According to a summary from AHRI, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit issued a decision to vacate the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA’s) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rule 21 last month in response to a lawsuit brought by Mexichem Fluor and Arkema, with Chemours and Honeywell joining the case on the side of the EPA.

The SNAP 21 rule, which delisted certain HFCs, was issued in 2016 and was similar to a previous rule, SNAP 20, issued in 2015. The above-mentioned stakeholders filed suit, challenging the legality of both rules. In 2017, a three-judge panel of the D.C. Circuit Court vacated the SNAP 20 rule, finding that the EPA lacked authority from Congress to regulate HFCs that were used as replacements for ozone-depleting substances. The court had decided to consider each case separately, and the SNAP 21 case was held in abeyance until last week when the court determined that it was bound by its SNAP 20 decision because the facts and law of each case were identical.

The EPA will take action to issue a guidance document in response to the court's decision clarifying how it will implement that decision, but it is expected to redraft the SNAP 21 rule to address the Court's ruling, just as it is in the process of redrafting the SNAP 20 rule. That rule will address how the EPA will implement its authority pursuant to the court's Aug. 8, 2017, decision. AHRI expects to see a proposal as soon as this month.

Publication date: 4/29/2019

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