[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 182 (Wednesday, September 19, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 58081-58084]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-23136]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2011-011; FRL-9729-4]
RIN-2060-AQ84


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Listing of Substitutes for 
Ozone-Depleting Substances--Fire Suppression and Explosion Protection

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency.

ACTION: Notice of Proposed Rulemaking.

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SUMMARY: The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is proposing to 
list three substitutes for ozone-depleting substances in the fire 
suppression and explosion protection sector as acceptable subject to 
use restrictions under the EPA's Significant New Alternatives Policy 
(SNAP) program. This program implements section 612 of the Clean Air 
Act, as amended in 1990, which requires EPA to evaluate substitutes for 
ozone-depleting substances and find them acceptable where they pose 
comparable or lower overall risk to human health and the environment 
than other available substitutes. In the ``Rules and Regulations'' 
section of this Federal Register, we are listing three fire suppression 
substitutes as acceptable subject to use restrictions as a direct final 
rule without a prior proposed rule. If we receive no adverse comment, 
we will not take further action on this proposed rule; in such case, 
the final rule will become effective as provided in the accompanying 
direct final rule.

DATES: Comments must be received in writing or a request for a public 
hearing must be made as provided below by October 19, 2012.

ADDRESSES: Submit your comments, identified by Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-
OAR-2011-0111, by mail to the following: ``OAR Docket and Information 
Center, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode 6102T, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460.'' Comments may also be 
submitted electronically or through hand delivery/courier by following 
the detailed instructions in the ADDRESSES section of the direct final 
rule located in the rules section of this Federal Register. To expedite 
review, a second copy of the comments should be sent to Bella Maranion 
at the address listed below under FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Bella Maranion, Stratospheric 
Protection Division, Office of Atmospheric Programs (6205J), 
Environmental Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., 
Washington, DC 20460; telephone number: (202) 343-9749; fax number: 
(202) 343-2363; email address: maranion.bella@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.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. Why is EPA issuing this proposed rule?

    This document proposes to list under SNAP certain substitutes for 
ozone-depleting substances for use in fire suppression applications. We 
have published a direct final rule listing three substitutes for ozone-
depleting halons used in the fire suppression and explosion protection 
sector as acceptable subject to use restrictions in the ``Rules and 
Regulations'' section of this Federal Register because we view this as 
a noncontroversial action and anticipate no adverse comment. We have 
explained our reasons for this action in the preamble to the direct 
final rule.

II. Does this action apply to me?

    This proposed rule would regulate the use of Powdered Aerosol F 
(KSA[supreg]) and Powdered Aerosol G (Dry Sprinkler Powdered Aerosol 
(DSPA) Fixed Generators) by finding them acceptable subject to use 
conditions as substitutes for halon 1301 for use in total flooding fire 
suppression systems in normally unoccupied spaces. This action also 
proposes to find C7 Fluoroketone acceptable subject narrowed use limits 
as a substitute for halon 1211 for use as a streaming agent in portable 
fire extinguishers in nonresidential

[[Page 58082]]

applications. Halons are chemicals that were once widely used in the 
fire protection sector but have been banned from production in the U.S. 
since 1994 because their emissions into the atmosphere are highly 
destructive to the stratospheric ozone layer. This action will provide 
users that need specialized fire protection applications with more 
options for alternatives to the use of halons. Businesses that may be 
regulated, either through manufacturing, distribution, installation and 
servicing, or use of the fire suppression equipment containing the 
substitutes are listed in the table below:

  Table 1--Potentially Regulated Entities, by North American Industrial
                   Classification System (NAICS) Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                Description of regulated
             Category               NAICS Code          entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Construction.....................       238210  Alarm system (e.g.,
                                                 fire, burglar),
                                                 electric, installation
                                                 only.
Manufacturing....................       325998  Fire extinguisher
                                                 chemical preparations
                                                 manufacturing.
Manufacturing....................       332919  Nozzles, fire fighting,
                                                 manufacturing.
Manufacturing....................       334290  Fire detection and alarm
                                                 systems manufacturing.
Manufacturing....................       336611  Shipbuilding and
                                                 repairing.
Manufacturing....................       339999  Fire extinguishers,
                                                 portable,
                                                 manufacturing.
Manufacturing....................       336411  Aircraft manufacturing.
Manufacturing....................       336413  Other aircraft parts and
                                                 auxiliary equipment
                                                 manufacturing.
------------------------------------------------------------------------

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 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 
section.

III. What are the procedures for notice and comment on this rule?

    The direct final rule will be effective on December 18, 2012 
without further notice unless we receive adverse comment or a request 
for a public hearing by October 19, 2012. 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 all or 
part of this rule will not take effect. If a public hearing is 
requested, EPA will provide notice in the Federal Register as to the 
location, date, and time. EPA will address all public comments in a 
subsequent final rule based on this proposed rule. We will not 
institute a second public comment period on this action. Any parties 
interested in commenting must do so at this time.
    You may claim that information in your comments is confidential 
business information, as allowed by 40 CFR part 2. If you submit 
comments and include information that you claim as confidential 
business information, we request that you submit them directly to Bella 
Maranion in two versions: one clearly marked ``Public'' to be filed in 
the public docket, and the other marked ``Confidential'' to be reviewed 
by authorized government personnel only. For further information, 
please see the ADDRESSES section of this document.

