CARB Launches Rulemaking for EPA SNAP Rules

In an article written by Elise Herron, on

California agency seeks input for adopting EPA SNAP’s HFC delisting rules and SLCP strategy’s HFC phase-down plans.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) held a public workshop Tuesday, October 24 as the first step towards adopting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) rules on HFC delistings. The workshop also addressed next steps on regulating high-GWP HFCs through CARB’s Short-Lived Climate Pollutants (SLCP) Strategy.

CARB’s proposed plan is to adopt all provisions from the EPA SNAP rules 20 and 21 – which delist high-GWP HFCs – by reference for stationary refrigeration and air conditioning. That would include:

  • Supermarket systems (new and retrofit)
  • Remote condensing units (new and retrofit)
  • Stand-alone (self-contained) refrigeration
  • Refrigerated vending machines
  • Retail food (refrigerated food processing and dispensing equipment)
  • Cold storage
  • Chillers

This is another example of California’s leadership in the move towards natural refrigerants, and this will be warmly welcomed by the industry.” – Derek Hamilton, vice president of business development for Portland, Ore.-based shecco America.

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CARB to Consider Adopting SNAP’s HFC Bans

In a recent post on they state:

In reaction to appeals court ruling, a public workshop on Oct. 24 will look at continuing EPA’s HFC delistings for stationary refrigeration and air conditioning end uses in California.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) will hold a public workshop on October 24 to discuss beginning a rulemaking process to adopt into state regulations the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule prohibitions of HFCs in stationary refrigeration and air conditioning end uses.

The workshop will also further evaluate the proposed HFC mitigation strategies identified in CARB’s adopted Short-Lived Climate Pollutant (SLCP) Strategy for potential future rulemakings.

The rulemaking to adopt the SNAP program’s bans on HFCs is in response to a U.S. Court of Appeals 2-1 panel ruling on August 8 that the EPA cannot require companies to replace HFCs designated for HVAC&R equipment with low-GWP substances under the SNAP program.

“Although CARB is actively defending these [SNAP rules] in court, and believes that the federal program is the preferred path to achieve these reductions, it must consider state law alternatives as well in order to reach state [HFC] reduction targets,” said CARB

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French Revolt Over Proposed HFC Tax

In a recent post on

FRANCE: Twenty ac and refrigeration manufacturers, contractors, and end user associations have announced opposition to the French government’s plan to introduce a tax on HFC refrigerants.

In July, the French environment minister Nicolas Hulot announced a proposed tax on HFCs as part of its Climate Plan. In an industry reeling from huge increases on high GWP refrigerants this year, the new tax, which is expected to be included in the budget for 2018, could add well over €100/kg on a refrigerant like R404A.

The 20 associations listed in the opposition document cover food processors; air conditioning, refrigeration and heat pump manufacturers, distributors and installers; refrigerant distributors; refrigerated transport and warehouses, small traders and catering companies.

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AHRI Calls for EPA Appeal of DC Circuit SNAP Decision


The AHRI Government Affairs and Executive Committees voted last week to express the industry’s preference that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) appeal the recent decision of the three-judge panel of the U.S. District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit that found that the EPA lacks authority to regulate HFC refrigerants under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act. The deadline for appeal is September 22. Should the EPA decide not to appeal, it is likely that one of the other parties to the lawsuit will choose to do so. AHRI has been in conversations with both the EPA and the White House in the wake of this decision to provide information on the industry’s position and to discuss what other implementation tactics might be available in the event this ruling stands.

In its decision, the court found that although EPA has the authority under Section 612 to address substitutes that are ozone-depleting substances (ODS), it does not have the authority under that section to restrict the use of previously acceptable substitutes that are not ozone-depleting. The August 8 decision has called into question whether any acceptable non-ODS substitute can be restricted under the agency’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program once the EPA deems it an acceptable alternative for an ODS substance, regardless of any potential risks.

AHRI’s interest in an appeal stems from the association’s strong support for the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol, which sets forth a global orderly phase down of HFC refrigerants. In the event the U.S. ratifies the treaty, the court ruling could complicate its implementation in this country. The prospect of additional HFC regulation by state governments also factored into AHRI’s interest in an appeal. Contact: Allison Edwards.