[Federal Register Volume 79, Number 100 (Friday, May 23, 2014)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 29682-29691]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2014-12028]


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ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0580; FRL-9911-42-OAR]
RIN 2060-AM09


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Revision of the Venting 
Prohibition for Specific Refrigerant Substitutes

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

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SUMMARY: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA, the Agency) is 
amending the regulations promulgated as part of the National Recycling 
and Emission Reduction Program under section 608 of the Clean Air Act. 
EPA is amending those regulations to exempt certain refrigerant 
substitutes, listed as acceptable subject to use conditions in 
regulations promulgated as part of EPA's Significant New Alternative 
Policy program under section 612 of the Act, from the prohibition under 
section 608 on venting, release or disposal on the basis of current 
evidence that their venting, release or disposal does not pose a threat 
to the environment. Specifically, EPA is exempting from the venting 
prohibition isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A, as refrigerant substitutes 
in household refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and 
freezers, and propane (R-290), as a refrigerant substitute in retail 
food refrigerators and freezers (stand-alone units only).

DATES: This final rule is effective on June 23, 2014.

ADDRESSES: EPA has established a docket for this action under Docket ID 
No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2012-0580. 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., confidential business 
information (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 from the EPA 
Air and Radiation Docket, EPA/DC, EPA West, Room 3334, 1301 
Constitution Ave. NW., Washington, DC. This 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,

[[Page 29683]]

and the telephone number for the Air and Radiation Docket is (202) 566-
1742.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sally Hamlin, Stratospheric Protection 
Division, Office of Air and Radiation, MC 6205J, Environmental 
Protection Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW., Washington, DC 20460; 
telephone number: (202) 343-9711; fax number: (202) 343-2338; email 
address: hamlin.sally@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This final action extends the exemption from 
the venting prohibition at 40 CFR 82.154(a)(1) to certain refrigerant 
substitutes in certain end-uses for which EPA has found the refrigerant 
substitutes acceptable subject to use conditions under CAA section 612 
and the implementing regulations at 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart G. 
Specifically, EPA is exempting from the venting prohibition isobutane 
(R-600a) and R-441A as refrigerant substitutes in household 
refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and freezers, 
and propane (R-290), as a refrigerant substitute in retail food 
refrigerators and freezers (stand-alone units only).

Table of Contents

I. General Information
    A. Does this action apply to me?
    B. What abbreviations and acronyms are used in this action?
II. How does the National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program 
work?
    A. What are the statutory requirements under section 608 of the 
Clean Air Act?
    B. What are the regulations against venting, releasing or 
disposing of refrigerant substitutes?
III. What factors did EPA consider in determining whether venting, 
release or disposal poses a threat to the environment?
    A. Inherent Characteristics of These Substances
    B. Limits and Controls Under Other Authorities, Regulations or 
Practices
IV. What is EPA's determination whether venting, release or disposal 
poses a threat to the environment?
V. What revision to the venting prohibition is EPA finalizing today?
VI. 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
    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 Advancement Act
    J. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address 
Environmental Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income 
Populations
    K. Congressional Review Act
VII. References

I. General Information

A. Does this action apply to me?

    Potentially regulated entities may include, but are not limited to, 
the following.

  Table 1--Potentially Regulated Entities, by North American Industrial
                   Classification System (NAICS) Code
------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                                      Description of
           Category                NAICS code       regulated entities
------------------------------------------------------------------------
Services......................            811412  Appliance repair and
                                                   maintenance.
Industry......................            333415  Manufacturers of
                                                   refrigerators,
                                                   freezers, and other
                                                   refrigerating or
                                                   freezing equipment,
                                                   electric or other;
                                                   heat pumps not
                                                   elsewhere specified
                                                   or included (NESOI);
                                                   and parts thereof.
Industry......................            445110  Supermarkets and other
                                                   grocery (except
                                                   convenience) stores.
Industry......................            445120  Convenience stores.
Industry......................    562920, 423930  Facilities separating
                                                   and sorting
                                                   recyclable materials
                                                   from non-hazardous
                                                   waste streams (e.g.,
                                                   scrap yards) and
                                                   merchant wholesale
                                                   distribution of
                                                   industrial scrap and
                                                   other recyclable
                                                   materials.
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    This table is not intended to be exhaustive, but rather provides a 
guide regarding entities likely to be regulated by this action. Other 
types of entities not listed in the table could also be affected. To 
determine whether your company is regulated by this action, you should 
carefully examine the applicability criteria contained in section 608 
of the Clean Air Act (CAA, the Act) as amended, and relevant 
implementing regulations at 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F. 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.

B. What abbreviations and acronyms are used in this action?

ASHRAE--American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-
Conditioning Engineers
CAA--Clean Air Act
CAS--Chemical Abstracts Service
CBI--confidential business information
CFC--chlorofluorocarbon
CFR--Code of Federal Regulations
EPA--United States Environmental Protection Agency
EO--Executive Order
FR--Federal Register
GWP--Global warming potential
HC--hydrocarbon
HCFC--hydrochlorofluorocarbon
HFC--hydrofluorocarbon
IPR--industrial process refrigeration
LFL--lower flammability limit
NPRM--Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
NTTAA--National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act
ODP--ozone depletion potential
ODS--ozone-depleting substance
OMB--United States Office of Management and Budget
OSHA--United States Occupational Safety and Health Administration
RCRA--Resource Conservation and Recovery Act
RFA--Regulatory Flexibility Act
SBREFA--Small Business Regulatory Enforcement Fairness Act
SNAP--Significant New Alternatives Policy
UL--Underwriters Laboratories
UMRA--Unfunded Mandates Reform Act
VOC--volatile organic compound

