Huge Clean Air Act Settlement from Unlikely Source: A Grocery Store!

According to the EPA, Safeway, the nation’s second largest grocery store chain, “has agreed to pay a $600,000 civil penalty and implement a corporate-wide plan to significantly reduce its emissions of ozone-depleting substances from refrigeration equipment at 659 of its stores nationwide.”  The total cost of the settlement and implementation of the plan are estimated to be approximately $4.1 million.

The EPA release states, “The settlement resolves allegations that Safeway violated the Clean Air Act by failing to promptly repair leaks of HCFC-22, a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon that is a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance used as a coolant in refrigerators, and failed to keep adequate records of the servicing of its refrigeration equipment.”

It was just this spring when Wal-Mart was tagged for $110 million fine under the Clean Water Act and the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act.

So, who or what is next on the EPA Enforcement Agenda?  EPA’s Selection of National Enforcement Initiatives for FY 2014-2016 might provide some clues, but a collective head’s up to companies of all NAICS seems to be in order.

…and if you haven’t already done so, surround yourself with trusted environmental advisors; we can provide some guidance in this area.


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