On March 5, 1998, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency issued a final rule covering the sale of halon blends and the handling and disposal of halon and halon-containing equipment (63 FR 11084). The major elements of the rule are summarized below:
- A ban on the manufacture of any halon blend. An exemption is provided for halon blends manufactured solely for the purpose of aviation fire protection.
- A prohibition on the intentional release or venting of halons during testing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, or disposing of halon-containing equipment or during the use of such equipment for technician training.
- A prohibition on halon releases that occur as a result of owner failure to maintain halon-containing equipment to relevant industry standards.
- A requirement that technician training relevant to halon emissions be provided. Technicians should be trained using standard industry service practice guidelines, including NFPA, ISO and ASTM publications.
- A requirement that halon and halon-containing equipment must be properly disposed of at the end of its useful life. Proper disposal is defined as sending such equipment for halon recovery or recycling by a facility operating in accordance with NFPA 10 and NFPA 12A standards or destruction using one of several processes identified in the rule.
In February 2001 EPA published a guidance document on the technician training and proper disposal requirements of the March 1998 rule.