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US EPA considers future ban on R134a chillers

R134a could in the future be deemed unacceptable for use in chillers

USA: The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is considering declaring refrigerant R134a as being unsuitable for use in chillers.

This potential future prohibition was one of a number of end-uses and refrigerants revealed as being under consideration for action in future changes to the EPA’s SNAP listing at a recent  stakeholder meeting in Washington.

In July, the EPA listed as unacceptable under SNAP several common high GWP refrigerants from certain end uses from as early as January 1, 2017, as part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. This included the refrigerants R134a and R404A in certain retail food refrigeration system applications.

Going forward, the EPA announced that it is considering listing as unacceptable a number of refrigerants in several end-uses in the future. This includes R134a, R407C and R410A in chillers; R134a, R404A and R507A in refrigerated food processing and dispensing; and R134a, R407C, R404A and R507A in cold storage warehouses. It is also considering delisting R134a from use in domestic refrigerators.

The EPA said it was not considering any across-the-board GWP cut-offs or the banning of HFCs as a whole or in any one sector, but would continue to consider individual end-uses.

The EPA revealed that it was also looking at listing new HFCs or HFC blends if they posed no greater risk than other available substitutes.

Related stories:

Delayed HFC bans to become law July 2, 2015
USA: With new US HFC refrigerant bans about to become law, industry pressure has delayed measures which could have banned R134a and R404A from the end of this year. Read more…

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