Stay Informed: Proposed Changes to Regulations Prohibiting the Release of Refrigerants
Emissions cuts are an inescapable fact for businesses in a variety of industries. Since Obama announced the Climate Action Plan in 2013, the EPA has made several steps toward cutting carbon emissions including finalizing the Clean Power Plan and setting new source performance standards (NSPSs) to limit carbon pollution from new power plants. Significant efforts addressing the largest sources of methane emissions were also set in motion with new and modified NSPSs proposed.
EPA’s most recent focus has been on hydrofluorocarbons where they’ve proposed new prohibitions that cover the knowing release, venting, or disposal of refrigerants that contribute to ozone depletion. This regulation also extends to refrigerant substitutions, particularly HCLs, that do not necessarily result in ozone depletion but have been found to release significant greenhouse gases.
New Proposed Regulations
Chemical compliance may require adherence to the following regulations n the near future.
- Reduced leak rate threshold requiring repair from 35 percent to 20 percent for industrial and commercial refrigeration.
- Leak rate threshold reduction from 15 to 10 percent for comfort cooling equipment.
- Requirements for continuous monitoring devices designed to detect leaks.
- Annual leak inspections for systems utilizing 50 pounds or more of refrigerants.
- Quarterly inspections of industrial systems utilizing 500 pounds or more of chemicals.
- Leaks of 75 percent or more of a full charge that occur for two consecutive years will lead to the cease of operations.
- Full record keeping of disposal methods for systems ranging 5–50 pounds.
- These regulations will impact companies both big and small as more time and money will be necessary to maintain compliance.