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FEDERAL REFRIGERANT RULES WILL BE FULLY ENFORCED IN ARIZONA

Release Date: 5/9/1995
Contact Information: Arnold Robbins, U.S. EPA, (415) 744-1486

     (San Francisco, CA) -- In response to numerous inquiries, the U.S.
Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) today announced that federal
regulations governing ozone-depleting refrigerants will continue to be
fully enforced in the state of Arizona under provisions of the
Clean Air Act, which preempt recently enacted state legislation.


     Federal regulations are designed to reduce the possible venting of
harmful chemicals that contribute to depletion of the stratospheric ozone
layer, a shield which protects the Earth from increased levels of dangerous
ultraviolet radiation.  Health effects of exposure to ultraviolet
radiation include increased incidence of skin cancer and cataracts,
in addition to damage to crops and wildlife.


     "The United States, as part of an agreement with more than 140 other
countries, is phasing out the production of ozone-depleting substances,"
said David P. Howekamp, director of the air and toxics division for the
western regional office of U.S. EPA.  "Federal requirements help to control
any mishandling of these chemicals, in an effort to safeguard the ozone
layer.  Since federal law in this matter is more stringent that state law,
federal requirements will remain fully enforceable."


     A federal prohibition against the willful venting of refrigerants has
been in effect since 1992, as have requirements that motor vehicle air
conditioners be serviced only by certified technicians using approved
equipment.  Subsequent regulations established rigid service practices for
the maintenance and repair of appliances containing refrigerant.  
Refrigerant can only be sold to certified technicians and recovered
refrigerant must be reclaimed to industry purity standards before resale.  
Leaking appliances may also be subject to federal rules, as is the safe
disposal of appliances containing refrigerant.


     Residents of Arizona may obtain additional information on federal
refrigerant requirements at the following toll-free number: 1-800-94-REUSE.
Material is also available by writing: Stratospheric Protection Program,
U.S. EPA (A-3-2), 75 Hawthorne St., San Francisco, CA 94105.


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