Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Final Rule Summary
Section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) requires EPA to establish a program to identify alternatives to Class I (CFCs, halons, carbon tetrachloride, methyl choroform, methyl bromide, and HBFCs) and Class II (HCFCs) ozone-depleting substances and to publish lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes. Upon promulgation of the final rule, it is illegal to replace a Class I or Class II substance with any substitute which the Administrator determines may present adverse effects to human health or the environment where other substitutes have been identified that reduce overall risk and are currently or potentially available.
Any person may petition EPA to add a substitute to either of the lists. Such petitions will be granted or denied within 90 days of receipt of a complete petition. In addition, any person who produces a substitute for a Class I substance must notify EPA at least 90 days before new or existing alternatives are introduced into interstate commerce for significant new use as substitutes for a Class I substance.
The Final Rule
On March 18, 1994, EPA published the Final Rulemaking (FRM) (59 FR 13044), which described the process for administering the SNAP program and issued EPA's first acceptability lists for substitutes in the major industrial use sectors. These sectors include refrigeration and air conditioning; solvents; foam blowing; fire suppression and explosion protection; sterilants; aerosols; adhesives, coatings, and inks; and tobacco expansion. To assess the acceptability of a substitute, the Agency completes a screening analysis in which overall risks to human health and the environment in use-specific applications are examined.
EPA intends to publish updates to the SNAP rule. These updates may be in two parts, a 'Notice' or a 'Rulemaking.' A 'Notice' contains no regulatory controls and thus does not need to go through the public comment process. It enters into force upon publication in the Federal Register.
A Rulemaking requires a public notice-and-comment process, beginning with a 'Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)'. An NPRM contains proposed lists of agents deemed 'Acceptable Subject to Use Conditions,' 'Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits,' and 'Unacceptable'. There is a 30-day public comment period beginning on the date of publication in the Federal Register, after which a 'Final Rulemaking' is published.
Several Notices and Rules have been published since the inception of the SNAP program.
Who Must Apply For Listing
Under SNAP, the Agency defines a "substitute" as any chemical, product, substitute, or alternative manufacturing process, whether existing or new, that could replace a Class I or Class II substance. Anyone who produces a substitute must provide the Agency with health and safety studies, as well as notify the Agency at least 90 days before introducing it into interstate commerce for use as an alternative. This requirement applies to chemical manufacturers, but may include importers, formulators or end-users when they are responsible for introducing a substitute into commerce.
Information For SNAP Submission
To develop the lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes, the Agency must assess and compare "overall risks to human health and the environment" posed by use of substitutes in the context of particular applications. EPA requires submission of information covering a wide range of health and environmental factors. These include intrinsic properties such as physical and chemical information, ozone depleting potential, global warming potential, toxicity, and flammability, and use-specific data such as substitute applications, process description, environmental release data, environmental fate and transport, and cost information.
Once a completed submission has been received, a 90 day review period under the SNAP program will commence. Any substitute which is a new chemical must also be submitted to the Agency under the Premanufacture Notice (PMN) program under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA). Alternatives that will be used in pesticide formulations must be filed jointly with EPA's Office of Pesticide Programs and with SNAP.
Any information submitted as Confidential Business Information (CBI) will be treated in a manner consistent with 40 CFR Part 2, Subpart B. All claims of confidentiality must be substantiated at the time of submission.
SNAP Notification Forms and the SNAP notification guidance manual may be requested from the Stratospheric Ozone Protection Hotline at 1-800-296-1996 or contact the SNAP Coordinator at (202) 343-9410.
EPA has identified three mechanisms for revising or expanding the list of SNAP determinations published in the final regulation:
- First, as new substitutes are developed for commercial sale, producers must notify EPA at least 90 days before introduction of a chemical into interstate commerce for significant new use as an alternative to Class I or Class II substances;
- Second, any person may petition EPA to add or delete substances from the SNAP lists of acceptable and unacceptable alternatives; and
- Third, EPA may revise the SNAP lists outside the context of petitions or notifications, based on new data or on characteristics of substitutes previously reviewed.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
Lists of acceptable and unacceptable substitutes for the industrial use sectors covered under the SNAP program can be obtained from the Stratospheric Ozone Hotline at 1-800-296-1996. International callers dial direct 202-343-9210. Calls will be returned within 24 hours on business days between the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Eastern Time. The SNAP Federal Register notices can be ordered from the Government Printing Office Order Desk (202) 783-3238; the citations for each are listed in the SNAP chronology.