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Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Refrigerant Management Regulations for Small Cans of Motor Vehicle Refrigerant

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

American Government

Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Refrigerant Management Regulations for Small Cans of Motor Vehicle Refrigerant

E. Scott Pruitt
Environmental Protection Agency
27 December 2017


[Federal Register Volume 82, Number 247 (Wednesday, December 27, 2017)]
[Rules and Regulations]
[Pages 61180-61184]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2017-27800]


-----------------------------------------------------------------------

ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

40 CFR Part 82

[EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0213; FRL-9972-48-OAR]
RIN 2060-AT43


Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Refrigerant Management 
Regulations for Small Cans of Motor Vehicle Refrigerant

AGENCY: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

ACTION: Final rule.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: On September 28, 2017, the Environmental Protection Agency 
(EPA) published a direct final rule and an accompanying notice of 
proposed rulemaking entitled ``Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: 
Refrigerant Management Regulations for Small Cans of Motor Vehicle 
Refrigerant.'' Because EPA received adverse comment, EPA is withdrawing 
the direct final rule through a separate notice. In this action, EPA is 
finalizing its proposal to correct the editing oversight that led to a 
potential conflict in a prior rulemaking as to whether or not 
containers holding two pounds or less of non-exempt substitute 
refrigerants for use in motor vehicle air conditioning that are not 
equipped with a self-sealing valve can be sold to persons that are not 
certified technicians, provided those small cans were manufactured or 
imported prior to January 1, 2018. This action clarifies that those 
small cans manufactured or imported prior to January 1, 2018 may 
continue to be sold to persons that are not certified as technicians 
under sections 608 or 609 of the Clean Air Act.

DATES: This final rule is effective December 27, 2017.

ADDRESSES: The EPA has established a docket for this action under 
Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2017-0213. All documents in the docket are 
listed on the http://www.regulations.gov website. Although listed in 
the index, some information may not be publicly available, e.g., CBI or 
other information whose disclosure is restricted by statute. Certain 
other material, such as copyrighted material, is not placed on the 
internet and will be publicly available only in hard copy form. 
Publicly available docket materials are available electronically 
through http://www.regulations.gov.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Sara Kemme by regular mail: U.S. 
Environmental Protection Agency, Stratospheric Protection Division 
(6205T), 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20460; by 
telephone: (202) 566-0511; or by email: kemme.sara@epa.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

I. General Information

A. What action is the Agency taking?

    On September 28, 2017, EPA published a Direct Final Rule (82 FR 
45202) to make a minor change to resolve a potential conflict in 
regulatory text at 40 CFR 82.154(c)(1)(x) to ensure that it conforms to 
the EPA's intention. We stated in that direct final rule that if we 
received adverse comment by October 30, 2017, we would publish a timely 
withdrawal in the Federal Register so that the direct final rule would 
not take effect. EPA received adverse comment on that direct final rule 
by October 30, 2017 and is publishing a separate notice withdrawing 
that direct final rule.
    To accompany the direct final rule, EPA also published a Notice of 
Proposed Rulemaking on September 28, 2017 entitled ``Protection of 
Stratospheric Ozone: Refrigerant Management Regulations for Small Cans 
of Motor Vehicle Refrigerant'' (82 FR 45253). That notice proposed to 
make the same change in the regulatory text as in the direct final 
rule. This action addresses the relevant comments received and 
finalizes the revisions in the proposal.

B. Does this action apply to me?

    Categories and entities potentially affected by this action include 
entities that distribute or sell small cans of refrigerant for use in 
motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) systems. Regulated entities 
include, but are not limited to, importers, manufacturers, and 
distributors of small cans of refrigerant (NAICS codes 325120, 441310, 
447110) such as automotive parts and accessories stores and industrial 
gas manufacturers. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, but 
rather to provide a guide for readers regarding entities likely to be 
regulated by this action. To determine whether your facility, company, 
business, or organization could be regulated by this action, you should 
carefully examine the regulations at 40 CFR part 82, subpart F. If you 
have questions regarding the applicability of this action to a 
particular entity, consult the person listed in the FOR FURTHER 
INFORMATION CONTACT section.

