EPA Lists New Alternatives for Refrigeration and Air Conditioning Sector and Modifies Existing Listing for Fire Suppression Sector
In the May 6, 2021 Federal Register, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) listed certain substances in the refrigeration and air conditioning sector as acceptable substitutes and removes an acceptable subject to use condition for the fire suppression sector because EPA more recently listed the substitute as acceptable with no use restrictions. The rule is effective June 7, 2021.
- Listing R-448A, R-449A, and R-449B as acceptable, subject to narrowed use limits, for use in retail food refrigeration-medium temperature stand-alone units for new equipment;
- Listing R-452B, R454A, R-454B, R-454C, and R-457A as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for use in residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps for new equipment, and R-32 as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for use in residential and light commercial air conditioning and heat pumps-equipment other than self-contained room air conditioners, for new equipment; and
- Removing powdered aerosol E from the list of fire suppression substitutes acceptable subject to use conditions in total flooding applications.
EPA Issues Memo Directing Agents to Increase Inspections and Enforcement in Overburdened Communities
On April 30, 2021 EPA’s acting enforcement chief, Larry Starfield, issued an internal memo directing agency staff to consider environmental justice when pursuing environmental crimes. Specifically, the memo directs staff to do the following: increase the number of facility inspections in overburdened communities, strengthen enforcement in overburdened communities by resolving environmental noncompliance through remedies with tangible benefits for the community, and increase engagement with communities about enforcement cases that most directly impact them. The memo details a slew of options to achieve each of these initiatives such as reanalyzing where inspection resources are currently allocated, seeking early and innovative relief such as fence-line monitoring and transparency tools, and increasing awareness of and ease of access to EJSCREEN and ECHO. This memo is part of Biden Administration and EPA wide effort to approach environmental enforcement from an environmental justice perspective.