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U.S. EPA files complaint for $76,402 against JWS Refrigeration for illegal importation of ozone-depleting substances

Release Date: 09/27/2007
Contact Information: Dean Higuchi, 808-541-2711, higuchi.dean@epa.gov

(09/27/07) HONOLULU – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today filed a complaint against a Guam-based refrigeration and heating equipment services company for allegedly importing banned refrigerants in violation of the Clean Air Act.

The U.S. EPA is seeking penalties up to $76,402 from JWS Refrigeration & Air Conditioning, Ltd., a Tamuning, Guam company, for the illegal importation of 25,402 kg of hydrochlorofluorocarbon 22, an ozone-depleting substance, from sources outside the United States.

“To protect stratospheric ozone, the Clean Air Act limits the importing of ozone depleting chemicals into the United States,” said Deborah Jordan, director of the EPA’s Air Division for the Pacific Southwest region. “Companies in Guam and other U.S. territories are not excluded and must comply with all stratospheric ozone protection regulations.”

A May 2006 inspection by the Guam EPA, in consultation with the U.S. EPA, identified 25,402 violations of the stratospheric ozone protection regulations committed by JWS Refrigeration.

High in the atmosphere, the stratospheric ozone layer is the earth’s protective shield against excessive ultraviolet radiation. Overexposure to ultraviolet radiation has been held responsible for increased risk of skin cancer and cataracts, depressed immune systems, decreased crop output, and the destruction of plankton, a critical link in the oceanic food chain.

The U.S. EPA’s stratospheric ozone protection program aims to prevent depletion of the ozone layer through the production phase-out and use restriction of refrigerants. Among other restrictions, the program forbids the importation of ozone-depleting substances.

For more information on the U.S. EPA’s stratospheric ozone protection program, please visit http://www.epa.gov/ozone/strathome.html.

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