[Federal Register Volume 69, Number 91 (Tuesday, May 11, 2004)]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 04-10651]
ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
40 CFR Part 82
Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Notice of Data Availability;
New Information Concerning Carbon Dioxide Total Flooding Fire
Extinguishing Systems Listed Under the SNAP Program as an Acceptable
Substitute for Ozone-Depleting Halons
AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
ACTION: Notice of data availability and request for comment.
SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is making available
to the public new information related to carbon dioxide
(CO2) total flooding fire extinguishing systems, which are
currently listed in the fire suppression sector as an acceptable
substitute for ozone-depleting halon 1301 under the Significant New
Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program, pursuant to section 612 of the
Clean Air Act. Under the Clean Air Act, as amended in 1990, and our
regulations, the SNAP program reviews alternatives to Class I and Class
II ozone-depleting substances and approves use of alternatives which
reduce the overall risk to public health and the environment. Beginning
with the March 18, 1994 rule which established the SNAP program, a
number of alternative fire protection technologies have been approved,
including CO2 systems which was listed as an acceptable
halon 1301 substitute in total flooding applications.
Since the initial SNAP listing, EPA has continued to raise
awareness about the precautions needed in using CO2 systems
and has worked with the fire protection industry to promote responsible
use of these and other technologies. The Agency has also collected
additional information on potential safety hazards associated with
carbon dioxide systems, and on the increasing use of CO2
total flooding fire extinguishing systems, particularly in the marine
sector for systems protecting machinery spaces on ships. Today, the
Agency is making available for public review and comment two reports:
Review of the Use of Carbon Dioxide Total Flooding Fire Extinguishing
Systems (Wickham, R.T., 2003) and Carbon Dioxide as a Fire Suppressant:
Examining the Risks (EPA, 2000). We plan to consider the information
contained in these two reports and any comment received during the
comment period in reviewing the current SNAP listing for the use of
CO2 in total flooding applications. If, after considering
this information and comments, we intend to change the current
acceptability determination, we will issue a proposed rule.
DATES: We will accept comments on the new information through June 10,
ADDRESSES: Comments may also be submitted electronically, by facsimile,
or through hand delivery/courier. Follow the detailed instructions as
provided at the beginning of the SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION section.
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For further information about this
notice, contact Bella Maranion by telephone at (202) 343-9749, or by e-
mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Notices and rulemakings under the SNAP
program are available on the Internet at http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/
regs. Information related to this notice is available online through
EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket/ as described below in
Section I under SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION.
Table of Contents
I. General Information
A. How Can I Get Copies of Related Information?
B. How and To Whom Do I Submit Comments?
C. How Should I Submit CBI To the Agency?
II. What is today's action?
III. What information is EPA making available for review?
IV. Where can I get the information?
V. Why is EPA making this information available?
VI. What supporting documentation do I need to include in my
I. General Information
A. How Can I Get Copies of Related Information?
EPA has established an official public docket for this action under
Docket ID No. OAR-2004-0024. The official public docket consists of the
documents specifically referenced in this action, any public comments
received, and other information related to this action. Although a part
of the official docket, the public docket does not include Confidential
Business Information (CBI) or other information whose disclosure is
restricted by statute. The official public docket is the collection of
materials that is available for public viewing at the Air and Radiation
Docket in the EPA Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301
Constitution Ave., NW., Washington, DC. The EPA Docket Center 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 Reading
Room is (202) 566-1742, and the telephone number for the Air and
Radiation Docket is (202) 566-1742.
2. Electronic Access
An electronic version of the public docket is available through
EPA's electronic public docket and comment system, EPA Dockets. You may
use EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket/ to submit or view public
comments, access the index listing of the contents of the official
public docket, and to access those documents in the public docket that
are available electronically. Once in the system, select ``search'',
then key in the appropriate docket identification number. Certain types
information will not be placed in the EPA Dockets. Information claimed
as CBI and other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute,
which is not included in the official public docket, will not be
available for public viewing in EPA's electronic public docket. EPA's
policy is that copyrighted material will not be placed in EPA's
electronic public docket but will be available only in printed, paper
form in the official public docket. Although not all docket materials
may be available electronically, you may still access any of the
publicly available docket materials through the docket facility
identified in section I.B.1. above. For public commenters, it is
important to note that EPA's policy is that public comments, whether
submitted electronically or in paper, will be made available for public
viewing in EPA's electronic public docket as EPA receives them and
without change, unless the comment contains copyrighted material, CBI,
or other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. When
EPA identifies a comment containing copyrighted material, EPA will
provide a reference to that material in the version of the comment that
is placed in EPA's electronic public docket. The entire printed
comment, including the copyrighted material, will be available in the
public docket. Public comments submitted on computer disks that are
mailed or delivered to the docket will be transferred to EPA's
electronic public docket. Public comments that are mailed or delivered
to the Docket will be scanned and placed in EPA's electronic public
docket. Where practical, physical objects will be photographed, and the
photograph will be placed in EPA's electronic public docket along with
a brief description written by the docket staff.
