of comparison, CFC-12 has a GWP of 10,890 
and HFC-134a has a GWP of 1,430 (WMO, 2006). The other SNAP-approved 
MVAC refrigerants generally have a GWP greater than 1000. HFO-1234yf 
has an atmospheric lifetime of only 11 days (Papadimitriou, 2007), 
compared to 100 years for CFC-12 and 14.0 years for HFC-134a. Thus, in 
terms of direct refrigerant emissions, HFO-1234yf would have a 
significantly smaller impact on climate compared to the ozone depleting 
substance it replaces and other common alternatives available in the 
same end use.
    The Agency believes sufficient technical information is available 
on the ODP and GWP of HFO-1234yf, but the Agency welcomes additional 
comment on the ODP and GWP values described above. The Agency would 
give the greatest weight to peer-reviewed, published papers on HFO-
1234yf as supporting evidence for discussion on ODP and GWP.
    We note that one concern about HFO-1234yf atmospheric effects is 
trifluoroacetic acid (CF3COOH, TFA). TFA is produced from 
atmospheric oxidation of HFO-1234yf. EPA understands that the oxidation 
of HFO-1234yf yields >90% TFA, which is significantly higher than the 
yield of TFA from HFC-134a and other approved SNAP MVAC substitutes. 
TFA is naturally occurring, but at certain levels is toxic to aquatic 
life forms.
    Initial analysis indicates that the projected maximum TFA 
concentration in rainwater should not result in a significant risk of 
aquatic toxicity. TFA concentration in rainwater was investigated 
because it is difficult to predict what the actual TFA concentrations 
will be. This is because concentrations of environmental contaminants 
in most fresh water bodies fluctuate widely due to varying inputs and 
outputs to most ponds, lakes, and streams. Also, use of rainwater TFA 
concentration as a point of comparison is more conservative than 
comparing TFA concentrations in water bodies because TFA is expected to 
be diluted in most freshwater bodies. The exception to this is vernal 
pools and similar seasonal water bodies that have no significant 
outflow capacity (ICF, 2009).
    After taking into account the nature of HFO-1234yf degradation and 
the

[[Page 53448]]

resulting TFA concentration in rainwater; regional precipitation 
patterns; the geology of closed aquatic systems; and no observed effect 
concentrations (NOEC) for TFA, TFA production resulting from HFO-1234yf 
emissions is not expected to pose significant harm to aquatic 
communities in the near future. Additional research is necessary to 
determine if significant TFA loading is occurring in vernal pools near 
major populations (ICF, 2009). EPA is aware of studies to evaluate wet 
deposition effects that are underway at the National Institute of 
Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) based in Japan. Their 
results on wet deposition were not available at the time of this 
proposal's drafting, but EPA will consider any relevant findings by 
AIST that become available in a final version of this regulation and 
will provide an opportunity for additional public comment if the 
relevant findings suggest EPA should change its proposed determination.
    Concerns about dry deposition of TFA also exist. Initial analysis 
indicates that it may be somewhat of a concern for photosynthesis (ICF, 
2009). EPA is aware of studies to evaluate dry deposition effects that 
are underway at AIST. Their results on dry deposition were not 
available at the time of this proposal's drafting, but EPA will 
consider any relevant findings by AIST that become available in a final 
version of this regulation and will provide an opportunity for 
additional public comment if the relevant findings suggest EPA should 
change its proposed determination. The AIST findings will be posted in 
the docket (EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664) when they are available.
    The Agency believes sufficient technical information on the TFA 
deposition from HFO-1234yf is available for the basis of this proposal; 
however, the Agency welcomes additional comment on HFO-1234yf's 
environmental and atmospheric effects. The Agency will give the 
greatest weight to published, peer-reviewed studies. The Agency 
requests comment on the impact of increased abundance of TFA resulting 
from the use of HFO-1234yf as an MVAC refrigerant in the U.S., and the 
potential impacts of U.S. and worldwide use of HFO-1234yf as an MVAC 
refrigerant. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) 
informed EPA that a follow-on study of the Papadimitriou 2007 work is 
under way. EPA anticipates the results of this study will be published 
and be made publicly available before the Agency issues a final rule on 
the acceptability of HFO-1234yf under the SNAP Program. If the study 
becomes available, EPA will consider that information in determining 
how to move forward on this proposed determination for HFO-1234yf.
    Currently available analysis on the atmospheric and local air 
quality impacts of HFO-1234yf assumes an emissions rate very similar to 
HFC-134a. This assumption leads to a very conservative emission rate 
because it is highly likely HFO-1234yf will have a lower leak rate 
compared to HFC-134a because HFO-1234yf will cost approximately ten 
times more than HFC-134a. There will be an economic basis for 
conserving and preventing the release of HFO-1234yf. But the same logic 
implies that the market adoption of this alternative may not be high, 
resulting in even lower total emissions. We seek comment on whether it 
is appropriate to analyze environmental impacts of HFO-1234yf based on 
the current emission rate for HFC-134a in MVAC, and if not, what 
emission rate EPA should use in our environmental analyses.

