Description: Challenge to 2016 rule expanding the scope of 2015 regulations that classified hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and HFC blends as unacceptable for certain uses pursuant to the Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) under Clean Air Act Section 612.
Mexichem Fluor, Inc. v. EPA
Filing Date Type File Action Taken Summary 04/05/2019 Judgment Download Petitions for review granted. Adhering to 2017 Opinion, D.C. Circuit Vacated HFC Substitution Requirement. In an unpublished judgment, the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals granted petitions for review challenging the second of two U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rules that made certain hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) unacceptable substitutes for ozone-depleting substances due to the HFCs’ global warming potential. The D.C. Circuit said it was bound by its 2017 opinion that held that EPA could not require manufacturers to replace HFCs they had already lawfully installed as substitutes. The court rejected the arguments of respondent-intervenors that the challenges to the substitution requirement were not timely. Although the D.C. Circuit had not expressly decided the timeliness issue in its 2017 opinion, the court concluded that the argument was barred under the doctrine of offensive issue preclusion. 12/12/2018 Not Available Download Initial sur-reply brief filed by respondent EPA. 12/12/2018 Reply Download Joint page-proof reply brief filed by petitioners Mexichem Fluor, Inc. and Arkema Inc. 11/09/2018 Brief Download Corrected brief filed by intervenors Honeywell International Inc., the Chemours Company FC, LLC, and Natural Resources Defense Council. 09/28/2018 Brief Download Initial response brief filed by EPA. 09/17/2018 Brief Download Joint page-proof brief filed by petitioners. Manufacturers Said D.C. Circuit’s 2017 Decision Vacating HFC Ban Required Same Result for Expansion of Ban. Mexichem Fluor, Inc. and Arkema Inc.—manufacturers of industrial chemicals, including hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)—filed an opening brief in their challenge to a 2016 EPA rule that expanded a ban on using HFCs and HFC blends as replacements for ozone-depleting substances. In a 2015 rule, EPA previously had classified HFCs and HFC blends as unacceptable for 25 uses pursuant to the Significant New Alternatives Program (SNAP) under Clean Air Act Section 612; the 2016 rule extended the ban to other sectors. In 2017, the D.C. Circuit ruled that EPA acted outside its authority in promulgating the 2015 rule. In their brief concerning the 2016 rule, the manufacturers said the 2017 decision was controlling and that the 2016 rule was “invalid insofar as the ban applies to those who have already replaced ozone-depleting substances.” The manufacturers also argued that jurisdictional arguments raised by respondent-intervenors were foreclosed by stare decisis and collateral estoppel, and that, in any event, the arguments lacked merit. 07/09/2018 Order Download Order issued removing cases from abeyance.