WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has published a notice in the Federal Register proposing to exempt three hydrocarbon refrigerants from the venting, release, and disposal prohibitions of Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. The three hydrocarbons are isobutane (R-600a), R-441A, and propane (R-290), which have been listed as acceptable substitutes subject to use conditions under EPA’s Significant New Alternative Policy (SNAP) program.

The proposed exemption to the venting prohibition would not apply to hydrocarbon blends containing any amount of CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, or PFCs. The EPA noted it is proposing this exemption on the basis of current evidence that the venting, release, and disposal of these three substitute refrigerants does not pose a significant threat to the environment. EPA will accept comments on this proposed rule until June 11.

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Publication date: 4/29/2013