Clean Air Act and the Technician


HVAC Training includes many different types of Practical competencies. None more important then the laws for which each technician should follow and qualify for.

As of July 1, 1992, the EPA has mandated that it is illegal to release refrigerants into the atmosphere during the maintenance, service and disposal of refrigeration and air conditioning equipment. According to the Clean Air Act of 1990, technicians may not knowingly vent or otherwise release or dispose of any substance used as a refrigerant in such appliances in a manner that permits refrigerant to enter the environment. Technicians are required to contain all refrigerants except those used to purge lines and tools of the trade, such as the gage manifold or any device used to capture and save refrigerants.

Please note that severe fines and penalties are provided for, including prison terms for violations of the Clean Air Act. The first level of penalty is the power of the EPA to obtain an injunction against the offending party, prohibiting the discharge of refrigerant to the atmosphere. The second level of penalty is a $25,000 fine per day and a prison term not exceeding 5 years. To help in catching violators of the Clean Air Act of 1990, a $10,000 bounty is offered and may be given to any person who furnishes information leading to the conviction of a person willfully venting refrigerant into the environment.

As of November 14, 1994, the EPA has mandated that all refrigeration and air condition technicians must be certified in order to purchase refrigerants for the service and repair of refrigeration and air condition equipment. There are four different certification areas for different types of service work.

To become certified a technician must take an approved EPA Proctored test and pass the core section and either Type 1, Type II or Type III certification sections to become certified. A technician who passes the core and Types 1-3, is automatically Universally Certified.

Please Note that Technician certification is under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act. Gaining certification in any Section 608 area does not permit technicians to work on auto air conditioning. Auto Air Conditioning technicians are certified under Section 609 of the Act and enforcement is dictated by section 111.

Certification Areas

Type I Certification: Small Appliances- Manufactured, charged and hermetically sealed with 5 lbs or less of refrigerant. Includes refrigerators, freezers, room air conditioners, packaged terminal heat pumps, dehumidifiers, under the counter ice makers, vending machines and drinking water coolers.

Type II Certification:High Pressure Appliances- uses refrigerant with a boiling point between -50 Degrees (C) and 10 Degrees (C) at atmospheric pressure. Includes 12, 22, 114, 500, and 502 Refrigerants. Replacement refrigerants for these are also included.

Type III Certification: Low Pressure Appliances- Uses refrigerant with a boiling point above 10 (C) at atmospheric pressure. Includes 11, 113, 123 and their replacement refrigerants.

Universal Certification: Certified in Type I, II and III

Note: It is important to note that technicians are responsible to follow any future changes in the law(s) relative to Section 608 Certification or changes in the Clean Air Act relative to the recovery, recycling, and reclamation of refrigerants.