II. How does the National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program 
work?

A. What are the statutory requirements under section 608 of the Clean 
Air Act?

    Section 608 of the Act as amended, titled National Recycling and 
Emission Reduction Program, requires EPA to establish regulations 
governing the use and disposal of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) used 
as refrigerants, such as certain chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and 
hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs), during the service, repair, or 
disposal of appliances and industrial process refrigeration (IPR), 
including air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment. Section 608 
also prohibits any person in the course of maintaining, servicing, 
repairing, or disposing of an appliance or industrial process 
refrigeration, from knowingly venting or

[[Page 29684]]

otherwise knowingly releasing or disposing of such ODS used as 
refrigerants therein in a manner which permits such substances to enter 
the environment. This prohibition similarly applies to the venting, 
release, or disposal of substitutes for such ODS used as refrigerants, 
unless the Administrator determines that venting, releasing, or 
disposing of such a substitute does not pose a threat to the 
environment.
    Section 608 is divided into three subsections. Briefly, section 
608(a) requires EPA to promulgate regulations to reduce the use and the 
emissions of class I substances (e.g., CFCs and halons) and class II 
substances (HCFCs) to the lowest achievable level and to maximize the 
recapture and recycling of such substances. Section 608(b) requires 
that the regulations promulgated pursuant to subsection (a) contain 
standards and requirements for the safe disposal of class I and class 
II substances. Finally, section 608(c) contains self-effectuating 
provisions that prohibit any person from knowingly venting, releasing 
or disposing of any class I or class II substances, and their 
substitutes, used as refrigerants in appliances or IPR in a manner 
which permits such substances to enter the environment during 
maintenance, repairing, servicing, or disposal of appliances or IPR.
    EPA's authority for the requirements in this action is based on 
section 608. As noted above, section 608(a) requires EPA to promulgate 
regulations regarding use and disposal of class I and II substances to 
``reduce the use and emission of such substances to the lowest 
achievable level'' and ``maximize the recapture and recycling of such 
substances.'' Section 608(a) further provides that ``[s]uch regulations 
may include requirements to use alternative substances (including 
substances which are not class I or class II substances) . . . or to 
promote the use of safe alternatives pursuant to section [612] or any 
combination of the foregoing.'' Section 608(c)(1) provides that, 
effective July 1, 1992, it is ``unlawful for any person, in the course 
of maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of an appliance or 
industrial process refrigeration, to knowingly vent or otherwise 
knowingly release or dispose of any class I or class II substance used 
as a refrigerant in such appliance (or industrial process 
refrigeration) in a manner which permits such substance to enter the 
environment.'' The statute exempts from this self-effectuating 
prohibition ``[d]e minimis releases associated with good faith attempts 
to recapture and recycle or safely dispose'' of such a substance. To 
implement and enforce the venting prohibition,\1\ EPA, as codified in 
its regulations, interprets releases to meet the criteria for exempted 
``de minimis'' releases if they occur when the recycling and recovery 
requirements of regulations promulgated under sections 608 and 609 are 
followed. 40 CFR 82.154(a)(2).
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    \1\ In this action, EPA sometimes uses the shorthand ``venting 
prohibition'' to refer to the section 608(c) prohibition of 
knowingly venting, releasing, or disposing of class I or class II 
substances, and their substitutes.
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    Effective November 15, 1995, section 608(c)(2) of the Act extends 
the prohibition in section 608(c)(1) to knowingly venting or otherwise 
knowingly releasing or disposing of any refrigerant substitute for 
class I or class II substances by any person maintaining, servicing, 
repairing, or disposing of appliances or IPR. This prohibition applies 
to any such substitute substance unless the Administrator determines 
that such venting, releasing, or disposing ``does not pose a threat to 
the environment.'' Thus, section 608(c) provides EPA authority to 
promulgate regulations to interpret, implement, and enforce this 
venting prohibition, including authority to implement section 608(c)(2) 
by exempting certain substitutes for class I or class II substances 
from the prohibition when the Administrator determines that such 
venting, release, or disposal does not pose a threat to the 
environment.

B. What are the regulations against venting, releasing or disposing of 
refrigerant substitutes?

    Final regulations promulgated under section 608 of the Act, 
published on May 14, 1993 (58 FR 28660), established a recycling 
program for ozone-depleting refrigerants recovered during the servicing 
and maintenance of air-conditioning and refrigeration appliances. In 
the same 1993 final rule, EPA also promulgated regulations implementing 
the section 608(c) prohibition on knowingly venting, releasing or 
disposing of class I or class II controlled substances.\2\ These 
regulations are intended to substantially reduce the use and emissions 
of ozone-depleting refrigerants.
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    \2\ A list of ozone-depleting substances is available in 
Appendices A and B to Subpart A of Part 82.
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    On June 11, 1998, EPA proposed to implement and clarify the 
requirements of section 608(c)(2) of the Act by clarifying how the 
venting prohibition extends to substitutes for CFC and HCFC 
refrigerants (63 FR 32044). EPA issued a final rule March 12, 2004 (69 
FR 11946) and a second rule on April 13, 2005 (70 FR 19273) clarifying 
how the venting prohibition in section 608(c) applies to refrigerant 
substitutes (e.g., hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons 
(PFCs) in part or whole) during the maintenance, service, repair, or 
disposal of appliances. These regulations implementing section 608's 
recycling and emission reduction program were codified at 40 CFR part 
82, subpart F. Before the amendments finalized in the present action, 
the regulation at 40 CFR 82.154(a) stated in part that:

