USA: The California Air Resources Board (CARB) yesterday adopted the EPA’s proposed SNAP rules to reduce emissions of HFC refrigerants despite the US Court of Appeal declaring them illegal.

Last year, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia’ decided that the EPA could not use a section of the Clean Air Act to target HFCs. Under the EPA rules, high GWP refrigerants including R404A, R134a, R407C and R410A were to be removed from the EPA’s SNAP list for use in certain new products.

“The Board’s action today preserves the federal limits on the use of these powerful chemicals and refrigerants, and provides more certainty to industry,” board chair Mary D Nichols said. “We applaud the actions of many industries, which already have made significant investments in developing and using more climate-friendly alternatives to the high-global warming HFCs.”

California says it has taken the action to meet state and federally mandated emissions reduction goals. Under a Senate Bill authored by Senator Ricardo Lara in 2016, California must reduce HFC emissions by 40% below 2013 levels by 2030. CARB maintains it was relying substantially on the US EPA’s SNAP rules to help meet California’s emission reduction goals for HFCs. As a result of the recent court decision, California has had to pass its own regulation to ensure it could meet those goals.

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