SACRAMENTO- An important registration and reporting deadline for
owners and operators of facilities with non-residential
refrigeration systems is approaching.
The deadline is for facilities with refrigeration systems using
high global warming potential refrigerants that have a full
charge of at least 200 pounds and less than 2,000 pounds. These
are designated as “medium-sized” systems under a California state
regulation to minimize leaks of environmentally harmful
Companies must register their refrigeration system with the
California Air Resources Board (ARB) by March 1, 2014, if the
single largest system at an individual facility has a full charge
of 200 pounds or more of the following refrigerants:
chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs), hydro chlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) or
The online registration and reporting tool, known as the
“Refrigerant Registration and Reporting System,” or R3, is
available at www.arb.ca.gov/rmp-r3. Additional information and
training webinars on how to use the tool are available on the
Facilities with smaller refrigeration systems with a full charge
of greater than 50 pounds and less than 200 pounds of high global
warming potential (high-GWP) refrigerant are not required to
register until 2016. However, these systems are subject to leak
inspection, repair and recordkeeping requirements of the rule in
effect now. Facilities with large refrigeration systems with a
refrigerant charge of 2,000 pounds or more should already be
registered and must continue to submit annual reports to ARB.
California’s Refrigerant Management Program (RMP) is designed to
reduce emissions and leaks from non-residential refrigeration
systems. The state program was adopted by the ARB in 2009 and
went into effect in 2011. Refrigerants are potent greenhouse
gases, more than a thousand times more capable of trapping heat
in the atmosphere than an equivalent amount of carbon dioxide,
the most common greenhouse gas.
It is important to note that refrigeration systems using
refrigerants such as ammonia and carbon dioxide are not subject
to the rule since those refrigerants are not classified as high
global warming substances. Air conditioning systems used
exclusively for cooling occupants of a building (known as
“comfort cooling”) also are not required to register.
Businesses that commonly have refrigeration systems with high-GWP
refrigerant include supermarkets and grocery stores, food and
beverage processors, cold storage warehouses and industrial
Businesses that do not commonly have these types of refrigeration
systems include bars and restaurants, gas stations, liquor
stores, small bakeries and office buildings.
A business can determine the refrigerant charge of their
refrigeration system(s) by contacting the manufacturer or their
refrigeration system service provider.
Failure to register applicable refrigeration systems may result
in site inspections, notices of violation, and cumulative daily
Though costs will vary from facility to facility, the leak
detection, monitoring and repair requirements of the rule are
expected to result in overall cost savings. Identifying and
repairing leaks promptly reduces the need to buy costly
refrigerant to refill the system.