Chemours, Honeywell Challenge D.C. Court’s HFC Ruling
August decision ignored original directive, intent of EPA, companies say
The Chemours Co. and Honeywell have filed a petition for rehearing of an appeals court’s decision concerning the phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA’s) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.
In August, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of the plaintiffs in the case of Mexichem Fluor Inc. vs. the Environmental Protection Agency. The court said the EPA cannot ban HFCs under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act because that provision was designed only to address ozone-depleting substances. Although HFCs are among the greenhouse gases suspected of contributing to climate change, they do not deplete the ozone layer.
Chemours said it believes that the legal basis of the rule was well-founded, and the court's ruling exceeded its jurisdiction, effectively invalidating a decades-old EPA regulation and failing to take into account the EPA's original directive to ensure that safer alternatives are used to replace ozone-depleting substances.
“The SNAP program has a long history of encouraging the development of innovative solutions that provide critical societal value in refrigeration, air conditioning, insulation, and other segments,” Chemours said in a prepared statement. “American companies have invested well over a billion dollars to develop, commercialize, and build U.S. manufacturing facilities to produce and use novel alternatives such as hydrofluoroolefin (HFO) technology—a technology that is being adopted worldwide.
“The view that the preservation of this rule is in the best interest of the public, the environment, and U.S industry is shared by a growing number of states, academia, and businesses,” the company added. “The world will continue to focus on safer and more energy efficient solutions, and Chemours remains committed to continuing to support these market and societal needs.”
Honeywell said the court’s decision ignored the original intent to direct the EPA to replace ozone- depleting substances with the safest alternatives for various uses, and undermines the innovation and private sector investment that American businesses have made to create and transition to safer alternative chemicals.
The SNAP program is instrumental in supporting American innovation, manufacturing and global competitiveness in commercializing next-generation technologies,” the company said in a prepared statement. “This regulation is well supported by the law, and we are confident that when this decision is reviewed that the original intent of fostering innovation while protecting human health and the environment will be restored.”
Publication date: 10/4/2017