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    EPA Continues Assessing Merits of Taking Broader Action in Fire Suppression Sector

    October 11, 2016

    • Previous 3M™ Novec™ Hot Topics have put the spotlight on global initiatives targeting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), from the F-Gas regulations in Europe to the global phasedown plans of HFCs under the Montreal Protocol and U.S. Federal Acquisition Regulations (FAR). 

      Now, continuing to take aggressive action on HFCs, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has just issued the advanced version of its Final Rule 21 of the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program (PDF, 1.90 MB) - changing the listing status of certain HFCs used in refrigeration, air conditioning (AC) and foam blowing to unacceptable or acceptable subject to narrowed use restrictions.

      With so many initiatives targeting high global warming potential (GWP) HFCs, it’s no surprise the U.S. EPA formally requested advance comments from the fire protection industry on HFCs like FM-200™ as part of the SNAP Proposed Rule 21.

      As noted in the Final Rule (PDF, 1.90 MB):

      “While the EPA proposed and requested comments on listing the PFCs (C4F10 and C3F8 and as unacceptable in fire suppression total flooding uses, EPA is deferring action at this time.

      EPA plans to continue assessing the merits of taking action in this section more broadly, based on additional information provided during the comment period on the use of alternatives in this end use.

      EPA requested advance comments on other alternatives, specifically SF6 and HFC-125 [ECARO-25™/FE-25™] in total flooding and HFC-227ea [FM-200™] in both total flooding and streaming applications, to improve our understanding. We received several comments in support of the proposed action on PFCs and several commenters requested that EPA eliminate or limit the use of additional high-GWP HFCs. Other commenters requested that EPA take no action at this time with regard to the other alternatives for which EPA sought advance comments, citing current use in challenging applications such as aviation and the need to ensure their availability for these uses in the future. These comments provided us with additional but limited information on uses of SF6, HFC-23 [FE-13™], HFC-125 [ECARO-25™/FE-25™], HFC-227ea (FM-200™), HFC-134a, and HFC-236fa, confirming the specialized, niche applications for some of these agents.”

      Read the complete Final Rule 21 Fact Sheet (PDF, 391.82 KB) for more information.

      With increasing uncertainty over the future availability of HFCs, like FM-200™, in fire suppression, Novec 1230 fluid provides the certainty end users look for to protect their valuable assets now and in the future.

      When you specify a fire protection system with 3M™ Novec™ 1230 Fire Protection Fluid (PDF, 1.39 MB) at its center, you have our assurance it is designed to work now and for years to come. In fact, if 3M Novec 1230 fluid is banned from or restricted in use as a fire protection agent within 20 years after installation due to its environmental properties, we’ll refund the purchase price of the fluid.

      Contact us today for more information on why you should specify 3M Novec 1230 fluid.

      ©3M 2016. All rights reserved.
      3M and Novec are trademarks of 3M Company.
      FM-200, FE-13 and FE-25 are trademarks of The Chemours Company.
      ECARO-25 is a trademark of Fike Corporation.
      All other trademarks are properties of their respective owners.

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