U.S. Seafoods will improve its leak detection and replace freezer equipment after violating the Clean Air Act by leaking ozone-depleting refrigerant R22.
U.S. Seafoods of Seattle will install ammonia freezer equipment after being found guilty of violating the Clean Air Act by releasing ozone-depleting refrigerant R22 from two of its fish processing vessels in Alaska.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) investigators discovered that in 2012 the freezers on two vessels owned by U.S. Seafoods – the F/V Seafreeze Alaska and the F/V Alliance – were leaking R22, an HCFC with a GWP of 1,700 and an ODP of 0.05.
U.S. Seafoods must pay a $135,000 penalty, replace "some or all" of its current R22 freezers with units that use ammonia, and retire those not replaced. The company will also implement enhanced leak detection and repair practices.
The United States is currently phasing out R22 under the Clean Air Act. Releases of R22 violate the Act’s National Recycling and Emission Reduction Program, which governs the management of ozone-depleting substances and implements the United States’ mandates under the Montreal Protocol.
On January 1, 2010, a ban on the production, import and use of R22 entered into force, except for continuing the servicing needs of existing equipment. A complete ban will come into effect on January 1, 2020, after which date the servicing of R22 systems will rely on recycled or stockpiled quantities.