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EPA Region 3 1998 Ozone Protection Enforcement Actions

March 24, 1998

PHILADELPHIA--A national strategy by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to strengthen enforcement of federal CFC regulations is gaining momentum here in the mid-Atlantic region. Since last November, 30 parties have been named in actions taken by EPA's mid-Atlantic office in Philadelphia, a notable increase compared to a total of 11 CFC-related actions done in the region during fiscal year 1997.

The EPA regulates the use of environmentally-harmful chlorofluorocarbons or CFCs, commonly used in air conditioning and refrigeration appliances.

Several EPA actions against companies that violated the law included court settlements totaling $81,213 in penalties to be paid to the government. The majority of the 30 actions are for violations of certification requirements frequently ignored, but which the agency says are needed to prevent damage from the release of CFCs. By law, businesses that repair, service and scrap air conditioning systems and appliances containing CFCs must register with the EPA and certify that they are following federally-approved procedures.

The most recent action is an order issued March 20 by EPA to the City of Baltimore for alleged CFC violations by the city's fleet management division. EPA alleges that city workers improperly installed an alternative air conditioning refrigerant in vehicles owned by the city, and has ordered Baltimore's fleet management division to perform proper retrofits or go back to using the original refrigerant.

Other noteworthy cases include (links lead to more information about each case):

Scientists worldwide believe that CFCs contribute to the destruction of the earth's stratospheric ozone layer, which protects the planet from harmful ultraviolet radiation. Ozone loss in the upper atmosphere is likely to lead to an increase in skin cancer in humans and damage to plant and animal life.

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