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Feature   April 2, 2005   by CARS Magazine

Saskatchewan Ushering in New A/C Regulations

Saskatchewan is among the provinces that has amended its regulations affecting air conditioning service....

Saskatchewan is among the provinces that has amended its regulations affecting air conditioning service.

Saskatchewan’s new regulations, slated to take effect this fall, incorporate the requirements of the Federal rules under the “National Action Plan for the Environmental Control of Ozone-Depleting Substances (ODS) and their Halocarbon Alternatives.” While some details are still being worked out in regard to the new changes, they are designed to ensure that Saskatchewan stays current with industry practices and continues to maintain its commitment to protect the ozone layer.

Some of the major changes for the regulation will include a name change to reflect an expanded scope for control of substances with a global warming potential. For the mobile air conditioning sector, this would effectively mean the inclusion of R-134a and other refrigerants which may not be classified as an ODS, but do have global warming potential.

Another major change will be the banning of CFCs in mobile systems which are being repaired or serviced. In addition, changes will reduce regulatory gaps and make the rules more enforceable.

Previous consultation has revealed the following recommendations for changes to the regulations:

* Implement recovery/recycling and emission control measures for HFCs, such as R-134a. HFCs were not previously covered in the regulations, as they do not contribute to ozone depletion. They do contribute to global warming however, and for that reason they are now being controlled.

* Regarding mandating of leak testing and repairing prior to recharge, the regulations need to be tightened. New wording will replace the older ambiguous clause.

* Mandate use of refillable containers for all halocarbon containers. Industry has already done this and the ministry will be closing a loophole to prevent fugitive emissions from single-use containers.

* Prohibit the recharging of mobile air conditioning/refrigeration systems with CFCs. In order to have effective enforcement of this existing clause, the ministry will tighten the wording in the regulations to level the playing field for mobile repair and recharging facilities. In order to prevent the release of material to the atmosphere, all systems should be treated the same.

* Implement a requirement for designated fittings to air conditioning and refrigeration systems. In order to prevent cross-contamination of systems containing halocarbons, a requirement for designated fittings will help industry identify the carrier gases used in the systems.

Most of the tasks identified in the paper have already been initiated by industry to some extent, and in an effort to level the playing field regulatory changes need to be made.

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