Refrigerant management in California

For HVACR distributors in California who distribute or receive commonly used CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs, life has gotten more complicated since the beginning of 2011. A new programme instituted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) requires distributors to keep detailed records and invoices of all these refrigerants, including documents to prove that the refrigerants they sell are to businesses that have at least one EPA-certified technician on-staff.
The new programme, which took effect January 1, has created a lot of extra work for California HVACR distributors; it has also left them wondering how exactly the programme will be monitored and enforced. While this regulation only affects California HVACR distributors, the EPA may look closely at California environmental regulations for potential adaptation on a national level.
Requirements in California include:
- retain on-site for at least five years all invoices of high-GWP refrigerants (CFCs, HCFCs and HFCs). Invoices must include purchaser's name, sale date(s) and type and quantity of the refrigerant;
- records of refrigerant sales or transfers to a company that services refrigeration systems must include documentation showing that the company employs at least one US EPA-certified technician;
- annual reports submitted to CARB, starting in 2012, should also be kept on-site;
- records must be made available to CARB's executive office upon request.