B. General Population Risks From Ambient Exposure to Compounds With 
Direct Toxicity and to Increased Ground-Level Ozone

    Toxicity:
    EPA's New Chemicals Program, mandated by Section 5 of the Toxic 
Substances Control Act (TSCA), conducted a premanufacture review of 
HFO-1234yf. This review assessed the potential environmental and human 
health risks associated with the substance (Docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-
0918). Based on test data on HFO-1234yf, EPA has human health concerns 
for developmental toxicity and lethality via inhalation exposure.
    The Workplace Environmental Exposure Limit (WEEL) Committee of the 
American Industrial Hygiene Association has established a WEEL of 500 
parts per million (ppm) by volume on an eight-hour time-weighted 
average (TWA) for HFO-1234yf. See docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664 for the 
WEEL Committee rationale. The Committee established a WEEL of 1,000 ppm 
by volume on an eight-hour TWA for HFC-134a.
    In terms of cardiotoxicity, HFC-134a is a cardiac sensitizer at 
75,000 ppm with a no observed adverse effect level (NOAEL) of 50,000 
ppm. HFO-1234yf is negative in the cardiac sensitization test at 
exposures of up to 120,000 ppm. (See ``Acute Cardiac Sensitization 
Study of HFO-1234ze and HFO-1234yf in Dogs'' in docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-
0664).
    Ground-level Ozone:
    HFO-1234yf could impact local air quality (LAQ) through formation 
of ground-level ozone. Photochemical ozone creation potential (POCP) 
describes a compound's potential to form ground-level ozone. HFO-1234yf 
has a higher POCP than the predominant MVAC refrigerant, HFC-134a. HFO-
1234yf has a POCP comparable to ethylene; ethylene is an alkene. 
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/Technology 
and Economic Assessment Panel Special Report, alkenes ``have the 
potential to significantly influence ozone formation on the urban and 
regional scales.'' Papadimitriou et al. (2007) indicate that, ``studies 
are needed to quantify the degradation of [HFO-1234yf] under 
atmospheric conditions for OH- and Cl- atom-initiated chemistry to 
fully evaluate the impact of these compounds and their degradation 
products on climate and air quality.''
    An initial assessment says that HFO-1234yf could potentially 
increase ground level ozone by >1-4% in certain areas, which may affect 
attainment with the National Ambient Air Quality Standard for ozone 
(ICF, 2009). The reader should note ground-level ozone formation is 
highly variable and depends on several factors, such as availability of 
chemical inputs, and sunlight and heat. EPA notes that HFO-1234yf is 
defined as a volatile organic compound under Clean Air Act regulations 
(see 40 CFR 51.100(s)) addressing the development of State 
Implementation Plans (SIPs) to attain and maintain the national ambient 
air quality standards. The Agency requests comment on the LAQ impacts 
of HFO-1234yf use as an MVAC refrigerant in the U.S. and globally. The 
Agency would give the greatest weight to peer-reviewed, published 
papers for comments on LAQ impacts. As stated earlier, NOAA's follow-on 
study of HFO-1234yf is expected before the Agency issues a final rule 
on the acceptability of HFO-1234yf under the SNAP Program. In the 
meantime, the Agency requests comment on whether a >1-4% increase in 
ground level ozone is significant.

C. Ecosystem Risks

    See discussion under Atmospheric Effects and Related Health and 
Environmental Impacts.

D. Occupational Risks

    Occupational risks could come about during the manufacture of the 
refrigerant, initial installation of the refrigerant at the car 
assembly plant or servicing of the MVAC system. The

[[Page 53449]]

TSCA New Chemicals Program review of HFO-1234yf determined that 
significant industrial or commercial worker exposure is unlikely due to 
CAA section 609 technician training, the use of CAA section 609 
certified refrigerant handling equipment, and other protective 
measures. Therefore, the proposed manufacture, processing, and use of 
HFO-1234yf are not expected to present an unreasonable risk to workers. 
More details can be found at the New Chemicals Program's docket for 
HFO-1234yf, EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-0918, and in the memorandum, ``Risk 
Assessment: P070601 Reflecting Deliberations and Decisions from the 3/
4/09 Dispo[sition] Meeting'' in dockets EPA-HQ-OAR-2008-0664 and EPA-
HQ-OPPT-2008-0918.
    In regards to flammability, with proper mitigation and training, 
the frequency of exposure to flammable HFO-1234yf concentrations in 
service situations can be managed. Based on feedback from certified 
MVAC service technicians, EPA believes that the flammability potential 
of HFO-1234yf is within the range of other substances that automotive 
service technicians encounter routinely (See docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-
0488-0017). Training, mitigation, and limiting the frequency of 
exposure can reduce any potential risks to the technicians. Input from 
technicians confirms this perspective. Some car manufacturers have 
suggested that new training for HFO-1234yf should be required for all 
MVAC technicians. EPA requests comment on whether additional training 
for service technicians on HFO-1234yf should be required so that they 
are knowledgeable about the different hazards associated with working 
on HFO-1234yf MVAC systems compared to the two systems currently in 
use--i.e., CFC-12 or HFC-134a systems. Any specific training 
requirements would be adopted in a follow-up Section 609 rulemaking. At 
this point, EPA recommends, but does not propose to require, additional 
training and requests input on the need for required training for 
persons using HFO-1234yf in an MVAC service/maintenance/disposal 
scenario.

