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Chemours has petitioned the United States Supreme Court requesting a review of the recent D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision concerning the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program.

Chemours is seeking a review of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals decision to block EPA bans on HFCs.

In August 2017, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia overturned EPA directives to ban high GWP refrigerants like R404A, R134a, R407C and R410A from use in certain applications.

Chemours and Honeywell appealed the decision earlier this year but it was rejected. Now they have taken their fight to the Supreme Court.

Chemours president of the fluoroproducts business unit, Paul Kirsch, expressed disappointment in the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals decision.

"We believe that the legal basis of the SNAP 20 rule was well-founded, and the Court’s ruling exceeded its jurisdiction, effectively invalidating a decades-old EPA regulation and believe the decision has failed to take into account the EPA’s original directive to ensure that safer alternatives are used to replace ozone-depleting substances,” Kirsch said.

“A number of states, academia, and businesses share our concern and feel the preservation of this rule is in the best interest of the public, the environment, and US industry."

The EPA SNAP program was developed in the 1990s to protect the ozone layer by phasing out the chemicals that deplete it.

Congress directed EPA to compare alternatives to those chemicals to ensure that refrigerants and other products would not be more dangerous to people and the environment than the harmful products they replaced.

The original 1994 regulation viewed the alternatives banned by the SNAP program in 2015 as a “near-term” solution until safer products became available.

"The D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals agreed that these products could be banned, but then held that no one who was using
them could actually be ordered to stop, even though safer options were available. The decision has created confusion for industry and does not align with the direction from Congress or its beneficial goals," Kirsch said.

"It also undermines investment in safer products and American innovation in these critical industries."

Honeywell also issued a statement which said: “The decision ignores Congress’s intent in directing the EPA to replace ozone-depleting substances with the safest available alternatives.”

Honeywell said American companies have invested more than $1 billion to invent, commercialise and manufacture safer replacement alternatives to ozone-depleting substances, such as HFOs.

 

 


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