The Environmental Protection Agency agreed to delay a ban on HFC-134a — a blowing agent utilized in the application of marine flotation foam — from 2017 to 2020.
The National Marine Manufacturers Association said the delay is good news for the marine industry because many boatbuilders use HFC-134a and it is an essential tool in their production efforts.
The delay was included in the EPA’s final rule on greenhouse gases, titled “Extension of Stratospheric Ozone: Change of Listing Status for Certain Substitutes under the Significant New Alternatives Policy Program.” It was published on Friday.
The NMMA said the rule the EPA had proposed would have banned all use of HFC-134a in marine manufacturing by 2017. With no alternative readily available, the ban would have been a crippling blow to many manufacturers, the NMMA said.
To combat the proposal, the NMMA organized parties such as the Coast Guard, boatbuilders and HFC-134a foam suppliers through Boating United, successfully convincing the EPA to delay the ban and providing additional time for an alternative, Coast Guard-approved substance to be made available to boatbuilders.