EPA Publishes Notice Announcing It Will Not Enforce 2015 HFC Alternatives Rule

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published a notice containing information related to the EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program  (which identifies acceptable and unacceptable substitutes for ozone depleting substances) and in particular, a July 2015 rule prohibiting the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—which are powerful greenhouse gases—as replacements for ozone-depleting substances.

The D.C. Circuit had issued a 2017 decision, Mexichem Fluor, Inc. v. EPA, 866 F.3d 451, in which it vacated the portion of the rule requiring manufacturers to phase out the use of HFCs with high global warming potentials (GWPs) and remanded to EPA for further proceedings.

The notice issued by EPA clarifies that EPA will not enforce the 2015 rule and announces EPA’s intent to begin a notice-and-comment rulemaking process to address the remand of the rule.