EPA has released a proposed rule for public comment regarding refrigerant management requirements. The proposed rule updates existing requirements as well as extend them to certain non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). HFCs are a potent greenhouse gas used in refrigeration and air conditioning.
The Clean Air Act (CAA) prohibits the knowing release of ozone-depleting and substitute refrigerants during the course of maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of appliances or industrial process refrigeration. The existing regulations require that persons servicing or disposing of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment observe certain service practices that reduce emissions of ozone-depleting refrigerant.
EPA’s proposed updates include:
- Strengthening leak repair requirements,
- Establishing recordkeeping requirements for the disposal of appliances containing five to 50 pounds of refrigerant,
- Revisions to the technician certification program, and
- Changes for improved readability, compliance, and restructuring of the requirements.
According to EPA, this action would reduce emissions of ozone-depleting substances and gases with high global warming potentials. Comments must be received on or before January 8, 2016.