Since June 1, 2008, refrigeration mechanics who work with halocarbons or handle equipment that use halocarbons must hold the “Environmental Qualification: Halocarbons”. This qualification is obligatory for those who, as part of their job, must purchase or procure halocarbons and for those who install, maintain, repair, modify, or load equipment that functions with halocarbons, such as refrigeration or air-conditioning equipment designed or converted to operate with a halocarbon.
The Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) has been mandated by the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC) to recognize this qualification and to offer training enabling the workers concerned to acquire it. However, notices of infraction will be handed out to violators by MELCC inspectors. “Qualification environnementale: halocarbure” appears on the competency certificates issued by the CCQ to workers who have received the training and will be permanently valid for Québec workers.This obligatory environmental qualification required by the MELCC falls within Quebec’s Strategy for Managing Ozone-depleting Substances and Their Replacement Products.
Halocarbons are chemical substances composed of halogen (bromine, chlorine with or without fluorine) and carbon.
They are used as refrigerants in air-conditioning and refrigeration systems, as extinguishing agents in fire-extinguishing systems, and as blowing agents in foam manufacturing. They are also used as solvents. Halocarbons pose two environmental problems: most contribute to thinning of the ozone layer and are greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change.For more information on the Regulation Respecting Halocarbons, visit the Web site of the Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques (MELCC).
Requesting the Qualification environnementale : halocarbures
However, a refrigeration mechanic whose competency certificate does not mention this qualification but who considers himself qualified after completing training on halocarbons may ask the Commission de la construction du Québec (CCQ) to rectify the situation.
To do this, he must submit the following documents to CCQ’s
- A duly completed Application for Recognition of Vocational Qualifications form
- A letter stating his wish to obtain the Environmental Qualification: Halocarbons
- Two pieces of identification, including one with a photograph. The following are accepted: passport, driver’s licence (Canadian), health insurance card (Canadian), Canadian Social Insurance card, birth certificate, certificate of civil status or competency certificate issued by the CCQ. These documents may be submitted by fax or mail and copies are accepted.
- A copy of the original proof of qualification
Following review of the application, if the refrigeration mechanic is in fact qualified, he will receive a duplicate of his competency certificate with the Environmental Qualification: Halocarbons endorsement. This endorsement will then be automatically indicated on his competency certificate the next time it is renewed.