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EPA to Reduce HFC Emissions through SNAP

In a clear signal to initiate action regarding the use and emissions of HFCs, the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hosted a stakeholders meeting to discuss the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program on August 22nd. The stakeholder's meeting was called in response to President Obama's Climate Action Plan announcement on June 25th, which directed the EPA to use its authority through the SNAP program "to encourage private-sector investment in low-emissions technology by identifying and approving climate-friendly chemicals while prohibiting certain uses of the most harmful chemical alternatives."

The purpose of the SNAP stakeholder meeting was to encourage an exchange of ideas between the EPA and interested stakeholders on the next steps and effective approaches to accomplish the Climate Action Plan goals for the SNAP Program.

Established in 1994 by section 613 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), the SNAP program seeks to ensure that alternatives to ozone-depleting substances used in key sectors pose lower overall risk to human health and the environment than what is currently or potentially available. This is accomplished through the review of alternatives based on:

  • Toxicity;
  • Flammability;
  • Ozone-depletion potential;
  • Global warming potential;
  • Environmental fate; and
  • Other criteria

This EPA action is consistent with other global activity to phase down the production, use, and emissions of HFCs, such as the Montreal Protocol and European Commission (EC) proposals. Both the EC and EPA are assessing the environmental benefit of prohibiting the future use of HFCs in applications where alternatives are already available. This action may be an indication for upcoming changes for the fire suppression industry – where alternatives to the use of HFCs are readily available.

Learn how 3M™ Novec™ products can be used to reduce the use and emissions of HFCs in a broad spectrum of applications currently addressed by the SNAP regulations.

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