EPA publishes proposed rule for handling refrigerants

Changes would reduce greenhouse gas emissions

Posted November 12, 2015

On November 9, EPA published a proposed rule regarding refrigerant management requirements. The proposed rule would update existing requirements as well as extend them, as appropriate, to 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. Use the Federal eRulemaking Portal at www.regulations.gov to submit comments identified by Docket ID No. EPA–HQ–OAR–2015–0453.


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