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Refrigerant Management Update Rule’s Verification Language Updates Take Effect in 2018

For ISRI members who recycle appliances and vehicles, the Refrigerant Management Update Rule of late 2016 (81 Fed. Reg. 82272–82395) contained some revisions to the language for verification contracts and statements.

These revisions were intended to bring the verification language explicitly in line with existing EPA applicability determinations under Title VI, Stratospheric Ozone Protection, of the amended Clean Air Act. These verification revisions become effective at the beginning of 2018. This Issue Update provides details on the revisions and how to update verification language for contracts and statements.

The late 2016 Refrigerant Management Update Rule contained these major revisions:

  • Extending the definition of refrigerant to include any substance used as a refrigerant—both ozone-depleting (e.g., CFCs and HCFCs) and non-ozone-depleting (e.g., R-134a) substances;
  • Extending recycling requirements previously applicable to only ozone-depleting substances also to non-ozone-depleting substances (the venting prohibition generally has always applied to both ozone-depleting and non-ozone-depleting substances);
  • New prohibitions respecting de minimis releases from appliances;
  • Reorganization of the regulatory text to improve readability; and
  • More-specific language for verification contracts and statements.

The Issue Update compares the previous and revised regulatory language in 40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F for verification contracts and statements. Using those differences, the Update presents revised recommended verification language based on the recommended verification language for contracts and statements in Appendix D of ISRI’s existing “Compliance Guideline: Refrigerant Recycling Requirements under the Clean Air Act.”

Of particular note in addition to the above revisions, the preamble to the Refrigerant Management Update Rule included the following text about EPA’s applicability determinations (81 Fed. Reg. 82309):

“EPA interprets its regulations such that items that have had the entire refrigerant circuit removed, such as the outer housing of an air conditioner or the structural shell of a refrigerator, are not subject to the safe disposal regulations, as these items do not meet the definition of appliance. Similarly, shredded material, baled scrap, or crushed cars are not subject to the safe disposal regulations. The person responsible for compliance with the safe disposal regulations is the entity upstream that conducted the final processing where the appliance was shredded, crushed, flattened, baled, or otherwise demolished and where the refrigerant would have been previously recovered in accordance with the regulations.”

Members with questions about the Refrigerant Management Update Rule, the Issue Update, or the Subpart F regulations should contact Chief Scientist/Director of Environmental Management David Wagger at (202) 662-8533.

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