SEATTLE (Legal Newsline) — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced Nov. 16 that U.S. Seafoods of Seattle has agreed to pay $135,000, implement enhanced leak detection practices and replace freezer equipment after allegations the company violated the Clean Air Act after two fish processing vessels released ozone-depleting substances into the air.
According to EPA, two vessels owned by U.S. Seafoods had been leaking an ozone-depleting refrigerant called R-22. The operators of the vessels purportedly failed to quickly repair the leaks and then when repairing the freezers, failed to confirm whether they leaking.
U.S. Seafoods will replace some or all of the R-22 freezers ande will retire the freezers that are not replaced. Additionally, the company agreed to develop more comprehensive leak detection and repair practices.
R-22 refrigerants deplete stratospheric ozone, which protects the earth from adverse UV radiation that can cause cancer, immune system suppression and cataracts. The R-22 refrigerants violate the Clean Air Act National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program. The National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program governs the management of ozone-depleting substances.