WASHINGTON - At a meeting with top White House officials, Air Conditioning Contractors of America (ACCA) CEO Paul Stalknecht discussed the HVACR industry’s concern with the lack of enforcement for EPA 608 licensing provisions.

Stalknecht told officials, “Since the Clean Air Act legislation was enacted 18 years ago, to the best of our knowledge, there has been only one enforcement action taken by the EPA against a contractor for illegal venting of refrigerants into the atmosphere. Furthermore, at best, less than 5 percent of these ozone-depleting compounds are being recovered annually in the field. That is a pitiful record. One can only suspect that the 95 percent not being recaptured somehow contributes to present-day global warming and is a direct result of non-enforcement of the existing rules.”

Stalknecht warned the administration that new global warming and security initiatives will merely layer another complicated regulatory burden and additional costs on “good” businesspeople, while we have yet to reap any benefit from rules imposed on the industry nearly two decades ago due to lack of enforcement.

Before enacting new laws, Stalknecht said, the government should try to enforce what already exists. If it were to do so, “it is highly probable that compliance will increase, the contractor playing field will be leveled, and we will see major reductions in an item that may contribute to global warming,” Stalknecht said.

Publication date:05/12/2008