Safeway stores part of EPA settlement
Last Updated: 17:31 September 5, 2013
The plan is estimated to cost Pleasanton, California-based Safeway (NYSE: SWY) $4.1 million, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Justice said this week. The settlement involves the largest number of facilities ever under the Clean Air Act's regulations governing refrigeration equipment.
EPA accused Safeway of failing to repair leaks of HCFC-22, a hydro-chlorofluorocarbon that is a greenhouse gas and ozone-depleting substance used as a coolant in refrigerators. The company also failed to keep adequate refrigeration equipment service records, EPA said.
The settlement requires Safeway to reduce leaks and emissions at its stores, including locations at 1050 Ken Pratt Blvd. in Longmont and 2798 Arapahoe Ave. in Boulder, as well as locations in Greeley and Brighton.
“Safeway's new corporate commitment to reduce air pollution and help protect the ozone layer is vital and significant,” Cynthia Giles, assistant administrator for EPA's Office of Enforcement and Compliance Assurance, said in a statement. “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.”
HCFC-22 is as many as 1,800 times more potent than carbon dioxide in terms of global warming emissions. The measures to which Safeway has committed are expected to prevent more than 100,000 pounds of future releases of emissions that destroy the ozone layer, EPA said.
The settlement is part of EPA's national enforcement initiative to control harmful air pollution from the largest sources of emissions, including large grocery stores. The settlement was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, and is subject to a 30-day public comment period and final court approval.
A Safeway representative did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Safeway shares closed Thursday a fraction of a point down at $25.93.
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