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Import of Halon-1301 Aircraft Fire Extinguishing Vessels

Action

EPA issued a direct final rule on April 11, 2006, (71 FR 18219) (9 pp, 211 KB) and companion proposed rule (71 FR 18259) in the Federal Register which sought to exempt importers of aircraft halon bottles, which contain Halon-1301, from the import petition process in order to facilitate the routine hydrostatic testing of these bottles for environmental and safety purposes.

Because EPA received adverse, albeit minor, comments from one commenter, we withdrew the direct final rule on June 7, 2006 (71 FR 32840).

In this final rule, EPA is addressing those comments and publishing a de-regulatory final rule to exempt maintenance and testing facilities, that import bottles of halon that are component parts of an aircraft fire suppression system, from the import petition process.

Background

The import petition process, found at 40 CFR 82.13(g)(2), allows a company to bring used ozone depleting substances (ODS) into the country following a 40 day formal request to the Administrator that must be filed with the Agency prior to the shipment leaving the port of export.

Maintenance and testing facilities that service the global aircraft industry periodically perform hydrostatic testing on aircraft halon bottles to determine if the bottles have any fissures, leaks, or other unacceptable defects that would make them fail to meet Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) directives for aircraft halon bottles.

EPA believes that this action will make it easier for maintenance and testing facilities to provide a much needed safety service to the airline industry and prevent the unnecessary potential leakage of Halon-1301, a very potent ozone depleting substance, to the atmosphere.

For Further Information

Additional information on imports of ozone-depleting substances.

Additional information on halons.

For more information about this action, please contact Bella Maranion at 202-343-9749.


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