As U.S. retailers find more eco-friendly refrigerated case systems on the market, ones that are deemed harmful will no longer be available if an EPA proposal goes into effect. The new proposal would ban systems that use HFCs and HFC-containing blends for new equipment as of Jan. 1, 2016. The proposal affects vending machines as well as refrigerated display cases.
This is the agency’s second action aimed at reducing emissions of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), a class of potent greenhouse gases, under President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. This action is estimated to reduce greenhouse gases by up to 42 million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent by 2020, equal to the carbon dioxide emissions from the annual electricity use of more than 5 million homes.
“This action will not only result in significant reductions of harmful greenhouse gases, but it will also encourage businesses to continue bringing safer alternatives to market,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.
Under the authority of the Clean Air Act, EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program evaluates substitute chemicals and technologies that are safe for the ozone layer. This proposed action would change the status of certain high-global warming potential (GWP) HFCs that were previously listed as acceptable under the SNAP Program to be unacceptable in specific end-uses based on information showing that other alternatives are available for the same uses that pose lower risk overall to human health or the climate.
The proposal complements an earlier action EPA proposed to expand the list of climate-friendly alternatives for refrigeration and air conditioning under its SNAP Program.
The agency received input from industry, environmental groups and others through workshops and meetings over the past year on this proposal.
EPA will accept comment on the proposal for 60 days after publication in the Federal Register.
Learn more about EPA’s SNAP Program and the proposal: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/snap/regulations.html