USEPA released the final rule revising the refrigerant management program requirements of Section 608 of the Clean Air Act (CAA) in November 2016. The key changes to the regulation include:
- lowering the leak rate threshold for repair of systems normally containing at least 50 pounds (lbs) of refrigerant;
- requiring quarterly/annual inspections or continuous monitoring devices for refrigeration and air-conditioning equipment that has exceeded the threshold leak rate;
- requiring owners/operators to submit reports to EPA if systems containing 50 lbs or more of refrigerant leak 125% or more of their full charge in one calendar year;
- extending the sales restriction to hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and other non-exempt substitutes, with some exceptions;
- requiring technicians to keep records of refrigerant recovered during system disposal from systems with a charge size of 5 to 50 lbs; and
- extending the program to include non-ozone-depleting substitute refrigerants, such as HFCs.
The rule takes effect January 1, 2017. The compliance date for appliance maintenance and leak repair requirements and associated record keeping is January 1, 2019.