U.S. Court of Appeals upholds decision to vacate EPA HFC rule

The United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has denied a petition to rehear its earlier decision to “vacate,” or strike down, a 2015 EPA SNAP (Significant New Alternatives Policy) rule that would have banned the use of certain HFCs commonly used in a number of commercial foodservice equipment categories. The Jan. 26 decision reaffirmed that EPA does not have authority to regulate HFCs under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act, since they are non-ozone depleting substances. However, given the ongoing pressure to remove HFCs from the supply chain, such as the regulatory efforts in California discussed below, manufacturers are strongly encouraged to continue to explore alternative refrigerant options. NAFEM will continue to monitor this situation and provide future updates as appropriate.