FREON Alternatives & the EPA
Re: alternative refrigerants.
The American public has been given, in essence, one choice for an alternative
refrigerant to banned CFCs such as FREON (a DuPont product). That one choice
is HFC-134a (also a DuPont product).
Customers do not like HFC-134a because it is expensive and their refrigeration
systems must undergo an expensive redesign or retrofit process to accommodate
it. HFC-134a is not energy efficient and its corrosive nature promotes
evaporation from the closed system which causes consumers to recharge their
systems sometimes twice as often as was necessary with FREON.
Refrigeration technicians do not like HFC-134a for of all the above reasons
plus it is toxic and dangerous to work with. Due to its corrosive nature,
organic compressor lubricants must be replaced with expensive, carcinogenic,
synthetic PAG oils which most technicians would rather avoid coming into
Environmental groups such as Greenpeace are not advocating the widespread
acceptance of HFC-134a because of all of the reasons listed above, plus, 10
percent of HFC-134a's total production volume is toxic waste. HFC-134a
production is also directly linked to the production of organochlorides,
which the international environmental community has targeted for phase out by
the year 2000.
Even though HFC-134a poses no threat to the ozone layer, HFC-134a has an
incredibly high global warming potential. In other words, what good is an
ozone-rich stratosphere if we have a troposphere choked with greenhouse
Largely due to policies enforced by the EPA, the refrigerant alternatives
that the American public has not been made aware of are hydrocarbon blends.
Hydrocarbons (propane, butane, isopropane and isobutane, for example) are
inexpensive readily available, organic compounds which can be blended into
refrigerants without an industrial production process. Hydrocarbons blended
into a quality, environmentally friendly refrigerant produce no toxic waste.
Hydrocarbon refrigerants, using the OZ Technology product HC-12a as an
example, have an ozone depletion potential rating of zero as does HFC-134a.
However, where HFC-134a scores a 1200 for global warming potential, HC-12a
scores a negligible score of eight. HFC-134a is 150 times more contributory
to the production of greenhouse gases than its hydrocarbon counterparts.
THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MOVES TO BAN HFCs
According to Greenpeace in a report entitled "A Chemical Disaster--Why HFCs
Have No Future" from September, 1994, updated May 29, 1996, with a letter
from Mark Russell of the Greenpeace Ozone Campaign, several countries within
the world community are in the process of restricting the use of HFCs as
refrigerants. The Danish government is planning to ban HFCs altogether.
Russell, from the Greenpeace Australia office, closed his 1996 letter to
preface the 1994 report by stating, "As governments, corporations and
individuals continue to search for technologies which meet sustainable
criteria, it is regressive in every way to broaden the usage of a chemical
(HFC-134a) which fails so dismally to reach even the minimum of these
standards. In fact, to endorse the use of such a refrigerant when
environmentally friendly alternatives that are safer, cheaper, more energy
efficient and Australian made are available--hydrocarbons--would have to be
seen as negligent in the extreme."
All countries working to ban HFCs as refrigerants are simultaneously
embracing hydrocarbon blends as the answer to their refrigeration dilemmas.
"The UK government has indicated its wish to restrict HFCs and is required
under the Climate Convention to develop policies which will return HFC
emissions to 1990 levels by the year 2000, which is technically a near
complete phase-out," wrote Greenpeace in the 1994 report.
Even in light of all the information available world wide to illuminate the
widespread use of HFC-134a as one of the worst possible refrigerant
alternatives to banned CFCs, the EPA insists upon foisting this dangerous
chemical on the American public and the environment. Stranger still, the
EPA refuses to place any hydrocarbon blends on its "acceptable" Significantly
New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) list for first generation replacements to
banned CFCs. EPA policy, whether by design or coincidence, is protecting a
near monopoly in the marketplace for the largest HFC manufacturer, DuPont,
while it makes it nearly impossible for American hydrocarbon blend
refrigerant manufacturers to stay in business.
According to section 612 of the federal Clean Air Act, non-ozone depleting
refrigerants such as HC-12a are legal and lawful to use as a second
generation replacement to "acceptable" first generation replacements such
as HFC-134a. In other words, HC-12a is legal to use, but only after a customer
pays to have his or her CFC system purged of banned CFCs, pays to have the
system retrofitted to accommodate HFC-134a and then pays to have the system
charged with HFC-134a. Only after the customer has decided that he or she does
not want to continue using HFC-134a and only after going through the
inconvenience and expense to accommodate it can the customer legally use the
less expensive, less toxic, less corrosive, more energy efficient and
environmentally friendly hydrocarbon product. This is federal law which is
illogical to the point of absurdity.
