[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 58 (Monday, March 26, 2012)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 17344-17351]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-6916]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0776; FRL-9651-3]
RIN-2060-AR20


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Amendment to HFO-1234yf SNAP 
Rule for Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning Sector

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Direct final rule.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is taking 
direct final action to revise one of the use conditions required for 
use of hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-1234yf (2,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene), 
a substitute for ozone-depleting substances (ODSs) in the motor vehicle 
air conditioning end-use within the refrigeration and air conditioning 
sector, to be acceptable subject to use conditions under EPA's 
Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The revised use 
condition incorporates by reference a revised standard from SAE 
International.

DATES: This rule is effective on May 21, 2012 without further notice, 
unless EPA receives adverse comment or receives a request for a public 
hearing by April 23, 2012. If we receive adverse comment or a request 
for a public hearing, we will publish a timely withdrawal in the 
Federal Register informing the public that all or part of this rule 
will not take effect. The incorporation by reference of certain 
publications listed in the rule is approved by the Director of the 
Federal Register as of May 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA- HQ-
OAR- 2011-0776 by one of the following methods:
     www.regulations.gov: Follow the on-line instructions for 
submitting comments.
     Email: Comments may be sent by electronic mail (email) to 
a-and-r-

[[Page 17345]]

docket@epa.gov, Attention EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0776.
     Mail: OAR Docket and Information Center, U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode 6102T, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. 
NW., Washington, DC 20460. To expedite review, a second copy of the 
comments should be sent to Margaret Sheppard at the address listed 
below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.
     Hand Delivery: Air and Radiation Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, 
Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. 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-2011-
0776. EPA's policy is that all comments received will be included in 
the public docket without change and may be made available online at 
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 www.regulations.gov or email. The 
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 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. For additional 
information about EPA's public docket, visit the EPA Docket Center 
homepage at http://www.epa.gov/epahome/dockets.htm.
    Docket: All documents in the docket are listed in the 
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 
through www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation 
Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC. The Public Reading Room 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 and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.
    EPA has established a public docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-0776. All documents in the docket are listed on the 
www.regulations.gov Web site. 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, is not placed on the Internet and will be 
publicly available only in hard copy form. Publicly available docket 
materials are available either electronically through 
www.regulations.gov or in hard copy at the Air and Radiation Docket, 
EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, 
DC. The Public Reading Room 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 and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION 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; email address at sheppard.margaret@epa.gov. The published 
versions of notices and rulemakings under the SNAP program are 
available on EPA's Stratospheric Ozone Web site at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regs. The full list of SNAP decisions in all industrial 
sectors is available at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: EPA is publishing this rule without a prior 
proposed rule because we view this as a noncontroversial action and 
anticipate no adverse comment. We are revising an existing use 
condition for hydrofluoroolefin (HFO)-1234yf (2,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-
1-ene) in motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) by incorporating by 
reference an updated edition of a standard from SAE International and 
clarifying the scope of the use condition. EPA previously listed HFO-
1234yf as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for use in MVAC 
systems in new passenger cars and light-duty trucks (March 29, 2011; 76 
FR 17488). This action does not place any significant burden on the 
regulated community and ensures consistency with standard industry 
practices.
    In the ``Proposed Rules'' section of today's Federal Register, we 
are publishing a separate document that will serve as the proposed rule 
to revise a use condition for HFO-1234yf in MVAC to incorporate by 
reference an updated standard and clarify the scope of the use 
condition, if adverse comments are received or a public hearing is 
requested on this direct final rule. We will not institute a second 
comment period on this action. Any parties interested in commenting 
must do so at this time. For further information about commenting on 
this rule, see the ADDRESSES section of this document. If EPA receives 
adverse comment or a request for a public hearing, we will publish a 
timely withdrawal in the Federal Register informing the public that 
this direct final rule will not take effect. We would address all 
public comments in any subsequent final rule based on the proposed 
rule.
    You may claim that information in your comments is confidential 
business information (CBI), as allowed by 40 CFR Part 2. If you submit 
comments and include information that you claim as CBI, we request that 
you submit them directly to Margaret Sheppard at the address under FOR 
FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 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. This information will remain confidential unless EPA determines, 
in accordance with 40 CFR part 2, subpart B, that the information is 
not subject to protection as CBI.

