A RULE set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency to remove R134a and a range of other HFC refrigerants from its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) has been overturned in a US Court of Appeal.
If the decision stands, there will no longer be a legal reason for newly manufactured passenger cars and light trucks, beginning with the 2021 model year, to use R1234yf, R744 or any other low global warming potential refrigerant.
Legal representatives of R1234yf manufacturers Chemours and Honeywell engaged in the court case to defend the EPA’s position and have since lodged an appeal.
Interestingly, lawyers from the Trump administration were also in court defending the EPA, despite the US President’s apparent climate-sceptic stance.
The case was brought by refrigerant companies Arkema and Mexichem, which among other things, claimed the EPA could not use a section of the US Clean Air Act designed for ozone-depleting substances to control HFCs.
Instead, the court offered, the EPA could use the Toxic Substances Control Act or retroactively disapprove certain refrigerants.
The HFC bans may also take place at state level, with the California Air Resources Board proposing to uphold the EPA rule.