Upcoming EPA Refrigerant Regulation Changes

Facilities that utilize halocarbon also known as Freon refrigeration systems, have evaded the burdensome risk plus the process safety management requirements. Which their colleagues from ammonia refrigeration are required to observed. As from 2012, the halocarbon refrigeration system in California had changed. New regulatory requirements are being put in place; in order, to reduce emissions from refrigeration systems that have high-global warming greenhouse gas refrigerants.

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) announced a two proposed regulations, which affects air conditioning equipment manufacturers and refrigeration, contractors, service technicians and the end users. In the first proposed regulation, it preserves the existing U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). This is a requirement that prevents high- global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants from retrofitted or new equipment.

EPA Refrigerant Regulation Changes

The regulations are the existing rules 20 and 21 of the Significant New Alternatives Agency Policy (SNAP) program.  The regulation controls substances; that deplete the ozone- layer and their alternates especially the hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).  The second regulation prohibits high global warming potential refrigerants in the new air conditioning equipment and refrigeration, this regulation is to begin in 2021.

The sale restrictions include the sale of refrigerants which has a GWP of 2,500 or more is to begin in 2020; the restriction of GWP of 1,500 0r more in 2024. Under section 608 of Clean Air Act of the EPA regulation, technicians are required to follow a specific practice when it comes to; leak repair, venting, recordkeeping and servicing of the air-conditioning equipment plus the stationery refrigeration.

The above mentioned practices are to maximize recycling and recovery of the global warming and ozone-depleting potential substances. The EPA published the proposed rule so as to amend the Clean Air Act of section 608, which is a regulation of refrigerant management program.

Changes in California Refrigerant Management Program

The following are some changes in the California Refrigerant Management Program;

  • Quarterly leak inspection for the systems which contain 500+ lb of refrigerant.
  • Annual leak inspection for the systems which contain 50+ lb of refrigerant.
  • Banning operation of systems which normally contains 50+ lb of refrigerant; that have leaked for two consecutive years of 75% or more of their full charge.
  • Air conditioning equipment is likely to use slightly flammable refrigerants. For now, these refrigerants are not allowed in most systems for they do not meet the standards and applicable codes.
  • End users to have additional safety precautions put in place for new equipment.