C. Judicial Review

    Under CAA section 307(b)(1), judicial review of this final action 
is available only by filing a petition for review in the U.S. Court of 
Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit by February 26, 2018. This 
final action is a nationally applicable regulation and has nationwide 
scope and effect because it makes revisions to the EPA's regulations 
for the National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program found at 40 
CFR part

[[Page 61181]]

82, subpart F, which are nationally applicable regulations that have 
nationwide scope and effect. Under CAA section 307(d)(7)(B), only an 
objection to this final action that was raised with reasonable 
specificity during the period for public comment can be raised during 
judicial review. This section also provides a mechanism for EPA to 
convene a proceeding for reconsideration, ``[i]f the person raising an 
objection can demonstrate to [EPA] that it was impracticable to raise 
such objection within [the period for public comment] or if the grounds 
for such objection arose after the period for public comment (but 
within the time specified for judicial review) and if such objection is 
of central relevance to the outcome of this rule.'' Any person seeking 
to make such a demonstration to us should submit a Petition for 
Reconsideration to the Office of the Administrator, Environmental 
Protection Agency, Room 3000, William Jefferson Clinton Building, 1200 
Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460, with a copy to the person 
listed in the preceding FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT section, and 
the Associate General Counsel for the Air and Radiation Law Office, 
Office of General Counsel (Mail Code 2344-A), Environmental Protection 
Agency, 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20460.

D. Effective Date

    Section 553(d) of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA), 5 U.S.C. 
553(d), generally provides that rules may not take effect earlier than 
30 days after they are published in the Federal Register. EPA is 
issuing this final rule under section 307(d) of the Clean Air Act 
(CAA), which states: ``The provisions of section 553 through 557 . . . 
of Title 5 shall not, except as expressly provided in this section, 
apply to actions to which this subsection applies.'' CAA section 
307(d)(1). Thus, section 553(d) of the APA does not apply to this rule. 
EPA is nevertheless acting consistently with the policies underlying 
APA section 553(d) in making this rule effective immediately upon 
publication in the Federal Register. APA section 553(d) provides an 
exception for any action that grants or recognizes an exemption or 
relieves a restriction. This final rule relieves a restriction on the 
sale of certain small cans of MVAC refrigerant that were manufactured 
or imported prior to January 1, 2018.

