Humidification, Dehumidification + Mold Remediation: Page 10. THE HVACR CONTRACTOR’S WEEKLY NE WSMAGA ZINE SINCE 1926 August 11, 2014 | $5.00 | Visit us online at www.achrnews.com, Twitter, Facebook + LinkedIn Man Gets Prison Time for Venting R-22 A K By Jen Anesi Of The NEWS Staff -year-old Columbus, Ohio, man recently pleaded guilty in federal court to violating the Clean Air Act after law enforcement officers witnessed him cutting a refrigerant line on an air conditioning unit and illegally venting hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC)-, also known as R-, into the atmosphere. Martin C. Eldridge III now faces months in federal prison for releasing the refrigerant, which is currently being phased out of production in the U.S. due to its threat to the earth’s ozone layer. While Eldridge’s conviction seems to be an isolated incident, many are hoping it is a sign the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be cracking down on indi-vidual violations across the country. Caught Red-handed According to the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Eldridge and others stole at least air conditioning units between August and October in order to sell the copper and parts for cash. Randall K. Ashe, special agent in charge of the EPA’s Criminal Enforcement Program in Ohio, said Eldridge’s “continual theft of air conditioner parts was ille-gal and a clear violation of the Clean Air Act.” Commander Robert Meader, who oversees the property crimes bureau of the Columbus Division of Police, said his officers actually watched Eldridge cut the refrigerant lines. As soon as Meader was notified of the crime, he recognized it as a violation of the Clean Air Act and contacted federal authorities. “We had covert undercover personnel fol-lowing him, and, since he’d hit that particu-lar apartment complex before, they waited for him to cut it,” he said. “Once the hydrochlo-rofluorocarbon were released, Eldridge vio-lated both state and federal codes.” Eldridge is serving his federal sentence concurrently with the sentence he received for stealing the air conditioning units. He will • See VENTING R-22 | page 7 SkillsUSA Contest Awards HVACR Students By Peter Powell Of The NEWS Staff fyi ANSAS CITY, Mo. – For its th annual National Leadership and Skills Conference, SkillsUSA drew more than , participants from secondary and post-secondary educational and training programs. The centerpiece was a daylong competition in different categories, one of which was HVACR, where students who had advanced from local, regional, and state competitions spent a day troubleshoot-ing mechanical equipment as well as taking an exam on HVACR basics. Under the eye of scoring judges, con-testants brazed, executed air conditioning troubleshooting techniques, demonstrated refrigerant recovery and recycling skills, per-formed refrigeration maintenance, evaluated airflow, serviced a gas furnace, and were tested on geothermal equipment. When the day was done, top finishers in the college/post-secondary division were: • Gold winner: Beau Tippett, Lewis-Clark State College, Lewiston, Idaho; • Silver winner: Aaron Bell, Lamar Insti-tute of Technology, Beaumont, Texas; and • Bronze winner: Gerald McNerney, Metro-politan Community College, Omaha, Nebraska. Tops in the high school division were: • Gold winner: Brandon Irons, Indian • See SKILLSUSA | page 8 hvac briefs Commercial Contractors • Bardi Mechanical (Atlanta) opened a new office in Savannah, Georgia, to support clients in the coastal region. • Frank Millard Co. (Burlington, Iowa) celebrated its 150 th anniversary. Residential Contractors • Amistee Air Duct Cleaning & Insula-tion (Novi, Michigan) acquired Ducts R Us (Clinton Township, Michigan). • Sonoran Air (Phoenix) was acquired by Kenneth D. Goodrich , manag-ing partner of Tucson Peach LLC (Tempe, Arizona) and Goettl Air Con-ditioning (Tempe, Arizona). Manufacturers • Klein Tools Inc. named James Pultorak vice pres-Pultorak ident of manufacturing. • NexRev Inc. (Plano, Texas) cele-brated its 20 th anniversary. • Bitzer SE (Flowery Branch, Georgia) announced a call for tenders from architects for its new corporate head-quarters in Sindelfingen, Germany. Continued on page 4 Procedures for proper refrigerant recovery and recycling are undertaken by a 2014 SkillsUSA National Championship contestant under the watchful eye of judge Warren Lupson, director of education, Air-Conditioning, Heating, and Refrigeration Institute (AHRI). This year’s event welcomed more than 6,000 prospects competing in 99 categories. Tweet @achrnews www.achrnews.com THE BEST OF THE BEST Vote for your favorite DDA award-winning product through our 2014 DDA Reader’s Choice Poll at http://bit.ly/2014DDAPoll. Winners will be announced Sept. 1. It’s time for readers to select Is Now Featured On Our Home Page! Go to achrnews.com and view real-time tweets from The NEWS and other HVACR professionals. Post comments to Twitter and include @achrnews.