Environmental Protection

Scrap Metal Recyclers to Recover Refrigerants to Protect Ozone

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5 has issued administrative consent orders to three Minnesota scrap metal recycling companies – Leroy Iron and Metal Division of Behr Iron, Alter Trading Corp. and Timm's Auto Salvage – requiring them to comply with the rules that protect the stratospheric ozone.

The companies agreed to comply with the regulations. The Leroy plant is in Leroy; the Alter plant is in St. Paul; and the Timm's plant is in St. Charles.

The companies will recover ozone-depleting refrigerants from each appliance and motor vehicle air conditioner that they accept or to verify that the refrigerants have been recovered according to EPA regulations. The companies will keep logs 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. Production of some of these chemicals was stopped in 1995, and federal law strictly controls their use and handling.

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