ATLANTA (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Department of Justice
and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has announced Trader Joe’s
Company, a national grocery store chain, has agreed to reduce potent greenhouse gas
emissions from refrigeration equipment at 453 of its stores.
“Taking action to combat climate change is a priority for
the Obama administration and this settlement will result in substantial cuts to
one of the most potent greenhouse gases,” said Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.
“The company-wide upgrades Trader Joe’s will make are not only good for the
environment, they set a high bar for the grocery industry for detecting and
fixing coolant leaks.”
According to the EPA, Trader Joe’s failed to repair R-22
leaks, which is a violation of the Clean Air Act. R-22, a hydrochlorofluorocarbon,
is an ozone-depleting substance. The United States also charged Trader Joe’s
with failing to keep sufficient servicing records for its refrigeration
“By reducing the amount of ozone depleting refrigerants and
potent greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere, this settlement will
assist our efforts to control these two major global environmental problems,” said assistant attorney general John C. Cruden of the Department of Justice’s Environment and
Natural Resources Division.
Trader Joe's will spend $2 million in its efforts to reduce coolant leaks in the next three years. It will also pay a $500,000 civil penalty.