For more than a decade, the GreenChill program, a voluntary partnership between food retailers, associated stakeholders and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has worked to reduce refrigerant emissions and decrease their impact on the environment. Through the program, GreenChill partners have achieved impressive results—reporting emissions rates and refrigerant replacements costs over 50% percent lower than the industry average.
To forward GreenChill’s mission, the EPA has recently made updates to the National Refrigerant Management Program and Section 608 regulatory requirements. Beginning April 10, three notable areas are impacted by the updates: the Refrigerant Management 2020 Rule, technician certification, and sales restrictions.
Refrigerant Management 2020 Rule
Leak repair requirements (40 CFR 82.157) no longer apply to appliances with non-exempt substitutes, such as HFCs and HFOs.
For owner/operators using appliances that contain an ozone-depleting refrigerant, the following guidelines are now in effect:
- Calculate leak rates when adding refrigerant.
- Repair an appliance within a specified timeframe.
- Conduct verification tests.
- Complete follow-up inspections of appliances that have exceeded the leak rate threshold.
- Develop a retrofit or retirement plan for appliances cannot be or will not be repaired.
- Report chronically leaking appliances.
- Keep the records specified in the leak repair provisions.
Section 608 technician certification is now required to open stationary appliances. For those seeking certification, there have been no changes to the types of certifications offered or to certification tests. Questions are pulled from the collection approved in early 2018.
Certifying organizations must list new technicians they have certified. However, individual technicians do have the right to opt out of the list.
The following updates apply to all non-exempt refrigerants, including HFCs and HFOs:
- Refrigerant distributors may only sell refrigerants to certified technicians and their employers.
- Refrigerant distributors must maintain records for all refrigerant sales.
- Small cans of motor vehicle air conditioner (MVAC) refrigerants (under 2 pounds) are exempt from the sales restrictions and recordkeeping mandates.
To read all of the program updates and learn more about the GreenChill program, visit https://www.epa.gov/greenchill/greenchill-regulatory-context