II. Background

    Section 608 of the CAA bears the title ``National Recycling and 
Emission Reduction Program.'' Under the structure of section 608, this 
program has three main components. First, section 608(a) requires EPA 
to establish standards and requirements regarding use and disposal of 
class I and II substances,\1\ including a comprehensive refrigerant 
management program to limit emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerants. 
The CAA directs EPA to include regulations that reduce the use and 
emissions of class I and II substances to the lowest achievable level 
and that maximize the recapture and recycling of such substances. The 
second component, section 608(b), requires that the regulations issued 
pursuant to subsection (a) contain requirements for the safe disposal 
of class I and class II substances. The third component, section 
608(c), prohibits the knowing venting, release, or disposal of ozone-
depleting refrigerants and their substitutes during the maintenance, 
service, repair, or disposal of air-conditioning and refrigeration 
appliances or industrial process refrigeration.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ A class I or class II substance refers to an ozone-depleting 
substance listed 40 CFR part 82 subpart A, appendix A or appendix B, 
respectively.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA first issued regulations under section 608 of the CAA on May 
14, 1993 (58 FR 28660), to establish the national refrigerant 
management program for ozone-depleting refrigerants recovered during 
the maintenance, service, repair, and disposal of air-conditioning and 
refrigeration appliances. These regulations were intended to 
substantially reduce the use and emissions of ozone-depleting 
refrigerants. EPA revised these regulations through subsequent 
rulemakings published on August 19, 1994 (59 FR 42950), November 9, 
1994 (59 FR 55912), August 8, 1995 (60 FR 40420), July 24, 2003 (68 FR 
43786), March 12, 2004 (69 FR 11946), January 11, 2005 (70 FR 1972), 
May 23, 2014 (79 FR 29682), and April 10, 2015 (80 FR 19453). For a 
more detailed summary of the history of EPA's Refrigerant Management 
Program see the discussion in the most recent update to these 
regulations at 81 FR 82272, 82275 (Nov. 18, 2016).
    On November 9, 2015, EPA proposed updates to the refrigerant 
management regulations under section 608 of the CAA (80 FR 69458). 
Among other things, EPA proposed to extend the sales restriction to 
non-exempt substitute refrigerants with an exception for small cans of 
refrigerant for use in MVAC. That is, the proposed revisions would have 
restricted the sale of non-exempt substitute refrigerants to certified 
technicians, with an exception for small cans (two pounds or less) of 
non-exempt substitute refrigerant for the servicing of MVACs \2\ if the 
cans had a self-sealing valve. EPA requested comments on several 
aspects of that proposal including a scenario that would have included 
a sell-through provision for all small cans manufactured or imported 
prior to that effective date. (80 FR 69481). The proposal further 
stated that:
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ In this context, containers that meet these criteria are 
referred to interchangeably as ``small cans of MVAC refrigerant,'' 
``small cans of refrigerant for MVAC servicing,'' or simply ``small 
cans.''

    For manufacture and import of small cans of refrigerant for MVAC 
servicing, EPA is proposing a compliance date of one year from 
publication of the final rule. EPA is also proposing to allow small 
cans manufactured and placed into initial inventory or imported 
before that date to be sold for one additional year. For example, if 
the rule is published on July 1, 2016, small can manufacturers would 
have until July 1, 2017, to transition their manufacturing lines to 
add self-sealing valves. Manufacturers, distributors, and auto parts 
stores would be able to sell all small cans manufactured and placed 
into initial inventory or imported prior to July 1, 2017, until July 
1, 2018. EPA seeks comments on this proposed implementation 
---------------------------------------------------------------------------
timeline. [80 FR 69509]

    On November 18, 2016, EPA published a rule finalizing the proposed 
restriction that non-exempt substitute refrigerants may only be sold to 
technicians certified under sections 608 or 609 of the CAA. (81 FR 
82280). In the case of refrigerant for use in MVAC, EPA finalized the 
exemption for the sale of certain small cans of non-ozone-depleting 
substitutes with a self-sealing valve to allow the do-it-yourself 
community to continue servicing their personal vehicles. Id. However, 
the agency intended to allow the continued sale of small cans 
manufactured or imported prior to the January 1, 2018 compliance date. 
The preamble to the final rule stated that, ``EPA is requiring that 
small cans of non-exempt substitute refrigerant be outfitted with self-
sealing valves by January 1, 2018. Based on comments, EPA is not 
finalizing the proposal to prohibit the sale of small cans that do not 
contain self-sealing valves that were manufactured or imported prior to 
that requirement taking effect.'' Id. The preamble further stated:

    With regards to small cans of MVAC refrigerant, manufacturers, 
distributors and retailers of automotive refrigerant supported the 
proposed ``manufacture-by'' date of one year from publication of the 
final rule, but commented that they oppose a sell-through date for 
small cans that do not have self-sealing valves. They commented that 
such a

