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Midway Iron agrees to EPA order to comply with federal rules to protect stratospheric ozone

Release Date: 07/16/2009
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254,

CONTACT: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254,

No. 09-OPA132

(Chicago - July 16, 2009) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an administrative consent order to Midway Iron and Metals Inc. to comply with EPA regulations designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The order covers the company's scrap metal recycling facility at 648 Lincoln Ave. N.E., St. Cloud, Minn.

EPA alleges that Midway Iron accepted small appliances and motor vehicle air conditioning units and crushed them without properly verifying that ozone-depleting chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants were removed before they were crushed and sent for recycling.

Within 30 days from receipt of the EPA order, Midway agrees, among other things, to begin recovering any remaining refrigerant from each appliance and motor vehicle air conditioning unit or to verify that the refrigerant has been previously removed from the appliances.

EPA learned about Midway's alleged failure to remove the refrigerants from the company's response to a September 2008 EPA information request.

Chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants deplete the stratospheric, or "good" ozone layer, allowing dangerous amounts of cancer-causing ultraviolet rays from the sun to strike the earth. Some chlorofluorocarbons are also potent greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. Production of some of these chemicals was stopped in 1995, and federal law strictly controls their use and handling.

Information about EPA Region 5's air enforcement program is at Potential environmental violations may be reported at

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