``[e]ffective June 13, 2005, no person maintaining, servicing, 
repairing, or disposing of appliances may knowingly vent or 
otherwise release into the environment any refrigerant or substitute 
\3\ from such appliances, with the exception of the following 
substitutes in the following end-uses:
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    \3\ ``Substitute,'' as defined at 40 CFR part 82, subpart F, is 
``any chemical or product, whether existing or new, that is used by 
any person as an EPA approved replacement for a class I or II ozone-
depleting substance in a given refrigeration or air-conditioning 
end-use.'' 40 CFR 82.152.
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    i. Ammonia in commercial or industrial process refrigeration or 
in absorption units;
    ii. Hydrocarbons in industrial process refrigeration (processing 
of hydrocarbons);
    iii. Chlorine in industrial process refrigeration (processing of 
chlorine and chlorine compounds);
    iv. Carbon dioxide in any application;
    v. Nitrogen in any application; or
    vi. Water in any application.
    (2) The knowing release of a refrigerant or non-exempt 
substitute subsequent to its recovery from an appliance shall be 
considered a violation of this prohibition. De minimis releases 
associated with good faith attempts to recycle or recover 
refrigerants or non-exempt substitutes are not subject to this 
prohibition. . . . ''

    As explained in EPA's earlier rulemaking concerning refrigerant 
substitutes, EPA has not promulgated regulations requiring 
certification of refrigerant recycling/recovery equipment intended for 
use with substitutes to date (70 FR 19275; April 13, 2005). However, as 
EPA has noted, the lack of a current regulatory provision should not be 
considered as an exemption from the venting prohibition for substitutes 
that are not expressly exempted in Sec.  82.154(a). Id. EPA has also 
noted that, in accordance with section 608(c) of the Act, the 
regulatory prohibition at Sec.  82.154(a) reflects the statutory 
references to de minimis releases of substitutes as they pertain to 
good faith attempts to recapture and recycle or safely dispose of non-
exempted substitutes. Id.

[[Page 29685]]

III. What factors did EPA consider in determining whether venting, 
release or disposal poses a threat to the environment?

    Section 608(c)(2) extends the venting prohibition in section 
608(c)(1) to substitutes for class I or class II substances, unless the 
Administrator determines that such venting, releasing, or disposing 
does not pose a threat to the environment.
    For purposes of section 608(c)(2) of the CAA, EPA considers two 
factors in determining whether or not venting, release, or disposal of 
a refrigerant substitute during the maintenance, service, repair or 
disposing of appliances poses a threat to the environment. See 69 FR 
11948 (March 12, 2004). First, EPA determines whether venting, release, 
or disposal of the refrigerant substitute poses a threat to the 
environment due to inherent characteristics of the refrigerant, such as 
global warming potential. Second, EPA determines whether and to what 
extent such venting, release, or disposal actually takes place during 
the maintenance, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances, and 
to what extent such venting, release, or disposal is controlled by 
other authorities, regulations, or practices. To the extent that such 
releases are adequately controlled by other authorities, EPA defers to 
those authorities.
    In addressing the two factors mentioned in the paragraph above, the 
analysis in the proposed rulemaking published on April 12, 2012 (78 FR 
21871) discussed the potential environmental impacts and existing 
authorities, practices, and controls for isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A 
as substitutes in household refrigerators, freezers, and combination 
refrigerators and freezers; and propane (R-290) as a substitute in 
retail food refrigerators and freezers (stand-alone units only). These 
refrigerant substitutes and end-uses were evaluated and determined to 
be acceptable subject to use conditions under SNAP in the December 20, 
2011 final rule (76 FR 78838) (2011 SNAP rule).
    EPA received comments on the revisions to the venting prohibition 
proposed on April 12, 2012, seeking clarification about the 
applicability of the exemption to the venting prohibition to various 
types of equipment not mentioned in the proposal. Three comments were 
received asking whether the determination of an exemption to the 
venting prohibition for isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A as substitutes in 
household refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and 
freezers would also apply to ``household wine coolers'' and ``household 
beverage centers'' and ``stand-alone ice makers designed for household 
use.'' This final action exempts isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A as 
refrigerant substitutes in household refrigerators, freezers, and 
combination refrigerators and freezers. The exemption under 608(c)(2), 
as proposed and as it is being finalized with this action, applies only 
to the uses that are acceptable subject to use conditions under the 
2011 SNAP rule. The issue raised by the commenters concerns how the 
SNAP listing is interpreted and the issue of these end uses was not 
raised during the comment period for the 2011 SNAP rule. Under SNAP, we 
have explained that ``household refrigerators, freezers and combination 
refrigerators and freezers'' includes household refrigerators, 
freezers, and combination refrigerator/freezers intended primarily for 
residential use, although they may be used outside the home. Household 
freezers only offer storage space at freezing temperatures, unlike 
household refrigerators. See 76 FR at 78833. The 2011 SNAP rule also 
notes that the two hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes can be used only 
in refrigerators or freezers that meet all requirements listed in 
Supplement SA to UL 250. Id. at 78837, codified at appendix R of 
subpart G to 40 CFR part 82. To the extent that household wine coolers, 
household beverage centers or stand-alone ice makers designed for 
household use meet these conditions, they would fit within the end use 
designed in the 2011 SNAP rule as ``household refrigerators, freezers 
and combination refrigerators and freezers.''