[[Page 61182]]

requirement would be inefficient, burdensome, costly, and 
environmentally problematic. It would require all retailers to know 
of the requirement and establish processes for returning unsold cans 
back to the manufacturer for destruction. More likely, the cans may 
be improperly disposed of, which would negate the environmental 
benefit of the new provisions. One commenter stated that a 
``manufacture-by'' date would shift EPA's burden in ensuring 
compliance from a few manufacturers to thousands of retailers. 
Furthermore, commenters cited EPA's July 2015 SNAP rule (80 FR 
42901; July 20, 2015) which listed HFC-134a as unacceptable for use 
as an aerosol as of a ``manufacture-by'' date, rather than a ``sell-
by'' date. [81 FR 82342]

    EPA described its intention to allow the continued sale of small 
cans without self-sealing valves that were manufactured or imported 
before the January 1, 2018, compliance date as follows:

    In response to the comments received on EPA's proposal to allow 
small cans manufactured and placed into initial inventory or 
imported before that date to be sold for one additional year, EPA is 
not finalizing the sell-through requirement and is finalizing only a 
date by which small cans must be manufactured or imported with a 
self-sealing valve. EPA agrees that this is the least-burdensome 
option and that it avoids the potential for any unintended 
consequences of a ``sell-by'' date. [81 FR 82342]

    These intentions were also expressed in the regulatory text at 40 
CFR 82.154(c)(2), which was revised in the November 2016 rule. However, 
because of an editing error, another provision, 40 CFR 
82.154(c)(1)(ix), contains text that could be construed as 
contradicting the Agency's clearly expressed intent to allow non-
technicians to purchase, and retailers to sell, small cans of 
refrigerant for use in MVAC that were manufactured or imported before 
the January 1, 2018, compliance date irrespective of whether they have 
a self-sealing valve.
    The Automotive Refrigeration Products Institute and the Auto Care 
Association inquired about whether the language in 40 CFR 
82.154(c)(1)(ix) effectively negates the provision in 40 CFR 
82.154(c)(2) and the preamble discussion showing EPA's intention to 
allow small cans of refrigerant for use in MVAC manufactured or 
imported before January 1, 2018, to continue to be sold without self-
sealing valves. EPA published a direct final rule and an accompanying 
notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the regulatory text, so that 
persons in possession of small cans of refrigerant for use in MVAC 
without self-sealing valves that were manufactured or imported before 
January 1, 2018, can be assured that they will be able to sell off 
their existing inventories without disruption.
    The public comment period for the notice of proposed rulemaking 
that accompanied the direct final rule closed on October 30, 2017. EPA 
received adverse comment on the direct final rule and accordingly is 
publishing a notice withdrawing the direct final rule. EPA is now 
finalizing the regulatory revisions based on the accompanying proposal, 
``Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Refrigerant Management Regulations 
for Small Cans of Motor Vehicle Refrigerant'' (82 FR 45253). The 
regulatory text being finalized in this action is the same as the 
revised text in the direct final rule.
    In the direct final rule, which is being withdrawn, EPA explained 
that the action would eliminate burden associated with regulatory 
uncertainty in this area. The Automotive Refrigeration Products 
Institute and the Auto Care Association informed EPA that the lack of 
clarity surrounding the status of small cans of refrigerant for use in 
MVAC without self-sealing valves that were manufactured or imported 
before the compliance date created confusion for their members. Unless 
resolved, this lack of clarity could unnecessarily influence sales of 
automotive refrigerant during 2017. This is because retailers may not 
want to stock large numbers of these small cans of refrigerant for use 
in MVAC unless they are given some assurance that they will be able to 
sell off any remaining inventory after January 1, 2018. There is also 
the concern that if clarity is not provided by January 1, 2018, 
retailers may feel compelled to manually pull cans without self-sealing 
valves from their shelves and return the cans to their supplier(s). 
This rule eliminates the cost of that stranded inventory and also 
eliminates other non-quantified burdens associated with the removal of 
such cans from the market, such as the labor involved in segregating 
small cans with self-sealing valves from those without self-sealing 
valves and physically pulling those from shelves.

