Arlington, VA November 19, 2018 – The Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) announced today that it submitted public comments on the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed rule, "Protection of Stratospheric Ozone: Revisions to the Refrigerant Management Program's Extension to Substitutes," and other portions of the Section 608 program the EPA requested comments on. The comment period ended on November 15.
On September 18, 2018 the EPA issued the proposed rule, which would rescind leak repair, maintenance, and reporting requirements for appliances and HVACR systems containing 50 or more pounds of substitute refrigerants. Included in the proposed rule was a request for comments on other Section 608 provisions, including the possibility of allowing anyone to purchase, handle, charge, and recover substitute refrigerants.
“ACCA thanks the EPA for the opportunity to comment on these issues, which raise serious safety concerns with our members,” said Barton James, ACCA interim president and CEO. “A special thanks to ACCA’s Advocacy and Political Action Committee members whose input, guidance, and first-hand knowledge of the dangers of mishandling refrigerants was critical to our feedback to the EPA.”
Martin Hoover, President, Empire Heating and Air Conditioning, Decatur, Georgia, and Chairman, ACCA Advocacy & Political Action Committee, said, “The prospect of allowing the general public to purchase and handle refrigerants will create a whole host of problems for contractors. Contractors and technicians would face the even more likely prospect of servicing equipment with dangerous mixes of refrigerants, which increase system pressures and temperatures and could cause explosions. As the industry moves toward flammable refrigerants, this problem becomes an even more serious, and dangerous prospect. ACCA members urge the EPA to maintain and strengthen the Section 608 requirement to purchase and handle refrigerants.”
Included in the letter from ACCA to EPA, is the story of two persons who lost their lives as a result of mishandling refrigerants, and photographs of severe skin injuries caused by the mishandling of refrigerants.
"These problems will be exacerbated if the EPA allows non-certified people to purchase and handle refrigerants. It would be irresponsible and unwise to allow the purchase and handling of refrigerants to the untrained and unqualified," wrote Todd Washam, ACCA Director of Industry and External Relations, and 10 members of the ACCA Advocacy & Political Action Committee.
To view the letter, click on the download link below.