Icicle Seafood Company Fined Over Release Of Ozone-Depleting Refrigerant

Aug 14, 2012

A Seattle-based seafood company has been fined 430,000 dollars for violations of the Clean Air Act. Ashley Ahearn reports for EarthFix.

Icicle Seafoods harvests and sells salmon, crab Pollock and other fish from the waters of the Northwest and Alaska. And one of the key components of catching fish and bringing them to market – is refrigerant.

R-22, to be more specific. It’s a substance that’s used to keep refrigerators cold and it’s being phased out because it depletes the ozone layer. But between 2006 and 2008 Icicle Seafoods didn’t keep their refrigerators in good working order, and R-22 leaked.

Katie McClintock is a compliance officer with the Environmental Protection Agency in Seattle.

McCintock: “We got a tip that potentially there was a problem here and we saw that they had leaks where they added large amounts of refrigerant and didn’t fix the problem within the time they were required to.”

The refrigerant goes into the upper atmosphere and destroys the ozone layer. Icicle Seafoods has agreed to pay the fine and repair leaks in vessels and processing facilities.

Copyright 2012 Northwest Public Radio