EPA: Safeway To Spend $4.7 Million To Resolve Pollution Allegations

Source: Dow Jones News Service, September 4, 2013
Posted on:

Safeway Inc. (SWY) has agreed to pay a penalty of $600,000 and spend around $4.1 million to reduce its emissions of ozone-depleting substances and resolve allegations that it violated the Clean Air Act, U.S. officials said.
The supermarket company was accused of violating the antipollution law by failing to repair leaks of HCFC-22, a hydro- chlorofluorocarbon used as a coolant in refrigerators, the Environmental Protection Agency and Justice Department said.
A representative from Safeway wasn’t immediately available for comment.
The company agreed to cut refrigerant leakage and emissions at 659 of its stores over the next three years.
“Fixing leaks, improving compliance and reducing emissions will make a real difference in protecting us from the dangers of ozone depletion, while reducing the impact on climate change,” said Cynthia Giles, of the EPA’s enforcement office.
U.S. officials said the settlement involves the largest number of facilities ever under the Clean Air Act’s regulations.
The Clean Air Act requires owners or operators of commercial refrigeration equipment to repair leaks promptly to avoid the emission of ozone-depleting chemicals. Safeway’s measures are expected to prevent over 100,000 pounds of future releases of refrigerants, which are also potent contributors to global warming.
Safeway operates stores under its own name and regional chains like Vons and Randalls.
Shares were trading up seven cents at $25.92 in recent trading, while the stock is up 43% since the start of the year.

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