EPA SEEKS CHANGES IN MILITARY'S RULES FOR CFCS

Everyone has a favorite plan to reform procedures at the Pentagon, and now the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is getting into the act. In this case Stephen O. Andersen, a senior economist at the EPA, is trying to open the way for commercial production of substitutes for Chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) 113, but he says that in order to do so military specifications will need to be changed.

At a time when CFC 113 was not known to have any adverse effect on the atmosphere's ozone layer, the US armed forces required that the chemical be used to clean electronic circuits. The chemical was then adopted by NATO forces as well.

``We assembled a committee one year ago,'' Dr. Andersen says, that included representatives of chemical companies as well as the Department of Defense. The purpose was to write a more flexible military specification that would allow for substitute chemicals to be used in place of CFC 113, as long as they come up to the same standards of effectiveness.

The new specification will be based on strict performance requirements using CFC 113 as a bench mark, and should be in place in a couple of months, Andersen says.

``We've got about 10 products waiting in the queue'' to be tested as alternatives, he says.

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