United States
                    Environmental
                    Protection Agency
Office of Air and Radiation
Stratospheric Protection
Division (6205-J)
June 1998
EPA 430-F-98-039
                    FACT SHEET: SUMMARY OF PROPOSED REGULATIONS FOR
                    RECYCLING OF SUBSTITUTE REFRIGERANTS UNDER SECTION 608
Introduction

Under section 608 of the Clean Air Act,  it
has been illegal since November 15, 1995,
to knowingly vent substitutes for CFC and
HCFC refrigerants during the maintenance,
service, repair and disposal of air-condi-
tioning and  refrigeration equipment.   On
June 11, 1998, EPA proposed  a regulation
to fully implement  this statutory  venting
prohibition.

This fact sheet summarizes the proposed
rule and explains how EPA is currently ap-
plying the venting prohibition to the different
substitute  refrigerants and  to the  various
types of air-conditioning and  refrigeration
equipment.   The full text of the proposed
rule, including the rationale for the various
provisions,  was published  in  the  Federal
Register on June 11,1998, at 63 FR 32044.
This text may also be found at EPAs web
site at  http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/
EPA invites the public to comment on the
proposed rule.  The Agency will then  ad-
dress comments and issue the final rule.

Overview of Proposed Rule

In brief, the proposed regulations would:

  Exempt  certain  substitute  refrigerants
  from the venting prohibition;

  Extend to HFC and PFC refrigerants the
  requirements currently in place for CFC
  and HCFC refrigerants, including required
  practices, certification programs for recov-
  ery/recycling equipment, reclaimers, and
  technicians, a prohibition on the  sale of
       refrigerant to anyone but certified techni-
       cians, leak repair requirements, and safe
       disposal requirements;

       Make minor changes to the required prac-
       tices, recovery equipment  standards, and
       refrigerant purity standards for CFCs and
       HCFCs to accommodate the addition of the
       HFC and PFC refrigerants; and

       Lower the maximum allowable leak rates for
       comfort cooling chillers, commercial refrig-
       eration, and industrial process refrigeration.
       The  new maximum allowable leak rates
       would apply to equipment containing CFCs,
       HCFCs, HFCs, and PFCs.

     Covered Substitutes

     Section 608 directly prohibits the venting of
     substitute refrigerants during the maintenance,
     service, repair, and disposal of air-condition-
     ing  and refrigeration equipment  unless EPA
     determines that the release of the substitute
     does not pose a threat to the environment.
     EPA is considering  a  number of factors in
     making this determination, including the sub-
     stitute's  toxicity,   flammability,   long-term
     environmental impact (such as global warming
     potential), and regulation under other authori-
     ties (such as OSHA or other EPA require-
     ments). Based  on these considerations, the
     following refrigerants are subject to the vent-
     ing prohibition, and EPA is proposing to cover
     them under the regulations:

       hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs)
       perfluorocarbons (PFCs)

     EPA is proposing to exempt the following

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refrigerants from the venting prohibition:

  ammonia that is used in absorption sys-
  tems or in  commercial or industrial pro-
  cess refrigeration systems
  hydrocarbons that are used in industrial
  process refrigeration systems for process-
  ing hydrocarbons
  chlorine that is used in industrial process
  refrigeration systems for processing chlo-
  rine or chlorine compounds
  CO2, nitrogen, and water

This proposed  exemption  applies only to
applications of these refrigerants that have
been approved under EPA's Significant New
Alternatives Policy (SNAP) Program.  The
applicability of recycling requirements to
these substitutes in other applications (e.g.,
hydrocarbons  in household refrigerators) will
be considered when the substitutes in those
applications are submitted for SNAP review.
Note  that it  may  be dangerous to use
CFC and HCFC recovery equipment to
recover ammonia, hydrocarbons, or chlo-
rine.  However, users of hydrocarbon,
ammonia, and pure chlorine refrigerants
must continue to comply with all  other
applicable  federal,  state,  and  local
restrictions on emissions of these sub-
stances.

Permitted Releases

As is the case for CFC and HCFC refriger-
ants, only four types of releases of  MFCs
and PFCs are permitted under the prohibi-
tion:

1.   "De  minimis" quantities of  refrigerant
    released  in the course of making good
    faith attempts to recapture and recycle
    or safely dispose of refrigerant.

2.   Refrigerants  emitted  in the  course of
    normal operation of air-conditioning and
    refrigeration equipment  such as  from
    mechanical purging and leaks.

3.   Releases of MFCs and PFCs that are not
    used as refrigerants (note that heat trans-
    fer fluids are considered refrigerants).

4.   Small releases of refrigerant that result
    from purging hoses or from connecting or
    disconnecting hoses to charge or service
    appliances.

