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Sep. 22, 2008 – California has proposed an extensive set of leak detection, repair, reporting, and retrofitting rules for large air conditioning and refrigeration systems using high global warming F-gases. Facilities using the natural refrigerant CO2 would not be affected by the regulation presented to the public this week.

The draft regulation, discussed in three public workshops hosted by the California Air Resources Board (CARB), would target large facilities using CFCs, HCFCs, or HFCs in their air conditioning and refrigeration systems. Warehouses, food processing, supermarkets, office buildings, hospitals or hotels would thus be required to register with CARB before January 2010 to comply with a set of legal requirements aimed at reducing high global warming refrigerants emissions. Through leak test and repair, best practices for installation and servicing, sale restrictions, safe disposal, and reporting by facilities, refrigerant reclaimers, distributors, and wholesalers, CARB would ensure that the use of F-gases is monitored and reduced to the highest possible extent.

CARB will release its final staff report in December 2008. After several hearings early next year, final measures will be adopted throughout 2009.

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