Table of Contents

I. Does this action apply to me?
II. How and why is EPA revising a use condition for HFO-1234yf in 
MVAC?
    A. Revised Standard SAE J2844
    B. Clarification of Scope of Requirement for Unique Fittings on 
Refrigerant Containers
III. How does the SNAP program work?
    A. What are the statutory requirements and authority for the 
SNAP program?
    B. What are EPA's regulations implementing section 612?

[[Page 17346]]

    C. How do the regulations for the SNAP program work?
    D. Where can I get additional information about the SNAP 
program?
IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews
    A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and 
Executive Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory 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 Risks 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
    K. Congressional Review Act

I. Does this action apply to me?

    This final rule regulates the use of the chemical HFO-1234yf 
(2,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene, Chemical Abstracts Service Registry 
Number [CAS Reg. No.] 754-12-1) as a refrigerant in new motor vehicle 
air conditioning (MVAC) systems in new passenger cars and light-duty 
trucks. Businesses in this end-use that might want to use HFO-1234yf in 
new MVAC systems in the future include:

 Automobile manufacturers
 Automobile repair shops

    Regulated entities may include:

    Table 1--Potentially Regulated Entities, by North American Industrial Classification System (NAICS) Code
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               Category                    NAICS  code                Description of regulated entities
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Industry.............................  336111               Automobile Manufacturing.
Services.............................  811111               General Automotive Repair.
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This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather a guide 
regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action. If you have 
any questions about whether this action applies to a particular entity, 
consult the person listed in the preceding section, FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT.

II. How and why is EPA revising a use condition for HFO-1234yf in MVAC?

    EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program has a 
long-standing approach of requiring unique fittings for use with each 
refrigerant substitute for CFC-12 in MVAC systems. This is intended to 
prevent cross-contamination of different refrigerants, preserve the 
purity of recycled refrigerants, and ultimately to avoid venting of 
refrigerant. In the 1996 SNAP rule requiring the use of fittings on all 
refrigerants submitted for the use in MVAC systems, EPA urged industry 
to develop mechanisms to ensure that the refrigerant venting 
prohibition under Clean Air Act (CAA) Section 608 and 40 CFR 82.154 is 
observed (61 FR 54032; October 16, 1996). EPA has issued multiple rules 
codified in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) requiring the use of 
fittings unique to a refrigerant for use on ``containers of the 
refrigerant, on can taps, on recovery, recycling, and charging 
equipment, and on all [motor vehicle] air conditioning system service 
ports.'' (See, e.g., appendices C and D to subpart G of 40 CFR part 82)
    On March 29, 2011, EPA listed HFO-1234yf as acceptable, subject to 
use conditions, for use in MVAC systems in new passenger cars and 
light-duty trucks (76 FR 17488). The use conditions contain two 
requirements for unique fittings to be used with the refrigerant 
containers for HFO-1234yf. First, the rule requires the use of the 
unique fittings, specified in SAE International \1\ (herein after, SAE) 
standard J639 (February 2011 edition), for use on the MVAC high-side 
and low-side service ports. Second, the rule requires use of fittings 
consistent with SAE J2844 (February 2011 edition) for connections with 
refrigerant containers of 20 lbs (9L) or greater. The March 2011 final 
rule does not allow for use of HFO-1234yf with small can taps because 
the refrigerant manufacturer had not submitted such fittings for EPA's 
review and no industry standards address fittings appropriate for use 
with small cans or containers of refrigerant (i.e., less than 5 lbs). 
(76 FR 17494-17495)
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    \1\ Formerly, the Society of Automotive Engineers.
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    In this direct final rule, we are revising the requirement for the 
unique fitting (also known as a connection or coupler) to be used with 
large refrigerant containers. The new requirement is that containers of 
HFO-1234yf for use in professional servicing \2\ of MVAC systems must 
be used with fittings consistent with SAE J2844 (October 2011 edition). 
The fitting provided in the October 2011 edition of SAE J2844 is a 
left-handed screw valve with a diameter of 0.5 inches and Acme 
(trapezoidal) thread with 16 threads per inch. We are clarifying that 
this unique fitting requirement applies only to containers of HFO-
1234yf for professional servicing of MVAC systems and does not apply to 
containers for industrial transfers, e.g., within a chemical 
manufacturing company or for delivery to automobile manufacturers, 
which use containers larger than 50 lbs or 23 L.
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    \2\ Consistent with Subpart B to 40 CFR Part 82, professional 
servicing involves being paid to perform service, whether it is for 
cash, credit, goods or services.
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    EPA recognizes that the fitting in the October 2011 edition of SAE 
J2844 is not ``unique'' in its direction and diameter, as per the 
criteria for uniqueness mentioned in appendix H to subpart G of 40 CFR 
part 82. However, the Acme thread has a trapezoidal shape that makes it 
impossible to cross-connect this fitting with others already identified 
with the same thread direction and diameter which use different shaped 
thread. Therefore, we find this fitting to be unique, and we are 
allowing its use on refrigerant containers of HFO-1234yf used for 
professional servicing.

