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Oregon Seafood company fined for failing to track ozone-depleting refrigerants

Release Date: 10/17/2011
Contact Information: Tony Brown, EPA Public Affairs, 206-553-1203, brown.anthony@epa.gov

(Seattle—Oct. 17, 2011) Da Yang Seafoods, Inc., located in Astoria, Oregon, violated the federal Clean Air Act and will pay nearly $27,000 in penalties for failing to keep proper records for its refrigeration equipment. The equipment uses hydrochloroflurocarbon (HCFC) refrigerants, which damage the ozone layer and contribute to climate change when released to the atmosphere.

From July 2006 to August 2007, Da Yang serviced their blast freezer at least 22 times and failed to properly document the dates of service. Keeping detailed records, including properly documenting the date of maintenance and service, helps identify leaks or other releases of HCFCs into the environment.

“Every pound of refrigerant that enters the environment is a blow to the Earth’s protective ozone layer,” said Edward Kowalski, EPA’s Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement in Seattle. “Proper recordkeeping and conscientious management practices are critical to preventing releases of HCFCs into the environment.”

Federal laws regulating ozone-depleting substances protect people’s health and the environment by reducing emissions of HCFCs into the atmosphere. The stratospheric ozone layer protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation. When HCFCs are released into the air, they damage the stratospheric ozone layer and allow harmful UV radiation to reach the Earth. Overexposure to UV radiation can cause skin cancer, cataract formation, and damage to crops.

Da Yang has recently taken additional steps to improve their refrigeration maintenance program. They have purchased certified refrigerant recovery equipment and trained two employees as certified refrigerant technicians.

More information about the regulatory program related to ozone-depleting refrigerants, visit: http://www.epa.gov/ozone/title6/