B. How and to Whom Do I Submit Comments?
You may submit comments electronically, by mail, by facsimile, or
through hand delivery/courier. To ensure proper receipt by EPA,
identify the appropriate docket identification number in the subject
line on the first page of your comment. Please ensure that your
comments are submitted within the specified comment period. Comments
received after the close of the comment period will be marked ``late.''
EPA is not required to consider these late comments. If you wish to
submit CBI or information that is otherwise protected by statute,
please follow the instructions in section I.D. Do not use EPA Dockets
or e-mail to submit CBI or information protected by statute.
1. Electronically. If you submit an electronic comment as
prescribed below, EPA recommends that you include your name, mailing
address, and an e-mail address or other contact information in the body
of your comment. Also include this contact information on the outside
of any disk or CD ROM you submit, and in any cover letter accompanying
the disk or CD ROM. This ensures that you can be identified as the
submitter of the comment and allows EPA to contact you in case EPA
cannot read your comment due to technical difficulties or needs further
information on the substance of your comment. EPA's policy is that EPA
will not edit your comment, and any identifying or contact information
provided in the body of a comment will be included as part of the
comment that is placed in the official public docket, and made
available in EPA's electronic public docket. 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. Your use
of EPA's electronic public docket to submit comments to EPA
electronically is EPA's preferred method for receiving comments. Go
directly to EPA Dockets at http://www.epa.gov/edocket, and follow the
online instructions for submitting comments. To access EPA's electronic
public docket from the EPA Internet Home Page, select ``Information
Sources'', ``Dockets'', and ``EPA Dockets''. Once in the system, select
``search,'' and then key in Docket ID No. OAR-2004-0024. The system is
an ``anonymous access'' system, which means EPA will not know your
identity, e-mail address, or other contact information unless you
provide it in the body of your comment.
Comments may be sent by electronic mail (e-mail) to A-And-R-
Docket@epa.gov, Attention Docket ID No. OAR-2004-0024. In contrast to
EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's e-mail system is not an
``anonymous access'' system. If you send an e-mail comment directly to
the Docket without going through EPA's electronic public docket, EPA's
e-mail system automatically captures your e-mail address. E-mail
addresses that are automatically captured by EPA's e-mail system are
included as part of the comment that is placed in the official public
docket, and made available in EPA's electronic public docket.
You may submit comments on a disk or CD ROM that you mail to the
mailing address identified in section I.B.2. These electronic
submissions will be accepted in WordPerfect or ASCII file format. Avoid
the use of special characters and any form of encryption.
2. By Mail. Send two copies of your comments to: Air and Radiation
Docket, Environmental Protection Agency, Mailcode: 6102T, 1200
Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20460, Attention Docket ID No.
3. By Hand Delivery or Courier. Deliver your comments to: EPA
Docket Center, (EPA/DC) EPA West, Room B102, 1301 Constitution Ave.,
NW., Washington, DC., Attention Docket ID No. OAR-2003-0228. Such
deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of
operation as identified in section I.B.1.
4. By Facsimile. Fax your comments to: 202-566-1741, Attention
Docket ID. No. OAR-2003-0228.
C. How Should I Submit CBI to the Agency?
Do not submit information that you consider to be CBI
electronically through EPA's electronic public docket or by e-mail.
Send or deliver information identified as CBI only to the following
address: Bella Maranion, U.S. EPA, 8th floor, 1310 L Street NW.,
Washington DC 20005 via overnight delivery service, Attention Docket ID
No. OAR-2004-0024. You may claim information that you submit to EPA as
CBI by marking any part or all of that information as CBI (if you
submit CBI on disk or CD ROM, 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 CBI). Information so marked will not be
disclosed except in accordance with procedures set forth in 40 CAR part
In addition to one complete version of the comment that includes
any 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 and EPA's electronic public docket. If you submit
the copy that does not contain CBI on disk or CD ROM, mark the outside
of the disk or CD ROM clearly that it does not contain CBI. Information
not marked as CBI will be included in the public docket and EPA's
electronic public docket without prior notice. If you have any
questions about CBI or the procedures for claiming CBI, please consult
the person identified in the FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section.