More information on permitted releases may
be found in the "Final Rule Summary: Comply-
ing with the Section 608 Refrigerant Recycling
Rule," which can be found at EPA's web site
or obtained from the Hotline  at  1-800-296-
1996.

Proposed Requirements

Service Practice Requirements

Under the proposed  regulation, technicians
would be required to evacuate air-conditioning
and refrigeration equipment containing MFCs
or PFCs to certain vacuum levels when open-
ing the  equipment for service or disposal.
These vacuum  levels are shown in Table 1
and would depend upon the saturation pres-
sure of the refrigerant,  the size of appliance in
which it is used, and the date of manufacture
of the  recovery equipment.  The vacuum
levels would apply to CFCs and HCFCs as
well as to MFCs and PFCs.

These  evacuation requirements  are  very
similar to those currently in place for CFCs
and  HCFCs, except  EPA is proposing  two
changes to the current system for classifying
appliances and refrigerants.  First,  EPA is
proposing to classify refrigerants according to
their saturation  pressures at 104 degrees F
rather than their boiling points.  Second, EPA
is proposing to eliminate the  special category
for R22 and replace it with a new saturation
pressure category  that includes the "high-
pressure" refrigerants with the highest satura-
tion pressures.   Both of these changes are
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being proposed in order to implement recov-
ery requirements that are based solely on
the saturation  pressure of the refrigerant.
Details on these proposed changes can be
found under the definitions of "low-pressure,"
"high-pressure," "higher pressure," and "very
high pressure" on page 7 of this fact sheet
and in the proposed rule.

Recycling and Recovery Equipment

EPA has proposed standards for HFC and
RFC recovery equipment that are very simi-
lar to the standards for CFC and HCFC
equipment.  The standards  would  depend
upon the saturation pressure of the refrig-
erant, the size of appliance in which it is
used, and the  date of manufacture of the
recovery  equipment.   (Note that  EPA  is
proposing to retain November 15, 1993 as
the date of manufacture that would separate
                                      TABLE 1
                  PROPOSED LEVELS OF EVACUATION FOR APPLIANCES
           EXCEPT FOR SMALL APPLIANCES, MVACS, AND MVAC-LIKE APPLIANCES
the stricter from the more lenient standards.)
These standards are described in Table 1 and
Table 2.  (Standards for equipment used to
recover refrigerant  from  disposed  motor-
vehicle air conditioners [MVACs], MVAC-like
appliances [such as air conditioners used in
construction  and farm vehicles], and small
appliances are discussed below in the Safe
Disposal section.) As noted above,  EPA is
also proposing to establish a new saturation
pressure category between the high- and
very-high pressure categories; appliances in
this category would  be subject to the same
evacuation   requirements  as   HCFC-22
Type of Appliance
Very High Pressure Appliance" (R410A/B, R13, R23,
R503)
Higher-pressure appliance" normally containing less
than 200 pounds of refrigerant (R22, R502, R402A/B,
R407A/B/C)
Higher-pressure appliance" normally containing 200
pounds or more of refrigerant (R22, R502, R402A/B,
R407A/B/C)
High-pressure appliance" normally containing less
than 200 pounds of refrigerant (R1 2, R1 1 4, R1 34a,
R401A/B/C, R500)
High-pressure appliance" normally containing 200
pounds or more of refrigerant (R1 2, R1 1 4, R1 34a,
R401A/B/C, R500)
Low-pressure appliance" (R1 1 , R1 23, R1 1 3)
Inches of Mercury Vacuum*
Using Equipment Manufactured:
Before Nov. 15,
1993
0
0
4
4
4
25
On or after Nov. 15,
1993
0
0
10
10
15
25 mm Hg absolute
  "Relative to standard atmospheric pressure of 29.9" Hg.
  "Or isolated component of such an appliance
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                                       TABLE 2
               PROPOSED LEVELS OF EVACUATION FOR SMALL APPLIANCES
Status of Compressor
Operational
Non-operational
Percentage Refrigerant Recovered*
Using Equipment Manufactured:
Before Nov. 15,1 993 On or after Nov.
15, 1993
80 90
80 80
"Technicians may also satisfy recovery requirements by evacuating the small appliance to four inches of mercury vacuum.
appliances currently are.

Use ofCFC and HCFC recovery equipment.
Manufacturers of recycling and  recovery
equipment have stated that most recovery
and  recycling equipment designed for use
with  multiple  CFC or HCFC refrigerants
(e.g., 12, 22, 500, and 502) can be adapted
for use with HFC and RFC refrigerants with
similar saturation pressures.  Thus, EPA is
proposing to allow technicians to recover
HFCs and PFCs using recovery or recycling
equipment designed for use with at least two
CFC or HCFC refrigerants of similar satura-
tion pressure. This equipment would have to
meet the standards discussed in the pre-
ceding paragraph,  and if it was manufac-
tured on or after November  15, 1993,  it
would have to have been certified by an
EPA-approved third-party certification pro-
gram (API or UL) for at least two refrigerants
with saturation pressures similar to the satu-
ration pressure of the refrigerant(s)  with
which the equipment is to be used.

