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August 08, 2012
Mishandling refrigerants yields $700,000

Two Seattle-based seafood catcher-processing companies recently agreed to pay a $700,000 penalty for improper import and handling of ozone-depleting substances.

According to the U.S. EPA, the settlement resolves the companies’ improper release and illegal import of ozone-depleting refrigerants, failure to repair refrigerant leaks in a timely manner, failure to verify adequacy of repairs to their refrigeration system; inadequate records of repair service on refrigerant system; and use of uncertified employees to perform refrigerant-related work.

R-22 is among a set of refrigerants being phased out of use because of high ozone-depletion potential under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.

In addition to a $700,000 penalty, the companies will spend an estimated $9 million to $15 million to convert refrigeration systems on several vessels to operate using non-ozone-depleting refrigerants. The companies have also purchased and retired R-22 allowances to offset the harm caused by their illegal importation.

INFO: Contact Hanady Kader at 206-553-0454.