E. Consumer Risks

    Risks to consumers as vehicle occupants have been evaluated, in the 
context of HFO-1234yf's flammability and toxicity.
    Based on American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-
Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) Standard 34 testing, HFO-1234yf's lower 
flammability limit (LFL) is 6.2% and upper flammability limit is 12.3% 
(Gradient, 2008), making this refrigerant less flammable than HFC-152a, 
the only flammable SNAP-approved MVAC refrigerant. Depending on the 
charge size of an HFO-1234yf MVAC system, which can range from as 
little as 400 grams to as much as 1600 grams (ICF, 2008a), it is 
possible in a worst case scenario to reach a flammable concentration of 
HFO-1234yf inside the passenger compartment.
    In terms of toxicological concerns, the TSCA New Chemicals Program 
review of HFO-1234yf determined that potential consumer (passenger) 
exposure from refrigerant leak into the passenger compartment of a 
vehicle is not expected to present an unreasonable risk. However, 
consumer exposure from filling, servicing, or maintaining MVAC systems 
without professional training and the use of CAA Section 609 certified 
equipment may cause serious health effects. Therefore, to prevent this 
risk EPA is also promulgating a Significant New Use Rule (SNUR) under 
section 5(a)(2) of TSCA (docket EPA-HQ-OPPT-2008-0918). This SNUR would 
require submission of a Significant New Use Notice to EPA at least 90 
days before commencing an activity that is designated as a significant 
new use of HFO-1234yf.

F. Flammability

    The proposed upper limit of occupant exposure to HFO-1234yf 
protects against the possibility of flammability. It is important to 
note that when burned or exposed to high heat, HFO-1234yf like all 
fluorocarbons, including CFC-12 and HFC-134a, forms acid byproducts 
including hydrofluoric acid (HF)--a severe respiratory irritant.\5\ The 
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has set a 
Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL)--8-hour occupational exposure limit--
for HF at 3 ppm which is the upper allowable limit for worker exposure. 
Passenger exposure to HF could occur as a result of a leak in the 
presence of an ignition source. EPA's approach in setting use 
conditions is to prevent any fire risk associated with HFO-1234yf use 
in MVAC systems, which would also prevent any potential passenger 
exposure to HF. EPA understands that there is work currently underway 
that examines the issue of pre-ignition HF formation. If those studies 
indicate the potential for significant pre-ignition HF formation, EPA 
will consider that information in determining how to move forward with 
this proposed rule. Additionally, EPA welcomes any comment on that 
study or other studies of which EPA is not aware that address the 
potential for pre-ignition HF formation.
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    \5\ These decomposition products have a sharp, acrid odor even 
at concentrations of only a few parts per million.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

Flammable Concentrations Inside the Passenger Compartment
    SAE International commissioned a risk assessment of HFO-1234yf in 
MVAC systems (Gradient, 2008) based on the analytical framework 
developed by EPA and the U.S. Army in a 2006 alternative refrigerant 
risk analysis (EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0488-0025.2). The risk assessment 
incorporated the results of computational fluid dynamic (CFD) modeling 
(by DuPont) of an HFO-1234yf leak into the passenger compartment. 
DuPont conducted a limited assessment of refrigerant leakage into the 
passenger compartment by modeling the first 200 seconds of a leak into 
the passenger compartment. Based on their analysis, at least one of 
their simulations (idle vehicle, low fan, 0.5mm orifice leak, and 
recirculation mode), led to exceeding the HFO-1234yf LFL inside the 
passenger compartment. To supplement these results, SAE International 
updated the modeling results with field test assessments of leaking 
refrigerant into the passenger compartment of Renault/PSA/Fiat and 
General Motors medium and small size cars. The test results show that 
there are some scenarios where the LFL was exceeded (Gradient, 2009). 
According to the SAE International risk assessment report, there is ``a 
potential ignition hazard if a smoking-related ignition source is 
present'' (Gradient, 2008). However, the report references a separate 
field study performed by Exponent where an experimental release of HFO-
1234yf was released into the passenger and engine compartment of a 
large vehicle, a 1997 Ford Crown Victoria (Exponent, 2008). In this 
field study, tested releases of HFO-1234yf did not produce 
concentrations above the LFL. However, given the fact that flammable 
conditions can come about in the passenger compartment, particularly in 
medium and small size cars, the Agency believes it is prudent to 
propose a use condition that addresses a possible ignition hazard.
    The Agency requests public comment on the SAE International/DuPont 
and Exponent reports. Specifically, the Agency requests comment on the 
appropriateness of the simulated charge size that was used by each 
report. The SAE International/DuPont report simulated a 2001 Ford Crown 
Victoria with a 691 gram HFO-1234yf charge. The Exponent report used a 
1997 Ford Crown Victoria with a charge size of 693