A. Revised Standard SAE J2844

    SAE International first established the standard SAE J2844, ``R-
1234yf (HFO-1234yf) New Refrigerant Purity and Container Requirements 
for Use in Mobile Air-Conditioning Systems'' in February 2011. Shortly 
thereafter, the committee responsible for this standard decided that 
revisions to the standard were appropriate (June 13, 2011 Letter from 
K. Horen, Honeywell). In particular, the committee decided that the 
original ``quick-connect'' type fitting addressed in the February 2011 
edition of SAE J2844 for refrigerant containers for servicing should be 
replaced by a screw-type valve. Quick-connect fittings are more likely 
to become dislodged and to release refrigerant without warning to the 
service technician. In contrast, if a screw-type valve is not properly

[[Page 17347]]

connected and is releasing refrigerant, there is an audible hiss of 
released refrigerant that may give warning to a service technician. SAE 
revised the J2844 standard in October 2011 to specify a different, 
screw-type valve fitting for refrigerant containers to be used for MVAC 
servicing.
    We believe that incorporating the revised industry standard is 
consistent with the Clean Air Act and, as described above, we believe 
that the fitting in the revised industry standard is unique even though 
it does not meet all of the criteria specified in appendix H to subpart 
G of 40 CFR part 82. Further, the new fittings adopted in the revised 
standard may have an environmental benefit by reducing the chance that 
an entire container of refrigerant could leak without detection. 
Therefore, we are revising the use condition to reference the October 
2011 edition of the SAE J2844 standard for purposes of the fittings for 
large containers of HFO-1234yf for use in professional servicing.

B. Clarification of Scope of Requirement for Unique Fittings on 
Refrigerant Containers

    During implementation of the March 2011 final rule, manufacturers 
of the refrigerant HFO-1234yf contacted EPA, asking for clarification 
of the fitting requirement for refrigerant containers. One manufacturer 
stated, based on its understanding, that this requirement was for 
containers for ``professional service or service for consideration'' 
and asked for clarification of this point (June 22, 2011 Letter from S. 
Bernhardt, Honeywell). Further, the manufacturer stated that, for 
cylinders greater than 50 lbs, it planned to use a specific fitting 
approved by the Cylinder Gas Association (CGA 670 fitting), and for 
cylinders greater than 450 lbs, industrial fittings would be used (June 
13, 2011 Letter from K. Horen, Honeywell). Manufacturers expressed 
concerns that the quick-connect fitting in SAE standard J2844 (February 
2011 edition) incorporated by reference in the final rule was not 
robust enough to use with large refrigerant containers, particularly 
containers used for industrial transfer or for bulk packing sent to 
automobile manufacturers for initial filling of MVAC systems.
    In this direct final rule, we clarify that the requirement for the 
unique fittings on refrigerant containers of HFO-1234yf applies to 
containers for use for professional servicing. In the ``Further 
Information'' column of our decision, we state that, for HFO-1234yf, 
refrigerant containers for use in professional servicing are from 5 lbs 
to 50 lbs in size. Based on information from the refrigerant 
manufacturer, containers larger than 50 lbs would not be intended for 
use in professional servicing (June 13, 2011 Letter from K. Horen, 
Honeywell). We expect that refrigerant containers for HFO-1234yf larger 
than 50 lbs, with a volume larger than 23 liters, are used for 
transport and industrial transfer of refrigerant, rather than for 
servicing. Under section 4.1.1.2 of SAE J2844 (October 2011 edition), 
such cylinders are required to ``comply with the fitting requirements 
specified by applicable transportation rules and laws.''
    EPA's concerns at the time it first established the requirement for 
unique fittings for MVAC substitutes were (1) the potential for cross-
contamination of refrigerant due to mixing and (2) the need for purity 
of recycled refrigerant (61 FR 54033). We are also concerned about 
unintended incentives for intentional venting because contaminated 
refrigerant would no longer be of economic value and because separation 
or destruction of cross-contaminated refrigerant costs more than 
venting. These are concerns that primarily are implicated during 
servicing of the MVAC system. It is far more likely that a technician 
might intentionally or unintentionally try to charge equipment with a 
different refrigerant during servicing of an MVAC system than that 
someone would transfer a refrigerant to a very large container (i.e., 
larger than 50 lbs) containing a different refrigerant. Thus, we 
clarify that the requirement for a unique fitting for containers of 
HFO-1234yf applies to containers to be used for professional servicing 
(sizes of 5 to 50 lbs).
    Finally, we note that our final rule listing HFO-1234yf as 
acceptable subject to use conditions did not apply to small containers. 
The refrigerant manufacturer would need to submit a unique fitting 
specifically for use with small can taps and small refrigerant 
containers before EPA could determine whether to find use of such small 
containers acceptable under SNAP. In addition, such containers could 
not be sold until a significant new use notice is submitted to EPA, 
consistent with EPA's final significant new use rule for HFO-1234yf 
under the Toxic Substances Control Act (October 27, 2010; 75 FR 65987).

