1 What Is Industry Doing About Halon Use?
When the environmental effects of Halon became known, industrial users of Halon and fire protection professionals worked together to limit Halon use and emissions. Through changes in standards and specifications, industry has virtually eliminated its use of Halon for testing and training purposes. Historically, testing and training has been responsible for the majority of Halon emissions. Many companies have also implemented programs to reduce false discharges due to human error and equipment failure. Safety training and awareness programs in conjunction with advances in detection and control systems have contributed greatly to reduction in emissions. Many organizations that continue to rely on Halon systems for fire protection have instituted programs to identify their most critical needs. Halons that can be removed from non-critical or obsolete facilities are then recovered for use in more critical applications.
2 The Halon Alternatives Research Corporation (HARC)
The Halon Alternatives Research Corporation (HARC) is a non-profit trade association formed in 1989 to promote the development and approval of environmentally acceptable Halon alternatives. HARC was formed to focus efforts for finding suitable alternatives for the Halons used in fire fighting and it has developed a unique, cooperative working relationship with government agencies concerned with the Halon/CFC issue. It is also the major industry association providing information to the user community on Halon-related issues. HARC has facilitated and encouraged the involvement of the fire protection community in environmentally responsible activities, including:
- Coordinated development of an Industry Code of Practice for the best use of recycled Halon.
- Assisted in development of EPA Public Education Brochures.
- Sponsored major conferences on aviation fire safety and alternative technologies.
- Sponsored workshop on toxicological issues related to halocarbon replacements.
- Sponsored research on Halon bank management leading to the formation of the Halon Recycling Corporation (HRC).
3 The Halon Recycling Corporation (HRC)
The Halon Recycling Corporation (HRC) is a voluntary, non-profit trade association formed by concerned Halon users and the fire protection industry to support the goals of the environmental community and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Its function is to assist users of Halon fire fighting chemicals to redeploy the existing bank of Halons from applications where alternatives are feasible to those unique situations that still require Halons. HRC can assist you in selling your Halons, or help you to find Halons to keep your critical systems functional. HRC will also keep you informed about changes in international and domestic regulations that can impact continued Halon use.
HRC has developed an ethical code of practice for reclaimers of Halon. This Code of Practice has been developed to provide an assurance to the public that HRC Enrolled Sellers engaged in the business of Halon recycling and recovery operate in a manner that promotes safe and environmentally responsible Halon reclamation.
HRC has the following missions:
- Facilitate Halon Recycling - HRC acts as a facilitating organization for the recycling of Halon 1211 and 1301 by providing information services to match companies that have excess Halons with those companies that need the fire fighting agents for critical uses.
- Determine Critical Use - HRC provides guidelines and procedures for a self determination of critical Halon use. HRC also provides an independent review and critical use certification if requested.
- Information Clearinghouse - HRC acts as an information clearinghouse by providing accurate, up-to-date information on all issues related to Halon recycling.
- Recycling "Umbrella" Organization - HRC serves as the umbrella organization for Halon recycling in the United States. HRC acts as the contact point both nationally and internationally for U.S. Halon recycling and banking, and also serves as the focal point for industry/government interaction on Halon recycling issues.
- Recycling Advocacy Organization - HRC represents the interests of Halon reclaimers and critical users of recycled Halon, including the preparation of comments on proposed recycling and import regulations and support for market-based approaches to controlling emissions.
4 HFC Emissions Estimating Program (HEEP)
The HFC Emissions Estimating Program (HEEP) is a vehicle to simply, economically and accurately determine annually the quantities of HFCs (and perfluorocarbons, or PFCs) that are discharged to the atmosphere when used for fire protection purposes. A prime motivation to implement HEEP derives from the fire protection industry's Voluntary Code of Practice (VCOP). The VCOP had its inception in 1999 and was adopted in 2001 by the segment of the fire protection industry that employs HFCs as alternatives to Halons. In developing the VCOP it became quickly apparent that merely stating a goal to limit emissions of fluorocarbons in fire protection applications would have little meaning if there was not a means to quantify emissions. The HEEP program was launched in 2002 as a means of collecting and reporting emissions data in a manner that was both informative and considerate of industry needs for confidentiality.
HEEP provides a format to help industry minimize emissions by setting benchmarks, by providing the incentives to make improvements to current standards and practices, by documenting the industry's commitment to safety and responsible use, and by providing data to support these substitutes for Halon systems. Click here
to view 2005 HEEP Report on 2002 and 2003 Data Collection.