Section 609 Certification for Recovery and Recycling of Refrigerant


Section 609 of the United States Clean Air Act gives the EPA authority to establish standards and requirements regarding servicing of mobile A/C systems.

On July 14, 1992, the EPA published the final rules (regulations) implementing this section of the Act (40 CFR Part 82). Under the U.S. Clean Air Act, it is illegal to vent chemicals used in mobile air conditioning systems into the atmosphere.

Therefore, on-site recovery of the refrigerant, prior to service, is required.

This is a federal requirement. The state of Wisconsin has additional state requirements.

Equipment Use

Since January 1, 1992, for CFC-12, and November 15, 1995 for HFC-134a and other mobile A/C refrigerants, any person (employed technician or do-it-yourselfer) servicing the mobile air conditioning pressurized refrigerant circuit for consideration must comply with the Clean Air Act and must use either refrigerant recovery/recycling or recovery-only equipment approved by EPA. Those working “for consideration”(receiving monetary value) who open the refrigerant circuit must be certified by an EPA-approved organization to legally use such equipment to service the system.

Persons working on their own mobile air conditioning system are not covered under this rule and can add refrigerant without being certified. However, anyone found to intentionally release refrigerant into the atmosphere under any circumstance during the repair, maintenance or service of mobile air conditioning systems, can be fined.

Fleets of vehicles, whether private, federal, state or local government owned, are subject to the regulations because the technicians performing the service are paid.

Other examples of establishments covered by the regulations include, but are not limited to: independent repair shops, service stations, fleet shops, body shops, chain or franchised repair shops, new and used car and truck dealers, rental establishments, radiator repair shops, mobile repair operations, vocational technical schools (because instructors are paid), farm equipment dealerships and fleets of vehicles at airports.

Technician Training and Certification Requirements

Technicians using approved equipment must be trained and certified by an EPA-approved organization. To be certified, technicians must pass a test demonstrating their knowledge in the use of refrigerant recovery/recycling equipment, the EPA’s regulatory requirements, the importance of refrigerant containment and the effects of ozone depletion and environmental change.

The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide  is authorized by the EPA as one of several providers of Section 609 certification.

If you are an automotive service professional, avoid a big fine by making sure all your technicians are Section 609 certified the cost is just $20. Click here to link to the MACS certification page with all the information you need to know about the law and the certification process.

You have three options to obtain your Section 609 certification through MACS

1. You can take the test online at the MACS Worldwide website click here. The cost is $20 per test.

2. You can order home study tests at the link above or call 215/631-7020. The cost is $20 per test.

3.  You can request a Section 609 live training class by calling to organize a class at your facility or over the web by calling Marion Posen at MACS Worldwide at 215/631-7020 x 304

MACS is conducting a Section 609 test prep webinar on Wednesday, September 9, 2010 at 2pm. Call 215/631-7020 x 306 to register. Cost is $40 for test and class.

If you need to replace MACS or IMACA Section 609 credentials. Click here.
there is a $10 charge for replacement credentials. 

If you would like information about becoming a MACS proctor/trainer to teach Section 609 classes click here.




About macsworldwide

Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide Founded in 1981, MACS is the leading non-profit trade association for the mobile air conditioning, heating and engine cooling system segment of the automotive aftermarket. Since 1991, MACS has assisted more than 600,000 technicians to comply with the 1990 U.S. EPA Clean Air Act requirements for certification in refrigerant recovery and recycling to protect the environment. The Mobile Air Conditioning Society (MACS) Worldwide’s mission is clear and focused--as the recognized global authority on mobile air conditioning and heat transfer industry issues.
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6 Responses to Section 609 Certification for Recovery and Recycling of Refrigerant

  1. Terry L. Jenkins says:

    I have a MACS 609 Certification card. My house burned and I lost it in the fire. How do I obtain another card

  2. MANUEL TORRES says:


  3. Scott says:

    How do I get certified for a/c thru you

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