Under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, EPA rules (40 CFR Part 82, Subpart F) govern the management and recycling of refrigerants used in stationary refrigeration and air-conditioning systems. The service of motor vehicle air conditioners is expressly addressed under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act (MVACs). Motor vehicle air conditioners use a mixture of water and freon or another chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) refrigerant.
The main difference between these regulations is that Subpart F applies only to stationary sources while Subpart E applies only to new motor vehicles. However, both sections require similar controls for refrigerant recovery and reuse or disposal.
Subpart F requires that any manufacturer or importer who sells a unitary system containing any amount of R-22 for use as a heat pump must provide an MSDS for the refrigerant on file with the EPA's Refrigerant Management Center. The MSDS must include instructions for safely removing the refrigerant from the system and must list the facilities available for recycling or disposing of the refrigerant.
Subpart F also requires that any person who disposes of any quantity of R-22 must do so in accordance with the requirements of 40 C.F02 Part 84. In addition, persons who import or export R-22 are required by law to notify EPA of the shipment. The agency may then limit the movement of R-22 across national boundaries.
Anyone who repairs or fixes a motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) system for consideration (paying or bartering) must be properly trained and certified by an EPA-approved program under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act. All technicians who work on MVAC-type appliances must be qualified. The only exception is if the technician works for a manufacturer or repair shop that trains their employees to perform these services.
Technicians can be certified in one of two ways: by completing a formal training course or by demonstrating their knowledge of the requirements of Section 609 by passing an approved test. There are three levels of certification available: Certified Technician, Master Technician, and Expert Technician. A person cannot be awarded more than one level of certification at a time. However, once a person has been certified as an Expert Technician, they can continue to list themselves as an Expert on their license and identify themselves in advertisements as being experienced in performing repairs on MVAC systems.
In order to be certified, applicants must complete a formal training course or pass an approved written examination. The cost of training varies depending on the provider but generally costs between $200 and $1,000. There is no charge for testing. Training programs may include classroom instruction, online courses, mentoring programs, field studies, and apprenticeships. The amount of training required varies according to which level of certification you want to obtain.
Section 609 Technician Training and Certification Programs Anyone who repairs or fixes a motor vehicle air conditioning (MVAC) system for consideration (paying or bartering) must be properly trained and certified by an EPA-approved program under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act. The person must pass an approved training course and complete an application process that includes a criminal background check.
The purpose of this rule is to establish requirements for any technician training program that seeks to certify individuals in order to perform repairs on motor vehicles under Section 609 of the Clean Air Act. These individuals are called "section 609 technicians."
Section 609 technicians are required by law to be trained in certain areas specific to cooling systems before they can work on motor vehicles. Some of these areas include: airflow measurement, leak detection, refrigerant identification and service procedures. There are also general skills that section 609 technicians should know how to repair such items as headlights, turn signals, windshield wipers, and radios.
Section 609 technicians can be either men or women, but most are male. Some sections 609 technicians may have additional credentials after completing their training; for example, some may be able to diagnose cooling system problems or replace belts on steering wheels. No one under the age of 18 can become a section 609 technician.
Universal certification is available to anybody with a Type I, Type II, or Type III certification. To service building air conditioning and refrigeration systems, an EPA-approved Section 608 Certification is required. System servicing by only certified technicians is recommended by the EPA to ensure that cooling systems are installed and maintained in accordance with manufacturer recommendations.
Section 608 certification is valid for five years. To maintain their certification, licensed technicians must complete 40 hours of training each year. These courses can be completed online through the EPA website at no charge. Completing these courses will help ensure that you are providing the best possible care for your customers' HVAC systems.
Licensed technicians are also required to keep current on new technologies by completing 20 hours of training every three years. Keeping current on new technologies is important because they may become available as improvements within manufacturers' products. For example, a licensed technician should be able to identify when greater efficiency is needed in an HVAC system and be able to install an improved model if it becomes available.
Licensed technicians are also required to complete annual recertification tests. These tests cover topics such as heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems; plumbing; electrical work; hazardous material knowledge; first aid; and CPR/AED.
A Summary of the Hazardous Waste Identification Procedure The EPA defines four hazardous waste characteristic qualities in the Code of Federal Regulations (40 CFR): ignitability, corrosivity, reactivity, and toxicity (see 40 CFR 261.21–261.24). These characteristics determine how a material should be treated when it is dumped or disposed of. The four categories are:
Category 1 includes materials that are extremely toxic, may cause serious illness or death if they are not handled properly. These include heavy metals and their compounds, such as mercury and lead; chemicals used to produce chemical weapons; and radioactive substances.
Category 2 wastes are toxic chemicals that can cause moderate health concerns if they are not handled properly. Examples include pesticides and industrial by-products containing benzene, trichloroethylene (TCE), and other toxic chemicals.
Category 3 wastes are harmful chemicals that can cause minor health concerns if they are not handled properly. Examples include flame retardants, plasticizers, and color additives in consumer products.
Category 4 wastes are nonhazardous materials that cannot cause harm even if they are not treated properly. For example, household garbage is categorized as a harmless material, while certain types of batteries are discarded into hazardous waste containers.