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AAIA Applauds EPA Refrigerant Ruling

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Nov. 11, 2013—In an announcement made Friday, The Automotive Industry Aftermarket Association (AAIA) stated its support of the new vehicle air-conditioning refrigerant restrictions made by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The EPA issued a final rule on Nov. 1,  allowing consumers unrestricted access to a new vehicle air-conditioning refrigerant. The ruling under the Toxic Substances Control Act eliminates the requirement to notify the agency at least 90 days in advance before manufacturing or processing the refrigerant HFO-1234yf for consumers to recharge auto air conditioning units. The rule is effective Dec. 2.

The decision came after AAIA and the Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute (ARPI) filed suit against the EPA to allow consumer sales of HFO-1234yf, stating the EPA had previously overstated the health and environmental dangers of HFO-1234yf.

After reviewing previous studies as well as new studies, the EPA concluded that the refrigerant is safer and more environmentally friendly than its predecessor, R-134a. With a significantly lower global warming potential, General Motors has started to use the new refrigerant on some vehicle lines, and other automakers are expected to follow suit.

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