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Milwaukee company agrees to EPA order; will comply with federal rules to protect stratospheric ozone

Release Date: 10/21/2009
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

CONTACT: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
No. 09-OPA197


(Chicago - Oct. 21, 2009) - U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an administrative consent order to Midwest Iron and Metal to comply with EPA regulations designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The order affects the company's scrap metal recycling facility at 6760 N. Industrial Road, Milwaukee.

Midwest Iron and Metal has agreed, among other things, to recover ozone-depleting refrigerants from each appliance and motor vehicle air conditioner that it accepts or to verify that refrigerants have been recovered according to EPA regulations. The company will keep a log of the details of refrigerant recovery.

EPA cited Midwest Iron and Metal in February alleging the company was in violation of federal regulations because it did not recover refrigerant and did not obtain proper verification statements from suppliers of small appliances.

The allegations resulted from a July 2008 EPA inspection and a subsequent information request.

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. Production of some of these chemicals was stopped in 1995, and federal law strictly controls their use and handling.

Information about EPA Region 5's air enforcement program is at http://www.epa.gov/region5/air/enforce/index.html. Potential environmental violations may be reported at http://www.epa.gov/compliance/complaints.

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