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Metal Management West, Inc. to pay $75,000 for alleged Clean Air Act ozone rule violations (Utah)

Release Date: 02/24/2011
Contact Information:

CONTACTS: David Janik, 303-312-6917; Lisa McClain-Vanderpool, 303-312-6077

(Salt Lake City, Utah – February 24, 2011) – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Metal Management West, Inc. have entered into a consent agreement in which Metal Management will pay a $75,000 penalty for alleged violations of the Clean Air Act’s program to prevent releases of ozone depleting chemicals. Metal Management is a scrap metal operator in Salt Lake City, Utah.

“Protecting the Earth’s ozone layer is an important goal of the Clean Air Act and every pound of CFCs that enters the environment is a setback to accomplishing this goal, “said Mike Gaydosh, EPA’s Assistant Regional Administrator for the Office of Enforcement, Compliance and Environmental Justice in Denver. “We expect any facilities that handle refrigerants to have sound practices for recovery.”

The agreement resolves a complaint EPA filed alleging Metal Management disposed of equipment containing ozone depleting chemicals without first verifying that the dangerous chemicals had been removed before it took final action.

EPA alleged that between April 2004 and September 2006, Metal Management accepted appliances and motor vehicles without verification that the refrigerant had been properly evacuated in accordance with the EPA regulations.

Chlorofluorocarbon refrigerants and certain substitute refrigerants deplete the stratospheric, or “good,” ozone layer allowing dangerous amounts of cancer-causing ultraviolet rays from the sun to strike the earth. Studies have shown that an increase in the UV rays has been linked to both skin cancer and cataracts. Production of some of these chemicals was stopped in 1995, and federal law strictly controls their use and handling.

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