III. Response to Comments

    EPA received several comments on the direct final rule, some of 
which were adverse at least in part. EPA is addressing those comments, 
as relevant, in this final rule. Consistent with the statements in the 
direct final rule and the parallel proposed rule, EPA did not initiate 
a second comment period on this action.
    One commenter asked why it is that the sell through provision 
proposed in 2015 was not finalized, if the intent was to protect 
ozone.\3\ The commenter stated that finalizing a sell through provision 
that does not permit the sales of refrigerant without a self-sealing 
valve would have a greater benefit for the general welfare, stating 
that it would reduce harmful gases being released and bolster the 
argument for allowing do-it-yourselfers to be allowed to purchase the 
product, regardless of the impending compliance date. Conversely, 
another commenter wrote that the selling of these cans will present 
very little damage to the ozone \4\ and does not break any regulations, 
acts, or executive orders that have been previously passed. However, 
the commenter further said that the extended use of such cans of 
refrigerant that leak could pose a small threat to our ozone in the 
future and that for this reason, they should not be able to be imported 
or manufactured after the date of January 1, 2018.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \3\ EPA believes the commenter is referring to stratospheric 
ozone.
    \4\ EPA believes the commenter is referring to stratospheric 
ozone.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA responds that it disagrees that the first commenter's 
suggestion would have a greater benefit for the general welfare, for 
reasons explained in its response to comments on the 2016 final 
rule.\5\ More specifically, in the 2016 final rule EPA noted that 
comments from distributors and retailers of automotive refrigerant 
supported the proposed ``manufacture-by'' date of one year from 
publication of the final rule, but commented that they oppose a sell-
through date for small cans that do not have self-sealing valves. (81 
FR 82342). They commented that such a requirement would be inefficient, 
burdensome, costly, and environmentally problematic, and that it would 
require all retailers to know of the requirement and establish 
processes for returning unsold cans back to the manufacturer for 
destruction. Id. EPA further noted in the 2016 rule the comment that 
the cans may be improperly disposed of, which would negate the 
environmental benefit of the new provisions added in that rule. Id. EPA 
additionally noted the point made by one commenter who stated that a 
``manufacture-by'' date would shift EPA's burden in ensuring compliance 
from a few manufacturers to thousands of retailers. Id. EPA responded 
in the 2016 final rule that to allow all entities in the distribution 
chain time to plan for and communicate changes to the sales restriction 
on non-exempt substitute

[[Page 61183]]

