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A and B Metal Recycling agrees to EPA order; will comply with federal rules to protect stratospheric ozone

Release Date: 11/04/2009
Contact Information: William Omohundro, 312-353-8254, omohundro.william@epa.gov

For Immediate Release
No. 09-OPA213

(Chicago – Nov. 4, 2009) U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued an administrative consent order to A & B Metal Recycling to comply with EPA regulations designed to protect the stratospheric ozone layer. The order affects the company’s scrap metal recycling facility at 3049 E. 55th St., Cleveland, Ohio.

EPA cited A & B in June 2008 for alleged violations of EPA regulations requiring recovery of ozone-depleting refrigerants from small appliances before they are recycled. The allegations resulted from EPA inspections of the company’s facility in April 2008 and subsequent requests for information in May 2008.

This April EPA conducted a second inspection of the facility and met with A & B in early October to discuss the proposed compliance order, and the company agreed to the order.

A & B has agreed to recover ozone-depleting refrigerants from each appliance and motor vehicle air conditioner that it accepts or to verify that the refrigerants have been recovered according to EPA regulations. The company will keep a log of the details of refrigerant recovery.

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. Some chlorofluorocarbons are also potent greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. 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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