II. What Is Today's Action?
Today, we are making new information available on the use of
CO2 total flooding fire extinguishing systems listed under
EPA's SNAP program as
acceptable substitutes for ozone-depleting halon 1301 in total flooding
applications (59 FR 13044). Under the terms of the Montreal Protocol on
Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, EPA promulgated regulations to
phase out the production and import of halon 1301 effective January 1,
1994. In response to the halon phase out, the fire protection industry
has developed a number of safe, effective alternatives. The SNAP
program reviews alternatives to Class I and Class II ozone-depleting
substances and approves use of alternatives which reduce the overall
risk to public health and the environment. A number of alternatives
have been suggested by industry, including CO2 systems. The
March 18, 1994 final rule established the SNAP program and issued EPA's
initial decisions on the acceptability and unacceptability of
substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. The original SNAP rule
listed carbon dioxide as an acceptable halon 1301 substitute in total
flooding applications. At the time, EPA noted that while water, carbon
dioxide, foam, and dry chemical were currently in use, these substances
fell within the definition of alternative technology for fire
suppression and explosion protection (59 FR 13101). In these cases, EPA
simply listed these as acceptable and noted their applicable National
Fire Protection Association (NFPA) industry standards; EPA did not
perform the same assessment of potential health and environmental
impacts as for the new alternative technologies such as water mist
systems and the new in-kind fire suppressants such as
hydrofluorocarbons and inert gases.
In 2000, EPA published a report Carbon Dioxide as a Fire
Suppressant: Examining the Risks, to provide users of total flooding
halon systems who may be unfamiliar with total flooding CO2
systems with information regarding the potential safety hazards
associated with carbon dioxide systems, including accidental discharges
or improper use. Appropriate precautions must be taken before switching
to CO2 systems. With the report, EPA attempted to raise
awareness and promote the responsible use of CO2 fire
Since that publication, EPA received information indicating a
resurgence in use of CO2 total flooding fire extinguishing
systems, particularly in the marine sector for systems protecting
machinery spaces on ships. In 2003, EPA funded a report to provide
information on the growing use of CO2 fire extinguishing
systems, particularly in the marine market. The report Review of the
Use of Carbon Dioxide Total Flooding Fire Extinguishing Systems
(Wickham, Robert T., 2003) considers the personnel safety risks from
use in occupied areas, compares these systems to halon and other halon
alternatives, and recommends changes in industry standards for
Today, the Agency is making available for public review and comment
these two reports. The purpose of making the reports available is to
request comment on the accuracy and completeness of the technical
information and data. We plan to consider the information in these
reports and any comment received during the comment period in reviewing
the current SNAP listing for the use of CO2 in total
flooding fire extinguishing applications. If, based on our review and
consideration of comments, we determine to change our current
acceptability listing decision, we will issue a proposed rule.
III. What Information Is EPA Making Available for Review and Comment?
The Agency is seeking comment on the accuracy and thoroughness of
the information in the above reports: Carbon Dioxide as a Fire
Suppressant: Examining the Risks and Review of the Use of Carbon
Dioxide Total Flooding Fire Extinguishing Systems, specifically:
--Overview of historical and current use of CO2 fire
--Potential risks of CO2 systems;
--The comparison of CO2 systems with other halon alternative
systems in terms of technical and economic viability;
--Personnel safety standards in existing regulations, standards, and
IV. Where Can I Get the Information Being Made Available for Comment?
All of the information on which we are seeking comment can be
obtained through the Air Docket (see Supplemental Information section
above for docket contact info) with the reference numbers as follows:
--Carbon Dioxide as a Fire Suppressant: Examining the Risks Air Docket,
OAR-2004-0024 reference number II-A-1
--Report on the Use of Carbon Dioxide Total Flooding Fire Extinguishing
Systems Air Docket, OAR-2004-0024 reference number II-A-2
V. Why Is EPA Making This Information Available?
We are considering whether to revise the current acceptable SNAP
determination for CO2 as a halon 1301 substitute in total
flooding applications because of reports on increasing use and
continuing injuries and fatalities, indicating CO2 systems
may pose greater risks to human health than other available
substitutes. We are soliciting comment on this new information to
ensure that we use the most accurate information available in our
review of the current listing for CO2 total flooding fire
extinguishing systems. The Agency is providing the public with an
opportunity to comment on the quality of the available information and
to provide additional data for our consideration. We will use this
information to ensure that we fully consider issues relating to the
technical viability of alternatives, human health and safety, and
industry impacts in our review of the current SNAP listing for
CO2 systems in total flooding applications.
VI. What Supporting Documentation Do I Need To Include in My Comments?
Please provide any published studies or data supporting your
Dated: May 3, 2004.
Director, Office of Atmospheric Programs, Office of Air and Radiation.
[FR Doc. 04-10651 Filed 5-10-04; 8:45 am]
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