Here's What You're Missing from the Court Decision on HFC Bans

January 31, 2018 / by Elizabeth Ortlieb

Elizabeth Ortlieb

This week, the D.C. Circuit denied to rehear its decision made earlier this year on HFC bans in the case Mexichem Fluor, Inc., v. EPA

The case vacated part of a 2015 refrigerant management rule, SNAP Rule 20, that banned some HFCs in certain air conditioning and refrigeration applications, and this is now the buzz in the HVAC/R world. 

What does this EPA SNAP appeal mean for your operations? And, most importantly, what are you missing from this decision? 

Recap of HFC Court Ruling: Part of SNAP Rule 20 Vacated

The part of SNAP Rule 20 that made certain high-GWP HFCs, particularly R-404A and R-134A, unacceptable in certain HVAC/R end-uses has now been vacated.

Specifically, per SNAP Rule 20, R404A was unacceptable as of January 1, 2018, in new, remote condensing units. And R-404A and R-134A were unacceptable in new, stand-alone equipment as of January 1, 2019 and/or 2020.

Now, these HFC bans have been lifted. 

How does this HFC ruling impact your operations? And, what refrigerants are good to use in the short- and long-term? 

With this big change happening in the HVAC/R world, answers aren't immediately clear...

That's why we've updated our handy Acceptable Refrigerant Use Guide to reflect what's new in 2018, including the unfolding situation with EPA SNAP Rule 20. 

Free refrigerant use chart updates with latest information on the court case on a 2015 EPA Refrigerant Rule

(Prepare and plan ahead now with this chart. Click to claim yours—It's free!)

Now before you think you're totally in the clear to use high-GWP HFCs after this EPA SNAP lawsuit, not so fast... 

What You're Missing from the Court Decision on HFC Bans 

One thing needs to be clear: You still need to adhere to the safe-handling requirements in the EPA 608 Update, which covers HFC refrigerants.

If you need a primer on EPA 608 2018, please see our free checklist here

Well, now you know what you're missing from the court decision on HFC bans. 

If you're in any way confused about which refrigerants are acceptable to use in what applications, don't forget to pick up a copy of our free refrigerant use chart: 

Get My Free Chart

(Prepare and plan ahead now with this chart.)


If you enjoyed this article, you might want to check out our other articles on this topic and more:

California May Adopt New Refrigerant Management Rules for HVAC and Refrigeration Equipment

5 Things to Know About the Update to EPA Section 608 

Topics: HVAC/R, Compliance Reporting, HVAC/R Software, Industry Insights, Refrigerant Compliance, Refrigerant Management

Elizabeth Ortlieb

Written by Elizabeth Ortlieb

With an extensive background in public affairs and communications, Elizabeth serves as the Policy & Content Manager at Trakref, where she tracks HVAC/R policy trends and provides updates to multi-level stakeholders. Email the author at