[[Page 53450]]

grams. The 1997 and 2001 Ford Crown Victorias were originally designed 
with approximately 966 gram and 1097 grams HFC-134a charge size systems 
(MACS, 2005). Honeywell presentations have indicated the HFO-1234yf 
charge size is 90-95% of a HFC-134a charge size (Honeywell, 2008). 
Based on the original refrigerant charge size of these Crown Victorias, 
the HFO-1234yf charge sizes, in both simulations, are not consistent 
with the 90-95% HFC-134a charge sizes described in Honeywell 
presentations and the Crown Victorias are undercharged. Charge size is 
an important element in determining the probability of a flammable 
concentration. EPA requests comment on whether the charge sizes used in 
the DuPont and Exponent simulations are consistent with the actual 
charge sizes that would need to be used in MVAC for these vehicles.
    The Agency also requests comment on the use of a large-size car as 
a worst-case car scenario for a MVAC risk assessment. Based on an 
analysis done in 2004-2005, the EPA/U.S. Army risk assessment (Docket 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2004-0488-0025.2) concluded large passenger cars 
provided the highest ratio of refrigerant charge to interior 
compartment volume, and large passenger cars were broadly 
representative of the world fleet. Since that analysis was performed, 
there is data to indicate the sales of small cars have increased, and 
such sales are likely to continue to increase given a manufacturing 
shift towards smaller cars (ICF, 2008b). A recent analysis showed 
higher ratios of refrigerant charge to interior compartment volume in 
small trucks and two-seaters, compared to the large car used in SAE's 
risk assessment (ICF, 2008a). A higher ratio of refrigerant charge to 
interior compartment volume could lead to more occurrences of flammable 
concentrations.
Flammable Concentrations in the Engine Compartment
    According to the SAE International report, ``the highest value 
measured in the engine compartment (87,000 ppm) suggests a potential 
ignition hazard'' (Gradient, 2008). Although an engine compartment 
field test suggested that it was not possible to ignite HFO-1234yf 
(Dupont 2008), temperatures that could ignite the refrigerant exist on 
the exhaust manifold. Most car manufacturers cover the exhaust manifold 
with a heat shield, but this is not a requirement. EPA requests comment 
on the proposed use condition that requires protective devices under 
the vehicle hood to avoid any flammable concentrations of refrigerant 
coming into the vicinity of hot exhaust manifold surfaces.
    Hybrid and electric vehicle sales in the U.S. have dramatically 
increased over the past decade (ICF, 2008b). To address this change in 
the market, EPA considered the potential for another ignition source 
from the electric power source in hybrid and electric cars that is not 
present with gasoline-only vehicles. According to DuPont and 
Honeywell's Guidelines for Use and Handling of HFO-1234yf, ``isolation 
techniques or other suitable methods should be used to prevent battery 
and power system sparks/arc. In areas where processes, procedures or 
upset conditions such as leaks have the potential to generate flammable 
HFO-1234yf vapor-in-air concentrations in proximity to hybrid vehicle 
electric power sources, isolation and/or ventilation should be used.'' 
(DuPont/Honeywell, 2008).
    In addition, current hybrid vehicles with HFC-134a MVAC systems use 
polyolester (POE) oil as a system lubricant, primarily because 
polyalkylene glycol (PAG) oils are conductive and can lead to shorts. 
It is not clear if HFO-1234yf MVAC systems can work with the POE oil 
that is needed for hybrid vehicles. The EPA requests comment on whether 
the flammability of HFO-1234yf combined with PAG/POE oils may create a 
larger concern under the hood of hybrid and electric vehicles.
    EPA is aware of SAE International activities to develop a standard 
on specific risk mitigation strategies to avoid flammable 
concentrations under the hood. An excerpt from the latest draft of a 
standard that covers this topic is available in the docket. EPA 
requests comment on using such an SAE J standard as a use condition to 
protect against flammable concentrations under the hood. If SAE adopts 
a standard that reflects a different intent than in the current draft 
and if EPA determines to include such a different standard as a use 
condition, EPA would consider whether further comment is needed before 
it issued a final rule with that use condition.
Other Flammable Refrigerants and Risk Mitigation
    Hydrocarbon refrigerants are unacceptable (prohibited) in MVAC 
systems under the SNAP program and are specifically prohibited in 
several states. Hydrocarbons or hydrocarbon blends must not be used in 
HFO-1234yf MVAC systems.
    The use conditions described in this action are specific to HFO-
1234yf and do not apply to other flammable refrigerants. HFO-1234yf is 
less flammable and has a higher LFL than HFC-152a, and the proposed use 
conditions for HFO-1234yf would not be adequate for HFC-152a. However, 
the interior passenger compartment risk mitigation strategies described 
in the HFC-152a proposed and final rules (71 FR 55140 and 73 FR 33304, 
respectively) can be protective risk mitigation strategies for HFO-
1234yf. EPA refers to the previous discussions on HFC-152a risk 
mitigation strategies for manufacturers to consider when deciding what 
risk mitigation strategies might be used if HFO-1234yf is found 
acceptable subject to use conditions.