In some cases, manufacturers recommend
changing the lubricant in the recycling  or
recovery equipment from mineral oil to polyol
ester lubricant (POE).  In other cases, no
lubricant change is necessary.  Individuals
who  intend to use  their existing CFC  or
HCFC   recovery  equipment  with  HFCs
should contact the manufacturer to as-
certain what changes,  if any, need to be
made to the equipment.
Technician Certification

EPA is proposing to extend the certification
requirements for technicians who work with
CFC and  HCFC refrigerants to technicians
who work with HFCs and PFCs. Technicians
who  have been certified to work with CFCs
and HCFCs would not have to be retested to
work with HFCs or PFCs, but new technicians
entering the field would have to pass a test to
work with CFCs, HCFCs, HFCs, and/or PFCs.

Sales Restriction

EPA  is  proposing to  extend the  sales
restriction on CFC and HCFC refrigerants to
HFC and PFC refrigerants.  This means that
persons purchasing CFC, HCFC, HFC or PFC
refrigerants would either have to be certified
technicians  themselves or  would  have  to
employ someone who was a certified techni-
cian.  The sales restriction would  apply to
these refrigerants in all sizes  of containers for
use in all types of appliances, including motor
vehicle air conditioners.
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Leak Repair Requirements

Currently,  owners of equipment containing
more  than 50 pounds of CFC  or HCFC
refrigerant are required to repair leaks when
those leaks together would result in the loss
of more than a certain percentage of the
equipment's charge over a year.  EPA is
proposing  several changes to the current
leak repair requirements.   First,  EPA is
proposing  to  lower the  current  maximum
allowable leak rates for most types of air-
conditioning and  refrigeration equipment.
Second, EPA is proposing to extend the leak
repair requirements to air-conditioning and
refrigeration equipment containing more than
50 pounds of HFC or PFC refrigerant.  Third,
EPA is proposing a number of changes to
clarify the leak repair requirements, including
adding a definition of "leak rate" to the regu-
lations.

The proposed allowable leak rates for the
various  types of appliances are shown in
Table 3 below. These leak rates would apply
to appliances containing more than 50 pounds
of CFC, HCFC, HFC, or PFC refrigerants, and
would become effective 30 days after publica-
tion of the final rule, except for the provisions
affecting industrial process refrigeration, which
would become effective  three  years  after
publication of the final rule.

Safe Disposal Requirements

EPA is proposing to adopt the same approach
to the disposal of small  appliances, MVACs,
and MVAC-like appliances charged with HFCs
and PFCs that it has adopted for these types
of equipment charged with CFCs and HCFCs.
In brief, persons who took the final step in the
disposal process of small appliances, MVACs,
and  MVAC-like appliances  would have  to
either recover any remaining refrigerant in the
appliance or verify that the  refrigerant had
been recovered previously.   If they verified
that the refrigerant had been recovered previ-
ously, they would have to  retain a  signed
                                       TABLE 3
                     PROPOSED MAXIMUM PERMISSIBLE LEAK RATES
Type of Appliance
Commercial refrigeration equipment built before or during 1992
Commercial refrigeration equipment built after 1992
Industrial process refrigeration equipment
- built before or during 1992,
- custom-built,
- possessing an open-drive compressor, and
- containing a single, primary refrigerant loop
(direct expansion)
All other industrial process refrigeration equipment
All other appliances containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant
(e.g., comfort-cooling chillers) and built before or during 1992
All other appliances containing more than 50 pounds of refrigerant
(e.g., comfort-cooling chillers) and built after 1992
Current
Allowable Leak
Rate (percent
of charge/year)
35
35
35
35
15
15
Proposed
Allowable Leak
Rate (percent of
charge/year)
15
10
35
20
10
5
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statement attesting to this.
Refrigerant Purity Requirements
Recovery Requirements  for  Disposal  of
Small Appliances

Under the proposed rule, recovery equip-
ment used to recover HFC refrigerant from
small appliances prior to their final disposal
would have to meet the same performance
standards as recovery equipment used prior
to servicing (see Table 2), but it would not
have to be tested and certified by a labora-
tory.

