Stationary Refrigeration - Prohibition on Venting Refrigerants

EPA regulations (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act prohibit individuals from intentionally venting ozone-depleting substances (ODS) or their substitutes while maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of air-conditioning or refrigeration equipment. Only three types of releases are permitted:

  1. "De minimis" quantities of refrigerant released while making good faith attempts to recapture and recycle or safely dispose of refrigerant including releases that occur when connecting or disconnecting hoses to charge or service appliances.
  2. Refrigerant emitted during the normal operation of air-conditioning and refrigeration equipment (as opposed to during the maintenance, servicing, repair, or disposal of this equipment), such as from mechanical purging and leaks. However, EPA requires that leaks above a certain size be repaired in equipment that contains 50 pounds of refrigerant or more.
  3. Releases of substitute refrigerants that EPA has determined do not pose a threat to the environment. See the Recent Regulatory Developments box for more information.