III. How does the SNAP program work?

A. What are the statutory requirements and authority for the SNAP 
program?

    CAA Section 612 requires EPA to develop a program for evaluating 
alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (ODS). EPA refers to this 
program as the SNAP program. The major provisions of Section 612 are:
1. Rulemaking
    Section 612(c) requires EPA to promulgate rules making it unlawful 
to replace any class I substance (i.e., chlorofluorocarbon, halon, 
carbon tetrachloride, methyl chloroform, methyl bromide, and 
hydrobromofluorocarbon) or class II substance (i.e., 
hydrochlorofluorocarbon) 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.
2. 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 is found at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/lists/index.html 
and the lists of substitutes that are ``unacceptable,'' ``acceptable 
subject to use conditions,'' and ``acceptable subject to narrowed use 
limits'' are in subpart G of 40 CFR part 82.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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

[[Page 17348]]

such substances in key commercial applications.
6. 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. What are 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 (subpart G of 40 CFR 
part 82). These sectors--refrigeration and air conditioning; foam 
blowing; cleaning solvents; fire suppression and explosion protection; 
sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings and inks; and tobacco 
expansion--are the principal industrial sectors that historically 
consumed the largest volumes of ODS.
    CAA Section 612 requires EPA to ensure that substitutes found 
acceptable do not present a significantly greater risk to human health 
and the environment than other substitutes that are currently or 
potentially available.