A. Inherent Characteristics of These Substances

    Based on the analysis in the proposal for this action (April 12, 
2012, 78 FR 21871), EPA finds that the venting, release, or disposal of 
isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A as substitutes in household 
refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and freezers and 
propane (R-290) as a substitute in retail food refrigerators and 
freezers (stand-alone units only) does not pose a threat to the 
environment based on the inherent characteristics of these substances, 
as well as the limited quantities used in the relevant applications.
    In the proposal (April 12, 2012, 78 FR 21871), EPA provided an 
analysis that focused on the environmental impacts identified as a 
potential concern under SNAP (76 FR 78838) for these refrigerant 
substitutes: Ozone depletion potential, global warming potential, 
volatile organic compound (VOC) effects, and ecosystem risks. As 
discussed in the proposal, this analysis was based in part on the fact 
that the volume of hydrocarbons listed as acceptable with use 
conditions under the 2011 SNAP rule that could be released from the 
specific uses relevant to this exemption would be small. Based on this 
analysis, EPA determines that the venting, release, or disposal of 
isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A as substitutes in household 
refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and freezers and 
propane (R-290) as a substitute in retail food refrigerators and 
freezers (stand-alone units only) does not pose a significant threat to 
the environment with respect to the inherent characteristics of these 
substances.
    The discussion in the proposal also noted that in prior rulemakings 
EPA evaluated the potential risks of fire from the use of hydrocarbons 
as refrigerant substitutes in certain appliances, and engineering 
approaches to avoid ignition sources from within the appliance. To 
address flammability risks of hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes, EPA 
issued recommendations for their safe use in certain end-uses and 
specified use conditions for some end-uses through SNAP rulemakings (59 
FR 13044; 76 FR 78832).\4\ These SNAP rules rely on existing regulatory 
requirements and industry standards and practices that protect workers, 
the general population, and the environment from the flammability risks 
from hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes. EPA additionally provided 
information about potential toxicity and occupational exposure of these 
three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes, noting that in prior actions 
under SNAP, EPA had found that these hydrocarbons are unlikely to pose 
such risks, when used according to the applicable use conditions or 
regulations. EPA explained that the Agency believes that the 
flammability risks and occupational exposures to hydrocarbons are 
adequately regulated by Occupational Safety and Health Administration 
(OSHA), building, and fire codes at a local and national level.
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    \4\ Use conditions for hydrocarbons in certain refrigeration 
end-uses are found at 40 CFR part 82 subpart G, appendix R.
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    In support of EPA's proposed determination to exempt these 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes from the venting prohibition in 
certain end uses, the proposal received comments from four commenters 
agreeing with EPA's cited reasons for determining that

[[Page 29686]]

release into the environment would not pose a threat. The commenters 
stated that it would be safer to vent the small amounts than to try to 
recover them in a special container and to transport these substitutes 
afterwards in larger containers.
    Three commenters also stated that the overall greenhouse gas impact 
of all the activities involved in capture, transport, recycling or 
destruction would generate greater greenhouse gas emissions than would 
simply venting the small charge of hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes 
in the appliances.
    One commenter supported EPA's proposed determination to exempt 
venting, release, or disposal of these hydrocarbon refrigerant 
substitutes because ``there are currently no commercially available 
reclaim devices [sic] available in the US rated for use with 
hydrocarbon or other flammable refrigerants'' and because the commenter 
is unaware of facilities equipped to accept reclaimed hydrocarbon 
refrigerants from a service company. EPA notes, however, that it does 
not believe this commenter means ``reclaim devices'' and ``reclaimed 
hydrocarbon refrigerants,'' as the proposed rule focuses on the release 
of the three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes from appliances during 
the maintenance, service, repair, or disposal of appliances, and the 
reclamation of refrigerants is a purification process often involving a 
distillation column, to which refrigerant recovered from appliances is 
transported in bulk. We believe that the commenter means ``recovery 
devices'' and ``recovered hydrocarbon refrigerants.''
    Another commenter provided the following information in support of 
EPA's proposed determination to exempt from the venting prohibition the 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes determined to be acceptable subject 
to use conditions under the 2011 SNAP rule. This commenter stated that 
the release of the amounts of hydrocarbon (HC) refrigerant approved for 
residential equipment (57g) and commercial stand-alone equipment (150g) 
is smaller than the amount contained in many individual aerosol cans 
that are used every day in the United States. The total release from 
the 2 billion aerosol cans sold in the U.S. each year ``are several 
orders of magnitude higher than any releases of [the proposed] 
refrigerant charges.''
    This same commenter also supports EPA's determination noting that 
there can be energy savings of 12 to 55 percent from a unit using HC 
refrigerants as compared to a unit using HFC refrigerants, with a much 
greater reduction in greenhouse gas emissions than the amount that 
might be released during maintenance, servicing or repair.
    Finally, another commenter ``agrees that the release of HC based 
refrigerants during the maintenance, service or repair would have a 
negligible environmental impact.''
    EPA received two comments that question the determination that the 
venting, release, or disposal of isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A as 
substitutes in household refrigerators, freezers, and combination 
refrigerators and freezers; and propane (R-290) as a substitute in 
retail food refrigerators and freezers (stand-alone units only) does 
not pose a significant threat to the environment based on the inherent 
characteristics of these substances. One commenter believes it is 
necessary to have recapture or recycling requirements for HCs, because 
safety risk still exists at end of life, recovery equipment designed 
for flammable refrigerants is available, and recovered flammable 
refrigerants can be re-used. EPA agrees that proper safe handling 
practices should be followed for hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes, 
both for disposal of appliances at the end-of-life and for the repair 
and maintenance of appliances. EPA included recommendations on the safe 
use and handling of hydrocarbons in the 2011 SNAP rule, and there are 
also recommendations at 40 CFR part 82, subpart G, appendix R.
    The Agency supports the safe, economical and environmentally 
beneficial recovery, recycling and reclamation (re-use) of all 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes. However, at this time, EPA does 
not agree that recovery equipment designed specifically to handle the 
three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes in this action is readily 
available in the United States. Further, at this time, there are not 
applicable standards in the U.S. for certification of recovery 
equipment designed to handle these three hydrocarbon refrigerant 
substitutes. EPA is not creating a recovery requirement at this time, 
as it is not clear that it would be safer, economically practical or 
environmentally beneficial to require the use of recovery equipment. 
EPA further notes that the commenter did not identify an environmental 
threat that is posed by the venting of these three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes in the end-uses for which EPA has found them 
acceptable subject to use conditions in the 2011 SNAP rule.
    Another commenter ``does not believe that there is improved safety 
in venting flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants versus reclaiming 
flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants.'' This commenter states ``it may be 
more hazardous to vent flammable hydrocarbon refrigerants or flammable 
hydrocarbon refrigerant/lubricant mixture into an uncontrolled 
environment.'' This commenter states that because of the very low 
minimum ignition energy (MIE) of hydrocarbon flammable refrigerants 
(class 3 flammable under ASHRAE 2010), these refrigerants are easily 
ignited by static electricity. EPA believes this concern about the 
ignition of hydrocarbon refrigerants for these three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes in the end uses at issue in this action was 
addressed in the 2011 SNAP rule in which these hydrocarbon refrigerant 
substitutes and end-uses were evaluated and determined to be acceptable 
subject to use conditions under SNAP. In section ``B. Flammability'' of 
part IV of that SNAP rule, titled ``What is the basis for EPA's final 
action?'' the Agency describes the evaluation and conclusion for 
approving these hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes for the specific 
end-uses under the use conditions. The 2011 SNAP rule explains that, 
``when the concentration of a flammable refrigerant reaches or exceeds 
its [lower flammability limit] LFL in the presence of an ignition 
source (e.g., a static electricity spark resulting from closing a door, 
use of a torch during servicing, or a short circuit in wiring that 
controls the motor of a compressor), an explosion or fire could 
occur.'' 76 FR at 78837. The 2011 SNAP rule continues by stating that, 
``To determine whether the three hydrocarbon refrigerants would present 
flammability concerns for service and manufacture personnel or for 
consumers, EPA reviewed the submitters' detailed assessments of the 
probability of events that might create a fire, as well as engineering 
approaches to avoid sparking from the refrigeration equipment. EPA also 
conducted risk screens, available in the docket for this rulemaking, 
evaluating reasonable worst-case scenarios to model the effects of the 
sudden release of the refrigerants. The worst-case scenario analysis 
for each of the three hydrocarbons revealed that even if the unit's 
full charge were emitted within one minute, the concentration would not 
reach the [lower flammability limits] LFL for that hydrocarbon.'' Id. 
at 78839.
    The commenter also noted studies that ``show atomized lubricant 
(lubricant that is released within refrigerant spray, such as under 
venting conditions), is more flammable than liquid lubricant.'' EPA 
considered such studies and the influence of the

