[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 23 (Friday, February 3, 2012)]
[Notices]
[Pages 5514-5516]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-2442]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0927; FRL-9626-8]


Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases: Notice of Preliminary 
Determinations Regarding Requests To Use Provisional Global Warming 
Potentials Under the Fluorinated Gas Production Category of the 
Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Notice of data availability and request for comment.

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SUMMARY: The EPA is announcing and explaining to the public its 
preliminary determinations regarding requests to use provisional global 
warming potentials for eight fluorinated greenhouse gases submitted by 
DuPont de Nemours, Inc. and Honeywell International for purposes of 
certain calculations in the Fluorinated Gas Production portion of the 
Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule. EPA's preliminary 
determination is that the requests for seven of the eight fluorinated 
GHGs meet the requirements of the rule.

DATES: Comments must be received on or before February 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2009-0927, by one of the following methods:
     Federal eRulemaking Portal: http://www.regulations.gov: 
Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
     Email: GHGReportingRule@epa.gov.
     Fax: (202) 566-1741.
     Mail: EPA Docket Center, Attention Docket OAR-2009-0927, 
Mail code: 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460.
     Hand Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Public Reading Room, 
Room 3334, EPA West Building, Attention Docket EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0927, 
1301 Constitution Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004. 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-
2009-0927. 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. 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 email comment directly to EPA without 
going through http://www.regulations.gov your email 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 EPA's Docket Center, 
Public Reading Room, EPA West Building, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution 
Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20004. This Docket Facility is open from 
8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding legal 
holidays. The Docket 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: Deborah Ottinger, Climate Change 
Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (MC-6207J), Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW., Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: (202) 343-9149; fax number: (202) 343-2342; email 
address: ottinger.deborah@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION:

I. General Information

A. Does this notice apply to me?

    This notice applies to five facilities considered to be fluorinated 
gas production facilities under subpart L (Fluorinated Gas Production) 
of the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting rule (40 CFR part 98). These 
facilities are Honeywell International's Buffalo Research Laboratory 
and DuPont's Fayetteville, North Carolina; Deepwater, New Jersey; 
Washington Works, West Virginia; and Eldorado, Arkansas facilities. 
This notice may also be of interest to members of the public with 
knowledge of or interest in the estimation of global warming 
potentials.

B. What is this notice about?

    This notice announces and explains to the public EPA's preliminary 
determinations regarding the provisional global warming potentials 
(GWPs) for eight fluorinated greenhouse gases (GHGs) submitted by E. 
DuPont de Nemours, Inc. (DuPont) and Honeywell International 
(Honeywell) for the purposes of the calculations in 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1) 
(a provision of subpart L of the Mandatory Greenhouse Gas Reporting 
rule). EPA's preliminary determination is that the requests for seven 
of the eight fluorinated GHGs meet the requirements of the rule. As 
discussed further below, the calculations in 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1) are 
used to determine whether a facility must use stack testing to 
establish an emission factor for a continuous process vent. For 
continuous process vents that are calculated to emit less than 10,000 
metric tons carbon-dioxide equivalent (mtCO2e) annually, 
facilities have the option to use engineering calculations rather than 
stack testing to establish an emission factor.

C. What information is EPA making available for review and comment?

    EPA is making available for review and comment provisional GWPs for 
fluorinated GHGs submitted by Dupont and Honeywell for the purposes of 
the calculations in 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1). EPA is also making available 
to the public the underlying materials in the submitted requests that 
were used to estimate the provisional GWPs, and EPA's analysis of those 
materials.

D. Where can I get more information?

    All of the information can be obtained through the Docket and at 
http://www.regulations.gov (see ADDRESSES section above for docket 
contact information).

[[Page 5515]]

E. Submitting Confidential Business Information (CBI).

    Do not submit information you are claiming as CBI to EPA through 
http://www.regulations.gov or email. Clearly mark the part of the 
information that you claim to be CBI. Information so marked will not be 
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CFR part 
2. For CBI information in a disk or CD-ROM that you mail to EPA, mark 
the outside of the disk or CD-ROM as CBI and then identify 
electronically within the disk or CD-ROM the specific information that 
is claimed as CBI. In addition to one complete version of the comment 
that includes information claimed as CBI, a copy of the comment that 
does not contain the information claimed as CBI must be submitted for 
inclusion in the public docket.

