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Technical Director Report on Harc Meeting
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The June 5, 2017 HARC meeting was held in Boston, MA.

The evening before the meeting a dinner was held to honor Steve Taylor (BP) who just retired as  Chairman of HARC.  Steve had been chair of HARC since its inception 25 years ago.

Meeting Highlights:

Discussion of US Withdrawal from Paris Agreement 

One June 1, 2017, President Trump announced that the US would be pulling out of the Paris Agreement.  

As noted in the report on the March 2017 HARC meeting, the Paris Agreement for voluntary reduction  of greenhouse gas emissions has no enforcement provision.  The reduction of emissions of Greenhouse  Gases is on a country by country basis – with individual countries setting their own target reduction  goals. 

It was noted that 10 billion dollars were to be transferred to “developing countries” (including China,  India and Brazil) under the agreement.  The money would be provided by “developed” countries  including the USA which was committed to provide 3 billion of the 10 billion dollars. 

Also noted, President Trump indicated that the US would attempt to renegotiate the treaty to make it  effective and more equitable. 

Some have contended that the President does not have the authority to withdraw the USA from the  treaty without the advice and consent of the US Senate.  It was further noted, however, that the Senate  was not consulted on whether the USA should participate in the treaty – therefore the argument that  President Trump overstepped his authority in this matter is unlikely to gain any traction. 


Kigali Amendment  

The US withdrawal from the Paris Agreement will, in itself, have no effect on the US participation in the  Kigali Amendment to the Montreal Protocol.  The Kigali Amendment to the MP is expected to go into  effect January 1 2019.  For “A2” countries (including the US), the amendment calls for a 10% reduction  in HFC consumption and production over baseline numbers beginning January 1, 2019 progressing to an  85% reduction in 2036.  The amendment provides for a phasedown, not a phase‐out, of HFC production. 

HARC legal counsel and others who regularly deal with the government in Washington DC noted that no  opposition to the Kigali amendment has even “been hinted at” by the President and the Administration.   

The EPA feels that what has already been done by recent revisions to SNAP will accomplish the 10%  reduction required by the amendment for the USA. 


Draft Inventory Of Greenhouse Gas Emissions

HARC commented on the EPA’s draft inventory of US  greenhouse gas emissions and sinks during the period 1990‐2015 with respect to fire protection (PFCs  and HFCs). 


The EPA responded to HARC’s comments asking that HARC provide more information on the following:

  1. Emission estimates from the segment of the fire protection industry not reporting to HEEP  (HARC believes such emissions are minor).
  2. Emissions estimates of PFCs and HFCs broken out by chemical (HEEP reports total emissions in  terms of CO2 Equivalents.  Cortina will investigate whether HEEP participants would agree to  allow HEEP to provide EPA with a breakout by chemical). 






EPA Vintaging Model 

HARC’s Tom Cortina has commented with respect to fire protection emissions to ICF (provider of the  model to EPA) on the EPA Vintaging Model.  The model is intended to predict emissions of ozone  depleting substances (ODS) and substitutes for ODS (including HFCs) in the USA.   

The Vintaging Model predicts HFC and PFC emissions far exceeding the emissions reported by HEEP.   Cortina provided a list of possible reasons for the divergence between the Vintaging model and HEEP.   For details please see the meeting slides (2 – 5). 



The ISO secretary has reminded the various ISO working groups that for an ISO standard to continue in  existence at least five ISO member countries must adopt that standard for use as its national standard.   This notice was prompted by the fact that only one member company has adopted ISO 16003, the  Standard for Hardware for Gaseous Agent Fire Systems.  This fact puts ISO 16003 in jeopardy of being  withdrawn. 


During discussion it was noted that other ISO fire protection standards could be in jeopardy of  withdrawal.  Many countries copy from the ISO standards in preparing their own national standards, but  few seem to adopt the standards in lieu of their national standard. 


NFPA GFE Standards Report 

NFPA 2001 second draft will be balloted in the next few weeks.  Anticipated changes are: 

  1. Substantial new material in Annex describing various sequences of operation for abort switches  (no new requirements)
  2. Expanded treatment of hanger requirements – referencing FSSA Pipe Guide
  3. Egress time from protected spaces must be determined (always has been an implied  requirement – now to be directly stated)
  4. Numerous editorial updates 

NFPA 12 second draft is also to be balloted soon. 

  1. Complete rearrangement of chapter of Inspection, Test, Maintenance, and Commissioning of  systems (many requirements are clarified)
  2. Expanded treatment of hanger requirements – referencing FSSA Pipe Guide
  3. Detailed description of discharge test procedures added to Annex
  4. Numerous editorial updates 


RCOP Certification 

Six companies have “self‐certified” their compliance with the HARC Recycling Code of Practice (RCOP). 

Cortina asked if FSSA members have been informed of the RCOP.  Wysocki responded that the  membership has been informed both by written announcements and during the FSSA annual meeting.   Wysocki commented that the fact that more companies have not applied for RCOP certification may be  indicative that “in house” recycling of clean agent may not be common today – many system distributors are likely using professional recyclers to handle certification of clean agents removed from  the field. 



Click here to view the full HARC report from FSSA Technical Director.




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