[[Page 29687]]

lubricant on the lower flammability limits (LFLs) of the hydrocarbon 
refrigerants in the specific end-uses when finding them acceptable 
subject to use conditions under the SNAP program (see December 20, 
2011; 76 FR 78832, sections ``D. Charge Size Limitation (Household 
Refrigeration)'' and ``E. Charge Size Limitation (Retail Food 
Refrigeration)'' and discussions of standards UL 250 and UL 471 
regarding lubricant oil). In this rule, EPA determines that the three 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes do not pose a significant threat to 
the environment when released from the relevant end uses under the use 
conditions established in 2011 SNAP rule, taking into account this same 
information about the atomized lubricant that was discussed regarding 
the solubility of oil in establishing the acceptable use condition of 
each charge size limit in the 2011 SNAP rule. Id. at 78845-78846.
    The commenter raised concerns that ``venting hydrocarbon 
refrigerant may potentially carry lubricants dissolved with the 
refrigerant . . . into the atmosphere.'' The commenter believes that an 
exemption for venting, release, or disposal of the three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes sends an incorrect message to the market on 
best practices, and that this message is counter to ``responsible use 
and handling.'' While EPA understands this perspective and agrees that 
product stewardship is an important overall goal, the very small amount 
of dissolved lubricant in the small hydrocarbon charge size established 
as a limit for each of the end-use categories in the 2011 SNAP rule 
will significantly mitigate the release into the environment and the 
impact of any release into the environment of lubricants dissolved in 
the hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes that may result from any 
venting, release or disposal that may occur under this final action. 
EPA also notes that many of the lubricants used with hydrocarbon 
refrigerants, such as alkyl benzene and polyalkylene glycol, are 
considered environmentally acceptable because they biodegrade easily as 
noted in EPA's document on environmentally acceptable lubricants.\5\ 
After considering these two comments questioning EPA's determination in 
this action, as well as the comments supporting that determination, we 
believe that the venting, release, or disposal of these three 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes would not pose a significant threat 
to the environment based on the inherent characteristics of these 
substances, in light of the amounts that could be released under this 
action.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ U.S. EPA (2011), ``Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants,'' 
United States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater 
Management, November 2011, EPA 800-R-11-002.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