II. Background

    Under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1), fluorinated gas producers that wish to 
use 40 CFR 98.123(c) (the Emission Factor Method or Emission 
Calculation Factor Method) to estimate emissions from a continuous 
process must make a preliminary estimate of the annual carbon dioxide 
equivalent (CO2e) emissions of fluorinated GHGs from each 
process vent. They are required to do so using the engineering 
calculations or assessments specified in the rule. If the preliminary 
estimate indicates that a vent emits 10,000 mtCO2e or more 
annually, facilities must use stack testing to establish an emission 
factor for that vent. If the preliminary estimate indicates that a vent 
emits less than 10,000 mtCO2e annually, facilities may use 
engineering calculations or assessments to establish an emission 
calculation factor.
    Under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(v), to convert the fluorinated GHG 
emissions to CO2e, fluorinated gas producers must use 
Equation A-1 of 40 CFR 98.2. For fluorinated GHGs whose GWPs are not 
listed in Table A-1 to subpart A of part 98, producers must use a 
default GWP of 2,000 unless they submit a request to use other GWPs for 
those fluorinated GHGs in that process under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi), 
and EPA approves that request.
    Under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi), fluorinated gas producers may submit 
a request to use a GWP other than 2,000 for fluorinated GHGs whose GWPs 
are not listed in Table A-1 to subpart A if their process vent emits 
one or more fluorinated GHGs (1) whose GWPs are not listed in Table A-1 
to subpart A, (2) that are emitted in quantities that, with a default 
GWP of 2,000, result in total calculated annual emissions equal to or 
greater than 10,000 metric tons CO2e for the vent, and (3) 
that they believe have GWPs that would result in total calculated 
annual emissions less than 10,000 metric tons CO2e.
    Under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi)(B), EPA reviews each request to 
determine whether it is complete, substantiates each of the provisional 
GWPs, and demonstrates that the process vents are calculated to emit 
less than 10,000 metric tons CO2e of fluorinated GHGs only 
when the proposed provisional GWPs, not the default GWP of 2,000, are 
used for the fluorinated GHGs for which the provisional GWPs are 
requested. If EPA makes a preliminary determination that each of these 
criteria is met, EPA publishes a notice for public comment including 
the determination and the data and analysis submitted by the producers 
under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi)(A)(1) through (3).
    Under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi)(A)(1) through (3), fluorinated gas 
producers must include the following information in the request for 
each fluorinated GHG that does not have a GWP listed in Table A-1 to 
subpart A of part 98 and that constitutes more than one percent by mass 
of the stream emitted from the vent:
    (1) The identity of the fluorinated GHG, including its chemical 
formula and, if available, CAS number.
    (2) The estimated GWP of the fluorinated GHG.
    (3) The data and analysis that supports the estimate of the GWP of 
the fluorinated GHG, including:
    (i) Data and analysis related to the low-pressure gas phase 
infrared absorption spectrum of the fluorinated GHG.
    (ii) Data and analysis related to the estimated atmospheric 
lifetime of the fluorinated GHG (reaction mechanisms and rates, 
including for example, photolysis and reaction with atmospheric 
components such as hydroxyl radicals (OH), ozone (O3), 
carbon monoxide (CO), and water).
    (iii) The radiative transfer analysis that integrates the lifetime 
and infrared absorption spectrum data to calculate the GWP.
    (iv) Any published or unpublished studies of the GWP of the gas.

A. Requests to Use Provisional GWPs

    On February 25, 2011, Honeywell requested to use provisional GWPs 
for two fluorinated GHGs for the purposes of the calculations in 
paragraph (c)(1) of 40 CFR 98.123. Honeywell requested to use 
provisional (i.e., lower) GWPs for two commercial chemicals produced at 
their Buffalo Research Laboratory: HFC-1234ze and HFC-1234yf. Honeywell 
included published scientific papers and other information to fulfill 
the requirements under paragraphs (c)(1)(vi)(A)(1) through (3) of 40 
CFR 98.123.
    On February 28, 2011, DuPont requested to use provisional GWPs for 
six fluorinated GHGs for the purposes of calculations in 40 CFR 
98.123(c)(1). DuPont requested to use provisional (i.e., lower) GWPs 
for six chemicals at DuPont plant sites subject to subpart L: 
hexafluoropropylene (HFP), perfluoromethyl vinyl ether (PMVE), 
tetrafluoroethylene (TFE), 3,3,3-trifluoropropene (TFP), vinyl fluoride 
(VF), and vinylidine fluoride (VF2). For each chemical, DuPont included 
peer-reviewed scientific data and other information to fulfill the 
requirements under paragraphs (c)(1)(vi)(A)(1) through (3).

