Leaky Fridge Equipment Strikes Again, This Time for $500,000

Posted on 6/23/2016 by Roger Marks

In another addition to the growing list of Clean Air Act civil penalties related to hazardous chemical leaks from refrigeration equipment this year, US EPA has fined a major national grocery chain $500,000. In addition to paying the civil penalty, the grocer will work to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases from refrigeration equipment at 453 stores, spending an estimated $2 million over three years, according to an EPA press release.

 The alleged Clean Air Act violations occurred when a hydrochloroflurocarbon (HCFC) called R-22 leaked from refrigeration equipment, and the leak was not promptly repaired.  HCFCs are known as potent greenhouse gases that can deplete the ozone layer.

refrigeration equipment can leak ozone depleting substances

Refrigeration Equipment a Major Focus for EPA

Before this, two other grocery chains—Safeway and Costco Wholesale—met similar fates with respect to alleged noncompliance with the Clean Air Act leak prevention, detection, and remediation requirements.  Earlier this week, a food processor was fined for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act, EPCRA, and CERCLA in relation to a leak of anhydrous ammonia from its refrigeration equipment.

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Tags: Act, Air, Clean, EPA, fines and penalties

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