Written on: November 1, 2023 by Doug Raymond
There was significant activity last month.
The Technology Transitions Final Rule under The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) American Innovation & Manufacturing (AIM) Act was made publicly available on Oct. 6 as a pre-publication. We expect the Final Rule to be the same. The Technology Transitions Rule restricts the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) by sector or subsector, meaning aerosols, foams, refrigeration and air conditioning, as well as heat pump products and equipment. Beginning Jan. 1, 2025, certain HFCs will be restricted in these sectors. The prohibitions apply to manufacture, distribution, sale, installation, import and export of products containing restricted HFCs. Deadlines and Global Warming Potential (GWP) limits vary based on sector. Think of this rule as the newer version of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule.
The Technology Transitions Final Rule is 433 pages long. The pre-publication version was signed on Oct. 5 by the EPA Administrator, Michael Regan. As of this writing, I have not had time to review it in detail. I have reviewed the Aerosol Sector restrictions (pp. 330–332) and the following is a quick summary; more information will be available in the next column, after a more thorough review:
• Starting on Jan. 1, 2025, EPA is restricting the use of HFCs and blends containing HFCs in aerosols to a GWP of 150 or less.
• EPA is extending the restriction deadline for certain technical aerosol use until Jan. 1, 2028. The technical uses of aerosols are the following:
o Cleaning products for removal of grease, flux and other soils from electrical equipment or electronics;
o Refrigerant flushes;
o Products for sensitivity testing of smoke detectors;
o Lubricants and freeze sprays for electrical equipment or electronics;
o Sprays for aircraft maintenance;
o Sprays containing corrosion preventive compounds used in the maintenance of aircraft, electrical equipment, electronics or military equipment;
o Pesticides for use near electrical wires or in aircraft, in total release insecticide foggers or in certified organic use pesticides for which EPA has specifically disallowed all other lower-GWP propellants;
o Mold release agents and mold cleaners;
o Lubricants and cleaners for spinnerets for synthetic fabrics;
o Duster sprays specifically for removal of dust from photographic negatives, semiconductor chips, specimens under electron microscopes and energized electrical equipment;
o Adhesives and sealants in large canisters;
o Document preservation sprays;
o Wound care sprays;
o Topical coolant sprays for pain relief; and
o Products for removing bandage adhesives from skin
EPA has granted a three-year extension to all products that were originally given an extension under the original SNAP Ruling. However, this time, there is final deadline for use. Also, there is a three-year sell-through for any technical products manufactured before Jan. 1, 2028.
Industry worked with the EPA on this rule to try and make it reasonable; time will tell whether or not we were successful. Visit: here
Clark County, Nevada
You may recall that Clark County is developing a consumer products regulation. Industry is still working with the county agency to determine the effective date or the sell-through date. Both are critical for compliance issues. The good news is that Clark County has abandoned its ridiculously short time frames. Currently we are looking at six months or a year for effective date and sell-through. While these are still very short time frames, the dates proposed are better than before. Industry will continue to monitor this rule.
There are only two months until Canada’s Consumer Product Rule takes effect. Remember, all non-compliant product should be in Canada before the effective date of Jan. 1, 2024, to receive the sell-through provision. SPRAY