See the latest EHS federal and state regulatory updates due to COVID-19

On November 9, 2015, U.S. EPA released proposed revisions to 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F, which regulates the release of ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and substitute refrigerants during maintenance or disposal of refrigerant-containing appliances. The proposed revisions update existing service practice requirements and extend the requirements to non-ODS refrigerants, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). A brief summary of the proposed updates are provided below:

  1. Extends the regulation to cover non-exempt substitute refrigerants
    • Among other amendments to the definitions provided under 40 CFR 82.152, EPA is proposing to update the definition for refrigerant to include any substance, including blends and mixtures, consisting in part or whole of a class I or class II ODS or substitute that is used for heat transfer purposes and provides a cooling effect.
  2. Strengthens leak repair requirements
    • Lowers the current leak rate threshold for commercial and industrial process refrigeration appliances from 35% to 20%
    • Lowers the current leak rate threshold for comfort cooling appliances from 15% to 10%
    • Establishes periodic leak inspection requirements for the following two categories:
      • All appliances with 50 or more pounds of ODS or non-exempt substitute would require annual leak inspections, and
      • Commercial and industrial process refrigeration appliances with 500 or more pounds of ODS or non-exempt substitute would require an inspection every 3 months
    • Requires retirement of appliances with 50 or more pounds of ODS or non-exempt substitute that leak more than 75% of their full charge in each of 2 consecutive 12-month periods
  3. Extends the sales restriction allowing only certified technicians to purchase ODS refrigerants to non-exempt substitutes, except for small cans (less than 2 pounds) equipped with a self-sealing valve
  4. Establishes recordkeeping requirements for the disposal of appliances containing 5 to 50 pounds of ODS or non-exempt substitutes; current rule contains recordkeeping requirements for appliances with less than 5 pounds or greater than 50 pounds of ODS
  5. Changes the technician certification program
    • Extends technician certification program to appliances with non-exempt substitutes
    • Requires certifying organizations to publish lists or keep an online database of technicians they certify
  6. Changes for improved readability, compliance, and restructuring of the requirements.

Comments on the proposed revisions must be received on or before January 8, 2016. A full copy of the federal register can be found here. If you have any questions about the proposed revisions to this rule please reach out to Mr. Kirk Lowery at (614) 433-0733 or your local office at (800) 229-6655.