C. How do the regulations for the SNAP program work?

    Under the SNAP regulations, anyone who plans to market or produce a 
substitute to replace a class I substance or class II substance in one 
of the eight major industrial use sectors must provide notice to the 
Agency, including health and safety information on the substitute, at 
least 90 days before introducing it into interstate commerce for 
significant new use as an alternative. This requirement applies to the 
persons planning to introduce the substitute into interstate 
commerce,\3\ which typically are chemical manufacturers, but may also 
include importers, formulators, equipment manufacturers, or end-
users.\4\ The regulations identify certain narrow exemptions from the 
notification requirement, such as research and development and test 
marketing (40 CFR 82.176(b)(4) and (5), respectively).
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    \3\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.104, ``interstate commerce'' means 
the distribution or transportation of any product between one state, 
territory, possession or the District of Columbia, and another 
state, territory, possession or the District of Columbia, or the 
sale, use or manufacture of any product in more than one state, 
territory, possession or District of Columbia. The entry points for 
which a product is introduced into interstate commerce are the 
release of a product from the facility in which the product was 
manufactured, the entry into a warehouse from which the domestic 
manufacturer releases the product for sale or distribution, and at 
the site of United States Customs clearance.
    \4\ As defined at 40 CFR 82.172, ``end-use'' means processes or 
classes of specific applications within major industrial sectors 
where a substitute is used to replace an ODS.
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    The Agency has identified four possible decision categories for 
substitutes that are submitted for evaluation: acceptable; acceptable 
subject to use conditions; acceptable subject to narrowed use limits; 
and unacceptable (40 CFR 82.180(b)). Use conditions and narrowed use 
limits are both considered ``use restrictions'' and are explained in 
the paragraphs below. Substitutes that are deemed acceptable with no 
use restrictions (no use conditions or narrowed use limits) can be used 
for all applications within the relevant end-uses within the sector.
    After reviewing a substitute, the Agency may determine that a 
substitute is acceptable only if certain conditions in the way that the 
substitute is used are met to minimize risks to human health and the 
environment. EPA describes such substitutes as ``acceptable subject to 
use conditions.'' Entities that use these substitutes without meeting 
the associated use conditions are in violation of EPA's SNAP 
regulations.
    For some substitutes, the Agency may permit a narrowed range of use 
within an end-use or sector. For example, the Agency may limit the use 
of a substitute to certain end-uses or specific applications within an 
industry sector. EPA describes these substitutes as ``acceptable 
subject to narrowed use limits.'' The Agency requires the user of a 
narrowed-use substitute to demonstrate that no other acceptable 
substitutes are available for the specific application by conducting 
comprehensive studies. A person using a substitute that is acceptable 
subject to narrowed use limits in applications and end-uses that are 
not consistent with the narrowed use limit is using the substitute in 
an unacceptable manner and is in violation of Section 612 of the CAA 
and EPA's SNAP regulations.
    The Agency publishes its SNAP program decisions in the Federal 
Register (FR). EPA publishes decisions concerning substitutes that are 
deemed acceptable subject to use restrictions (use conditions and/or 
narrowed use limits), or for substitutes deemed unacceptable, as 
proposed rulemakings to provide the public with an opportunity to 
comment, before publishing final decisions.
    In contrast, EPA publishes decisions concerning substitutes that 
are deemed acceptable with no restrictions in ``notices of 
acceptability,'' rather than as proposed and final rules. As described 
in the March 18, 1994, rule initially implementing the SNAP program, 
EPA does not believe that rulemaking procedures are necessary to list 
alternatives that are acceptable without restrictions because such 
listings neither impose any sanction nor prevent anyone from using a 
substitute (59 FR 13047).
    Many SNAP listings include ``Comments'' or ``Further Information'' 
to provide additional information on substitutes. Since this additional 
information is not part of the regulatory decision, these statements 
are not binding for use of the substitute under the SNAP program. 
However, regulatory requirements so listed are binding under other 
regulatory programs (e.g., worker protection regulations promulgated by 
the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)). The 
``Further Information'' classification does not necessarily include all 
other legal obligations pertaining to the use of the substitute. While 
the items listed are not legally binding under the SNAP program, EPA 
encourages users of substitutes to apply all statements in the 
``Further Information'' column in their use of these substitutes. In 
many instances, the information simply refers to sound operating 
practices that have already been identified in existing industry and/or 
building codes or standards. Thus many of the statements, if adopted, 
would not require the affected user to make significant changes in 
existing operating practices.

D. Where can I get additional information about the SNAP program?

    For copies of the comprehensive SNAP lists of substitutes or 
additional information on SNAP, refer to EPA's Ozone Depletion Web site 
at: www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/index.html. For more information on the 
Agency's process for administering the SNAP program or criteria for 
evaluation of substitutes, refer to the SNAP final rulemaking published 
March 18, 1994 (59 FR 13044), codified at 40 CFR part 82, subpart G. A 
complete chronology of SNAP decisions and the appropriate citations is 
found at: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/chron.html.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a ``significant regulatory action'' under the 
terms of

[[Page 17349]]

Executive Order 12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and is therefore 
not subject to review under Executive Orders 12866 and 13563 (76 FR 
3821, January 21, 2011).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden. 
It contains no new requirements for reporting. However, 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. 1596.08). This Information Collection 
Request (ICR) included five types of respondent reporting and 
recordkeeping activities pursuant to SNAP regulations: submission of a 
SNAP petition, filing a SNAP/TSCA Addendum, notification for test 
marketing activity, recordkeeping for substitutes acceptable subject to 
use restrictions, and recordkeeping for small volume uses. The OMB 
control numbers for EPA's regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

