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Technical Director Report on Harc Meeting
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The March 9 2017 HARC meeting was held in Washington DC.


It was announced that Steve Taylor (BP) has retired as Chairman of HARC.  Steve had been chair of HARC  for a very long time.  A dinner to honor Steve will be held on Sunday June 4th in Boston in conjunction  with the next HARC meeting and the NFPA annual meeting. 

Dr. Joe Senecal (UTC) was elected new Chairman of HARC.  Congratulations to Joe. 


EPA report by Margaret Shepherd 

DRAFT INVENTORY OF GREENHOUSE GAS EMISSIONS AND VINTAGING MODEL  US EPA is now  receiving comments on the draft inventory of US greenhouse gas emissions and sinks during the period  1990‐2015.  Public comment period lasts through March 17.  HARC will comment on the draft with  respect to HFC / PFC emissions for fire protection.


VINTAGING MODEL  Tom Cortina noted during his presentation that the Global Warming Potentials  from the UN HTOC 4th assessment report are used in the Vintaging model.  For the HEEP data the GWP  from the 2nd assessment report has been used.  The GWP values are different.  As shown in the chart  below, application of the GWP from the 4th assessment report shifts the HEEP data upward but does not  change the essentially flat slope indicating no change in HFC emissions since 2002.

The green triangles represent the 2013, 2014 and 2015 HEEP data with the 4th assessment GWP data  applied.  Regardless of which version of GWP data is applied, the Vintaging model substantially deviates  from the HEEP data.  For example, the Vintaging model predicts HFC and PFC emissions to total 1.5  million metric tons of CO2 equivalent for 2015 while the HEEP data shows 0.643 MMT CO2 equivalent in  2015. 

Formal peer review of the Vintaging model is commencing.  Cortina has been asked to serve as a peer  reviewer representing HARC. 


EPA is considering SNAP listings of two submissions for total flood:   

  • Gas generating system PyroQuench Alpha for total flooding in normally unoccupied spaces
  • Powdered Aerosol E requesting approval for occupied spaces total flood – currently SNAP listed  for normally unoccupied spaces
  •  Both of the above submissions are incomplete.  EPA is awaiting more information. 

Several HARC members asked EPA to make it clear that powdered aerosol agents are not “clean agents.”   EPA will take this under advisement. 

The discharge of a Powdered Aerosol system in Bangkock Thailand which killed several people was  discussed.  Very little detail is available on this incident. 


EPA Changes 

Proposed reductions in EPA staff, budget, and programs were discussed.  See slides for details.  It is  worth noting that the Office of Atmospheric Programs (OAP) in the Office of Air & Radiation (OAR) which  administers SNAP is not proposed to be eliminated.


MONTREAL PROTOCOL  The Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol calls for a reduction in  production of HFCs. The amendment will go into effect January 1 2019 assuming at least 20 countries  which are members of the Montreal Protocol approve the amendment. The amendment calls for a 10%  reduction over baseline numbers beginning January 1, 2019 progressing to an 85% reduction in 2036.   Details are shown on Slide #10.  Note that all reductions are based on total GWP of all produced HFCs.   

Honeywell’s HFO chemical is SNAP approved for total flood fire protection but Honeywell has informed  EPA that they will not pursue the substance as a fire extinguishing agent.  It is not known why.  It was  asked at the HARC meeting, “Should EPA retain the substance on the SNAP list as an acceptable Halon  alternative for total flooding?”  EPA was not present at the time this question was posed so their  position is not known. 


Paris Agreement for voluntary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions has no enforcement provision.   The reduction is on a country by country basis – with individual countries setting their own target  reduction goals.  It is likely that the agreement will go forward regardless of whether USA participates. 

The Department of Defense will hold an information exchange conference on Fire Protection at  Aberdeen Proving Grounds, MD May 10 – 11 2017.  Public is invited.  Details are contained in an  attachment. 


Other topics discussed include the Montreal Protocols HTOC topics, the EU’s continuing F‐gas reduction  program (became effective January 1 2015), Canada’s proposed HFC regulation, California Air Resources  Board proposed HFC controls (none include fire protection use, Aviation issues, and the ASTM Standard  on Halon 1301.  Details on these topics may be found in the meeting slides which are attached. 

Future HARC meeting schedule:

Next meeting is June 5th in Boston.  

September 14th location is to be determined.  


Submitted by 
Tom Wysocki

Guardian Services Inc.

FSSA Technical Director


To view the full report click here 




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