The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Justice (DoJ) recently reached a settlement with Trader Joe’s Company that will see the grocery store chain spend $2 million to resolve Clean Air Act violations and pay a $500,000 civil penalty.
“Taking action to combat climate change is a priority for the Obama Administration and this settlement will result in substantial cuts to one of the most potent greenhouse gases,” EPA Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance Assistant Administrator Cynthia Giles said. “The company-wide upgrades Trader Joe’s will make are not only good for the environment, they set a high bar for the grocery industry for detecting and fixing coolant leaks.”
The settlement stems from EPA allegations that Trader Joe’s was not adequately addressing leaks of hydrochlorofluorocarbon (HCFC) R-22, a refrigerator coolant that is a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance. Trader Joe’s will spend $2 million over the next three years to bring their 453 stores into compliance with the Clean Air Act.
“By reducing the amount of ozone depleting refrigerants and potent greenhouse gasses released into the atmosphere, this settlement will assist our efforts to control these two major global environmental problems,” Assistant Attorney General John C. Cruden, in the DoJ’s Environment and Natural Resources Division, said. “The consent decree will also help assure Trader Joe’s future compliance with the Clean Air Act, by requiring heightened auditing, leak monitoring, centralized computer record keeping, and searchable electronic reporting to EPA.”