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LARGEST OZONE PROTECTION PROGRAM SETTLEMENT REACHED

Release Date: 9/11/2000
Contact Information: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: DOJ: (202) 514-2008, EPA: (415) 744-1588, TDD: (202) 514-1888

                       
     $3.5 Million Settlement Result of Clean Air Violations
                               
     SAN FRANCISCO The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Department of Justice today announced a $3.5 million settlement with Meyer's Bakery, headquartered in Little Rock, Ark., resulting from violations under the Clean Air Act.  The agreement represents the largest settlement in the history of the EPA's stratospheric ozone protection program.

     Meyer's Bakery, located in Arizona City, Ariz.; Orlando, Fla.; Hope, Ark.; Wichita, Kan.; and Cleburne, Texas, released thousands of pounds of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) through unrepaired appliance leaks.  Operators did not conduct leak checks, complete service records or develop a retrofit or replacement plan for leaking systems.

     "These enforcement actions reflect the Agency's commitment to protect human health and the environment and ensure compliance with the Clean Air Act," said Amy Zimpfer, the director of the EPA's air division for the Southwest Region.  "It is imperative that businesses using refrigerants manage them responsibly so that the ozone layer will continue to protect us from harmful ultraviolet radiation."

     "This penalty marks the largest civil fine to date under the government's program to control emissions that destroy the earth's ozone layer," said Lois Schiffer, the Assistant Attorney General for the Environment at the Justice Department.

     The ozone layer protects the earth from ultraviolet (UV-B) radiation.  According to a national and international consensus, refrigerants like CFC's and hydrochlorofluorocarbons must be restricted because they deplete the ozone layer.  Depletion of the ozone layer increases the potential for UV-B radiation exposure resulting in potential health and environmental harm including increased incidence of skin cancers and cataracts, suppression of the immune system, and damage to plants and aquatic organisms.

     More information on refrigerants and ozone depletion is available on
EPA's website at http://www.epa.gov/r02earth/epd/ques_ans/cfcfaq.htm and www.epa.gov/ozone.

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