The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that they will soon issue a proposed rule that would eliminate the use of 134a as a refrigerant in new motor vehicles and as an aerosol in many consumer products.
The action will be taken under the Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP), which was established under the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments to evaluate the human health and environmental impact of substitutes for ozone-depleting substances that have been phased out of production. The agency is taking this action as part of the President Climate Action Plan, which aims to develop an “all-of-the-above” strategy for reducing emissions of greenhouse gases in the U.S.
According to the agency, a proposed rule will be issued this summer to withdraw approval for 134a for use in new motor vehicles and as an aerosol in consumer products. EPA pointed to the availability of substitutes for 134a in both motor vehicles and consumer products including 1234yf which was approved under SNAP for use on vehicles. EPA did clarify that the upcoming action will not impact the use of 134a in the servicing of motor vehicles already on the road. As part of the announcement, EPA did not specify a timeline for ending use of 134a, but stated that such action would be determined based on each specified use case.