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Industry news, environmental updates and technical information from the makers of 3M™ Novec™ products.

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Industry news, environmental updates and technical information from the makers of 3M™ Novec™ products.

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  • Canada Fuels Anticipated Global Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Phasedown

    May 17, 2016

    A global hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) phasedown appears to be imminent, with Canada proposing domestic regulations on HFCs to meet their eventual obligations under the Montreal Protocol. Canada’s proposal is bold – combining an HFC phasedown with product-specific controls that are closely aligned with the U.S. EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.

    This March, the Environment and Climate Change Canada (ECCC) released its proposal for significant controls on HFCs. The proposed approach combines a phasedown of HFCs from a calculated baseline and a series of product-specific controls for certain sectors. The proposal reflects comments ECCC received throughout the consultation process and aligns, where possible, with the U.S. EPA’s SNAP program.

    1230 Fire Protection Fluid
  • It’s Earth Day! Celebrating significant sustainability strives this year.

    April 22, 2016

    With every year that passes, we gain a better understanding of how our actions affect the world around us, and more importantly, how we can make smarter decisions to reduce impact on the environment. This Earth Day, let's recognize our partners and stakeholders for some of the sustainability strides made over the past year and reignite our united commitment for a more sustainable future.

    U.S. EPA to Reassess SNAP Status of HFCs in Fire Suppression
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a prepublication version of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program Rule 21, which, among other initiatives, changes the status of a number of substitutes that were previously listed as acceptable. Coming on the heels of the SNAP Fire Suppression Stakeholder Workshop, SNAP Rule 21 notes high GWP HFCs represent a substantial portion of the products in the fire protection market. The HFCs most commonly sold into fire suppression, such as FM-200™, have a GWP that is more than 3000 times that of CO2. The U.S. EPA is requesting updated information on the continuing use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), such as FM-200™, use in fire extinguishing applications and the availability of substitutes or alternative technologies or processes that would obviate their continued use.

    1230 Fire Protection Fluid
  • U.S. EPA Requests Advance Comments on FM-200™ and Other Potent Greenhouse Gases

    April 19, 2016

    As part of a prepublication version of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program's Rule 21, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has formally requested advance comments from the fire protection industry. The U.S. EPA is requesting updated information on continuing the use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), such as FM-200™, in fire extinguishing applications and the availability of substitutes or alternative technologies or processes that would obviate their continued use. The U.S. EPA has already proposed to change the status of perfluorocarbons (PFCs) sold into fire suppression to unacceptable because their high global warming potentials (GWPs) are significantly higher than other available alternatives and that risks, other than GWP, are not significantly different. Now they are assessing whether the same conclusion could be made about HFCs used for total flooding and streaming fire protection applications.

    On March 29, 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a prepublication version of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program Rule 21, which, among other initiatives, changes the status of a number of substitutes that were previously listed as acceptable. Coming on the heels of the SNAP Fire Suppression Stakeholder Workshop, SNAP Rule 21 notes high GWP HFCs represent a substantial portion of the products in the fire protection market. The HFCs most commonly sold into fire suppression, such as FM-200™, have a GWP that is more than 3000 times that of CO2.

  • n-Propyl Bromide (nPB) Targeted for Worker Health Risks in Vapor Degreasing

    March 24, 2016

    This month, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released for public comment and peer review a draft risk assessment for n-propyl bromide (nPB) used in spray adhesives, dry cleaning (including spot cleaners) applications, and vapor degreasing. In addition, the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) has issued its own draft criteria document for worker exposure to nPB, and the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry (ATSDR) examined the health hazards of nPB associated with different worker exposure durations. With increasing regulations on the use of nPB in vapor degreasing, it’s time to switch to an nPB drop-in replacement like 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids – a family of safer, sustainable solvents.

    Read the full EPA News Release here.