B. Limits and Controls Under Other Authorities, Regulations or 
Practices

    In the proposal (78 FR 21871), EPA explained that the limits and 
controls under other authorities, regulations or practices adequately 
control the release of and exposure to the three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes and mitigate risks from any possible release in 
the end-uses specified in the 2011 SNAP rule. This conclusion is 
relevant to the second factor mentioned above in the overall 
determination of whether venting, release, or disposal of a refrigerant 
substitute poses a threat to the environment--that is, a consideration 
of the extent that such venting, release, or disposal is adequately 
controlled by other authorities, regulations, or practices. As such, 
this conclusion is another part of the determination that the venting, 
release or disposal of these three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes 
in the specified end uses under the 2011 SNAP rule does not pose a 
threat to the environment.
    EPA notes that other applicable environmental regulatory 
requirements still apply and are not affected by the determination made 
in this action. As one example, state and local air quality agencies 
may include VOC emissions reductions strategies in state implementation 
plans developed to meet and maintain the National Ambient Air Quality 
Standard (NAAQS) that would apply to hydrocarbon refrigerant 
substitutes. For instance, for those refrigerant substitutes that are 
VOCs as defined in 40 CFR 50.100(s), a State might adopt additional 
control strategies if necessary for an ozone nonattainment area to 
attain the NAAQS for ozone.
    Several commenters supported the determination that the release of 
the hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes determined to be acceptable 
subject to use conditions in specified end uses under the 2011 SNAP 
rule does not pose a threat to the environment because of limits under 
other authorities, such as OSHA requirements, as well as national and 
local building and fire codes. These commenters believe the three 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes in today's action should be exempt 
from the venting prohibition because there are sufficient limits and 
controls under other authorities, regulations or practices that 
adequately control the release and exposure in the specific end-uses.
    One commenter requested an explanation of how ``knowingly venting 
propane . . . would not be disposal of a hazardous waste (see 40 CFR 
261.21).'' The commenter is correct that propane refrigerant could 
technically be characterized as a hazardous waste under 40 CFR 261.21 
specifying the characteristic of ignitability. However, this rule would 
only allow for incidental releases of propane (R-290) found acceptable 
subject to use conditions under the 2011 SNAP rule for use in retail 
food refrigerators and freezers (stand-alone units only). These 
releases would not be subject to RCRA requirements for the disposal of 
hazardous waste as the release would occur incidentally during the 
maintenance, service and repair of the equipment, and this would not 
constitute disposal of the refrigerant charge as a solid waste, per se. 
The Agency further notes that it discussed potential human health risks 
from the release of propane in this end use in the 2011 SNAP rule, and 
it provided information from that rule in the proposal for this rule. 
See 76 FR at 78839 and 78 FR at 21874-75. In the 2011 SNAP rule, the 
Agency considered the risk of asphyxiation to workers (store employees 
and consumers), and evaluated a worst-case scenario and determined that 
the charge size at issue was much smaller than the charge size that 
would result in the no observable adverse effect level (NOAEL) for 
hypoxia. 76 FR at 78839. The Agency also evaluated toxicity impacts 
from the propane end use to workers, consumers, and the general public, 
and found that propane in this end use did not pose a toxicity threat 
based on either occupational exposures, as the time-weighted average 
exposures were well below the industry and government exposure limits, 
or on consumer exposures, as the time-weighted average exposures were 
significantly lower than the NOAEL and/or the acute exposure guideline 
level (AEGL). Id. Further, for the 2011 SNAP Rule EPA modeled exposure 
risk to the general population for propane in this end use and 
concluded that it was unlikely to pose a toxicity risk to the general 
population when used according to the applicable use conditions or 
regulations because modeled exposures were significantly lower than the 
reference concentration. Id. In addition, in this action the Agency is 
determining that these releases do not pose a threat to the 
environment, as described elsewhere in this preamble.
    EPA received several comments that support the determination that, 
in the words of one of the commenters,

[[Page 29688]]

``release of HC based refrigerants during the maintenance, service or 
repair would have a negligible environmental impact'' in part, because 
of limits and controls under other regulations and practices, such as 
OSHA requirements and building and fire codes. However, one commenter 
noted that ``requiring capture continues the best practice currently 
being used and does not create another process dissimilar to the 
current requirements for CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs and blends.'' This 
commenter noted that, ``there are technologies which would facilitate 
[recovery of HCs] . . . passive `draw through' processes such as 
activated carbon adsorption capture [as] . . . one example. The process 
is simple and can be used with the current equipment the service and 
repair industry typically has available.'' EPA understands that this 
process could be used, although there is no applicable standard in the 
U.S. for how it would be implemented and it would create an additional 
risk with the management of the activated carbon that has adsorbed the 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitute due to the aggregation of a larger 
quantity of a material containing a flammable substance. EPA also 
notes, as did other commenters, that the energy for implementing any 
recapture process from the appliances and transporting it, and 
reclaiming or disposing of the hydrocarbon refrigerant substitute, 
especially a process using activated carbon adsorption capture or other 
similar ``draw through'' substance that would then be sent for final 
disposal, recovery or recycling of the material, would likely generate 
greater greenhouse gas emissions than simply venting the very small 
charges of the three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes from the 
specified end-use appliances.
    One commenter suggested that, ``disposal of units containing HC 
charges is vastly different than maintenance, service or repair.'' This 
commenter went on to say that ``HC refrigerants should be recovered by 
Certified Technicians prior to disposal to protect the recyling 
industry and eliminate confusion to technicians and other personnel who 
are not required to obtain EPA Certification to handle refrigerants.'' 
The Agency notes that certification of a technician is not required for 
recovery of refrigerant during disposal of small appliances (see 40 CFR 
82.156(a)), such as the household refrigerators, freezers and 
refrigerator/freezer combinations addressed in this rule. At this time, 
the regulatory requirements for technician certification at 40 CFR 
82.156(a) are limited to recovery of ODS and ODS blends. However, EPA 
believes employees at disposal facilities are very often certified 
technicians or aware of EPA requirements regarding recovery of the 
refrigerants from equipment during disposal. While a technician 
certification is not required in order to use the exemption from the 
venting prohibition in today's action, EPA encourages disposal 
facilities to ensure that employees are familiar with how to safely 
handle and vent the three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes in the 
specified end uses addressed by today's rule. In addition, the 
commenter provides no reason to believe that there is any potential 
environmental threat from venting during disposal that would differ 
from any potential environmental threat from venting during 
maintenance, service or repair. In fact, today's action could reduce 
the number of appliances that are disposed of while still charged with 
these three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes because it will no 
longer be prohibited to vent those refrigerant substitutes in the 
specified end uses during maintenance, service, and repair. Thus, EPA 
does not believe that it needs to address disposal separately in the 
regulations finalized in this action.
    As a suggestion for protecting workers in the appliance recycling 
industry the commenter proposed that ``units using flammable 
refrigerants be marked in a manner that an end of life processing or 
recycling facility can easily identify the hazard from a distance of 36 
inches while looking at the back of the unit.'' With respect to the 
comment regarding risks to workers during the disposal of equipment at 
end-of-life, EPA agrees that flammability is a reason for caution 
during disposal of appliances containing hydrocarbon refrigerant 
substitutes. EPA notes that some of the use conditions in the 2011 SNAP 
rule were required in order to address this potential risk. For 
example, the labeling requirements and the requirement for coloring of 
tubing will serve as notification to servicing and disposal personnel 
that the appliance contains a flammable refrigerant substitute. The 
labeling requirements in the 2011 SNAP final rule require an increased 
lettering size as compared to the UL standards effective when that 
final rule was issued (UL 2000, UL 2010) for the cautionary statement 
about flammability that must be attached to the appliance to provide 
even better notification to those involved in appliance recycling.
    For the reasons explained in this action and in the proposal (78 FR 
21871), EPA concludes that release of and exposure to the three 
hydrocarbon refrigerants during the maintenance, repair, servicing or 
disposal of appliances is controlled by limits and controls under other 
authorities, regulations or practices. EPA further concludes that those 
limits and controls help mitigate risks to the environment that may be 
posed by the venting, release or disposal of these three hydrocarbon 
refrigerants during the maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing 
of appliances.

