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Clean Air Act Amendment Dealing with Air Conditioning and Refrigeration
Last Updated: 09/11/2009

Portions of Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 Dealing with Air Conditioning and Refrigeration

Section 608 – HVAC-R Industry
Section 609 – Motor Vehicles

Definitions:  Class I substance refers to chlorofluorocarbons (CFC's) such as R-12; Class II substance refers to hydrochlorofluorocarbons which include R-22, R-500 and R-502.

HVAC

Sec.608.NATIONAL RECYCLING AND EMISSION REDUCTION PROGRAM

"(a)  IN GENERAL.—(1) The Administrator shall, by not later than January 1, 1992, promulgate regulations establishing standards and requirements regarding the use and disposal of class I substances during the service, repair, or disposal of appliances and industrial process refrigeration.  Such standards and requirements shall become effective not later than July 1, 1992.

"(2)  The Administrator shall, within 4 years after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, promulgate regulations establishing standards and requirements regarding use and disposal of class I and II substances not covered by paragraph (1), including the use and disposal of class II substances during service, repair, or disposal of appliances and industrial process refrigeration.  Such standards and requirements shall become effective not later than 12 months after promulgation of the regulations.

"(3)  The regulations under this subsection shall include requirements that –

"(A)  Reduce the use and emission of such substances to the lowest achievable level, and

"(B)  Maximize the recapture and recycling of such substances.  Such regulations may include requirements to use alternative substances (including substances which are not class I or class II substances, or to promote the use of safe alternatives pursuant to Section 612 or any combination of the foregoing.

"(b)  SAFE DISPOSAL.—The regulations under subsection (a) shall establish standards and requirements for the safe disposal of class I and II substances.  Such regulations shall include each of the following—

"(1)  Requirements that class I or class II substances contained in bulk in appliances, machines or other goods shall be removed from each such appliance, machine or other good prior to the disposal of such items or their delivery for recycling. 

"(2)  Requirements that any appliance, machine or other good containing a class I or class II substance in bulk shall not be manufactured, sold, or distributed in interstate commerce or offered for sale or distribution in interstate commerce unless it is equipped with a servicing aperture or an equally effective design feature which will facilitate the recapture of such substance during service and repair or disposal of such item.

"(3)  Requirements that any product in which a class I or class II substance is incorporated so as to constitute an inherent element of such product shall be disposed of in a manner that reduces, to the maximum extent practicable, the release of such substance in to the environment.  If the Administrator determines that the application of this paragraph to any product would result in producing only insignificant environmental benefits, the Administrator shall include in such regulations an exception for such product.

"(c) PHOHIBITIONS.—(1) Effective July 1, 1992, it shall be unlawful for any person, in the course of maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of an appliance or industrial process refrigeration, to knowingly vent or otherwise knowingly release or dispose of any class I or class II substance used as a refrigerant in such appliance (or industrial process refrigeration) in a manner which permits such substance to enter the environment.  De-minimis releases associated with good faith attempts to recapture and recycle or safely dispose of any such substance shall not be subject to the prohibition set forth in the preceding sentence.

"(2)  Effective 5 years after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, paragraph (1) shall also apply to the venting, release, or disposal of any substitute substance for a class I or class II substance by any person maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of such substance does not pose a threat to the environment.  For purposes of this paragraph, the term "appliance" includes any device which contains and uses as a refrigerant a substitute substance and which is used for household or commercial purposes, including any air condition, refrigerator, chiller, or freezer."

MOBILE

"SEC.609. SERVICING OF MOTOR VEHICLE AIR CONDITIONERS.

"(a)  REGULATIONS.—Within 1 year after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the Administrator shall promulgate regulations in accordance with this section establishing standards and requirements regarding the servicing of motor vehicle air conditioners. 

"(b)  DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section—

"(1)  The term 'refrigerant' means any class I or class II substance used in a motor vehicle air conditioner.  Effective 5 years after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, the term "refrigerant" shall also include any substitute substance.

"(2) (A)  The term 'approved refrigerant recycling equipment' means equipment certified by the Administrator (or independent standards testing organization approved by the Administrator) to meet the standards established by the Administrator and applicable to equipment for the extraction and reclamation of refrigerant from motor vehicle air conditioners.  Such standards shall, at a minimum, be at least as stringent as the standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers in effect as of the date of the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and applicable to such equipment (SAE standard J-1990).

"(B)  Equipment purchased before the proposal of regulations under this section shall be considered certified if it is substantially identical to equipment certified if it is substantially identical to equipment certified as provided in subparagraph (A).

"(3)  The term 'properly using' means, with respect to approved refrigerant recycling equipment, using such equipment in conformity with standards established by the Administrator and applicable to the use of such equipment.  Such standards shall, at a minimum, be at least as stringent as the standards of the Society of Automotive Engineers in effect as of the date of the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and applicable to the use of such equipment (SAE Standard J-1989).

"(4)  The term 'properly trained and certified' means training and certification in the proper use of approved refrigerant recycling equipment for motor vehicle air conditions in conformity with standards established by the administrator and applicable to the performance of service on motor vehicle air conditioners.  Such standards shall, at a minimum, be at least as stringent as specified, as of the date of the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, in SAE standard J-1989 under the certification program of the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) or under a similar program such as the training and certification program of the Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS).

"(c)  SERVICING MOTOR VEHICLE AIR CONDITIONERS.—Effective January 1, 1992, no person repairing or servicing motor vehicles for consideration may perform any service on a motor vehicle air conditioner involving the refrigerant for such air conditioner without properly using approved refrigerant recycling equipment and no such person may perform such service unless such person has been properly trained and certified.  The requirements of the previous sentence shall not apply until January 1, 1993 in the case of a person repairing or servicing motor vehicles for consideration at an entity which performed service on fewer than 100 motor vehicle air conditioners during calendar year 1990 and if such person so certifies, pursuant to subsection (d) (2), to the Administrator by January 1, 1992.

"(d)  CERTIFICATION.—(1) Effective 2 years after the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, each person performing service on motor vehicle air conditioners for consideration shall certify to the Administration either—

"(A)  that such person has acquired, and is properly using, approved refrigerant recycling equipment in service on motor vehicle air conditioners involving refrigerant and that each individual authorized by such person to perform such service is properly trained and certified; or

"(B)  that such person is performing such service at an entity which serviced fewer than 100 motor vehicle air conditioners in 1991.

"(2)  Effective January 1, 1993, each person who certified under paragraph (1) (B) shall submit a certification under paragraph (1) (A).

"(3)  Each certification under this subsection shall contain the name and address of the person certifying under this subsection and the serial number of each unit of approved recycling equipment acquired by such person and shall be signed and attested by the owner or another responsible officer.  Certifications under paragraph (1) (A) may be made by submitting the required information to the Administrator on a standard form provided by the manufacturer of certified refrigerant recycling equipment.

"(e)  SMALL CONTAINERS OF CLASS I OR CLASS II SUBSTANCES,--Effective 2 years after the date of the enactment of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, it shall be unlawful for any person to sell or distribute, or offer for sale of distribution, in interstate commerce to any person (other than a person performing service for consideration on motor vehicle air-conditioning systems in compliance with this section) any class I or class II substance that is suitable for use as refrigerant in a motor vehicle air-conditioning system and that is in a container which contains less than 20 pounds of such refrigerant."



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