G. Cost and Availability of the Substitute

    Definitive costs for the refrigerant have not been shared with the 
Agency. Based on estimates from Honeywell and DuPont, the cost of HFO-
1234yf will be, at least initially, approximately $40-60/pound 
(Weissler, 2008). The cost of the refrigerant will depend on several 
factors, including, but not limited to, how much refrigerant will be 
available for sale, the quality of the refrigerant, and where the 
refrigerant is manufactured. The cost of HFO-1234yf will likely be more 
than HFC-134a because the HFO-1234yf manufacturing process requires 
more energy and more steps than HFC-134a.
    The manufacturers of HFO-1234yf state the chemical can be available 
when the market requires it. At the moment there are no dedicated HFO-
1234yf manufacturing plants.

H. Proposed Conclusion on Overall Impacts on Human Health and the 
Environment

    On the whole, EPA proposes that the conditioned use of HFO-1234yf 
does not present a significantly larger risk to human health and the 
environment compared to HFC-134a, the predominant ODS refrigerant 
substitute in passenger vehicle MVAC systems and other SNAP-approved 
MVAC refrigerant alternatives, and in many cases likely poses less 
risk. Use conditions are necessary to address the flammability concerns 
associated with use of HFO-1234yf. If it is determined that there are 
possible atmospheric effects of HFO-1234yf, those would be controlled 
by Clean Air Act Section 608 and Section 609 regulatory requirements 
that prohibit the venting, or release, of refrigerant during the 
service, maintenance and disposal of refrigeration and A/C equipment. 
EPA welcomes comment on this proposal; the Agency prefers peer-
reviewed,

[[Page 53451]]

published papers for supporting documentation on comments concerning 
technical issues.
    The conditions we are proposing for the safe use of HFO-1234yf are 
outlined below.

V. HFO-1234yf MVAC System Proposed Use Conditions

Use Conditions for HFO-1234yf

    EPA proposes to find HFO-1234yf acceptable with use conditions in 
new MVACs as a substitute for CFC-12. This proposed determination is 
limited to MVAC systems on passenger cars and light-duty trucks; this 
proposed determination does not include any other MVAC systems, 
including those on buses, trains, boats, off-road equipment, or other 
vehicles. The submission did not specifically request use in these 
other MVAC systems and the risks associated with these MVAC systems 
have not been evaluated.
    EPA proposes to find HFO-1234yf acceptable with the following use 
conditions:
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must incorporate engineering 
strategies and/or devices so that leaks into the passenger compartment 
do not result in HFO-1234yf concentrations at or above the lower 
flammability limit (LFL) of 6.2% v/v for more than 15 seconds;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must incorporate engineering 
strategies and/or devices so that leaks into the engine compartment or 
vehicle electric power source storage areas do not result in HFO-1234yf 
concentrations at or above the LFL of 6.2% v/v for any period of time;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must incorporate protective 
devices, isolation and/or ventilation techniques in areas where 
processes, procedures or upset conditions such as leaks have the 
potential to generate HFO-1234yf concentrations at or above 6.2% v/v in 
proximity to hybrid/electric vehicle electric power sources and exhaust 
manifold surfaces;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must use unique fittings to be 
identified pursuant to SAE standard J639 and subject to EPA approval;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must include a detailed label 
identifying the refrigerant and that the refrigerant is flammable;
     HFO-1234yf MVAC systems must have a high-pressure 
compressor cutoff switch installed on systems equipped with pressure 
relief devices; and
     Manufacturers must conduct and keep on file Failure Mode 
and Effect Analysis (FMEA) on the MVAC as stated in SAE J1739.
    EPA requests public comment on the proposed use conditions for HFO-
1234yf. Amongst other topics, EPA requests comment on whether interior 
passenger compartment limits to HFO-1234yf should apply only when the 
vehicle ignition is `on.'

General SNAP MVAC Use Conditions

    On October 16, 1996, EPA promulgated a final rule (61 FR 54029) 
establishing certain conditions on the use of any refrigerant used as a 
substitute for CFC-12 in MVAC systems (appendix D to subpart G of 40 
CFR part 82). That rule provides that EPA would list new refrigerant 
substitutes in future notices of acceptability and all such 
refrigerants would be subject to the use conditions stated in that 
rule. Therefore, EPA is establishing a use condition that unique 
fittings must be identified pursuant to SAE standard J639 adopted in 
2009 and approved by EPA.

VI. Additional Information Requested

    The Agency seeks comments on topics related to HFO-1234yf that are 
beyond the scope of this Section 612 proposed rulemaking regarding use 
of HFO-1234yf in new MVAC systems, but which could be relevant to 
future actions on HFO-1234yf as a substitute refrigerant. Please send 
information on any of the following issues to Margaret Sheppard, 
sheppard.margaret@epa.gov.

