by Howard Weiss, Executive Vice President, HVAC Excellence
In November of 2016 the EPA updated the Section 608 Refrigerant Management program. This ruling phased in changes over a three-year period. On October 1, 2018 the EPA issued a new ruling that will revise refrigerant regulations, again.
One significant change is to rescind the refrigerant management requirements of subpart F, (sales restriction) from substitute refrigerants. The removal of this sales restriction would enable anyone (do-it-yourselfers “DIY”), to purchase substitute refrigerants. If these refrigerants could be purchased by anyone, they could also be sold by anyone, including big box retailers and online stores. This change would be bad for manufacturers, wholesalers and contractors.
With easy access to equipment and refrigerants, DIY-ers will be able to purchase these items from big box retailers and online stores. This action will prove harmful to HVACR supply house and contractor businesses. Will the homeowner DIY-er use a recovery machine, purchase leak detection tools, utilize reclaimers services, go to school to learn the trade, know how to safely work with or store refrigerants? The answer is no! It is likely that manufacturers will see their warranty costs rise and their perceived brand quality diminish.
The HVACR industry collaborated with the EPA for two years, to modernize the Section 608 Refrigerant Management Program. While no regulation is perfect, this regulation has always been good for business and the environment, and we should voice our opinions to keep it that way. You can view the ruling and comment HERE.
However, to be heard, you must submit your comment no later than November 15, 2018.