IV. What is EPA's determination whether venting, release or disposal 
poses a threat to the environment?

    Today EPA is finalizing a decision to exempt from the venting 
prohibition three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes that EPA listed 
as acceptable subject to use conditions in the specified end uses under 
the 2011 SNAP rule, as the EPA is determining that the venting, 
release, or disposal of these substitutes does not pose a threat to the 
environment. Specifically, EPA is exempting from the venting 
prohibition isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A, as refrigerant substitutes 
in household refrigerators, freezers, and combination refrigerators and 
freezers, and propane (R-290), as a refrigerant substitute in retail 
food refrigerators and freezers (stand-alone units only). EPA received 
seven comments supporting this decision. EPA addressed in this action 
commenters' concerns regarding the release of the three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes into the environment. The exemption to the 
venting prohibition in this action does not apply to refrigerants that 
are blends containing hydrocarbons and any amount of any CFC, HCFC, 
HFC,\6\ or PFC.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \6\ Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) also include Hydrofluoroolefins 
(HFOs), which have at least one double bond between carbon atoms.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA reviewed the potential environmental impacts of these three 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes in the end uses for which they are 
listed as acceptable subject to use conditions under the 2011 SNAP 
rule, as well as the authorities, controls and practices in place for 
these three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes. EPA also considered 
the public comments on the proposal for this action. Based on this 
review, EPA concludes that the release of these three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes in these end uses is not expected to pose a 
significant threat to the environment based on the inherent 
characteristics of these substances and the limited quantities used in 
the relevant applications. EPA additionally concludes that existing 
authorities, controls, and practices help mitigate

[[Page 29689]]

environmental risk from the release of these three hydrocarbon 
refrigerant substitutes in these end uses. In light of these two 
conclusions, EPA is determining, in accordance with 608(c)(2), that 
based on current evidence and risk analyses, the venting, release or 
disposal of these hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes during the 
maintenance, servicing, repairing or disposing of the relevant 
appliances does not pose a threat to the environment. EPA is therefore 
extending the regulatory exemption from the venting prohibition at 40 
CFR Sec.  82.154(a)(1) to include these three hydrocarbons in the 
specific end uses that were found acceptable subject to use conditions 
under the 2011 SNAP rule.

V. What revision to the venting prohibition is EPA finalizing today?

    This rule exempts from the prohibition under section 608 of the Act 
against knowing venting, releasing, or disposal of refrigerant 
substitutes during the maintenance, servicing, repair or disposal of 
appliances the three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes in the end 
uses for which they were listed as acceptable subject to use conditions 
under the 2011 SNAP rule: Propane, isobutane, and the hydrocarbon blend 
R-441A.
    In this action the regulatory text is presented differently from 
what appeared in the proposed rulemaking published on April 12, 2012 
(78 FR 21871). These differences reflect modifications that EPA is 
making in this action to the numbering and organization of the 
regulations at 40 CFR 82.154(a)(1) to clarify the effective dates for 
the exemptions under 82.154(a)(1). In particular, EPA is creating sub-
sections under 82.154(a)(1), to reflect the effective dates of 
individual regulatory actions. The first sub-section, 82.154(a)(1)(i), 
will preserve the effective date of June 13, 2005, reflecting the 
Agency's prior action to create an exemption to the venting 
prohibition. This action will be in the next sub-section, 
82.154(a)(1)(ii), reflecting the Agency's decision regarding the three 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes for the specific end-uses listed as 
acceptable subject to use conditions under the 2011 SNAP rule. These 
revisions to the numbering and organization of the regulatory text do 
not change the text of the regulatory provisions that were previously 
codified at 82.154(a)(1) and are not intended to reopen or to change 
the substance or effect of those regulations in any way, although the 
text of those provisions is reprinted for clarity.

VI. 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 Executive Order (E.O.) 12866 (58 FR 5135; October 4, 1993) and 
is therefore not subject to review under E.O. 12866 and E.O. 13563 (76 
FR 3821; January 21, 2011).

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the Paperwork Reduction Act (44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq.). This action 
is an Agency determination and revision of existing regulatory 
provisions. It contains no new requirements for collecting information 
or reporting. The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has previously 
approved the information collection requirements contained in the 
existing regulations in subpart F of 40 CFR 82 under the provisions of 
the Paperwork Reduction Act, 44 U.S.C. 3501 et seq. and has assigned 
OMB control number 2060-0256. The OMB control numbers for EPA's 
regulations are listed in 40 CFR part 9.