Retrofit Use of HFO-1234yf

    The Honeywell submission requested SNAP review of HFO-1234yf in new 
MVAC applications only. Honeywell did not petition the Agency to review 
retrofit use of HFO-1234yf. The Agency has not fully evaluated the 
safety issues associated with using HFO-1234yf to service existing CFC-
12 or HFC-134a designed MVAC systems. EPA rules prohibit the use of 
flammable refrigerants in retrofit systems. 40 CFR part 82, subpart 2, 
App. B (61 FR 54029). Any person interested in using HFO-1234yf in 
retrofit systems would need to petition EPA to change the existing 
unacceptable determination. Such an option would require a separate 
SNAP submission and evaluation by EPA. EPA suspects that car 
manufacturers are the best qualified, and likely the only qualified 
entity to undertake such an application given the complexities of going 
to HFO-1234yf. The Agency requests comment on whether retrofit kits can 
effectively meet the requirements identified in this proposal for new 
MVAC systems and if retrofits have a detrimental impact on the MVAC 
system fuel efficiency. The Agency also specifically requests comments 
from car manufacturers on retrofitting existing MVAC systems to HFO-
1234yf.

Retrofitting HFO-1234yf MVAC Systems to Other Alternative Refrigerants

    Individuals, service shops, or manufacturers might consider 
refilling or charging MVAC systems designed for HFO-1234yf with another 
refrigerant. The Agency has not evaluated the safety issues associated 
with retrofitting HFO-1234yf MVAC systems with other MVAC refrigerants 
previously approved under SNAP. Because other refrigerants may be less 
expensive, the Agency is concerned that consumers may consider 
retrofitting HFO-1234yf systems to use other refrigerants. The use 
conditions proposed for HFO-1234yf are specific to the properties of 
this chemical, and would not be protective of fire hazards that may 
come about from, for example, hydrocarbon refrigerant (HCR) that is 
more flammable. HCRs are more flammable than HFO-1234yf. Besides the 
safety concerns of retrofitting to another refrigerant, the practice 
could lead to increased refrigerant emissions because of materials 
compatibility or/and leakage due to hose permeation.
    This practice may come about if the price of HFO-1234yf is high, or 
if there is limited supply of HFO-1234yf. EPA requests comments on this 
type of retrofitting, and provisions that need to be made to address 
this issue, particularly in the context of SNAP's general requirement 
for unique fittings for each unique SNAP listed refrigerant.

VII. Section 609 Requirements for HFO-1234yf

    Service equipment, technician certification and end-of-life 
disposal specifications will be addressed in a follow-on rulemaking(s) 
under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act.

VIII. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review

    Under Executive Order (EO) 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993), 
this action is a ``significant regulatory action.'' It raises novel 
legal or policy issues arising out of legal mandates, the President's 
priorities, or the principles set forth in the Executive Order. 
Accordingly, EPA submitted this action to the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) for review under EO 12866 and any changes made in response 
to OMB recommendations have been documented in the docket for this 
action.

[[Page 53452]]

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden. 
Burden is defined at 5 CFR 1320.3(b). This proposed rule is an Agency 
determination. It contains no new requirements for reporting. The only 
recordkeeping requirement involves customary business practice. The 
Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has previously approved the 
information collection requirements contained in the existing 
regulations in subpart G of 40 CFR part 82 under the provisions of the 
Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned OMB 
control numbers 2060-0226 (EPA ICR No. 1596.05). This Information 
Collection Request (ICR) 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 use restrictions, and record-keeping for small volume uses. This 
proposed rule requires minimal record-keeping of studies done to ensure 
that MVAC systems using HFO-1234yf meet the requirements set forth in 
this rule. Because it is customary business practice that automotive 
systems manufacturers and automobile manufacturing companies conduct 
and keep on file failure mode and effect analysis (FMEA) on any 
potentially hazardous part or system, we believe this requirement will 
not impose an additional paperwork burden.

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 statute 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.
    For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's rule on small 
entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business as defined 
by the Small Business Administration's (SBA) regulations at 13 CFR 
121.201; for NAICS code 336111 (Automobile manufacturing), it is <1000 
employees; for NAICS code 336391 (Motor Vehicle Air-Conditioning 
Manufacturing), it is <750 employees; (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 this proposed rule on 
small entities, we certify that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. This 
proposed rule will not impose any requirements on small entities. The 
requirements of this proposed rule impact car manufacturers and car air 
conditioning system manufacturers only; none of these businesses 
qualify as small entities. Additionally, car manufacturers and car air 
conditioning system manufacturers are not mandated to move to HFO-
1234yf MVAC systems. EPA is simply listing HFO-1234yf as an acceptable 
alternative with use conditions in new MVAC systems. This rule allows 
the use of this alternative to ozone depleting substances in the MVAC 
sector and outlines the conditions necessary for safe use. By approving 
this refrigerant under SNAP, EPA provides additional choice to the 
automotive industry which, if adopted, would reduce the impact of MVACs 
on the global environment. This rulemaking does not mandate the use of 
HFO-1234yf as a refrigerant in new MVACs.
    We continue to be interested in the potential impacts of the 
proposed rule on small entities and welcome comments on issues related 
to such impacts.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This rule does not contain a Federal mandate that may result in 
expenditures of $100 million or more for State, local, and tribal 
governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector in any one year. 
EPA has determined that this rule contains no regulatory requirements 
that might significantly or uniquely affect small governments. This 
regulation applies directly to entities that manufacture MVAC systems 
with the proposed substitute, and not to governmental entities. This 
proposed rule does not mandate a switch to this substitute, but rather 
adds to the list of available substitutes from which a manufacturer may 
choose; consequently, there is no direct economic impact on entities 
from this rulemaking. Also, production-quality HFO-1234yf MVAC systems 
are not manufactured yet. Consequently, no change in business practice 
is required by this proposed rule. This action provides additional 
technical options allowing greater flexibility for industry in 
designing consumer products. Thus, this rule is not subject to the 
requirements of sections 202 or 205 of UMRA.
    This rule is also not subject to the requirements of section 203 of 
UMRA because it contains no regulatory requirements that might 
significantly or uniquely affect small governments. As noted above, 
this proposed regulation would not apply to any governmental entity. 
EPA has determined that this rule does not contain a Federal mandate 
that may result in expenditures of $100 million or more for State, 
local, and tribal governments, in the aggregate, or the private sector 
in any one year.

