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EPA 608: Changes You Need to Know

Person testing emissions from meters
On January 1, 2017, changes to section 608 of the Clean Air Act came into force. These changes aren't dramatic, but EPA 608 should help decrease greenhouse gas emissions by the equivalent of 1.5 million cars per year.

Here's what this regulation change means for your HVAC business.

Substitute Sources

The new 608 is coming in stages. First up? Refrigerant reselling. As of January 1, 2017:

  • Both ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and substitute refrigerants like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) may not be resold unless they've been reclaimed by certified reclaimers. The refrigerant may also be charged into equipment belonging to the same owner.
  • Existing exemptions from the venting protocol — such as ammonia — are not affected.

2018 and Beyond

What's next for EPA 608? Starting January 1, 2018, technicians must:

  • Pass a new certification exam to maintain, service, repair or dispose of appliances containing ODS or substitutes.
  • Keep records of the location, date of recovery, type of refrigerant and quantity of refrigerant reclaimed or disposed each month from individual appliances with five to 50 pounds of refrigerant.
  • Evacuate ODS or substitute refrigerants before opening or disposing of appliances.

Bottom line? They're not big changes if you're already following handling and disposal procedures. The biggest headache comes in 2018, when you need a new certification just to keep doing your job.