B. Preliminary Determinations and Their Rationale

    In accordance with 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi)(B), EPA reviewed the 
requests from both Honeywell and DuPont to determine whether each was 
complete, substantiated each of the provisional GWPs, and demonstrated 
that the process vents were calculated to emit less than 10,000 metric 
tons CO2e of fluorinated GHGs only when the proposed 
provisional GWPs, not the default GWP of 2,000, were used for the 
fluorinated GHGs for which the provisional GWPs were requested.
    EPA made a preliminary determination that each of these criteria 
was met for the requests submitted by both Honeywell and DuPont, with 
one exception. The exception was for HFC-1234yf, which was emitted in 
quantities that, with a default GWP of 2,000, resulted in total 
calculated annual emissions of less than 10,000 mtCO2e. 
Because the calculated emissions did not meet the threshold criterion, 
EPA is not evaluating the provisional GWP for HFC-1234yf in this 
action. EPA notes, however, that the provisional GWP submitted by 
Honeywell is the same as the GWP recognized in other EPA final actions 
(e.g., March 29, 2011; 76 FR 17488). EPA will consider this information 
in future updates to Table A-1 of 40 CFR part 98.
    The remainder of this section includes a summary of the 
determination and the data and analysis submitted by the producers 
under 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi)(A)(1) through (3).
    EPA's preliminary determination included review of the submitted 
information by a leading subject matter expert on GWP estimation who 
was also a co-developer of the GWP concept. EPA concluded that the 
methods overall

[[Page 5516]]

were likely to overestimate GWPs (maybe by an order of magnitude or 
more) rather than underestimate them. Because 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1) 
allows the use of engineering calculations only when estimated 
emissions fall below 10,000 metric tons CO2e, an 
overestimated GWP is considered acceptable by EPA in the context of 40 
CFR 98.123(c)(1). Therefore, the conclusion of EPA's review was that 
the background information was adequate and that it justified the use 
of the alternative GWPs in the context of 40 CFR 98.123(c)(1)(vi).
    The overestimation of the GWPs submitted by both Honeywell and 
DuPont results from the fact that the commonly-used estimation 
techniques employed in the analyses cited by both companies use 
simplifying assumptions that are not fully applicable to compounds that 
are short-lived in the atmosphere--defined here as any compound with an 
atmospheric lifetime less than 1 year. (All of the compounds for which 
provisional GWPs were requested are short-lived based on this 
definition.) Essentially, the estimation techniques assume that the 
compounds are well-mixed in the atmosphere, but short-lived compounds 
do not last long enough to become well mixed (i.e., spread evenly over 
all longitudes, latitudes, and altitudes). Instead, their 
concentrations decrease rapidly with distance from their emission 
point, particularly with changing latitude and altitude.
    The assumption that the compounds are well mixed affects the 
estimates of both of the primary components of GWPs: Atmospheric 
lifetime and radiative forcing. In the analyses cited by the companies, 
atmospheric lifetimes are estimated either by assuming that the short-
lived compound is exposed to the global average concentration of 
hydroxyl radicals (OH) or by deriving the lifetime of the short-lived 
(i.e., not well mixed) compound from the known lifetime of a long-lived 
(i.e., well mixed) reference compound based on the compounds' 
respective reaction rates with OH. Both approaches are likely to 
overestimate the lifetime (and therefore the GWP) of the short-lived 
compound because they essentially assume that the concentration of the 
short-lived compound remains constant with altitude. This overestimates 
the share of the short-lived compound that resides higher in the 
atmosphere, where lower OH concentrations, temperatures, and pressures 
slow reaction rates and lengthen lifetimes. Radiative forcing is also 
estimated based on the assumption that the concentration of the short-
lived compound remains constant with altitude. This assumption is 
likely to overestimate the radiative forcing (and therefore the GWP) of 
short-lived compounds because, again, it overestimates the share of the 
short-lived compound that resides higher in the atmosphere. GHGs higher 
in the atmosphere (i.e., near the tropopause) are responsible for more 
radiative forcing than the same GHGs lower in the atmosphere. (As 
discussed in the Supporting Analysis, this is related to the fact that 
temperatures near the tropopause are lower than those at the surface.) 
Together, these assumptions may result in overestimates of the GWP by a 
factor of ten or more. The rationale for EPA's preliminary 
determination is discussed in more detail in the Supporting Analysis, 
which is available in the docket.
    The provisional GWPs are shown in Table 1.

     Table 1--Provisional Global Warming Potentials for Fluorinated
 Greenhouse Gases for Which EPA Has Made Preliminary Determinations That
All Approval Criteria Have Been Met for the Purposes of the Calculations
                      in 98.123(c)(1) of Subpart L
------------------------------------------------------------------------
         Fluorinated GHG                CAS No.         Provisional GWP
------------------------------------------------------------------------
HFC-1234ze.......................         29118-24-9                6
Hexafluoropropylene (HFP)........           116-15-4                0.25
Perfluoromethyl vinyl ether                1187-93-5                3
 (PMVE)..........................
Tetrafluoroethylene (TFE)........           116-14-3                0.02
Trifluoro propene (TFP)..........           677-21-4                3
Vinyl fluoride (VF)..............            75-02-5                0.7
Vinylidine fluoride (VF2)........            75-38-7                0.9
------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA will review public comment on this notice prior to taking final 
action on its preliminary determinations. The final determinations will 
be placed in the docket for this action.

    Dated: January 27, 2012.
Sarah Dunham,
Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs.
[FR Doc. 2012-2442 Filed 2-2-12; 8:45 am]
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