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.
    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), a small 
business has <1000 employees; for NAICS code 336391 (Motor Vehicle Air-
Conditioning Manufacturing), a small business has <750 employees; and 
for NAICS code 811111 (General Automotive Repair), a small business has 
annual receipts of less than $7.0 million (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, I certify that this action will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities. The small 
entities directly regulated by this final rule are small businesses 
involved in automotive repair. This final rule will not impose any 
requirements on small entities beyond current industry practices. 
Today's action effectively ensures consistency with current industry 
practices, whereas without these revisions, small businesses would need 
to reconcile differences between EPA regulations and industry 
standards.
    It is not clear that there would be any cost differential between 
these new unique fittings, those used with the current automotive 
refrigerant, HFC-134a, or other fittings that the automotive industry 
could adopt instead. It is possible that the fittings required in the 
revised use condition will be less expensive than those required in the 
March 29, 2011 final rule because they are a standard shape and size 
easily produced in a metal-working shop. Thus, cost impacts of this 
final rule on small entities are expected to be small. This final rule 
is expected to relieve burden for some small entities, such as 
automotive repair shops, by avoiding confusion over which fittings to 
use and by using a more robust fitting that allows quick detection of 
any leaks from the valve.
    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. EPA has 
worked together with SAE International and with groups representing 
professional service technicians such as the Mobile Air Conditioning 
Society Worldwide, which conducts regular outreach with technicians and 
owners of small businesses such as retail refrigerant suppliers and 
automobile repair shops.

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. 
This final rule will not impose any requirements beyond current 
industry practices, and thus, compliance costs are expected to be 
small. 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. The requirements of 
this rule apply to the servicing of motor vehicle air conditioning 
systems. The requirements of this rule for unique fittings are expected 
to be comparable in cost to those of current fittings. Requirements 
would be the same as those imposed on any other entity performing 
servicing on motor vehicle air conditioning systems.

E. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This 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 regulation applies directly 
to facilities that use these substances 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). It does not 
significantly or uniquely affect the communities of Indian tribal 
governments, because this regulation applies directly to facilities 
that use these substances and not to governmental entities. Thus, 
Executive Order 13175 does not apply to this action.

G. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks 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 only concerns allowing use of a specific 
fitting that may reduce technician's exposure in the course of 
professional servicing of MVAC systems. Therefore, we did not conduct 
further health or risk assessments beyond those in the original 
rulemaking (March 29, 2011; 76 FR 17488).

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

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001)), because it is not a significant

[[Page 17350]]

regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

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 has decided to 
use SAE International's SAE J2844 standard, ``R-1234yf (HFO-1234yf) New 
Refrigerant Purity and Container Requirements for Use in Mobile Air-
Conditioning Systems''. This standard can be obtained from http://www.sae.org/technical/standards/. This standard addresses, among other 
things, appropriate fittings and other requirements for refrigerant 
containers for use in professional servicing of MVAC systems using the 
alternative refrigerant HFO-1234yf.

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 final rule will not have 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on minority or low-income populations because it does not 
affect the level of protection provided to human health or the 
environment. This final rule requires specific use conditions for 
unique fittings for use with refrigerant containers for professional 
servicing of MVAC systems, for those servicing MVAC systems using this 
low GWP refrigerant alternative. It does not directly affect the amount 
of exposure to or emissions of HFO-1234yf expected.

K. Congressional Review Act

    The Congressional Review Act, 5 U.S.C. 801 et seq., as added by the 
Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act of 1996, generally 
provides that before a rule may take effect, the agency promulgating 
the rule must submit a rule report, which includes a copy of the rule, 
to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of the 
United States. EPA will submit a report containing this rule and other 
required information to the U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of 
Representatives, and the Comptroller General of the United States prior 
to publication of the rule in the Federal Register. A Major rule cannot 
take effect until 60 days after it is published in the Federal 
Register. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 U.S.C. 
804(2). This rule will be effective May 21, 2012.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Administrative practice and procedure, 
Air pollution control, Incorporation by reference, Reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements, Stratospheric ozone layer.

