Icicle Seafoods Settles Clean Air Violations for Leaks of Ozone-Depleting Refrigerant
Seattle-based Icicle Seafoods Inc. has agreed to resolve violations of the federal Clean Air Act resulting from leaks of an ozone-depleting refrigerant aboard its seafood vessels and in processing facilities, according to a consent decree lodged by the U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The company has agreed to repair leaks in its vessels and facilities, make repairs at a lower leak rate and pay a penalty.
“There is a clear link between the deterioration of the ozone layer and the release of certain substances used for refrigeration,” said Ed Kowalski, Director of the Office of Compliance and Enforcement at EPA’s Seattle office. “Companies using these chemicals in the course of business must do so responsibly by repairing leaks and preventing releases into the atmosphere.”
The settlement concerns the improper release and management of R-22, an ozone-depleting refrigerant used on the company’s vessels and at its seafood processing facilities. The consent decree, which includes Icicle Seafoods Inc. and several of its subsidiaries, was lodged in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in Seattle.
According to the settlement, the company had a series of Clean Air Act violations between 2006 and 2008 associated with the refrigerant R-22. The violations include:
- Failure to repair refrigerant leaks in a timely manner
- Failure to ensure adequate repairs to refrigeration appliances before resuming operation
- Failure to possess a certified refrigerant recovery device for use when performing service on refrigeration appliances
- Inadequate records of repair service on refrigeration appliances
R-22 is among a set of refrigerants being phased out of use due to their high ozone depletion potential under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer.
Stratospheric ozone depletion can cause increased ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth and has been linked to skin cancer, cataracts and impaired immune systems. It can also damage crops and reduce crop yields. Some scientists suggest that marine phytoplankton, the base of the ocean food chain, may be under stress from ultraviolet radiation.
Icicle Seafoods Inc. is a seafood processing company that harvests and processes salmon, crab, Pollock, halibut, Pacific cod, Black cod and fish roe. The company has agreed to pay a $430,000 penalty.
The consent decree was signed by Icicle Seafoods Inc., Evening Star Inc., Icicle Acquisition Subsidiary ILLC and LFK, Inc. The consent decree is available for public comment.