Refrigerant Management Program
Background

As part of the California Global Warming Solutions Act of 2006 (AB 32) the ARB adopted a regulation in 2009 to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from stationary sources through refrigerant leak detection and monitoring, leak repair, system retirement and retrofitting, reporting and recordkeeping, and proper refrigerant cylinder use, sale, and disposal.  

High-global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, such as chlorofluorocarbons (CFC), hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFC), hydrofluorocarbons (HFC), and perfluorocarbons (PFC), are used in a large variety of refrigeration and air-conditioning systems.  Currently, ozone depleting substance (ODS) high-GWP GHG refrigerant production and importation phase-out (CFC and HCFC refrigerants), record-keeping, leak repair, technician certification, reclaimer certification, recovery equipment specifications, sales restrictions, and prohibition on venting is regulated by the U.S. EPA under Title VI of the US Clean Air Act. The only regulation that extends to ODS substitutes (including HFC refrigerants) is the prohibition on venting. The South Coast Air Quality Management District issued Rule 1415 in 1991.  The SCAQMD Rule 1415 has similar requirements to the U.S. EPA rule.  The refrigerant management program is designed to complement the federal and SCAQMD regulations and provide better control of emissions of both ODS and ODS substitute refrigerants.

The refrigerant management program is designed to: 1) reduce emissions of high-GWP GHG refrigerants from leaky stationary, non-residential refrigeration equipment; 2) reduce emissions from the installation and servicing of refrigeration and air-conditioning appliances using high-GWP refrigerants; and 3) verify GHG emission reductions.  The strategy of the regulation includes: registration; refrigerant leak detection and monitoring; leak repair; reporting and recordkeeping; system retrofit or retirement planning; required service practices; and refrigerant distributor, wholesaler, and reclaimer prohibitions, recordkeeping, and reporting.

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For questions on the rule or to provide feedback, please contact Refrigerant Management Program Staff at (916) 324-2517.

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