    The draft assessment of nPB, also known as 1-bromopropane (1-BP), was conducted as part of the EPA’s Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) Chemical Work Plan assessment effort. According to the assessment, the chemical showed acute risks to women of childbearing age from adverse developmental effects. Other non-cancer and cancer health risks were identified for workers with repeated and chronic exposures, including neurotoxicity, kidney, liver, and reproductive toxicity, and lung cancer.

  • Minimize your customer’s risk. Visit 3M’s booth at SFPE Atlanta to see why Novec 1230 fluid is a clean agent fire extinguishing solution they can live with.

    March 14, 2016

    Join your fire protection and fire safety engineering colleagues March 15 - 16 at the 2016 Annual SFPE Greater Atlanta Chapter Fire Safety Conference. Visit our booth to discover how 3M can help minimize your customer’s risk.

    Unlike greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid is unfazed by the HFC phasedown. It is not targeted for regulatory restrictions and phasedowns and is safe for use in occupied spaces, giving you the confidence to specify a system that will stand the test of time. Thousands of fire protection professionals around the world rely on Novec 1230 fluid to keep essential facilities safely up and running. With a global warming potential of less than one, it is designed for the life of the system, the life of the investment and the life of the planet.

  • U.S. EPA solicits comments from the fire protection sector on hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and the Climate Action Plan

    March 3, 2016

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) convened the fire protection industry to discuss the hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) component of the President’s Climate Action Plan. The U.S. EPA is particularly interested in low global warming potential (GWP) alternatives in the fire suppression sector and applications for which low GWP alternatives are not available. Advance the discussion and submit your comments today.

    In December 2015, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) held a Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Stakeholder Workshop for the fire protection sector. As outlined in the workshop’s presentation, the purpose of stakeholder meeting was to identify:

    • Low GWP alternatives used in fire suppression;
    • Applications for which low GWP alternatives are not yet available; and
    • SNAP status change options
     

     

  • Hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) like FM-200™ to Follow Path of Halon; Phasedown Path Determined in 2016

    February 17, 2016

    At the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP27), all 197 countries agreed that the framework for global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) will be decided in 2016. With the formation of a contact group, an amendment to the Montreal Protocol and a global HFC phasedown appears to be imminent. How quickly the phasedown will occur will be negotiated in 2016.

    For the past several years, proposals have been made under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to phase down global production and consumption of HFCs with a framework similar to the EU F-gas regulations. In this way, HFCs would be put on a phasedown schedule similar to the path taken by halon. Until the  27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer (MOP27) in November 2015 in Dubai, the proposals had been blocked by a procedural issue and formal negotiations were not allowed to advance. At MOP27, all of that changed.

  • U.S. EPA Announces Procurement Recommendations for Federal Agencies

    February 4, 2016

    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its recommendations for U.S. federal agencies to help them purchase more environmentally sustainable products and services in accordance with Executive Order 13693.

    On September 25, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released its recommendations for purchasing environmentally preferable products and services to the U.S. federal government, one of the world’s largest purchasers. This action is aimed at helping federal agencies purchase more environmentally sustainable products and services in accordance with Executive Order 13693, while reducing public health and environmental impacts associated with the federal government’s extensive supply chain.  

  • Montreal Protocol Hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) Amendment Expected for 2016

    November 19, 2015

    After six years of negotiation, the highly anticipated “contact group on the feasibility and ways of managing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)” was formed. At the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP) in Dubai, all 197 countries agreed to “work within the Montreal Protocol to an HFC amendment in 2016 by first resolving challenges by generating solutions in the contact group.”

    November 5, 2015 marks the day when the 27th Meeting of the Parties to the Montreal Protocol (MOP) decided to form the “contact group on the feasibility and ways of managing hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)” – putting the production of HFCs on a path for global phase-down. Click here to learn more about the Parties’ path forward.

  • SFPE recognizes 3M’s Paul Rivers as 2015 Fellow

    October 13, 2015

    The Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) has recognized six of its members as Fellows for 2015, including 3M’s Senior Fire Protection Specialist, Paul Rivers. As a 2015 SFPE Fellow, Rivers represents a distinguished group of members who have achieved a standard of excellence and have made significant contributions to fire protection engineering and the society globally.

