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Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. Will Pay $176,000 Fine for Clean Air Violations

Release Date: 06/27/2006
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

(Boston, Mass. - June 27, 2006) - Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. will pay a fine of $176,000 to settle an EPA complaint for violations of the federal stratospheric ozone protection regulations and two federal hazardous air pollutant standards.

Sikorsky, a subsidiary of United Technologies Corp., is a helicopter manufacturer with a major plant in Stratford, Conn. EPA’s complaint alleged that Sikorsky violated leak repair and follow-up testing requirements for two industrial refrigeration units that used chlorofluorocarbons (“CFCs”) or other ozone-depleting substances as refrigerants.

CFC leaks can damage the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer, which protects humans from exposure to the sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays. The federal stratospheric ozone protection regulations help minimize CFC leaks by establishing service and maintenance requirements for refrigeration equipment, including prompt leak repair and repair verification testing.

“A healthy ozone layer helps to protect all of us from the sun’s harmful rays,” said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA’s New England office. “Sikorsky corrected its violations and paid a substantial fine without going to trial -- a good result for EPA and New England’s environment.”

Certain types of refrigerants are known to destroy the thin layer of ozone in the upper part of the atmosphere known as the stratosphere. Most of these refrigerants are being phased out and replaced with safer alternatives.

Since late 2005, EPA has pursued several other cases against New England companies for violations of the stratospheric ozone protection program. Last December, EPA brought cases for such violations against Kraft Foods in Woburn, Mass., and against U.S. Surgical in North Haven, Conn. In March, EPA filed its complaint against Sikorsky. Most recently, EPA filed a complaint in April against Cambridge Brands, Inc., a candy maker in Cambridge, Mass. Apart from today’s settlement with Sikorsky, EPA has settled its case against U.S. Surgical for a $56,320 fine.

EPA’s case against Sikorsky also involved violations of a federal chromium standard for failing to properly operate emission filtration equipment, and violations of an aerospace manufacturing standard for failing to shut down paint booths when emission-controlling waterwalls lacked proper water pressure.

More information on EPA New England’s Air Enforcement Program (

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