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Refrigeration Company Pays Penalty for Environmental Violations in 3 Mass. Facilities

Release Date: 03/23/2011
Contact Information: David Deegan, (617) 918-1017

A refrigerated warehouse company has agreed to pay $75,000 to settle a case brought by the US Environmental Protection Agency for Clean Air Act violations at three cold-storage facilities in Massachusetts.

According to a recent settlement, Preferred Freezer Services, which provides refrigerated warehouse space for frozen food producers and suppliers, allegedly violated federal regulations designed to prevent chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) from leaking from industrial refrigeration equipment and damaging the Earth’s stratospheric ozone layer. The violations occurred at Preferred Freezer’s facilities in Raynham, Sharon and Westfield, Mass. Preferred Freezer owns and operates 25 refrigerated warehouse facilities nationwide.

EPA’s New England office alleged that all three facilities failed to certify to EPA that they had appropriate CFC recovery or recycling equipment. Further, at the Raynham and Sharon facilities, a company technician serviced appliances containing CFCs on various occasions without being certified by an approved certification program. Preferred Freezer corrected these violations in April 2010.

Separately, the company initially provided incomplete responses to an EPA information request. This violation was also corrected in 2010.

The stratospheric ozone layer protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. When CFCs are released into the air, they damage the stratospheric ozone layer and allow harmful radiation to reach the Earth. This radiation can cause nonmelanoma skin cancer and plays a major role in malignant melanoma development. It has also been linked to cataract formation. In addition, it can harm crops and certain types of marine life.

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