The EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) was instituted under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act to identify and evaluate alternatives for ozone-depleting substances. The SNAP program seeks to understand the overall effect of these substances on our health and environment while gathering knowledge and evaluating information on the alternatives available that could be acceptable substitutes that pose less of a risk to the population as a whole.
Phaseout of Class II Ozone-Depleting Substances. Ban on remaining production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b.
There is a progressive phase out of Class II ozone-depleting substances that are utilized in a wide variety of applications within the industry. These substances, known as hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC) are utilized in a wide variety of applications but, for our industry, the most widely used is HCFC-22 (R-22) a component in most refrigerant blends. The United States committed to a collaborative, international effort, through the Montreal Protocol, to gradually phase out the use and production of substances with ozone-depleting potential, with a complete HCFC phase out by 2030.
HCFC-22 (R-22) and HCFC-142b are the next two slated for depletion in 2020. The complete scheduled phase out goes as follows:
January 1, 2010 – Ban on production, import and use of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b, except for continuing servicing needs of existing equipment
January 1, 2015 – Ban on production, import, and use of all HCFCs, except for continuing servicing needs of refrigeration equipment
January 1, 2020 – Ban on remaining production and import of HCFC-22 and HCFC-142b. After 2020, the servicing of systems with R-22 will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities
January 1, 2020 – R404A and R507A, among other refrigerants will be banned in new cold-storage warehouse systems.
January 1, 2030 – Ban on remaining production and import of all HCFCs
This rule modifies refrigerant management regulations for substitute refrigerants, such as HFCs. This does not affect the current requirements for ozone-depleting refrigerants and does not affect the Clean Air Act prohibition on intentionally venting or otherwise knowingly releasing ozone-depleting and non-ozone depleting refrigerant (including HFCs) into the environment.
Effective April 10, 2020, appliances with 50 or more pounds of substitute refrigerants are no longer subject to the requirements at 40 CFR 82.157, including:
Repairing appliances that leak above a certain level and conducting verification tests on repairs;
Periodically inspecting for leaks;
Reporting chronically leaking appliances to the EPA;
Retrofitting or retiring appliances that are not repaired; and
The Refrigeration and Air Conditioning sector is just one of eight that fall under SNAP’s risk framework. In order to come to a decision on acceptable substitutes, an analysis of the risks is performed from the various substitutes in different industrial and consumer uses that have historically used ozone depleting substances. When evaluating each proposed alternative, they look at things like ozone depleting potential, global warming potential (GWP), toxicity, flammability, among other items. Through these evaluations, a list of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes is generated for each of the major sectors and are updated many times throughout the year. SNAP regulations have many rules, but the ones that pertain to the food retail refrigeration are the following:
CARB – The Refrigerant Management Program (RMP)requires facilities with refrigeration systems containing more than 50 pounds of high-GWP refrigerant to conduct and report periodic leak inspections, promptly repair leaks; and keep service records on site. The regulation also requires service practices intended to minimize refrigerant emissions. Read More>