refrigerants, as well as the requirement for self-sealing valves on 
small cans, EPA was finalizing a sales restriction date and 
``manufacture-by'' or ``import-by'' date of January 1, 2018. Id. EPA 
also noted this was consistent with past practice in a Significant New 
Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program rule (id., citing 80 FR 42901; July 
20, 2015). For all of these reasons, EPA continues to support the 
approach articulated in the 2016 final rule and is finalizing the 
revisions in the September 28, 2017 proposal, so that EPA's intent in 
the 2016 final rule to have a sales restriction date be based on a 
``manufacture-by'' or ``import-by'' date of January 1, 2018 is 
effectuated.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \5\ EPA additionally notes that to the extent that the comments 
are based on a premise that the provision applies to containers that 
hold ozone-depleting refrigerants, that premise is mistaken, as 
explained in a later comment response.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    EPA received one comment that EPA should require self-sealing 
valves for all refrigerants in order to prevent inadvertent release of 
ozone-depleting substances (ODS). This comment is outside of the scope 
of this rulemaking, which clarifies the status of small cans of non-
exempt substitute refrigerant for use in MVACs that were manufactured 
or imported prior to January 1, 2018. The exemption at issue in this 
rule does not apply to any container that contains ODS. Further, there 
are no ODS that are allowed to be sold in small cans for MVAC use. All 
ODS refrigerants are subject to a sales restriction that places 
restrictions on the sale of such substances to people who are certified 
technicians (40 CFR 82.154(c)). Given there are no ODS MVAC 
refrigerants currently sold in small cans and given that all ODS 
refrigerants are subject to the sales restriction, EPA did not propose 
to require self-sealing valves on small cans of ODS MVAC refrigerant 
and is not finalizing such a requirement.
    EPA received one comment that the agency should not allow the sale 
of small cans of MVAC refrigerants because instead of taking corrective 
measures and replacing leaking refrigeration system components, 
business owners are purchasing these small cans at automotive stores 
and recharging commercial equipment themselves. This comment is 
likewise outside the scope of this action. EPA did not propose to 
eliminate or revise the aspects of the provision at 40 CFR 
82.154(c)(1)(ix) that allows the continued sale of small cans of MVAC 
refrigerants to people who are not certified technicians subject to 
certain conditions (for example, that they have a self-sealing valve) 
and is not finalizing such a provision.
    One comment asked whether self-sealing valves are required for 
small containers of R-134a, a non-exempt substitute refrigerant used in 
MVACs, if they are sold only to certified technicians. EPA responds 
that the self-sealing valve specifications at 40 CFR 82.154(c)(2) 
establish eligibility for the exception from the sales restriction at 
40 CFR 82.154(c)(1)(ix). If the buyer is a certified technician, then 
adherence to 40 CFR 82.154(c)(2) would not be required, but the seller 
would be responsible for the recordkeeping at 40 CFR 82.154(c)(3).
    EPA also received a comment suggesting that EPA consider a future 
regulatory action to require that small cans of MVAC refrigerant be 
labeled with the date of manufacture. EPA appreciates the suggestion. 
As noted by the commenter, however, this comment is outside the scope 
of this current rulemaking. In the direct final rule EPA specifically 
noted that ``EPA is not making, and is not seeking comment on, any 
changes to the regulations at 40 CFR part 82, subpart F other than the 
revision discussed in this notice.'' (82 FR 45202). EPA did not propose 
to require labeling of small cans of MVAC refrigerant. In addition, 
while EPA recognizes labels may bring increased transparency, the costs 
and benefits associated with this suggested revision have not been 
assessed. Thus, EPA is not finalizing the commenter's suggested changes 
at this time.
    After considering all of the comments received, EPA concludes that 
it is appropriate to finalize the revisions as proposed and is doing so 
in this final action.

IV. Statutes and Executive Orders Review

A. Executive Order 12866: Regulatory Planning and Review and Executive 
Order 13563: Improving Regulation and Regulatory Review

    This action is not a significant regulatory action and was 
therefore not submitted to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) 
for review.

B. Executive Order 13771: Reducing Regulations and Controlling 
Regulatory Costs

    This action is expected to be an Executive Order 13771 deregulatory 
action. EPA described the potential cost savings of this action in the 
direct final rule. (82 FR 45202).

C. Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA)

    This action does not impose any new information collection burden 
under the PRA. The regulatory revisions finalized in this action do not 
contain any information collection activities

D. Regulatory Flexibility Act (RFA)

    I certify that this action will not have a significant economic 
impact on a substantial number of small entities under the RFA. In 
making this determination, the impact of concern is any significant 
adverse economic impact on small entities. An agency may certify that a 
rule will not have a significant economic impact on a substantial 
number of small entities if the rule relieves regulatory burden, has no 
net burden or otherwise has a positive economic effect on the small 
entities subject to the rule. This rule does not impose any new 
regulatory requirements. It is deregulatory in that it clarifies that 
small cans of refrigerant for use in MVAC may be sold to persons who 
are not certified technicians even if they are not equipped with a 
self-sealing valve, so long as those small cans are manufactured or 
imported prior to January 1, 2018. We have therefore concluded that 
this action will relieve regulatory burden for all directly regulated 
small entities.

E. Unfunded Mandates Reform Act

    This action does not contain any unfunded mandate as described in 
UMRA, 2 U.S.C. 1531-1538, and does not significantly or uniquely affect 
small governments. The action imposes no enforceable duty on any state, 
local or tribal governments or the private sector.