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 proposal 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 regulation applies directly 
to entities that manufacture MVAC systems with the proposed substitute 
and not to governmental entities. Thus, Executive Order 13132 does not 
apply to this rule.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175 (65 FR 67249, November 9, 2000). This proposed 
rule does not significantly or uniquely affect one or more Indian 
tribes, the relationship between the Federal Government and Indian 
tribes, or the distribution of power and responsibilities between the 
Federal Government and Indian tribes because this regulation applies 
directly to entities that manufacture MVAC systems with the proposed 
substitute and not to governmental entities. Thus, Executive Order 
13175 does not apply to this action.

[[Page 53453]]

    EPA specifically solicits additional comment on this proposed 
action from tribal officials.

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

    This action is not subject to EO 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 
1997) because it is not economically significant as defined in EO 
12866, and because the Agency does not believe the environmental health 
or safety risks addressed by this action present a disproportionate 
risk to children. This action's health and risk assessments are 
contained in Section IV of this proposed rule.
    The public is invited to submit comments or identify peer-reviewed 
studies and data that assess effects of early life exposure to HFO-
1234yf.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not a ``significant energy action'' as defined in 
Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 18355 (May 22, 2001)), because it is not 
likely to have a significant adverse effect on the supply, 
distribution, or use of energy. This action would impact manufacturing 
alternative MVAC systems. Preliminary information indicates that these 
new systems will have similar fuel efficiency compared to currently 
available MVAC systems. Therefore, we conclude that this rule is not 
likely to have any adverse effects on energy supply, distribution or 
use.

I. 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 
its 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. NTTAA directs EPA to 
provide Congress, through OMB, explanations when the Agency decides not 
to use available and applicable voluntary consensus standards.
    This proposed rulemaking involves technical standards. EPA proposes 
to use the SAE International standard J639, which addresses 
requirements for safety and reliability for HFO-1234yf systems. SAE 
International is the international standard setting body for motor 
vehicle requirements. SAE International standards are globally 
recognized and adopted by all major car manufacturers and system 
suppliers. These standards can be obtained from http://www.sae.org/technical/standards/.
    EPA welcomes comments on this aspect of the proposed rulemaking 
and, specifically, invites the public to identify other potentially 
applicable voluntary consensus standards and to explain why such 
standards should be used in this regulation.

J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    Executive Order (EO) 12898 (59 FR 7629 (Feb. 16, 1994)) establishes 
federal executive policy on environmental justice. Its main provision 
directs federal agencies, to the greatest extent practicable and 
permitted by law, to make environmental justice part of their mission 
by identifying and addressing, as appropriate, disproportionately high 
and adverse human health or environmental effects of their programs, 
policies, and activities on minority populations and low-income 
populations in the United States.
    EPA has determined that this proposed rule will not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations because it increases the 
level of environmental protection for all affected populations; HFO-
1234yf is a non ozone-depleting substance with a low GWP. Based on the 
toxicological and atmospheric work described earlier, HFO-1234yf will 
not have any disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on any population, including any minority or low-
income population. This NPRM proposes to require specific use 
conditions for MVAC systems, if car manufacturers chose to make MVAC 
systems using this low GWP refrigerant alternative.

IX. References

    The documents below are referenced in the preamble. All documents 
are located in the Air Docket at the address listed in section titled 
``ADDRESSES'' at the beginning of this document. Unless specified 
otherwise, all documents are available in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2008-0664 at http://www.regulations.gov.

