CPI: State phase-down of HFCs in the PU industry
According to the Center for the Polyurethanes Industry (CPI) of the American Chemistry Council (ACC), some members of the polyurethanes industry are currently transitioning to low global warming potential (GWP) blowing agents. This transition has been complicated by the U.S. Court of Appeals – D.C. Circuit’s decisions to partially vacate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Rules 20 and 21. SNAP Rules 20 and 21 prohibited the use of certain hydrofluorocarbon (HFC) blowing agents in certain foam sectors. The dates of prohibition for the foam sector varied from 1 January 2017 to 1 January 2021.
Given the partial vacatur of SNAP Rules 20 and 21, there is no federal requirement to transition to low GWP blowing agents in the foam sector – including the SPF industry. The transition to low GWP is now being led by the states. California, New Jersey, Vermont, and Washington have enacted SNAP-like legislation prohibiting the use of HFCs in the foam sector. Several other states are working within existing authority to promulgate regulations implementing SNAP-like restrictions.