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EPA Finalizes Rule on Safer HFC Alternatives Under SNAP Program


Washington, DC, 26 April 2021 – The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) took an important step for climate protection today by finalizing Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program rule 23 (SNAP 23). This rule approves several low global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants for split system air conditioners and heat pumps, including R-32.

R-32 is a single-component, lower GWP refrigerant that is used in the most energy-efficient heat pumps and air conditioners sold in Europe and Japan. It is globally accepted and already used in the United States in window air conditioners. Manufacturers worldwide have selected this refrigerant as the next-generation solution for most residential, light commercial, and applied products. Many other lower-GWP refrigerant choices are at various stages of commercialization.

"The Biden Administration is proving that government can be a force for good in approving superior technology to replace dangerous climate super pollutants," said Dr. Stephen O. Andersen, IGSD Director of Research. "We are encouraged to see the EPA clear the logjam from the previous administration and act at the speed of business to protect the climate."

The Office of Management and Budget waived Executive Order 12866 review on the SNAP 23 final rule, which sped up publication of the rule by the Office of the Federal Register.

"Finally, US consumers and businesses will have access to more energy-efficient air conditioners and heat pumps using climate-friendly refrigerants like R-32,” Said Kristen Taddonio, IGSD Senior Climate and Energy Advisor. “IGSD  looks forward to listing the most efficient new models soon at our climatefriendlycooling.com, where consumers can easily find energy-efficient products that use the most climate-friendly refrigerants."

Finalization of SNAP 23 comes less than three months after President Biden’s January executive order package which directed the State Department to prepare a transmittal package for submission to the Senate for advice and consent to ratify the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol to phase down HFCs (Sec.102. j.); and the inclusion of the American Innovation and Manufacturing Act of 2020 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act that was signed into law on 27 December 2020, which provided federal authority to phase down HFC refrigerant production and consumption in line with the Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.

“We’re happy to see the President’s climate team is on a roll with their actions to cut HFCs!” said Durwood Zaelke, President of the Institute for Governance & Sustainable Development.

See the Signed SNAP Listing Rule 23 here.