EPA Refrigerant Management Regulations (Section 608) Revisions

EPA Refrigerant Management Regulations (Section 608) Revisions

by HVAC Distributors

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has issued a rule change to the Section 608 Refrigerant Management Program. This ruling keeps intact the leak repair requirements for appliances containing 50 pounds or more of ozone depleting refrigerants, which include CFCs, HCFCs and any blends containing ozone depleting substances.

These requirements include:

  • Calculating annual leak rates
  • Repairing systems that exceed a predetermined annual leak rate
  • Performing leak inspections after repairs
  • Retrofitting, retiring, or mothballing systems that are not repaired
  • Reporting chronically leaking systems and corrective actions taken to the EPA
  • Record keeping requirements for these systems

The leak repair requirements (listed above), for systems charged with 50 pounds or more of non-ozone depleting refrigerants (HFCs and HFOs) have been rescinded. This ruling goes into effect on April 10, 2020.

The EPA is not changing the other refrigerant management provisions that were extended to non-ozone depleting refrigerants, (such as HFCs and HFOs) including:

  • Anyone purchasing refrigerant for use in appliances regulated by Section 608, or handling refrigerants (such as air-conditioning and refrigeration service technicians), must be Section 608-certified.
  • Anyone removing refrigerant from an appliance, containing regulated refrigerants, 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.
  • Recovery and/or recycling equipment must be certified by an EPA-approved 3rd party.
  • An appliance must have a servicing aperture or process stub to facilitate refrigerant recovery.
  • Refrigerant reclaimers must be certified to reclaim and sell used refrigerant.

The rest of the refrigerant management requirements listed in Subpart F continues to apply to non-ozone depleting refrigerants (HFCs and HFOs), as well as ozone-depleting refrigerants (CFCs and HCFCs).

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: When do the changes go into effect?
A: April 10, 2020

Q: Will technicians need to be re-certified?
A: No, however, they need to be familiar with the current regulations.

Q: Will the preparatory materials change?
A: No. The preparatory manual distributed by ESCO contains the most up-to-date information.

Q: Will the exam change?
A: No.

Q: Where can I find the new regulations?
A: Revisions to the Section 608 Refrigerant Management Program are available here.

Source: ESCO Institute