    After nearly 40 years as a member of SFPE International, Paul Rivers, P.E., Senior Fire Protection Engineer at 3M, has been elected an SFPE Fellow for 2015 for his significant achievements and contributions in the fire protection industry. He has been actively involved in SFPE on both international and local levels, serving on the society’s Board of Directors and currently acting as the Minnesota Chapter President.

  • Don’t drench your data, protect business flow with Novec 1230 Fluid

    October 6, 2015

    Live fire testing footage shows that water sprinkler systems discharged in a data center can cause more damage and disruption than the actual fire. You will also see that by installing a clean agent fire suppression system using 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid the damage could be prevented, and your downtime could be minimized.

    One of the most feared, and often least talked about, causes of data interruption is fire – because even a small fire can result in costly service interruptions, destroyed equipment, loss of valuable customer data and even disruptions to vital services such as emergency response and air traffic control.

  • High GWP Fire Suppressants Considered for EPA SNAP Status Change

    September 24, 2015

    High global warming potential (GWP) substances used in fire suppression, like HFC-23, have made the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Stakeholders Meeting agenda and are now being considered for a listing status change. 

    Following the U.S. EPA’s SNAP final ruling on July 2 to change the listing status of certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and HFC-blends for various uses, the U.S. EPA continues to take action consistent with the President’s Climate Action Plan and is moving onto the next phase of status changes. For the first time, high GWP substances used in the fire suppression sector made the EPA’s list for SNAP status change consideration. High GWP legacy fire extinguishing agents, and those with narrow use, e.g. HFC-23, are of particular interest to EPA.

  • Downtime is Not an Option, U.S. Government Data Center Chooses Novec 1230 Fluid

    September 15, 2015

    Every day, the U.S. Government processes some 75 million transactions, affecting the tax payments and benefits of over 200 million Americans. Any downtime, even for a few minutes, can have serious and far-reaching consequences. That’s why 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid was chosen to protect its new, state-of-the-art support center.

    A U.S. federal agency expects its new 300,000 square-foot support center, like other data centers, to perform reliably, all the time, without interruption because if it goes down, the effects can be catastrophic. Just minutes of downtime can interrupt the transactions that millions of Americans rely on.

  • No. 24 NASCAR Team and Jeff Gordon Drive to Greater Sustainability with 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid

    September 1, 2015

    3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid keeps Hendrick Motorsports ahead of the environmental curve without compromising safety and performance on the track.

    In the racing world, the drive toward greater sustainability is being addressed in countless ways. Hendrick Motorsports, operator ofthe No. 24 NASCAR® Sprint Cup Series team, has embraced the NASCAR® Green initiatives to reduce waste, carbon emissions, power consumption and overall environmental impact.

  • SFPE recognizes 3M’s Paul Rivers as 2015 Fellow

    August 25, 2015

    This July, the Society of Fire Protection Engineers (SFPE) recognized six of its members as Fellows for 2015, including 3M’s Senior Fire Protection Specialist, Paul Rivers. As a 2015 SFPE Fellow, Rivers represents a distinguished group of members who have achieved a standard of excellence and have made significant contributions to fire protection engineering and the society globally.

    After nearly 40 years as a member of SFPE International, Paul Rivers, P.E., Senior Fire Protection Engineer at 3M, has been elected an SFPE Fellow for 2015 for his significant achievements and contributions in the fire protection industry. He has been actively involved in SFPE on both international and local levels, serving on the society’s Board of Directors and currently acting as the Minnesota Chapter President.

  • The end is near for nPB in Europe and it’s time to act

    August 18, 2015

    Since 2012, the European Chemicals Agency (ECHA) has listed n-propyl bromide (nPB) as a Substance of Very High Concern (SVHC) and now aims to further restrict its use by adding it as a candidate for inclusion in the SVHC Authorization List (Annex XIV) under REACH. If included in the list, nPB can no longer be placed on the market or used after a given date, unless an authorization is granted for its specific use, or the use is exempted from authorization.

