HFO-1234yfOn April 21, 2022, U.S. EPA Administrator Michael Regan signed a Pre-Published Final Rule; Listing of HFO-1234yf under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program for Motor Vehicle Air Conditioning in Nonroad Vehicles and Servicing Fittings for Small Refrigerant Cans. 

The rule lists the refrigerant 2,3,3,3-tetrafluoroprop-1-ene, also known as HFO-1234yf, as acceptable to use in air conditioning systems of newly manufactured off-road vehicles, including some vehicles that are also considered heavy-duty (HD) vehicles: 

  • Agricultural tractors with greater than 40 horsepower (hp) 
  • Self-propelled agricultural machinery 
  • Compact equipment 
  • Construction, forestry and mining equipment 
  • Commercial utility vehicles 

The current refrigerant of choice in the off-road market, HFC-134a, replaced the use of high-ozone-depleting substances, like R-12, in the early 1990s due to its low ozone depleting potential (ODP) and global warming potential (GWP). However, with increasing public and regulatory pressure to phase out sources of greenhouse gas pollution, industry stakeholders are turning to substances like HFO-1234yf, which possess an almost insignificant GWP compared with HFC-134a.    

The automotive industry adopted HFO-1234yf for use in their new model light duty, medium duty and heavy-duty passenger cars, trucks and vans for years following its own initial EPA SNAP approval in 2011. Starting in 2018, AEM formed its own SNAP application Development team, under the leadership of former AEM staffer John Wagner. After a years-long effort to obtain sufficient documentation and perform the required risk assessments, the off-road SNAP application was submitted to EPA in March of 2021.   

More than a year later, EPA has finally indicated the process is at its end. The effective date of the EPA SNAP approval will be 30 days after publication of this Final Rule in the Federal Register. As of the date of this publication, the Federal Register is expected to publish the Final Rule within the next 7-10 days. 

To learn more about EPA’s Pre-Published Rule approving the use of HFO-1234yf in off-road equipment, contact AEM’s Jason Malcore at jmalcore@aem.org 

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