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Release Date: 09/27/1996
Contact Information: Alice Kaufman, EPA Press Office, (617) 918-1064

BOSTON-- Hayward Refrigeration Company of New London, New Hampshire, has agreed to pay a $13,307 penalty to settle an enforcement action for violations of federal stratospheric ozone protection laws, the New England office of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today. EPA cited Hayward in June of last year for not using properly trained and certified technicians to service automobile air conditioners and for not using approved refrigerant recycling equipment.

"Good environmental management begins with well-trained workers. Mistakes in handling chemical refrigerants used in automobile air conditioners can result in the escape of gases that break down the earth's protective layer." said John P. DeVillars, administrator for EPA's New England office.

The release of regulated refrigerants such as CFCs (chlorofluourocarbons) and halons depletes the stratospheric ozone layer, which shields the earth's surface from dangerous ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation. Depletion of the stratospheric ozone layer increases UV-B radiation, resulting in potential health and environmental harm such as increased incidence of certain skin cancers and cataracts, suppression of the immune system, damage to crops and aquatic organisms, increased formation of ground-level ozone, and increased weathering of outdoor plastics.

As part of the 1988 Montreal Protocol agreement, more than 150 countries agreed to stop manufacturing CFCs and other related substances. Further, Title VI of the federal Clean Air Act prohibits the release of CFCs into the atmosphere from certain activities, requires proper handling and recycling of these compounds, and limits the sale of CFC refrigerants to certified air conditioning and refrigeration technicians