    This July, ECHA recommended that nPB be added to the Annex XIV Authorization List under the REACH regulation. This development will be advanced over the next 12 months in Europe and, if approved, nPB could be required to have authorization for use or import. This is important news to the cleaning solvents industry and, in particular, to existing users and suppliers of nPB because implications are likely to include further restrictions, fewer exemptions for use and eventually an outright ban in Europe.

  • U.S. DoD, NASA and GSA Propose to Use HFC Alternatives Whenever Feasible

    August 4, 2015

    In the Climate Action Plan, President Obama directed his Administration to purchase lower GWP alternatives to HFCs whenever feasible and the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and General Services Administration (GSA) are proposing to amend their practices to meet the plan’s goals.

    The United States is making substantial progress in limiting use and reducing emissions of high global warming potential (GWP) hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). Not only has the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just changed the status of HFCs to “unacceptable” for certain uses under its Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program, the U.S. DoD, NASA, and GSA are taking the initiative to better align with the President’s Climate Action Plan and move toward using more sustainable substances.

  • U.S. EPA Rules HFCs Unacceptable for Some Uses

    July 23, 2015

    Assess the potential impacts on HFCs in fire suppression

    On July 2, 2015, the final rule for the Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program was signed by the U.S. EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy.  In support of the President’s Climate Action Plan, this final rule under EPA’s SNAP program changes the status of a number of substitutes that were previously listed as acceptable, based on information showing that other substitutes are available for the same uses that pose lower risk overall to human health and/or the environment. Specifically, this action changes the listings from acceptable to unacceptable for certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and HFC-blends in various end-uses in the aerosols, refrigeration and air conditioning, and foam blowing sectors.

  • Global HFC Phasedown is on the Horizon

    July 21, 2015
    As our collective understanding of the impacts of climate change increases, the use of high global warming potential (GWP) substances are being phased-down across the globe. Consistent with its commitment to environmental sustainability, 3M is dedicated to offering safe, sustainable alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) – like 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids for precision cleaning applications.

    Environmental regulations that banned hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) due to their ozone depletion characteristics, are now targeting a class of potent greenhouse gases called hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), due to their high global warming potentials (GWP) and long atmospheric lifetimes. Europe is a leader in setting precedents for global environmental regulations and is not backing down on the fight against climate change by implementing an HFC phasedown under the EU F-gas regulations.

    Engineered Fluids
  • Protecting Operations and Assets: Novec 1230 Fluid

    June 15, 2015

    Fires impacting airport operations can cause substantial safety, logistical and financial consequences. With thousands of travelers in the air at any given moment, more airports and airlines are trusting 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid to help protect electronic assets and aircraft that are critical to continuity of operations.
     

    Novec 1230 fluid is an ideal, environmentally sustainable alternative to halons, HCFCs, and dry chemicals such as potassium bicarbonate (Purple K), because it has no ozone depletion potential, a global warming potential (GWP) of less than one, is non-corrosive and non-conductive.

     

     

    1230 Fire Protection Fluid
  • Is Time Running Out for HFCs?

    May 19, 2015

    Global consensus to phase-down hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) under the Montreal Protocol is more probable than ever, with former opponent, India, now committed to limiting the production and consumption of HFCs.

  • Record Water Shortages Require Sustainable Solutions

    April 28, 2015

    Fresh water is a natural resource that is limited and requires conservation. Manufacturers, especially those under mandatory water restrictions, should consider more sustainable solutions, like 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids. When used for precision cleaning, Novec fluids can reduce water consumption by up to 6,000 gallons per week for each replacement.

  • Happy Earth Day to All: Commit to a More Sustainable World

    April 22, 2015

    With every passing year our collective understanding of the impacts of climate change increases. Consistent with its commitment to environmental sustainability, 3M is dedicated to encouraging the use of safe, sustainable alternatives to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

  • Not all Clean Agents are Created Equal

    March 24, 2015

    When deciding on clean agents for fire protection, you may not know how drastically one clean agent can differ from another.

