News & Views, July 2017

HFO-1234yf REFRIGERANT IS A FLAMMABLE GAS

Automobiles have been using refrigerant gases in their AC systems for decades.  The refrigerant gases have generally been inert gases, such as Freon-12 and R-134.  Recently, many auto manufacturers have started to use HFO-1234yf as the refrigerant gas in their AC systems.  This gas is expensive, about $80/lb., and the recycling machine costs another $5000.  The bigger issue is that it is a flammable gas.  Flammable gases pose special hazards and dealers should take steps to address this concern.

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Changes to CA Environmental Regulations & OSHA Penalties, December 2015

CAL-EPA REGULATIONS EFFECTIVE 1/1/16

90-Day Storage Limit:  Automobile dealerships generating more than 1,000 kg of hazardous waste per month must  dispose of hazardous waste within 90 days (otherwise the facility must obtain a storage permit, an arduous process).  Almost all dealerships generate more than 1,000 kg (about 300 gallons) of used oil and used coolant per month and hence, must limit storage to 90 days.  In the past, local enforcement agencies excluded used oil from these calculations so all dealers fell below the 1,000 kg/mo. level.  The new law, SB 612, clarifies the fact that all hazardous waste generated at the facility are counted towards the 1,000 kg/mo. calculation.  For facilities generating less than 1,000 kg/mo. of hazardous waste (Federal Term: Small Quantity Generator), the maximum accumulation time is 180 days or 270 days if the waste must be transported more than 200 miles for treatment and disposal.

In summary, each hazardous waste storage container must have a proper date of accumulation marked on each container along with EPA required waste labeling and secondary containment requirements.  The waste must be disposed of within 90 days of the start date.  Almost all facilities have used oil pickup on a 30-day or more frequent cycle.  However, other smaller waste streams, such as used coolant or contaminated fuel, are not on the radar screen.  Dealers must ensure that these wastes are now on a 90-day pickup cycle through a licensed and registered hazardous waste hauler.  Contact your hauler to set up a required pickup schedule immediately.

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New Tires, Old News, August 2003

The National Transport and Motor Vehicle Safety Act of 1966 (15 USC 1381) requires all manufacturers of tires to provide tire registration forms to every distributor and dealer of its tires which offer new tires for sale.  The law also unequivocally and unambiguously requires each independent dealer selling new tires to provide tire purchasers at the time of sale with a tire registration form.  Further the law requires that before giving the registration form to the tire purchaser, the dealer “shall record in appropriate spaces” information as follows:

  • Tire I.D. number of the tire sold/leased.
  • Distributor/Dealers name and address or other means of identification known to the tire manufacturer.

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Civil & Criminal Penalties, First-Aid, Penalties, etc., November 1999

Civil & Criminal Penalties Increased for OSHA Violations

On October 5, 1999, Governor Davis signed into law a bill which increases the civil and criminal penalties for willful, serious and repeat violations of occupational safety and health (Cal-OSHA) standards.  The law goes into effect on January 1, 2000, which gives the district attorneys more flexibility to prosecute as either a misdemeanor or a felony, willful violations of safety standards which result in a death or permanent/prolonged impairment.

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