Proposed FAR Rule Addresses Global Warming Potential for HFCs

A rule proposing to amend the Federal Acquisition Regulation seeks to implement Executive branch policy in the President’s Climate Action Plan to procure, when feasible, alternatives to high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons. The rule is intended to allow agencies to better meet the greenhouse gas emission reduction goals and reporting requirements of Executive Order 13693 of March 19, 2015, Planning for Sustainability in the Next Decade. E.O. 13693 subsumes both E.O. 13423, Strengthening Federal Environmental, Energy, and Transportation Management, as well as E.O. 13514, Federal Leadership in Environmental, Energy, and Economic Performance. Accordingly, the rule proposes to include a policy statement at FAR 23.802 reflecting the government’s commitment to minimize the procurement and the potential use, release, or emission of high GWP HFCs that contribute to climate change. The rule would also add procedures at FAR 23.803 that address substitution of lower GWP alternatives where feasible. The rule makes corresponding changes to the contract clauses prescribed at FAR 23.804. Specifically, the rule proposes to modify the existing FAR clauses at FAR 52.223-11, Ozone-Depleting Substances, and FAR 52.223-12, Refrigeration Equipment and Air Conditioners, to address high GWP HFCs, as well as ozone-depleting substances. In addition, the rule proposes to add two new clauses specifically focused on use of alternatives, where feasible, in place of high GWP HFCs in aerosol cans (as propellants or solvents) and as foam blowing agents. In addition, the rule proposes to amend FAR 2.101 by adding the new definitions of “global warming potential,” “hydrofluorocarbons,” and “high global warming potential hydrofluorocarbons.” A full listing of the regulations impacted by this rule appears in the regulation table below. Comments on the proposed rule, identified by FAR Case 2014-026, are due by July 10, 2015. For the text of the rule, see ¶70,006.299.