Overlap between Section 608 and Section 609
Section 608 of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 directs EPA to establish requirements to prevent the release of ozone-depleting substances during the servicing, repair, or disposal of appliances and industrial process refrigeration. Section 609 of the Act establishes standards specifically for the service of motor vehicle air conditioners (MVACs). MVACs are included in the definition of appliances set forth in section 608; however, since their service and repair are regulated under section 609, they are not subject to the servicing requirements under section 608. Procedures involving MVACs that are not covered by section 609, such as the disposal of MVACs and the purchase of refrigerant for use in MVACs, are covered by section 608. Below is information concerning specific areas where the overlap between these two sets of regulations may require additional clarification.
Both regulations require that technicians become certified. Technicians who repair or service MVACs must be trained and certified by an EPA-approved section 609 program. These programs are specifically designed to cover MVAC recycling equipment in accordance with Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standards and section 609 regulatory requirements. After completing a required training program, MVAC technicians must pass a test to become certified. These tests are different from the section 608 certification tests .
Under section 608, EPA has established four types of certification for technicians who service and repair appliances other than MVACs. These technicians must be certified by passing a test in the appropriate area. All training and review classes for section 608 are voluntary; only passing the test is mandatory. The four categories of certification are:
- Type I = small appliances
- Type II = high-pressure appliances, except small appliances and MVACs
- Type III = low-pressure appliances
- Type IV (Universal) = all appliances except MVACs
In addition, people who service or repair MVAC-like appliances (e.g., farm equipment and other off-road vehicles) can choose to be certified under either the section 609 program or the section 608 Type II program. Due to similarities between MVACs and MVAC-like appliances, EPA recommends that technicians servicing MVAC-like appliances consider certification under section 609. Note that while buses using CFC-12 are MVACs, buses using HCFC-22 are not MVACs or MVAC-like appliances, but rather are high-pressure equipment covered under Type II of the section 608 test.
Under EPA regulations, only certified technicians may
purchase refrigerants consisting whole or in part of CFC
or HCFC refrigerants.
Section 608 technician certification is required in order to purchase CFC or HCFC containing refrigerants, with the exception of small containers (less than 20 lbs.) of CFC-12 or EPA-approved substitutes for MVACs containing an ozone-depleting substance (for example, Autofrost, Chill-it,
HotShot, FR-12, Freeze 12).
Section 609 technician certification is required in order to purchase CFC-12 or EPA-approved substitutes for MVACs containing an ozone-depleting substance (for example, Autofrost, Chill-it, HotShot, FR-12, Freeze 12). Section 609 technicians cannot purchase HCFC-22 in any size container.
Section 608 requires that all persons who sell CFC and
HCFC refrigerants, and blends thereof, retain invoices
that indicate the name of the purchaser, the date of the
sale, and the quantity of the refrigerant purchased.
These requirements are for all sales affected by section
However, since the sale of small containers of ozone-depleting MVAC refrigerants is restricted to section 609 technicians, these recordkeeping requirements do not apply to the sale of small containers of these refrigerants.
Therefore, while records must be maintained for the sale of all other refrigerants in any size container, and for the sale of ozone depleting MVAC refrigerants in containers of 20 pounds or more, it is not necessary to maintain records for the sale of small containers of ozone-depleting MVAC refrigerants when they are sold to persons servicing MVACs. For more information about recordkeeping, see the fact sheet Recordkeeping Requirements for Refrigerant Retailers