Recovery Requirements  for  Disposal  of
MVACs and MVAC-like Appliances

Under the proposed rule, recovery equip-
ment used to recover HFC refrigerant from
MVACs and MVAC-like appliances prior to
their final disposal would have to be able to
draw 102  mm (four inches) of vacuum.  (This
is the same as the standard for CFC equip-
ment.)  If the refrigerant were sent to a re-
claimer, no  further equipment requirements
(such as  certification by a laboratory) would
apply.  However, under an amendment  to
the Subpart B (section 609) regulations that
became  effective on  January 29, 1998,
refrigerant that is recovered from and then
reused in MVACs without first undergoing
reclamation  must be recovered using recov-
ery  or recycling equipment that is certified
under Subpart B and that is dedicated for
use with MVACs. In addition, the equipment
must either be designed to handle  multiple
refrigerants or be dedicated to recovery of a
single refrigerant. For more information on
the  purity requirements for refrigerant  re-
moved from and  reused  in  MVACs, see
"Recovering Refrigerant at Salvage Yards
and Other Motor Vehicle Disposal  Facilities."
This document is available from the hotline
or    on    the     web    at    http:
//www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/609/salvage.ht
ml. The requirements for equipment used
to recover refrigerants (including substi-
tutes) reused in MVACs are in effect now.
EPA is proposing that used HFC refrigerants
that are sold to a new owner would have to be
reclaimed by a certified reclaimer to the ARI
700-1995  standard.   The Agency is  also
proposing to adopt this standard (in place of
ARI 700-1993) for  used CFCs and HCFCs.
(EPA is considering a comprehensive revision
to its refrigerant purity  requirements under a
separate rulemaking [61 FR 7858].  In  the
proposed substitutes recycling rule, EPA is
not soliciting comment on  which refrigerant
purity regime is preferable for all refrigerants,
but is only soliciting comment on whether the
purity of HFCs  and PFCs  should  be main-
tained through a different regulatory  approach
than the purity of CFCs and HCFCs.)

As  is the case for  CFC and  HCFC refriger-
ants, HFC refrigerants recovered  from and
reused in MVACs  are subject to the purity
requirements of the MVAC regulations pub-
lished at subpart B.  Under these regulations,
which became effective on January  29, 1998,
HFC refrigerants that are removed  from one
MVAC and placed into another must be either
(1)  reclaimed by a  certified reclaimer, or (2)
recycled by a 609-certified technician through
609-certified equipment. These requirements
apply in addition to the equipment require-
ments above and are in effect now.

For Further Information

For further information concerning regulations
related  to stratospheric ozone protection,
please    visit    EPAs    web    site    at
http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/608/, or  call
the Stratospheric Ozone Information Hotline:
800-296-1996. The Hotline is open between
10AM and 4PM Eastern Time.
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appliance
high-pressure appli-
ance
higher-pressure ap-
pliance
leak rate
low-pressure appli-
ance
refrigerant
substitute
very-high-pressure
appliance
           PROPOSED DEFINITIONS

any device which contains and uses a refrigerant and which is used for household
or commercial purposes,  including any air conditioner, refrigerator, chiller, or
freezer.

an appliance that uses a refrigerant with a liquid phase saturation pressure between
45 psia and 220 psia at 104 degrees F. This definition includes but is not limited to
appliances using R12, R114, R134a, R401Aand B, and  R500.

an appliance that uses a refrigerant with a liquid phase saturation pressure between
220 psia and 305 psia  at 104 degrees F. This definition includes but is not limited
to appliances using R22, R502, R402A and B, and R407A, B, and C.

the rate at which an appliance is losing refrigerant, measured between refrigerant
charges or over 12 months, which ever is shorter. The leak rate is expressed in
terms of the percentage of the appliance's full charge that would  be lost over a 12-
month period if the current rate of loss were to continue over that period.  The rate
is calculated using the following formula:

pounds of refrigerant added x   365 davs/vear    x 100%
  pounds of refrigerant    shorter of: # days since
     in full charge         refrigerant last added and
          365 days

an appliance that uses a refrigerant with a liquid phase saturation pressure below
45 psia at 104  degrees Fahrenheit.  This definition includes but is not limited to
appliances using R11, R123, and R113.

any class I or class II substance used for heat transfer purposes, or any substance
used as a  substitute for such a class I  or class II substance by any user in a  given
end-use, except for the following substitutes in the following end-uses:
  ammonia in commercial or industrial process refrigeration or in absorption units
  hydrocarbons in industrial process  refrigeration (processing of hydrocarbons)
  chlorine in industrial process refrigeration (processing of chlorine and chlorine
   compounds)
  carbon  dioxide in any application
  nitrogen in any application
  water in any  application

any chemical or product substitute, whether existing or new, that is used by any
person as a replacement for a class I or II compound in a given end-use.

an appliance that uses  a refrigerant with a critical temperature below 104 degrees
Fahrenheit or with a  liquid  phase saturation  pressure above 305 psia at 104
degrees Fahrenheit. This definition includes but is not limited to appliances  using
R410A and B, R13, R23, and R503.
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