Boston, Mass. – Sept. 28, 2011 – A food manufacturing company from Ward Hill, Mass., faces a possible $108,320 fine for 12 violations of the federal Clean Air Act.
According to a complaint filed by EPA’s New England office, Cedar’s Mediterranean Foods Inc. violated the Stratospheric Ozone Protection regulations of the federal Clean Air Act that establish requirements for the service, maintenance, repair, and disposal of industrial process refrigeration equipment that contains ozone-depleting refrigerant.
The company is incorporated in New Hampshire but is headquartered in Ward Hill. At the Ward Hill facility, Cedar’s runs an industrial refrigerator that contains 8,000 pounds of the refrigerant R-22. Because the unit contains more than 50 pounds of an ozone depleting substance, it is subject to the federal Stratospheric Ozone Protection regulations.
EPA inspected the Ward Hill facility in July 2010, and identified that Cedar’s only refrigeration unit violated federal air regulations, including requirements to repair leaks, to perform initial and follow-up tests after repairing leaks and to keep equipment servicing records. EPA ordered Cedar’s to remedy these violations.
The federal laws regulating ozone-depleting substances are meant to protect public health and the environment by reducing emissions of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) into the atmosphere. The stratospheric ozone layer protects the Earth from harmful ultraviolet radiation. When CFCs are released into the air, they damage the stratospheric ozone layer and allow harmful ultraviolet radiation to reach the Earth, which can cause non-melanoma skin cancer in people, as well as playing a major role in malignant melanoma development. Exposure to ultraviolet radiation has also been linked to cataract formation, harms crops and certain types of marine life.