  • Kidde Introduces High Pressure System using Novec 1230 Fluid

    February 3, 2015

    Kidde Fire Systems launched its new clean agent fire suppression platform, the Kidde® Clean Agent Advanced Delivery System (ADS) using 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid.

  • 3M’s Breakthrough Two-Phase Immersion Cooling Technology Makes Waves in 2014, Gaining Commercial Traction for 2015

    January 27, 2015

    3M's Two-Phase Immersion Cooling Technology using 3M™ Novec™ Engineered Fluids gained significant traction in 2014.  The technology can reduce cooling energy costs by 95 percent and increase power density per rack up to 250kW, while helping to minimize temperature fluctuations.

  • Canada is the Latest to Target HFCs

    Jan 20, 2015
    On December 6, 2014, the Department of the Environment of Canada issued a government notice of its intent to propose regulations "to control the manufacture, import and use of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)," under the Canadian Environmental Protection Act, 1999 (CEPA 1999). According to the notice, the proposed controls prohibit and phase-out the use of certain bulk HFCs and manufactured products containing HFCs.

  • 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid’s Class A Extinguishing Concentration Reduced to 3.3%

    December 17, 2014

    Based on recent Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) and FM Approvals “witnessed” testing, the minimum Class A extinguishing concentration for 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid was reduced from 3.5% to 3.3% for all systems that meet the minimum average nozzle pressure of 74.4 psi.

  • Regulatory Proposals Target HFCs Used in Aerosols

    December 4, 2014

    In an effort to continuously improve the list of safe and sustainable alternatives to ozone-depleting substances (ODSs), the EPA consistently evaluates and proposes updates to the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. Recently a proposal identified changes to the listing statuses of several hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) that, according to the proposal, have "substitutes that pose less overall risk to human health and the environment."

  • IPCC Reaffirms High Global Warming Potentials of HFCs

     November 4, 2014

    On November 2, the leading international body for the assessment of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), released the Synthesis Report (SYR) for the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). The AR5 SYR provides an up-to-date view of scientific knowledge relevant to climate change and reiterates its previous findings of the high global warming potentials (GWPs) of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).

  • First Sustainable Clean Agent Halon 1211 Alternative Introduced

    October 14, 2014

    New Amerex wheeled unit offers first sustainable clean agent alternative to Halon 1211, using 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid.

  • Texas Modifies Reportable Quantity for Novec 1230 Fluid

    September 23, 2014

    3M's petition for the rule change highlighted the potential for Novec 1230 fluid to reduce greenhouse gas (HFC) emissions.

  • HFCs Targeted in White House Roundtable

    September 17, 2014

    Key industry leaders discuss current actions and future commitments for reducing use and emissions of HFCs, a critical component of Obama's Climate Action Plan.

    Sep 17, 2014
  • ACGIH drops TLV to 0.1 ppm for n-propyl bromide (nPB)

    August 27, 2014

    ACGIH publishes new TLV exposure guidelines. nPB is considered a potentially hazardous solution in vapor degreasers and flush-wipe-spray applications.

  • Australia Repeals Carbon Tax, Global Pressure on HFCs is Unabated

    August 21, 2014

    Australia becomes first developed nation to repeal carbon tax, complicating global fight against climate change.

  • U.S. EPA to Further Restrict Use of HFCs

    August 12, 2014

    U.S. EPA moves to list certain HFCs as unacceptable. More environmentally sustainable alternatives are available.

  • Super Pollutants Act Aims to Reduce HFCs and other GHGs

    August 5, 2014

    Bipartisan Legislation to Address Short-Lived Climate Pollution

  • Spanish HFC Tax Becomes Reality

    July 22, 2014

    After a long string of legislative actions and recommendations by the European Union to increase the environmental tax burden, the Spanish Council of Ministries has approved a tax on fluorinated greenhouse gases (Law 16/2013 from October 2013).

  • HFCs Targeted in Montreal Protocol’s Proposed Amendment

    June 10, 2014

    North America Proposes HFC Phase-down with GWP Weighting