F. Executive Order 13132: Federalism

    This action does not have federalism implications. It will not have 
substantial direct effects on the states, on the relationship between 
the national government and the states, or on the distribution of power 
and responsibilities among the various levels of government.

G. Executive Order 13175: Consultation and Coordination With Indian 
Tribal Governments

    This action does not have tribal implications as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. It will not have substantial direct effects on 
tribal governments, on the relationship between the federal government 
and Indian tribes, or on the distribution of power and responsibilities 
between the federal government and Indian tribes, as specified in 
Executive Order 13175. This rule does not impose any new regulatory 
requirements. It is deregulatory in that it corrects a potential 
conflict in the refrigerant management regulations as to whether or not 
small cans of refrigerant for use in MVAC could be sold to non-
technicians if they were manufactured or imported prior to January 1, 
2018, and do not have a self-sealing valve. Thus, Executive Order 13175 
does not apply to this action.

[[Page 61184]]

H. Executive Order 13045: Protection of Children From Environmental 
Health Risks and Safety Risks

    The EPA interprets Executive Order 13045 as applying only to those 
regulatory actions that concern environmental health or safety risks 
that the EPA has reason to believe may disproportionately affect 
children, per the definition of ``covered regulatory action'' in 
section 2-202 of the Executive Order. This action is not subject to 
Executive Order 13045 because it does not concern an environmental 
health risk or safety risk.

I. Executive Order 13211: Actions That Significantly Affect Energy 
Supply, Distribution, or Use

    This action is not subject to Executive Order 13211, because it is 
not a significant regulatory action under Executive Order 12866.

J. National Technology Transfer and Advancement Act

    This rulemaking does not involve technical standards.

K. Executive Order 12898: Federal Actions To Address Environmental 
Justice in Minority Populations and Low-Income Populations

    The EPA believes that this action does not have disproportionately 
high and adverse human health or environmental effects on minority 
populations, low-income populations and/or indigenous peoples, as 
specified in Executive Order 12898 (59 FR 7629, February 16, 1994).
    This action does not affect the level of protection provided to 
human health or the environment. This action corrects a potential 
conflict in the refrigerant management regulations as to whether or not 
small cans of refrigerant for use in MVAC could be sold to non-
technicians if the cans were manufactured or imported prior to January 
1, 2018, and do not have a self-sealing valve. This action clarifies 
that those small cans of refrigerant for use in MVAC may be sold to 
persons who are not certified technicians.

L. Congressional Review Act (CRA)

    This action is subject to the CRA, and EPA will submit a rule 
report to each House of the Congress and to the Comptroller General of 
the United States. This action is not a ``major rule'' as defined by 5 
U.S.C. 804(2).

List of Subjects in 40 CFR Part 82

    Environmental protection, Air pollution control, Chemicals, 
Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

    Dated: December 15, 2017.
E. Scott Pruitt,
Administrator.

    For the reasons set forth in the preamble, the Environmental 
Protection Agency amends 40 CFR part 82 as follows:

PART 82--PROTECTION OF STRATOSPHERIC OZONE

0
1. The authority citation for part 82 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  42 U.S.C. 7414, 7601, 7671-7671q.


0
2. In Sec.  82.154, revise paragraph (c)(1)(ix) to read as follows:


Sec.  82.154   Prohibitions.

* * * * *
    (c) * * *
    (1) * * *
    (ix) The non-exempt substitute refrigerant is intended for use in 
an MVAC and is sold in a container designed to hold two pounds or less 
of refrigerant, has a unique fitting, and, if manufactured or imported 
on or after January 1, 2018, has a self-sealing valve that complies 
with the requirements of paragraph (c)(2) of this section.
* * * * *
[FR Doc. 2017-27800 Filed 12-26-17; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6560-50-P

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