Stationary Refrigeration Leak Repair Requirements
DISCLAIMER: The following information provides an overview of EPA’s leak repair requirements. However, persons responsible for complying with these requirements should consult the actual regulations (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act for specific instructions to ensure compliance. EPA has recently updated these requirements.
General Leak Repair Requirements
Owners or operators must take corrective action when an appliance 50 pounds is discovered to be leaking refrigerant at a rate that exceeds the applicable trigger rate.
The following trigger leak rates apply for a 12-month period:
|Appliance Type||Current Leak Rate||Leak Rate Effective 1/1/2019|
|Industrial process refrigerationa||35%||30%|
|All other appliances||15%||10%|
Industrial process refrigeration- Thesed are c
In general, owners or operators of an appliance that is leaking refrigerant above the applicable trigger rate must either:
- Repair leaks within 30 days from the date the leak was discovered, or
- Develop, within 30 days, a plan to retrofit or retire the appliance and complete the actions under that plan within 1 year.
Owners or operators of industrial process refrigeration equipment and federally owned chillers must conduct initial and follow-up verification tests at the conclusion of any repair efforts. These tests are essential to ensure that the repairs have been successful. In cases where an industrial process shutdown is required, a repair period of 120 days is substituted for the normal 30-day repair period. Any appliance that requires additional time may be subject to recordkeeping/reporting requirements.
When Additional Time Is Necessary
Additional time is permitted for conducting repairs where the necessary repair parts are unavailable or if other applicable federal, state, or local regulations make a repair within required timeline (e.g., 30 or 120 days) impossible.
Retrofitting or Retiring Appliances
Owners or operators who choose to retrofit or retire appliances must develop a retrofit or retirement plan within 30 days of detecting a leak that exceeds the trigger rates. A copy of the plan must be kept on site, and the original plan must be made available to EPA upon request. Activities under the plan must be completed within 1 year from the date of the plan.
EPA will permit additional time to retrofit or retire appliances as follows:
- The owners or operators must make a request within six months from the expiration of the initial 30-day period.
- EPA will permit additional time to the extent reasonably necessary if a delay is caused by the requirements of other applicable federal, state, or local regulations, or if a suitable replacement refrigerant in accordance with the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) regulations is not available.
- EPA will permit one additional 12-month period if the appliance is custom-built and the supplier of the appliance or a critical component has quoted a delivery time of more than 30 weeks from when the order was placed (assuming the order was placed in a timely manner). In some cases, EPA may provide additional time beyond this 12-month extension period if a request is made by the end of the ninth month of the extension.
Relief from Retrofit/Retirement Requirements
The owners or operators of industrial process refrigeration equipment or federally owned chillers may be relieved from the retrofit or repair requirements if:
- Second efforts to repair the same leaks that were subject to the first repair efforts are successful; or
- Within 180 days of the failed follow-up verification test, the owners or operators determine the leak rate is below the trigger rate. In this case, the owners or operators must notify EPA as to how this determination will be made, and must submit the information within 30 days of the failed verification test.
For all appliances subject to the leak repair requirements, the timelines may be suspended if the appliance has been mothballed. Mothballing means . However, the timelines pick up again as soon as the system is brought back on-line.