References

Dupont and Honeywell. Guidelines for Use and Handling of HFO-1234yf 
(v8.0).
Exponent. 2008. HFO-1234yf Refrigerant Concentration and Ignition 
Tests in Full-Scale Vehicle Passenger Cabin and Engine Compartment.
Gradient Corporation. 2008. Risk Assessment for Alternative 
Refrigerant HFO-1234yf.
Gradient Corporation. 2009. Risk Assessment for Alternative 
Refrigerants HFO-1234yf and R-744 (CO2).
ICF International. 2008a. Air Conditioning Refrigerant Charge Size 
to Passenger Compartment Volume Ratio Analysis.
ICF International. 2008b. Revised Characterization of U.S. Hybrid 
and Small Car Sales (Historical and Predicted) and Hybrid Vehicle 
Accidents.
ICF International. 2009. Revised Draft Assessment of the Potential 
Impacts of HFO-1234yf and the Associated Production of TFA on 
Aquatic Communities and Local Air Quality.
Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change/Technology & Economic 
Assessment Panel Special Report. 2006. Safeguarding the Ozone Layer 
and the Global Climate System: Issues Related to Hydrofluorocarbons 
and Perfluorocarbons. Available at http://www.ipcc.ch/ipccreports/sroc.htm.
Interior Climate Control Standards Committee of SAE International. 
2009. Excerpt from draft HFO-1234yf Engine Compartment Safety 
Standard.
Minor, B., 2008. CRP-1234: CFD Modeling of a Large Car--Final 
Report.
Mobile Air Conditioning Society Worldwide. 2005. A/C & Cooling 
System Specifications: 1995-2006.
Papadimitriou, V., R.K. Talukdar, R.W. Portmann, A.R. Ravishankara, 
and J.B. Burkholder. 2007. CF3CF=CH2 and (Z)-CF3CF=CHF: Temperature 
dependent OH rate coefficients and global warming potentials. 
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. 9: 1-13.
Scientific Assessment of Ozone Depletion: 2006. World Meteorological 
Organization. Available at http://www.wmo.int/pages/prog/arep/gaw/ozone_2006/ozone_asst_report.html.
United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). 2006. Risk 
Analysis for Alternative Refrigerant in Motor Vehicle Air 
Conditioning.
Weissler, P., 2008. Consensus Building on Refrigerant Type. 
Automotive Engineering International. 9: 30-32.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

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

    Dated: October 13, 2009.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.

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

PART 82--PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE

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


[[Page 53454]]


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

Subpart G--Significant New Alternatives Policy Program

    2. The first table in Appendix B to Subpart G of Part 82 is amended 
by adding one new entry to the end of the table to read as follows:

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

                                Refrigerants-Acceptable Subject To Use Conditions
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          Application                Substitute          Decision            Conditions             Comments
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
CFC-12 Automobile Motor Vehicle  HFO-1234yf as a    Acceptable         Engineering strategies  Additional
 Air Conditioning (New            substitute for     subject to use     and/or devices must     training for
 equipment in passenger cars      CFC-12.            conditions.        be incorporated into    service
 and trucks only).                                                      the system such that    technicians
                                                                        leaks into the free     recommended.
                                                                        space \1\ of the
                                                                        passenger compartment
                                                                        do not result in HFO-
                                                                        1234yf concentrations
                                                                        of 6.2% v/v or above
                                                                        in any part of the
                                                                        free space \1\ inside
                                                                        the passenger
                                                                        compartment for more
                                                                        than 15 seconds.
                                                                       Engineering strategies  Observe Pre-
                                                                        and/or devices must     manufacture
                                                                        be incorporated into    Notice (PMN)
                                                                        the system such that    regulatory
                                                                        leaks into the engine   decision.
                                                                        compartment or
                                                                        vehicle electric
                                                                        power source storage
                                                                        areas do not result
                                                                        in HFO-1234yf
                                                                        concentrations of
                                                                        6.2% v/v or above for
                                                                        any period of time.
                                                                       HFO-1234yf MVAC
                                                                        systems must
                                                                        incorporate
                                                                        protective devices,
                                                                        isolation and/or
                                                                        ventilation
                                                                        techniques in areas
                                                                        where processes,
                                                                        procedures or upset
                                                                        conditions such as
                                                                        leaks have the
                                                                        potential to generate
                                                                        HFO-1234yf
                                                                        concentrations at or
                                                                        above 6.2% v/v in
                                                                        proximity to exhaust
                                                                        manifold surfaces and
                                                                        hybrid/electric
                                                                        vehicle electric
                                                                        power sources.
                                                                       Manufacturers must
                                                                        adhere to all the
                                                                        safety requirements
                                                                        listed in the Society
                                                                        of Automotive
                                                                        Engineers (SAE)
                                                                        Standard J639
                                                                        (adopted 2009),
                                                                        including unique
                                                                        fittings and
                                                                        flammable refrigerant
                                                                        warning label and
                                                                        high-pressure
                                                                        compressor cutoff
                                                                        switch and pressure
                                                                        relief devices.
                                                                       Manufacturers must
                                                                        conduct and keep on
                                                                        file Failure Mode and
                                                                        Effect Analysis
                                                                        (FMEA) on the MVAC as
                                                                        stated in SAE J1739
                                                                        (adopted 2009).
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
 \1\ Free space is defined as the space inside the passenger compartment excluding the space enclosed by the
  ducting in the HVAC module.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. E9-25106 Filed 10-16-09; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P