IV. Statutory and Executive Order Reviews

A. Executive Order 12866

    OMB notified EPA on May 5, 2011, that it considers this action not 
a ``significant regulatory action'' under the terms of Executive Order 
12866 (58 FR 51735, October 4, 1993) and it 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. 
This proposed rule is an Agency determination. It contains no new 
requirements for reporting or recordkeeping. 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). The OMB control numbers for 
EPA's regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9 and 48 CFR Chapter 15.C.

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 impact of today's rule on small 
entities, small entities are defined as (1) a small business that 
produces or uses fire suppressants as total flooding and/or streaming 
agents with 500 or fewer employees or total annual receipts of $5 
million or less; (2) a small governmental jurisdiction that is a 
government of a city, county, town, school district or special district 
with a population of less than 50,000; and (3) a small organization 
that is any not-for-profit enterprise which is independently owned and 
operated and is not dominant in its field.
    After considering the economic impacts of today's proposed rule on 
small entities, I 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 beyond 
current industry practices. Today's action effectively supports the 
introduction of new alternatives to the market for fire protection 
extinguishing systems, thus providing additional options for users 
making the transition away from ozone-depleting halons.
    Use of halon 1301 total flooding systems and halon 1211 as a 
streaming agent have historically been in specialty fire protection 
applications including essential electronics, civil aviation, military 
mobile weapon systems, oil and gas and other process industries, and 
merchant shipping with smaller segments of use including libraries, 
museums, and laboratories. The majority of halon system and 
extinguisher owners continue to maintain and refurbish existing systems 
and equipment since halon supplies continue to be available in the U.S. 
Owners of new facilities and purchasers of new fire suppression 
equipment make up the market for the new alternative agent systems and

[[Page 58083]]

equipment. They may also consider employing other available fire 
protection options including new, improved technology for early warning 
and smoke detection. Thus, EPA is providing more options to any entity, 
including small entities, by finding additional substitutes acceptable 
for use. The use restrictions imposed on the substitutes in today's 
rule are consistent with the applications suggested by the submitter 
and with current industry practices. Therefore, we conclude that the 
rule does not impose any new cost on businesses.
    Although this proposed rule will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities, EPA nonetheless has 
tried to reduce the impact of this rule on small entities. By 
introducing new substitutes, today's rule gives additional flexibility 
to small entities that are concerned with fire suppression. EPA also 
has worked closely together with the NFPA, which conducts regular 
outreach with small entities and involves small state, local, and 
tribal governments in developing and implementing relevant fire 
protection standards and codes. 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 action contains no Federal mandates under the provisions of 
Title II of the Unfunded Mandate Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 
1531-1538 for State, local, or tribal governments or the private 
sector. This action imposes no enforceable duty on any State, local, or 
tribal governments or the private sector. Therefore, this action is not 
subject to the requirements of sections 202 or 205 of the UMRA.
    This action 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. By introducing new 
fire suppression substitutes, today's rule provides an additional 
choice and flexibility to entities that are concerned with specialized 
fire protection applications. This proposed rule will provide 
additional options for fire protection subject to safety guidelines in 
industry standards. These standards are typically already required by 
state or local fire codes, so this action will not affect small 
governments.

E. Executive Order 13132 (Federalism)

    This action 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 proposed rule will provide 
additional options for fire protection subject to safety guidelines in 
industry standards. These standards are typically already required by 
state or local fire codes, and this rule does not require state, local, 
or tribal governments to change their regulations. Thus, Executive 
Order 13132 does not apply to this action.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on 
tribal governments, on the relationship between the Federal government 
and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the Federal government and Indian tribes, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. This proposed rule will provide additional 
options for fire protection subject to safety guidelines in industry 
standards. These standards are typically already required by state or 
local fire codes, and this rule does not require tribal governments to 
change their regulations. Thus, Executive Order 13175 does not apply to 
this 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's health and risk assessments are 
contained in section II of the associated direct final rule.
    The public is invited to submit comments or identify peer-reviewed 
studies and data that assess effects of early life exposure to Powdered 
Aerosol F, Powdered Aerosol G (DSPA Fixed Generators), and C7 
Fluoroketone.

H. Executive Order 13211 (Energy Effects)

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211 (66 FR 28355 
(May 22, 2001)), because it is not a significant 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, 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 rulemaking does not involve technical standards. EPA defers to 
existing NFPA voluntary consensus standards and Occupational Safety and 
Health Administration (OSHA) regulations that relate to the safe use of 
halon substitutes reviewed under SNAP. EPA refers users to the latest 
edition of NFPA 2010 Standard on Aerosol Extinguishing Systems which 
provides for safe use of aerosol extinguishing agents and technologies 
as well as NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers. Copies of 
these standards may be obtained by calling the NFPA's telephone number 
for ordering publications at 1-800-344-3555. The NFPA 2010 and NFPA 10 
standards meet the objectives of the rule by setting scientifically-
based guidelines for safe exposure to halocarbon and inert gas agents 
and aerosol extinguishing agents as well as guidelines for portable 
extinguishers, respectively. In addition, EPA has worked in 
consultation with OSHA to encourage development of technical standards 
to be adopted by voluntary consensus standards bodies.

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.

[[Page 58084]]

    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 without 
having any disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on any population, including any minority or low-
income population. This rule would provide fire suppression substitutes 
that have no ODP and low or no GWP. The avoided ODS and GWP emissions 
would assist in restoring the stratospheric ozone layer, avoiding 
adverse climate impacts, and result in human health and environmental 
benefits.

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

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

    Dated: September 11, 2012.
Lisa P. Jackson,
Administrator.
[FR Doc. 2012-23136 Filed 9-18-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P