United States Environmental Protection Agency

Clean Air Act

The Clean Air Act (CAA) is the law that defines EPA's responsibilities for protecting and improving the nation's air quality and the stratospheric ozone layer.

The last major change in the law, the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, was enacted by Congress in 1990. Legislation passed since then has made several minor changes.

Section 608:

Under Section 608 of the CAA, the EPA has established regulations (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) that:

  • Require service practices that maximize recovery and recycling of ozone-depleting substances (both chlorofluorocarbons [CFCs] and hydrochlorofluorocarbons [HCFCs] and their blends) during the servicing and disposal of air- conditioning and refrigeration equipment.
  • Set certification requirements for refrigerant recycling and recovery equipment, technicians, and refrigerant reclaimers.
  • Restrict the sale of refrigerant to certified technicians.
  • Require persons servicing or disposing of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment to certify to EPA that they have acquired refrigerant recovery and/or recycling equipment and are complying with the requirements of the rule.
  • Require the repair of substantial leaks in air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment with a refrigerant charge greater than 50 pounds.
  • Establish safe disposal requirements to ensure removal of refrigerants from goods that enter the waste stream with the charge intact (e.g., motor vehicle air conditioners, home refrigerators, and room air conditioners).

Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP)

Under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program reviews substitutes within a comparative risk framework in several industrial sectors including Foam Blowing Agents and Refrigeration & Air Conditioning.

Summary: Under Section 612 of the Clean Air Act (CAA), EPA’s Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program reviews substitutes within a comparative risk framework in several industrial sectors including Foam Blowing Agents and Refrigeration & Air Conditioning. The SNAP program does not provide a static list of alternatives but instead, evolves the list as EPA makes decisions that are informed by its overall understanding of the environmental and human health impacts as well as its current knowledge about available substitutes. Section 612 also provides that EPA must prohibit the use of a substitute where EPA has determined that there are other available substitutes that pose less overall risk to human health and the environment.

Rules: The following rules list substitutes that have been determined unacceptable, acceptable to use conditions, and acceptable subject to narrowed use limits. Substitutes that are acceptable without restriction are listed below in Notices of Acceptability

Comments: Click here for The Alliance for Responsible Atmospheric Policy’s Petition to extend the Requirements of 40 C.F. Part 82, Subpart F to HFCs.

Unacceptable, Acceptable to Use Conditions, and Acceptable Subject to Narrowed Use Limits

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning

Rule 21 — New listings of safer substitutes and prohibition on the use of certain high-GWP alternatives

Publication Date: TBD
Effective Date: TBD
Federal Register Citation: TBD

Foam Blowing Agents

Rule 20 — Prohibition on the use of certain high-GWP HFCs as alternatives

Publication Date: July 20, 2015
Effective Date: August 19, 2015
Federal Register Citation: 80 FR 42870

Acceptable without Restriction

These notices expand the list of acceptable or pending substitutes for ozone depleting substances (ODSs) under the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program. The substitutes listed below are acceptable without restriction in the specific end-uses unless designated as pending. A pending substitute can be sold after the 90 day review period has expired, but its acceptability may be affected by a subsequent rulemaking.

Refrigeration & Air Conditioning


Foam Blowing Agents



The EPA issues rules pursuant to the SNAP program and Clean Air Act that regulate refrigerant management and use. Current and ongoing regulations are listed here.