    Dated: March 15, 2012.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR part 82 is amended 
as follows:

PART 82--PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE

0
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

0
2. Appendix B to subpart G of part 82 is amended by revising the entry 
for the substitute HFO-1234yf and by revising a note at the end of the 
first table to read as follows:


[[Page 17351]]



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         HFO-1234yf as a   Acceptable        Manufacturers must     Additional training
 Vehicle Air Conditioning (New   substitute for    subject to use    adhere to all of the   for service
 equipment in passenger cars     CFC-12.           conditions.       safety requirements    technicians
 and light-duty trucks only).                                        listed in the          recommended.
                                                                     Society of            Observe requirements
                                                                     Automotive Engineers   of Significant New
                                                                     (SAE) Standard J639    Use Rule at 40 CFR
                                                                     (adopted 2011),        721.10182.
                                                                     including             HFO-1234yf is also
                                                                     requirements for:      known as 2,3,3,3-
                                                                     unique fittings,       tetrafluoro-prop-1-
                                                                     flammable              ene (CAS No 754-12-
                                                                     refrigerant warning    1).
                                                                     label, high-pressure  Refrigerant
                                                                     compressor cutoff      containers of HFO-
                                                                     switch and pressure    1234yf for use in
                                                                     relief devices. For    professional
                                                                     connections with       servicing are from 5
                                                                     refrigerant            lbs (2.3 L) to 50
                                                                     containers for use     lbs (23 L) in size.
                                                                     in professional       Requirements for
                                                                     servicing (that is,    handling, storage,
                                                                     service for            and transportation
                                                                     consideration,         of compressed gases
                                                                     consistent with        apply to this
                                                                     subpart B to 40 CFR    refrigerant, such as
                                                                     part 82), use          regulations of the
                                                                     fittings consistent    Occupational Safety
                                                                     with SAE J2844         and Health
                                                                     (revised October       Administration at 29
                                                                     2011).                 CFR 1910.101 and the
                                                                                            Department of
                                                                                            Transportation's
                                                                                            requirements at 49
                                                                                            CFR 171-179.
                                                                    Manufacturers must     Requirements for
                                                                     conduct Failure Mode   handling, storage,
                                                                     and Effect Analysis    and transportation
                                                                     (FMEA) as provided     of compressed gases
                                                                     in SAE J1739           apply to this
                                                                     (adopted 2009).        refrigerant, such as
                                                                     Manufacturers must     regulations of the
                                                                     keep the FMEA on       Occupational Safety
                                                                     file for at least      and Health
                                                                     three years from the   Administration at 29
                                                                     date of creation.      CFR 1910.101 and the
                                                                                            Department of
                                                                                            Transportation's
                                                                                            requirements at 49
                                                                                            CFR 171-179.
 
                                                  * * * * * * *
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Note: The use conditions in this appendix contain references to certain standards from SAE International. The
  standards are incorporated by reference and the referenced sections are made part of the regulations in part
  82:
1. SAE J639. Safety Standards for Motor Vehicle Refrigerant Vapor Compression Systems. Revised February 2011.
  SAE International.
2. SAE J1739 JAN2009. Potential Failure Mode and Effects Analysis in Design (Design FMEA), Potential Failure
  Mode and Effects Analysis in Manufacturing and Assembly Processes (Process FMEA). Revised January 2009. SAE
  International.
3. SAE J2844 OCT2011. R-1234yf (HFO-1234yf) New Refrigerant Purity and Container Requirements for Use in Mobile
  Air-Conditioning Systems. Revised October 2011. SAE International.
The Director of the Federal Register approves this incorporation by reference in accordance with 5 U.S.C. 552(a)
  and 1 CFR part 51. You may obtain a copy from SAE Customer Service, 400 Commonwealth Drive, Warrendale, PA
  15096-0001 USA; email: CustomerService@sae.org; Telephone: 1-877-606-7323 (U.S. and Canada only) or 1-724-776-
  4970 (outside the U.S. and Canada); Internet address: http://store.sae.org/dlabout.htm. You may inspect a copy
  at U.S. EPA's Air Docket; EPA West Building, Room 3334; 1301 Constitution Ave. NW.; Washington, DC or at the
  National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). For questions regarding access to these standards, the
  telephone number of EPA's Air Docket is 202-566-1742. For information on the availability of this material at
  NARA, call 202-741-6030, or go to: http://www.archives.gov/federal_register/code_of_federal_regulations/ibr_ locations.html.

* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2012-6916 Filed 3-22-12; 4:15 pm]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P