C. Regulatory Flexibility Act

    The Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA) generally requires an agency 
to prepare a regulatory flexibility analysis of any rule subject to 
notice and comment rulemaking requirements under the Administrative 
Procedure Act or any other statute unless the agency certifies that the 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities. Small entities include small businesses, 
small organizations, and small governmental jurisdictions.
    For purposes of assessing the impacts of today's rule on small 
entities, small entity is defined as: (1) A small business that is 
primarily engaged in the repair and maintenance of appliances and 
defined by NAIC code 811412 with annual receipts of less than 14 
million dollars, or engaged in separating and sorting recyclable 
materials from non-hazardous waste streams (e.g., scrap yards) and 
defined by NAIC code 562920 and fewer than 100 employees, or merchant 
wholesale distribution of industrial scrap and other recyclable 
materials and defined by NAIC code 423930 with annual receipts of less 
than 12.5 million dollars (based on Small Business Administration size 
standards), (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. In 
determining whether a rule has a significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities, the impact of concern is any 
significant adverse economic impact on small entities, since the 
primary purpose of the regulatory flexibility analyses is to identify 
and address regulatory alternatives ``which minimize any significant 
economic impact of the rule on small entities.'' 5 U.S.C. 603 and 604. 
Thus, an agency may certify that a rule will not have a significant 
economic impact on a substantial number of small entities if the rule 
relieves regulatory burden, or otherwise has a positive economic effect 
on all of the small entities subject to the rule.
    This final rule is primarily deregulatory as it would exempt 
persons from the prohibition under section 608(c)(2) of the Clean Air 
Act, and as implemented by regulations at 40 CFR 82.154(a)(1), against 
knowingly venting or otherwise knowingly releasing or disposing of 
refrigerant substitutes during the maintenance, servicing, repair or 
disposal of appliances for three specific hydrocarbon refrigerant 
substitutes in specific end uses. We have therefore concluded that 
today's final rule will relieve regulatory burden for all affected 
small entities.

D. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action contains no Federal mandates under the provisions of 
Title II of the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of 1995 (UMRA), 2 U.S.C. 
1531-1538 for State, local, or tribal governments or the private 
sector. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any State, local or 
tribal governments or the private sector. Thus, 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. This action is deregulatory in 
nature and creates an exemption under section 608(c)(2) of the Act from 
a statutory and regulatory requirement.

[[Page 29690]]

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 EO 13132 (64 FR 43255, August 10, 1999). This action is 
deregulatory in nature and creates an exemption under section 608(c)(2) 
of the Act from a statutory and regulatory requirement, which would 
benefit any state, local, or tribal government to the extent that they 
are affected. Thus, EO 13132 does not apply to this final rule.
    In the spirit of Executive Order 13132, and consistent with EPA 
policy to promote communications between EPA and State and local 
governments, EPA specifically solicited comment on the proposed action 
from State and local officials.

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

    This action does not have tribal implications, as specified in EO 
13175 (65 FR 67249, November 6, 2000). This final rule is deregulatory 
in nature and would create an exemption under section 608(c)(2) of the 
Act that could be available for the tribal communities or Indian tribal 
governments. Thus, EO 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 the EO 13045 (62 FR 19885, April 23, 
1997) because it is not economically significant as defined in 
Executive Order 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 III in the preamble.

H. Executive Order 13211: Actions 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 regulatory action 
under Executive Order 12866.

I. National Technology Transfer 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 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 rule does not involve technical standards. Therefore, EPA did 
not consider the use of any voluntary consensus standards.

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

    Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629; February 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 exempting under section 
608(c)(2) of the Act certain hydrocarbons from the venting prohibition 
in certain end uses listed as acceptable subject to use conditions will 
not have disproportionately high and adverse human health or 
environmental effects on minority or low-income populations because the 
release of these three hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes would not 
pose a threat to the environment. This final action would not have any 
disproportionately high and adverse human health or environmental 
effects on any population, including any minority or low-income 
population.

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 June 23, 2014.

VII. References

    The documents referenced in the final rule in which the three 
hydrocarbon refrigerant substitutes in specific end-uses were evaluated 
and determined to be acceptable subject to use conditions under SNAP in 
the December 20, 2011 final rule (76 FR 78832), were also referenced in 
the preamble of the proposed rule published on April 12, 2012 (78 FR 
21871). All documents for these two previously published rules are 
located in the Air Docket at the address listed in section titled 
ADDRESSES at the beginning of this document. Unless specified 
otherwise, all documents are available in Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-
2012-0580 at http://www.regulations.gov. Listed below are only new 
documents not previously cited in that previously published rule and 
previously published proposal that were referenced in this action.

    EPA, 2011, ``Environmentally Acceptable Lubricants,'' United 
States Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Wastewater 
Management, November 2011, EPA 800-R-11-002

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

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

    Dated: May 15, 2014.
Gina McCarthy,
Administrator.
    For the reasons set out in the preamble, 40 CFR Part 82 is to be 
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, 7671-7671g.


0
2. Section 82.154 is amended by revising paragraph (a)(1) to read as 
follows:


Sec.  82.154  Prohibitions.

    (a)(1) No person maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of

[[Page 29691]]

appliances may knowingly vent or otherwise release into the environment 
any refrigerant or substitute from such appliances, with the exception 
of the following substitutes in the following end-uses:
    (i) Effective June 13, 2005,
    (A) Ammonia in commercial or industrial process refrigeration or in 
absorption units;
    (B) Hydrocarbons in industrial process refrigeration (processing of 
hydrocarbons);
    (C) Chlorine in industrial process refrigeration (processing of 
chlorine and chlorine compounds);
    (D) Carbon dioxide in any application;
    (E) Nitrogen in any application; or
    (F) Water in any application.
    (ii) Effective June 23, 2014:
    (A) Isobutane (R-600a) and R-441A in household refrigerators, 
freezers, and combination refrigerators and freezers; or
    (B) Propane (R-290) in retail food refrigerators and freezers 
(stand-alone units only).
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2014-12028 Filed 5-22-14; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6560-50-P