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PA CALIFORNIA COMPANY PRESIDENT CONVICTED OF SELLING IMPURE RECYCLED CFC REFRIGERANT

Release Date: 11/7/97
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FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 7, 1997

CALIFORNIA COMPANY PRESIDENT CONVICTED OF SELLING IMPURE RECYCLED CFC REFRIGERANT

On Nov. 4, in U.S. District Court for the Central District of California in Los Angeles, Dennis R. O’Meara became the first person to be convicted under the Clean Air Act of selling improperly recycled chloroflurocarbon (CFC) refrigerants. O’Meara, president of Refrigerant Exchange of Whittier and Irwindale, Calif., sold the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power 2,600 pounds of recycled CFC refrigerants that did not meet the level of purity prescribed by federal law. The company had been certified as a refrigerant reclaimer by EPA since approximately 1993. Ozone depletion leads to increased human exposure to ultraviolet radiation that can cause cataracts and skin cancer. When sentenced, O’Meara faces a maximum of up to five years in federal prison and/or a maximum fine of $250,000. The case was jointly investigated by EPA’s Criminal Investigations Division, the U.S. Customs Service, the California Environmental Protection Agency and the Los Angeles County Fire Department with assistance from EPA’s National Enforcement Investigations Center.

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