EPA Reverses Ruling on Refrigerant
Nov. 8, 2013—The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently issued a final rule under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) that will permit the refrigerant R-1234yf to be sold to consumers to recharge their vehicle air conditioning systems.
The ruling, which will take effect Dec. 2, came as a result of a lawsuit by the Automotive Aftermarket Industry Association (AAIA) and the Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute (ARPI). The EPA originally issued a rule that required anyone to notify EPA at least 90 days prior to the manufacture or processing of HFO 1234yf for consumer use, based on toxicity concerns.
The AAIA and ARPI filed suit against the agency, claiming that the studies used to make the toxicity determination overstated human exposure levels.
Following a review of the data submitted by AAIA and ARPI that indicated there was no adverse impact on consumers, EPA reversed its decision.
HFO 1234yf, developed by Honeywell and DuPont, is already used by General Motors. The AAIA said other auto manufacturers are expected to follow suit, replacing R-134a with R-1234yf due to lower global warming potential.