FACT SHEET: Proposed Rule - Update to the List of Acceptable Substitutes in Fire Protection
This rulemaking lists four substitutes as acceptable, subject to use conditions, for ozone-depleting halons in the fire suppression and explosion protection sector. All four are intended for use as total flooding agents to replace halon 1301. The listings are as follows:
- Envirogel with sodium bicarbonate additive: acceptable subject to use conditions as a substitute for total flooding uses;
- Powdered Aerosol D (Aero-K® and Stat-X® ): acceptable subject to use conditions which limit use to only normally unoccupied areas;
- Powdered Aerosol E (FirePro®): acceptable subject to use conditions which limit use to only normally unoccupied areas; and
- Phosphorous Tribromide (PBr 3): acceptable subject to use conditions which limit use to only aircraft engine nacelles.
- This listing provides users of specialized fire protection systems with additional flexibility in choosing alternatives to ozone-depleting halons. The primary users for the three aerosol agents (Envirogel with sodium bicarbonate additive, Aero-K® or Stat-X®, and FirePro®) are specialty industrial and commercial total flooding fire protection applications and further limited to those applications where the presence of agent residue is unacceptable. PBr 3 is proposed for use on aircraft, specifically for protection of the engine nacelles.
- On March 18, 1994 (59 FR 13044), the Agency established the SNAP program pursuant to section 612 of the Clean Air Act. This section requires EPA to evaluate the overall effects on human health and the environment of all substitutes for ozone-depleting substances. Results of these evaluations guide EPA in placing substitutes on either the list of acceptable or unacceptable substitutes. Rules promulgated under SNAP make it unlawful to replace an ozone-depleting substance with a substitute chemical or technology that may present adverse effects to human health and the environment. The intended effect of the SNAP program is to expedite movement away from ozone-depleting compounds toward the use of acceptable alternatives.
- SNAP reviews substitutes in 8 industrial sectors including foam blowing, refrigeration and air conditioning, solvents and aerosol propellants, and fire suppression and explosion protection. Since 1994, SNAP has reviewed over 300 substitutes and approved over 90%, most with some use condition to minimize environmental or health risks.