Refrigerant Management Program
Exemptions

 (Section 95397)

  • Exemption Criteria.  The owner or operator of facility with a refrigeration system may request the Executive Officer for an exemption from leak repair requirements and the retrofit and retirement plans.  To request an exemption, the applicant must follow the application procedure specified below, and must demonstrate that the criteria for one or more of the three exemptions allowed by this section have been satisfied:
    • Emissions Lifecycle Exemption. The Executive Officer may allow the continuation of a refrigerant leak for a specified time period of no longer than three years if the Executive Officer determines that the applicant has provided clear and convincing documentation that the refrigerant leak cannot be repaired and that allowing the refrigerant leak to continue will result in less combined direct and indirect emissions than replacing the leaking refrigeration system. The documentation must include information quantifying the lifecycle direct emissions and indirect emissions, including energy use, and must include a calculation of these emissions based on the average lifetime of the refrigeration system or facility. The applicant must also provide a mitigation plan that includes a list of proposed actions to minimize emissions. The plan must include an analysis of options to minimize usage, reduce leaks or venting, and recycle or destroy high-GWP refrigerant.  Any exemption granted pursuant to this paragraph may be extended for one or more additional periods of up to three years if the Executive Officer determines that the demonstration made pursuant to this paragraph remains valid.
    • Economic Hardship Exemption. The Executive Officer may allow the continuation of a refrigerant leak for a specified time period of no longer than three years if the Executive Officer determines that the applicant has provided clear and convincing documentation that all of the following criteria are met:
      • Compliance would result in extraordinary economic hardship, such as closure of the entire facility or a large portion of the facility, or loss of a large portion of the revenue from the facility; and
      • The extraordinary hardship to the applicant would be without a corresponding benefit in reducing combined direct and indirect emissions; and 
      • The applicant has prepared a compliance report that can be implemented and will achieve compliance as expeditiously as possible. The compliance report must reasonably detail when compliance will be achieved and the method by which compliance will be achieved.
      • Any exemption granted pursuant to this paragraph may be extended for one or more additional periods of up to three years if the Executive Officer determines that the demonstration made pursuant to this paragraph remains valid.
    • Natural Disaster Exemption. The Executive Officer may allow the continuation of a refrigerant leak for a specified time period of no longer than three years if the Executive Officer determines that the applicant has provided clear and convincing documentation that failure to satisfy the conditions set forth was due to a natural disaster such as an earthquake or flood, an act of war or an act by a public enemy, or a civil disorder or riot.
  • Application for Exemptions.
    • To apply for an exemption the applicant must submit a written application demonstrating that the exemption criterias have been met.
    • Within 30 days of receipt of the exemption application the Executive Officer shall determine whether the application is complete, and shall notify the applicant of this determination.
    • If the exemption application is determined to be incomplete, the Executive Officer shall notify the applicant and specify the specific information needed to make the application complete.
    • Within 90 days after an application is determined to be complete, the Executive Officer shall determine whether and under what conditions an exemption will be permitted.  The applicant and the Executive Officer may mutually agree to a longer time period for reaching a decision.  During the review period, the Executive Officer may request, and the applicant shall provide, such additional information that is reasonably necessary to the decision.  The applicant may also on his or her own initiative submit additional supporting documentation before a decision has been reached. The Executive Officer shall notify the applicant of the decision in writing and shall specify such terms and conditions as are necessary to insure that emissions will be minimized, and that the criteria specified in section 1 above will continue to be met.  Such conditions may include, but are not limited to, a requirement that best management practices be followed or that the applicant must implement the mitigation plan submitted by the applicant or mitigation measures identified by the Executive Officer.
  • The exemption shall cease to be effective upon the failure of the person to whom the exemption was granted to comply with any term or condition of the exemption.
  • Revocation or Modification of An Exemption. If the Executive Officer determines that an exemption no longer meets the criteria specified in section 1, the Executive Officer may revoke or modify the exemption as necessary to insure that the exemption continues to meet the criteria.
  • Effect of Denial or Revocation of an Exemption. If an applicant for an exemption is denied, or an existing exemption is revoked, within 14 days of a notice of such revocation the refrigerant leak must be repaired, or the owner or operator of the facility must prepare a retrofit or retirement plan.
  • Also exempt are tactical equipment, defined as equipment that meets military specifications, owned by the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. military services, or its allies, and used in combat, combat support, combat service support, tactical or relief operations, or training for such operations.


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