WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that as part of a new proposed rule, the "trigger rate" for refrigeration leak repairs would drop to a 20% annual leak rate from the existing 35%.
Details of the proposed rule were announced today by Julius Banks, the EPA's acting branch chief, Alternatives and Emissions Reduction Branch, during a public webinar. The EPA will receive comments on the proposals through Feb. 14, 2011.
The current leak repair requirements, under Section 608 of the Clean Air Act, require that food retailers repair a refrigeration system with more than 50 pounds of ozone-depleting refrigerant found to leak at an annual rate of more than 35%. Under the long-awaited proposed rule, any leak rate greater than 20% would necessitate repairs.
The repairs must be made within thirty days from the date the leak was discovered, or retailers must develop a retrofit/retirement plan within thirty days and complete actions under that plan within one year from the plan's date. Under the proposed rule, retailers could "freeze the 30-day clock" if they can document that parts needed for repairs are not available, Banks said.
The proposed rule is available here.