The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a rule change to the Section 608 Refrigerant Management Program.

This rule change has potential impacts on the way in which refrigerants are handled and sold. As such, the ESCO Institute wanted to keep the HVACR community apprised of this ruling.

Rule Summary: 

 This rule modifies refrigerant management regulations for substitute refrigerants, such as HFCs and HFOs. This does not affect the current requirements for ozone-depleting refrigerants and does not affect the Clean Air Act prohibition on intentionally venting or otherwise knowingly releasing ozone-depleting and non-ozone depleting refrigerant into the environment.  

• Effective 30 days after publication in the Federal Register, appliances with 50 or more pounds of substitute refrigerants (non-ozone depleting) will no longer be subject to the leak repair and inspection requirements.

• The EPA is not rescinding the other refrigerant management provisions that were extended to non-ozone depleting refrigerants, including:

—Anyone purchasing refrigerant for use in a stationary appliance or handling refrigerants (such as air-conditioning and refrigeration service technicians) must be Section 608-certified.

—Anyone removing refrigerant from a refrigeration or air-conditioning appliance must evacuate refrigerant to a set level using certified refrigerant recovery equipment before servicing or disposing of the appliance.

—The final disposer (such as scrap recyclers or landfills) of small appliances, like refrigerators and window air conditioners, must ensure and document that refrigerant is recovered.

—All used refrigerant must be reclaimed to industry purity standards before it can be sold to another appliance owner.