EPA policy has already driven a handful of American hydrocarbon refrigerant
producers out of business. What makes the EPA's illogical "anti-hydrocarbon"
policy suspect to being influenced by "special interests" is that the closer
hydrocarbon producers like OZ Technology get to having their products
mbraced by the world community as the answer to the world's refrigeration
dilemma, the deeper the EPA reaches into its bag of dirty tricks in an effort
to run those producers out of business. The EPA has recently lowered itself
to violating its own absurd and illogical laws to terrorize a small company
in northern Idaho--a company which produces a product exemplary of what
environmentally concerned people all over the world have determined to be the
most environmentally responsible refrigerant alternatives--hydrocarbon
EPA STEPS UP PRESSURE TO BAN HYDROCARBONS
OZ Technology has a judgment pending in federal district court for a motion
for temporary injunction against the EPA. OZ reopened the motion for
temporary injunction which was settled out of court last February in the form
of a Memorandum of Understanding. When the EPA signed the memorandum, it
agreed to cease and desist the dissemination of false and misleading
information about the legal standing of OZ products and agreed to stop
badmouthing the company and its products. The EPA also agreed to an attempt
to repair damages its policies had done to OZ in the marketplace. OZ was
forced to reopen the case because the EPA was not only in violation of the
Memorandum of Understanding, it had stepped up its harassment of OZ to levels
far above beyond those which prompted the filing of the original suit in July,
OZ has filed a similar motion for temporary injunction against the EPA to be
heard in the U.S. Appellate Court in Washington D.C. OZ lawyers expect the
appellate court to hear the motion for temporary injunction by Thanksgiving.
IS THE EPA VIOLATING THE PUBLIC TRUST?
The taxpayers of this country pay an enormous percentage of their wages to
fund government agencies. It is the duty of all government agencies to spend
the money they are budgeted in the best interest of the public who pays their
wages and lavish benefits. It is the EPA's job to protect the environment; to
support the use of the best and most environmentally friendly technologies;
to seek the banning or restriction of the environmentally unfriendly or
environmentally damaging technologies. To do anything else is a violation of
the public trust and a slap in the face to the American public who pays their
salaries and benefits. We do not pay the EPA, or any other government agency,
to protect the interests of big business in the "free" marketplace. Whether
by accident or design, current EPA policy regarding refrigerant alternatives
is doing just that, at the expense of consumers, small companies and, perhaps
more importantly, our environment and future generations of humans, animals
What is required here is not a blind acceptance of CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs or HCs
to keep things cold. What we need is for the scientific community to fairly
and impartially test all of the alternatives. The results need to be provided
to the public and regulatory entities like the EPA so the specific products
can be judged fairly and even handedly based upon their actual merits. As it
stands now, the acceptability of alternative refrigerants via EPA policy
seems to be based upon the lobbying power of the company which produces them.
If the playing field is leveled so all companies who wish to provide the
world with a refrigerant alternative to CFCs can play, the world, and the
people, animals and plants in it, will be given the best possible products
derived from the best possible technologies which concerned and dedicated
individuals have developed to meet the serious environmental challenges we
face as we enter the 21st century.
If we allow government agencies to terrorize and imprison the individuals who
have risen to the environmental challenges that face our civilization and
have mustered the ingenuity to meet those challenges with viable technologies,
we are allowing government agencies to doom all of the earth's inhabitants to
deepening cycles of pollution and misery merely for the sake of insuring the
immeasurable profits of a few.
Questions concerning the pros and cons of hydrocarbon refrigerants may be
addressed to OZ Technology, 10900 Howell Road, Rathdrum, ID 83858,
Voice: (208) 687-7000; FAX: (208) 687-5146; email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
OZ Technology can also be accessed through the world wide web at:
This informational release was prepared by Media Access, Inc. Media Access
provides favorable press to groups and persons who deserve it. Media Access
is dedicated to printing the truth about viable alternative technologies
which are not being made available to the public and dedicated to providing
favorable press to groups or individuals who have identified problems in our
society and are actively seeking solutions for them. While dominant medias
have a tendency to give less than favorable press, or no press at all, to
groups and persons whose activities are not in the best interest of big
business or big government, Media Access utilizes the Associated
Alternative Press (AAP) and specific mailing lists to distribute its stories
to interested parties.
This particular informational release is of interest to everybody with
concern for the environment and everybody with a refrigerator or an
automobile air conditioner. Reproduction of this informational release for
distribution to all interested parties is encouraged.
Media Access Inc.
The Associated Alternative Press
Voice: (208)777-7888 FAX: (208)777-2032 P.O.Box 1806 Post Falls ID 83854